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7 Common Mistakes Most People Make In Losing Weight

7 Common Mistakes Most People Make In Losing Weight

Do you feel like you’re continually running on the treadmill, but not going anywhere? Weight loss is a lucrative industry and we are constantly presented with quick fix solutions that we desperately want to believe. According to data by Marketdata Enterprises, Americans spend over $60 billion dollars a year trying to lose weight. Before you empty your wallet to decrease your dress size, are some common mistakes to avoid.

1. You think there’s a quick way to lose weight.

If there were a pill that magically took off the pounds, we’d be living in a world without super-sized chairs in waiting rooms and seat belt extenders. The truth is, weight loss is hard. It takes determination, focus, and commitment to making healthier choices, even though it is often the less convenient or less enjoyable option. Over-the-counter options, such as green tea extract, often come with their own risks and side effects, and most of the options available are likely ineffective for weight loss. In addition, losing more than three pounds a week after a few weeks can increase your chance of developing gallstones, and being on a diet of fewer than 800 calories a day for an extended period of time can lead to serious heart problems.

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2. You assume all carbs are bad for you.

Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. In recent years, “low-carb” diets have grown in popularity, but the results are usually short-lived. A 2003 article in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that low-carbohydrate diets have no advantage over traditional well balanced diets and that long-term restriction of carbohydrates can have dangerous side effects, including heart problems, osteoporosis, an increased risk of cancer, impairment of physical activity, lipid abnormalities, and even sudden death, if continued over a prolonged period of time. Eating complex carbohydrates, such as high fiber cereal and brown rice can actually help you lose weight by making you feel fuller while consuming fewer calories.

3. You think “low-fat” or “fat-free” means fewer calories.

Often these options mean just that: less fat. They do not mean fewer calories. To compromise for the missing fat, manufactures will add sugar in order to make the product taste just as good. This chart will show you popular foods where the “low-fat” option has almost as many calories as the regular version. Don’t be fooled by good marketing. Healthy cookies usually taste like “healthy cookies” for a reason.

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4. You believe eating healthy costs more money.
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    While eating healthy may seem more costly, there are a lot of factors to consider. It is cheaper and easier to grab a burger and fries from a local fast food establishment, but investing in your health can save you costly medical bills in the future. In addition, there are more affordable ways to make healthy food. Instead of French fries, chop up a potato, drizzle with a little olive oil, add some salt and pepper and bake. You now have a lower calorie, cheaper option, and lose none of the fiber that a baked potato provides. Furthermore, a lot of people believe that raw vegetables provide more nutrients than frozen or canned ones. This is also not true and frozen or canned vegetables are often cheaper than fresh produce.

    5. You skip meals.

    You may think that one less meal equates to fewer calories consumed, but skipping meals may just make you eat larger portions later in the day. Research has shown that people who eat breakfast weigh less than those who skip the first meal of the day.

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    6. You disregard the calories that come from liquids.

    According to a recent study, 21 percent of calories in an American diet come from liquids. Consider the following 16 ounce drinks—a Starbucks Hot Chocolate is 370 calories, a 16 ounce Dunkin’ Donuts Vanilla Bean Coolatta is 630 calories, and Jamba Juice Aloha Pineapple Smoothie is 290 calories. Even orange juice is 190 calories for 12 ounces. By swapping these beverages for water, you significantly reduce caloric intake.

    7. You don’t count the little things.

    The little things include “add-ons” such as salad dressings, coffee creamer, guacamole, and croutons. Just 2 tablespoons of Wishbone Chunky Blue Cheese has 160 calories and 17 grams of fat. Similarly, two tablespoons of Girard’s regular Caesar dressing has 150 calories and 15 grams of fat. Two tablespoons is small enough to be hiding under your sandwich bun or rolled up in your turkey wrap. Being aware of the ingredients in your food can help eliminate these hidden sources of calories and saturated fat. You can view other healthy alternatives here.

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    The formula for weight loss is simple: the amount of calories burned has to be greater than the amount of calories consumed. Benefits of maintaining a healthy weight include: increased energy, higher self esteem, and a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, and certain cancers. The best way to accomplish your weight loss goals is by old fashioned diet and exercise. Eat well balanced meals, increase your physical activity, ignore the late night infomercials,  and talk to your doctor or nutritionist about creating a plan of action that best meets your needs.

    Featured photo credit: Ed Yourdon via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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