Imagine this: You are planning to start a diet by making more frequent visits to your local gym, adding more fresh foods to your diet and cooking at home. But the second you think about sticking to a new plan for clean dining, it seems that the temptation of office donuts and happy hour specialty strikes in every corner. Does that sound familiar?
We’ve all been there. Starting a diet can be just as daunting as keeping those annoying pounds on your waist. Therefore, we have consulted the best health and wellness experts about the most common dietary errors they have helped people like us overcome. Browse our exclusive report below to find out what not to do when you lose weight and for more on how to eat healthy, you will not want to miss these 21 best healthy cooking hacks all the time.
“One of the biggest dietary mistakes I see with my patients is to think of a diet as deprivation. Many of my patients come in and say they want to cut out all the sugar or cut out all the fat, but doing so limits you get to a point that is probably not sustainable. “- Leah Kaufman, CDN, CDE, MS, RD
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“Removing a food group … does not mean you automatically lose weight. You may actually find yourself eating too much at some point. Finding a balance between your macronutrients is the key! There is no ‘good’ or “bad” food that needs to be kept or removed from the diet. The role of a good diet is to find a balance on your plate and see which foods can help you most to achieve a healthy lifestyle change. “- Leah Kaufman, CDN, CDE, MS, RD
“Being too restrictive and cutting out food groups leads to burnout early when following a diet. This can discourage a person from following the diet properly or eating healthier food and exercise in general. Instead of cutting out food groups or being too restrictive, so try for proper portion size.Moderation is the key! [Eat] 5-6.5 ounces of lean protein for meals, 1.5-2 cups of fruit daily, 2.5-3 cups of vegetables (green leaves) daily, 6-8 ounces of daily grains, 3 cups of low-fat or low-fat dairy products daily. and 5-6 teaspoons of oils daily. ” – Jim White, RD, ACSM
“I’m all for someone who wants to lose a significant amount of weight or strive to run a marathon, but the big goals can be unrealistic and overwhelming at first. It’s better to set small goals that can actually be achieved on short If you want to lose 20 pounds, for example, do not go on a crash diet that starves you and helps you lose pounds fast. Instead, change your behavior a little to Lose 3-5 pounds a month. These small goals are more manageable and will eventually help you reach the bigger goal. “- Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, NYC based dietitian
“I think the reason extreme diets are so popular is that they help people lose pounds really fast. But that way of eating is just not sustainable. The first step to losing weight is to realize , that it will require a lifelong change, rather than a quick fix.It’s a big shift in thinking, but once you start thinking this way, it will help you in the long run.If it was just as easy to lose weight like slipping a pill or cutting out a food group, no one would be overweight! “- Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, NYC-based dietitian
“When I work with clients, I try to help them be aware of how their weight and the food they eat affect how they feel. Many people are not aware that they feel terrible after having eaten fried food, or when they have the greatest weight.I think it’s important for people to recognize that healthy food makes you feel good and that losing weight makes you feel good.I have my clients to keep a diary that tracks how food makes them feel.After eating a large meal of fried or sugary foods, they mark how they feel.They do the same after eating something full of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. Over time, it is easy for them to see that healthy food makes them feel better, and they are more likely to choose it over the less healthy alternative. “- Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD, NYC-based dietitian
When it comes to dieting, we often give ourselves “food rules” to follow (ie, not eating after 8pm, no sugar, etc.), and when we break the rules because they are too restrictive, we get upset even, turn off the diet and overconsumption. Do not focus on food rules. Instead, divert your thinking to good things in life, such as eating out. Focus on including healthier foods in your daily routine. And do not throw the towel on your healthy eating habits when you pamper yourself. Instead, enjoy it and choose a healthier option at your next meal. Eating healthy is not an ‘all-or-nothing’ approach. It’s a lifestyle. “- Lauren Manganiello, MS, RD, CDN; registered dietitian and personal trainer in NYC
“Real weight loss takes time. Often, if we do not see progress in the first week or two, we become discouraged and stop. Set a long-term goal as well as smaller, short-term goals. Use the short-term goal goals as a springboard to your long-term goal. And celebrate your short-term goals along the way. Looking back on your success and seeing progress is one of the biggest drivers of long-term success. “- Lauren Manganiello, MS, RD, CDN; registered dietitian and personal trainer in NYC
