Three Weight Loss Mistakes To Avoid

If your doctor has advised you to lose weight due to your health, you may be a little overwhelmed by all the information available. Unfortunately, not all weight loss information is reliable or even healthy. The following are three mistakes that you do not want to make when beginning your weight loss journey.

#1: Depending on "diet" foods

Diet foods in this case refers to any pre-packaged or convenience food item that uses phrases like "lite," "low-fat," or similar on the packaging or in the advertising copy. Although some of these foods may deliver exactly as advertised—less calories or fat—they are often void of most nutrients or the serving size may be laughably small. Another issue, particularly with items labeled low-fat, is that they are calorie-dense due to added sugar. Instead of looking for convenience diet foods, work on adding more healthy whole foods into your diet. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins are much better for you in the long term.

#2: Drinking your calories

As a general rule, you want to eat your calories as opposed to drinking them. Soda and fruit juices are an obvious source of calories that will lead to extra weight, but even coffee and tea can be tricky unless you drink them black. This is because even a small amount of milk, cream or sweetener adds up when you are drinking several cups of coffee a day. Tea is also a mild diuretic, which can leave you dehydrated even though you feel like you are taking in plenty of fluids. It is common to mistake mild dehydration for hunger, which can lead you to overeating when all you actually need is a cup of water.

#3: Focusing only on exercise

Make no mistake, exercise is an important aspect of weight loss and a healthy lifestyle, but chances are you won't lose weight by exercise alone. The only way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories in a day than you burn through exercise and daily activities. Attempting to only increase the calories you are using without also lowering the calories you are taking in is nearly impossible if you have more than a few pounds to lose. Instead, work with your doctor to determine your average activity level and consume fewer calories than your needs. Then, gradually add exercise to your routine to further increase the caloric deficit.