Put on a few extra pounds this summer? Don’t sweat it! By getting back on track and opting for healthier choices, you’ll slim-down in no time. Just be sure to avoid these six blunders, sure to wreak even more havoc on your progress.
Beat Yourself Up
In a study published in the Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2012, positive self-talk was a distinguishing factor between people who maintained their weight loss and those who gained weight back. Don’t blow your weight gain out of proportion. Tell yourself you had a few bad days, but you’ve got this. Try posting some motivational quotes on your fridge or your mirror to keep you feeling upbeat and confident about getting back on track.
Throw in the Towel
Don’t give up on your diet. It’s normal to experience weight fluctuations even when you’re cutting calories. If you’ve been doing everything right and still gained a few pounds, try mixing up your meals a little bit, adding in more lean proteins and less dairy foods. Shake off your salt habit, add in some exercise and drink more water. Try these plateau-busting tips. If you haven’t been watching what you eat, and you’ve got the spare tire to prove it, it might be time to tighten up your diet. Need help getting started? We’ve got you covered here.
Not only does skipping meals mean you’re robbing your body of the nutrients it needs to run properly, multiple studies have demonstrated a relationship between meal skippers and obesity. But you don’t need research to tell you that. Just think about what happens when you go all day without eating. You ransack the pantry the first chance you get—often eating more than you would have had you spaced your meals out accordingly. Eat regular meals and be sure to fill half your plate with fruits and veggies. Try to avoid foods like pizza, French fries and chocolate, which studies suggest may be physiologically addictive. That’s right: in a study published in February 2015 by PLoS One, foods with the highest glycemic load (think foods with refined carbs) were most addictive to dieters. Don’t doom your weight loss comeback by loading up on these tempting treats.
Overcompensate At the Gym
While getting in regular sweat sessions can certainly help trim you down, going overboard could end up making you feel hungrier or worse, cause an injury due to compromised form. In a study from 2012, researchers found that obese people experienced negative effects on their mood, anxiety levels and hunger by an intense bout of exercise—all three of which are associated with eating. So hit the gym. Just don’t hit it so hard that it ends up being detrimental to your success.
Weigh Yourself… Constantly
While regularly weighing yourself is a great way to keep a pulse on your slim-down progress, doing it too often can be frustrating, especially since experts deem a weekly weight loss of one to two pounds weight loss to be a safe goal. Aim for weekly weigh-ins at the same time each day, with the same amount of clothes on. Don’t be too hard on yourself if the number on the scale goes up or stays the same—fluctuations are normal as your body adjusts.
Ignore the Extra Pounds
Excess weight doesn’t happen overnight. It accrues gradually over the years until all of a sudden there you are: 30 pounds heavier and asking yourself, “How did this happen?!” Put a stop to the sneaky extra pounds now. Sign up for a structured weight loss program like Nutrisystem, which takes the work out of weight loss, or visit a registered dietitian who can get you started.