It’s common to make the decision and jump headfirst into a weight loss effort. But after a great start, many people gradually lose their motivation when reality doesn’t meet their expectations.

Not having a solid, realistic weight loss plan and being impatient are two very common problems that discourage people.

Realistic goals can help keep you on track and motivated so that you hit your mark. Don’t expect to lose several pounds within a few days. Gradual and slow weight loss is not only healthy but also more sustainable.

A weight loss program is not a straitjacket. You can be successful if you follow the rules 90 percent of the time and avoid some of the common mistakes.

Here are the top 10 biggest weight-loss mistakes you should avoid:

Skipping Meals:

Eating patterns, such as frequency and distribution of eating throughout the day, can have a huge impact on your weight loss progress.

Many people think reducing calorie intake by skipping meals will help speed up weight loss. But in reality, skipping a meal can often lead to overeating at the next meal because you are even hungrier. Plus, skipping meals can negatively impact your blood sugar level, metabolism, and energy level.

Relying on Low-Fat and Diet Foods:

When trying to lose weight, many people adopt the habit of looking for ‘low-fat’ or ‘diet’ labels before deciding whether a food is diet-friendly.

Such foods, however, may contain abundant fats and hidden calories, as well as artificial sweeteners.

Eating such foods can cause sugar cravings, reduce your energy level and lead to weight gain.

Foods high in saturated fats should be replaced with foods high in monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fats. This means you should focus on eating foods made with liquid vegetable oils but not tropical oils.

Just like low-fat foods are not always the best choice for weight loss, switching to diet drinks is more harmful than good.

Diet drinks contain artificial sweeteners that may trigger your appetite and even inhibit the brain cells that tell you are full.

For weight loss, it is better to follow a low-carbohydrate diet. This type of diet is highly effective, as it helps reduce insulin resistance and even addresses the underlying problem rather than just treating the symptoms.

Being Sleep Deprived:

If you are not losing weight despite exercising a lot and following a strict diet, the reason can be sleep deprivation.

Not paying attention to getting proper sleep is one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to lose weight.

Sleep levels are linked to our hormone levels. Sleep deprivation leads to an increase in the secretion of the hormone cortisol, which triggers fat storage.

It can also cause fluctuations in the key hunger hormones, leptin, and ghrelin.

However, it noted that further research was needed to understand the mechanisms by which sleep duration may affect weight.

Going Through Stress:

Stress is a fact of life, but unfortunately, excess stress can prevent you from losing weight. Even worse, it can add some extra pounds despite eating healthy and exercising daily.

During stress, your brain instructs your cells to release cortisol, a hormone that makes you crave sugary and high-fat foods.

The burst of adrenaline during stress ultimately leads to adrenal fatigue, which causes your body to store more fat. This ultimately results in weight gain.

Getting rid of all anxiety and stress is not possible. However, you can manage your stress to keep your cortisol levels and weight under control. Try relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing to help reduce stress.

Neglecting Protein:

Several nutrients play a key role in several aspects of body-weight regulation and protein is one of them.

Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, and it helps keep sugar cravings at bay and prevents excess fat deposits due to sugar overloads. So, increased dietary protein along with physical activity and an energy-controlled diet can help reduce weight.

A 130-pound adult should try to eat at least 47 grams of protein daily.

Protein aids in thermogenesis, a metabolic process in which the body produces heat to burn calories.

Not Staying Hydrated:

Water makes up over two-thirds of a healthy body and plays a significant role in determining your body mass and overall weight.

Dehydration affects how your body burns fat, encourages excessive calorie intake, and slows down your metabolism. It also causes a drop in your energy level, leading to increased tiredness that makes it difficult to be active.

Following a Liquid Diet:

Those who wish to lose weight with minimal effort often opt for a liquid diet. This is another weight loss mistake people make.

Replacing healthy meals with green juices, fruit juices and smoothies will not provide your body with all the essential nutrients. Juices lack fiber and protein, which are key nutrients in keeping you full.

Moreover, fast-food smoothies and prepackaged juices are often loaded with artificial sugar, preservatives, and harmful chemicals.

Drinking prepackaged juice will raise your blood sugar level, leading to hunger and overeating.

Relying Only on Exercise:

Another mistake that people often make is simply relying on physical exercise.

Doing the Same Exercise Daily:

If you are used to doing just one exercise over and over again, it is another weight loss mistake.

When you perform the same exercise daily, your body gets used to it, leading to little or no weight loss, or strength gains. It can even cause muscle development in some areas of the body more than others.

Plus, indulging in the same physical routine leads to boredom and soon you stop doing it.

Overindulging on the Weekends:

After following a strict diet and exercise routine all week, most people get lazy during the weekend. This can significantly hinder weight loss efforts.

Weekend routines differ considerably from weekdays, often providing more opportunities for eating and drinking as well as less exercise.

Social events and outings during the weekends often include eating and drinking. In fact, during the weekends, people consume more alcohol and more calorie-dense foods, which is a recipe for easy weight gain.

Moreover, people tend to spend less time exercising during the weekends.

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