FITNESS TUESDAYS: Common diet mistakes that get in the way of weight loss
Most people take the wrong approach when it comes to losing weight. They focus on exercise too much and forget that diet is what greatly determines weight loss.
Even though I’ll only focus on diet in this article, remember that exercise plays a significant role in weight loss. And thanks to bodyweight exercises, you don’t have to go to the gym to stay fit. You can work out in the comfort of your own home.
Below are seven diet mistakes that stop most people from attaining their weight goal.
High sugar intake
High sugar consumption is one of the leading causes of obesity. Sugar is high in calories and poor on nutrients. Unfortunately, most people consume sugar unknowingly.
You see, added sugar is in almost all processed foods. So watch out for any foods with added sugar in the labels. Note that manufacturers may use fancy terms like fructose, sucrose, maltose and so on, to hide sugar from consumers.
The obvious foods you should stay away from are ice cream, soda, cakes, chocolate, candy and any other sweet food. Even honey is just as bad.
Snacking is a great way to keep hunger at bay but it can work against you, especially if you don’t account for calories from snacks.
Eating a packet of biscuits might not seem like a big deal, but if you eat a chocolate bar and then later drink soda, these calories will add up and eventually cause weight gain.
Only snack on healthy foods such as fruits and salads. Even then, make sure you account for calories from these healthy snacks.
Eating restaurant food
Restaurants use a lot of cooking oil to make their food tasty, and this increases the calorie content in the food. The only way to guarantee you eat healthy meals is to cook your own food.
If you don’t have time to cook meal, prepare food that will last several days. And if you still can’t avoid eating at restaurants, opt for restaurants that serve healthy food.
Calories from beverages
I mentioned earlier that beverages like soda can lead to excess calories. So be aware of calories from any processed beverage, including fruit juice. That’s right! Even unprocessed fruit juice is not healthy because it has a lot of sugar and lacks fiber. Eat real fruits instead of fruit juice.
You should also stay away from alcohol (especially beer). If you have to drink, opt for spirits like vodka and whiskey since they’re low in calories.
Not using a diet plan
A diet plan guides you on what to eat in every meal. Unfortunately, most people don’t use diet plans as part of their weight-loss strategy.
Eating without a plan makes it easy for you to indulge in unhealthy meals. So go ahead and design your own meal plan. Just write down the foods you’ll eat in every meal, and the amount you’ll eat.
When choosing the foods to eat, make sure they’re close to their natural form as possible (not processed). And remember to include all three macronutrients in your diet (protein, fats and carbohydrates), but limit the intake of simple carbohydrates.
Not maintaining a calorie deficit
Eating healthy foods doesn’t guarantee weight loss, you have to maintain a calorie deficit. For weight loss to happen, you have to consume fewer calories than you burn each day.
Start counting calories if you have no idea the number of calories you consume. Feel free to use apps like MyFitnessPal, but note that some of the local foods like ugali have not been included in the app.
Not drinking enough water
Research shows that drinking more water can help you lose more weight even without changing your diet. Carrying a bottle of water with you can help increase your water intake. Make sure you drink at least two liters of water each day.
If you avoid these mistakes you’ll definitely start losing weight sooner rather than later.
Article written by Brian Syuki, founder of focus fitness – a blog that teaches about healthy eating and home exercises
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