If you feel like you’ve been putting in the effort to lose weight but are still struggling to see results, there may be some unnoticed mistakes you’re making.
Despite following the advice of professionals and friends, it’s possible to hinder your progress without realizing it.
Fortunately, by identifying and rectifying these errors, you can get back on the path to success and reach your desired weight.
Here are some common weight loss mistakes to watch out for.
1. Your diet only consists of a few food groups
You know those diets that just have you eating cabbage soup or grapefruit? Yep, not the best option for your body. Not only are these fad diets not giving you proper nutrition, but once you go back to eating normally, you’ll grain the pounds you lost right back, says the Mayo Clinic.
2. You’re skipping breakfast
You might think skipping out on breakfast will save you some calories, but it could actually hurt you in the long-run. (And yes—your coffee doesn’t count.) According to the Cleveland Clinic, breakfast actually jump-starts your metabolism for the day, fueling your body to help you lose weight. Plus, eating breakfast has been shown to keep your hunger levels in check, helping you control your cravings throughout the day.
3. You’re eating out too much
Eating at your favorite healthy restaurant is going to help you shed the pounds right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Since you’re not cooking your food, you don’t know how much high-calorie oil, salt, and sugar is included in your dish—so that seemingly healthy plate of veggies could be loaded with hundreds of calories from olive oil alone.
4. You’re snacking too much
Just because a snack is healthy doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want and still lose weight. Have a couple snacks to keep you full and satisfied during the day, but don’t snack all day. For example, nuts are healthy in moderation—but eating handful after handful is going to load you up on calories and could make you gain weight, not lose it.
5. You’re always at the gym at odd hours
Getting in your workout every day is a great way to help you reach your weight loss goals, but be careful when you’re going. There’s nothing wrong with late-night or early morning workouts as long as they don’t cut into your sleep schedule: Getting up at the crack of dawn for a spin class when you went to bed at midnight is only going to hurt your progress. Studies have shown getting less than five hours can increase your likelihood of gaining weight.
6. You’re being too restrictive
Isn’t it funny how the instant you tell yourself you can’t have pizza and ice cream, that’s all you want? Instead of having an all or nothing mindset, just eat your favorite things in moderation. A few bites of ice cream after dinner will satisfy you—and prevent you from going crazy. And by not restricting yourself completely, you’ll avoid binging down the road.
7. You’re drinking protein shakes
There’s nothing wrong with replacing a meal with a high-calorie protein shake, but if you’re simply adding one into your diet along with everything else you’re eating, those excess calories will just backfire and make you gain weight. Before you sip, check how many calories yours has and make sure it’s not disrupting your diet.
8. You’re drinking the diet versions
If you’re on a diet, you drink diet, right? Unfortunately those “healthier” versions of your favorite sodas aren’t doing you any favors. Studies have shown drinking diet soda can actually make you gain weight in the end because the artificial sweeteners used in the lower-calorie drinks increase your cravings for high-calorie treats, like cake and ice cream. Stick to fruit-infused water instead.
9. You’re avoiding fruits
There’s a weird stigma about eating fruit when you’re trying to lose weight because of its sugar content, but don’t eliminate the food group from your life—savor it. When your sweet tooth strikes, reach for a healthy, naturally sweetened option—bananas, strawberries, raspberries… you name it!—instead of going for something full of saturated fat and high in calories.
10. You go crazy on your cheat days
Many people try the whole cheat day thing while dieting and unfortunately it can easily backfire. Sure, you’re healthy six days of the week, but if you give yourself an entire seventh day to eat whatever you want, it could totally throw off all the success you’re having during the week. Instead, eat healthy and enjoy small treats in moderation.