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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 December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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