Food & Recipes

The 8 Biggest Weight-Loss Mistakes Experts See People Make

If you're trying to reach (or maintain) a weight loss goal, make sure you aren't making these common mistakes.

When it comes to losing weight, many people hit a plateau and feel frustrated by their lack of progress. With so much information floating around out there, and so many different aspects of weight loss, it can be hard to tell what you’re doing wrong. Because of this, we’ve turned to the experts to figure out what are the most common mistakes people make when it comes to shedding the pounds.

To help you avoid these pitfalls, we got the low-down from multiple weight-loss experts on the biggest mistakes people make when trying to lose weight.

1. Avoiding High Fat Foods

“Because so many diet programs emphasize calories counting, a lot of people put healthy foods, like avocados, nuts, and oils, on the no-no list simply because they are higher calorie,” says weight-loss expert Dr. Candis Seti, Psy.D. “The fact is that healthy fats can be a valuable part of a healthy diet and can help contribute to weight loss. ”

avocado photo
Photo by threelayercake

2. Skipping Meals

“In our fast-paced culture, it’s easy to skip meals, forget to eat, or eat at erratic times,” says Dr. Taz Bhatia. “Meal skipping is often the root of fatigue and afternoon slump, but it could also make you gain weight.” In one study, people who skipped breakfast were 4½ times more likely to be obese.

meal photo
Photo by D-Stanley

3. Having Inconsistent Sleeping Patterns

“Altered sleep cycles sabotage weight loss,” says Bhatia. “We know that hormones, appetite and cravings are all dependent on a consistent and repetitive sleep cycle. Sleep regulates insulin, leptin and serotonin; all critical players in weight loss.”

bed photo
Photo by Idhren

4. Not Drinking Enough Water

“Nothing improves the digestive process and metabolism like water, but it is the one piece of the weight equation that everyone forgets,” says Bhatia. “Drinking water improves digestions, keeps us full, and prevents the overeating that is often from dehydration, not hunger. Aim for at least 50 oz of water per day, but closer to 80 oz if you are an avid exerciser.”

water bottle photo
Photo by stvcr

5. Focusing On Calories, Not Ingredients

“Just because [a food] has the right amount of calories doesn’t mean it has all the nutrients you need,” says certified fitness trainer and exercise nutrition coach Stephen Box. “By ensuring your meal has a good balance of lean protein, smart carbs, fats, and at least 1-2 servings of colorful veggies you are more likely to get everything your body needs to perform, recover, and improve.”

salad photo
Photo by Charles Haynes

6. Only Doing Cardio

“One of the biggest myths in fitness is that cardio is the best way to burn fat,” says Box. “You should aim for 2-3 hours per week of strength training in addition to 1-2 cardio sessions per week,” says Box. “Low-impact activities such as jogging should be at least 60 minutes and High Intensity Intervals (HIIT) should be 15-30 minutes in length.”

weights photo
Photo by slgckgc

7. Being Too Strict

“It’s not realistic that you will cut out your favorite foods for the rest of your life to be healthy,” says Box. “Instead, focus on eating smaller, less frequent portions of the ‘treats’ and add bigger, more frequent portions of the healthy stuff.”

dessert photo
Photo by whitefield_d

8. Checking The Scale Daily

“Because things like rate of digestion, water retention, hormones, and even time of day can cause your scale weight to fluctuate, it’s impossible to get reliable data from the scale on a daily basis,” says Box. “I recommend waiting at least two weeks between weigh-ins, and even then, remember the scale is not the only, or even best way, to judge progress.”

bathroom scale photo
Photo by the Italian voice