You count calories, exercise regularly and try to eat unprocessed nutritious foods and yet those stubborn last ten pounds just won’t come off. You may be sabotaging your diet without even realizing it. If your weight loss has plateaued you might have fallen for one of these 5 diet traps.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
While it can be difficult fitting 7-8 hours of sleep into a hectic schedule getting anything less can really wreak havoc on your diet. Not only will it reduce your ability to say no to high fat, high calorie foods it can also increase your appetite by up to 23%. In recent studies researchers found that people who got an average of 6 hours of sleep a night were 27% more likely to be overweight, at 5 hours of sleep a night the number jumps to 73% so to keep appetite inducing hormones under control try to hit the sack a little earlier. It only takes a few solid nights of rest to reset the clock and have hormone levels return to normal.
Many dieters think that skipping breakfast will reduce their caloric intake but really they are just setting themselves up for consuming extra calories during the day. Skipping breakfast can cause a major drop in blood sugar leading to binges on high fat high, calorie foods and ultimately weigh gain. Not only that but they burn fewer calories throughout the day as well. People who frequently skip breakfast are 50% more likely to become obese and have a much higher risk of type II diabetes. Filling up on whole grains first thing in the morning helps stabilize your blood sugar so that you will have a much easier time controlling your diet throughout the day.
Restaurants like to trick us by piling fat and calories into healthy sounding dishes or by serving portions that are much too large for one sitting. People who eat out regularly may try to make good choices but many restaurant salads contain over 1300 calories so caution must be exercised. If you have to eat out on a regular basis check for online menus with nutritional information this way you can plan your meals ahead of time and know when it’s best to share a dish with a friend or save half for later.
Picking at foods throughout the day
Grabbing three chips off of your child’s plate or two pieces of candy out of the company candy jar may seem harmless but all those extra calories can really add up. The best way to avoid mindlessly consuming extra calories is to keep a food journal with you. Once you start writing down everything you eat you can easily see where any extra calories are coming from and be motivated to keep your hands out of the cookie jar.
Drinking Your Calories
In a world of big gulps and venti lattes it is easy to consume hundreds of extra empty calories a day in beverages alone. If you cannot give your morning coffee be sure to specify that you would like skim milk and opt for diet soda with lunch or dinner. Beware of cocktail parties and happy hour as well one pina colada can have as many as 650 calories so the next time you head to the bar stick to a glass of wine or a vodka soda you’ll save yourself over 500 calories the equivalent of a normal sized meal.
Making a few small changes can have a big effect on your dieting efforts. If you’ve hit that plateau don’t give up hope eat a healthy breakfast, get plenty of sleep and keep exercising and you will be back on track in no time.