If someone goes on a full strength diet and thinks about eating what is prescribed will lose a ton of weight in a short time, they have set themselves up for failure. Losing weight in a healthy time frame takes time and dedication to diet and exercise. Try to set weekly goals for diet and exercise. Learn to track meals correctly in MyFitnessPal to keep an accurate log of macro and weight measurements. Remember [that] Losing weight in a healthy way takes time … Give it time! ” – Jim White, RD, ACSM
“Greek yogurt is all the rage thanks to the powerful punch of protein it provides and the fact that it is loaded with bone-strengthening calcium. That said, people often make the mistake of buying Greek yogurt with ‘fruit at the bottom’. and filled with sugar.To reap the benefits of Greek yogurt, it is better for you to get the plain variety and sweetened with a low glycemic fruit, like fresh blueberries.For some extra sweetness, add a drip of an unrefined natural sweetener like pure maple syrup – a little goes a long way! “- Chelsea Elkin, MS, RD, CDN
“Diets often fail due to lack of flavor. Consider replacing parsley with watercress, to beat the flavor of a dish up or use it in smoothies instead of spinach. In fact, watercress has the calories of kale while delivering just as much. many (if not more) nutrients. “- Chelsea Elkin, MS, RD, CDN
“Keep it simple! Do not put up with simple foods so that the health benefits disappear! For example, Brussels sprouts can be a healthy side dish when sautéed with a little olive oil and spices. Preparing Brussels sprouts in this way gives the nutritional benefits to shine through … Brussels sprouts are a good source of the essential nutrient choline, which is important for memory and cognition and is a critical nutrient for pregnant women, for fetal development and proper child development.When filling vegetables with calories (which often happens in restaurants ), the health benefits can be masked, so be sure to cook vegetables at home whenever possible and do not complicate things in the kitchen! “- Chelsea Elkin, MS, RD, CDN
“A study by California Walnuts showed that 2 out of 3 Americans believe that dietary fat is the enemy. One of the biggest mistakes I see is fear of fat and especially cutting out good fats. On the contrary, nuts like walnuts can maybe help with satiety. Swap a handful of walnuts for chips or pretzels for a smart snack or toss roasted walnuts on salad vegetables or roasted vegetables for crunch, extra fiber, protein and better for your fats! “- Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD
“Everything or nothing thinks. I find that when they try to eat better, many clients think they have to be perfect. It’s not necessary. I encourage clients to thrive in the gray area – the space where you make healthy changes but not so restrictive that you no longer enjoy eating or physical activity.It is a process.Start with 1 or 2 shifts a week (say, increase the water, eat at least 3 cups of vegetables daily or exercise 150 minutes about to achieve a healthy lifestyle that you can maintain in life. “- Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD
“Skipping meals can lead to stopping a diet faster than expected. You can skip a meal and think that this will help you lose weight in a faster time frame. This can lead to failure due to undereating and hunger, which often forces a person to get out of the diet and eat to satisfy their hunger. Skipping meals means less energy and brain power to function throughout the day. Try meal preparation to ensure you have adequate energy throughout the day. (three meals and two snacks daily). ” – Jim White, RD, ACSM
“Many people think that cheating meals do not count in macro goals in the following diet. With this mindset, anyone can easily get all their hard work back if they eat over 3,500 calories in a meal or a day! Plan cheating meals accordingly and keep tracking in MyFitnessPal. Consider foods with added benefits like dark chocolate with Greek yogurt and berries for antioxidants and protein. ” – Jim White, RD, ACSM
“With all the liquid beverages available on the market, people sometimes forget to track the calories from beverages consumed throughout the day. Soda, juice, coffee with whipped cream and sugar, alcohol are all examples of liquid calories. Be sure to read labels on beverages, if available and continue to track in MyFitnessPal. Drink more water throughout the day. ” – Jim White, RD, ACSM
“With all the current diet fads in the media, it’s important to research the diet you plan to follow by researching the diet on credible, science-based sites; or consult your MD / RD for more information. Your MD will let you know, whether the diet is appropriate for your current state of health, and RD helps you create a nutrition plan … [and] Follow the diet correctly in the safest way that works with your body. ” – Jim White, RD, ACSM
“Eating a well-balanced diet while falling [calories] within 500–750 will promote weight loss … Exercise at moderate to high intensity level three to five per week for 30-60 minutes. [You] have to put in the work to see the results. ” – Jim White, RD, ACSM
When talking about exercise, do not miss these 8 training mistakes that will make you gain weight.