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Quite often, when people are just starting out their diets, they make a lot of diet mistakes. I was no exception.
When I was just starting out with my weight loss journey, I made toooons of diet mistakes. And these diet mistakes are the main reason why weight loss journeys may take so long.
But the good news is they don’t have to! You can lose weight fast when you know exactly what to do and what not to do.
I’ve rounded up the biggest and most common diet mistakes that people make and put them all in this article. So…here goes!
The 5 Biggest Diet Mistakes That Are Holding You Back:
1. Consuming too little calories
If you want to lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit, that’s quite logical, but… Being in a calorie deficit that is WAY too small –now that is a big mistake.
In fact, it’s probably one of the most frequent diet mistakes that people make. I will try to explain why this is bad for your weight loss journey.
Let’s say you are a 45-year-old woman, your daily calorie consumption is ~1800 kcal per day and you’re not exercising at all. The perfect deficit for fat loss would be 10-20% of your daily calorie consumption, so in this case, it would be 180 – 360 kcal per day.
In order to lose weight, you would have to consume from 1440 to 1640 kcal per day. As my practice shows, quite often people create a huge deficit (60 – 90%) in order to lose weight faster, but then they reach a dead end in just the first few weeks.
So, if your goal were to lose 5 pounds in a week and that would be enough for you, then a huge calorie deficit may work. But if you are interested in losing more weight, I would recommend doing it in a healthy and gradual way in order to not gain in back that weight in the next few weeks after your diet.
My advice to you would be – BEGIN from a 10% calorie deficit and according to your weight loss results go for 15% deficit and then for 20% deficit.
2. Cutting out fats
If you don’t want to be fat, don’t eat fats. Sounds quite logical, huh? Unfortunately, it’s not true.
If you want to lose weight YOU MUST EAT FATS! Fats plays the really important role in our body (like DiCaprio in the Titanic) – they are a secondary energy source, they control our hormones, they help absorb vitamins, they help your skin, nails, and hair be and look healthy – the list goes on.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that now you should eat a ton of foods high in fat every day. You should consume just as many fats as your body needs and that would be 0.4 – 0.45 gram of fat per pound of your body weight.
So if you weight 200 pounds, you should consume 80 – 90 grams of fat every day. Basically, you should eat fats of the vegetable and fish origin (salmon, olive oil, nuts, avocado, nut oils and etc.), fats of the animal origin (milk, high in fat meat and etc.) should be limited to 30% of your daily fat intake.
If you consume 80g of fat per day, then you shouldn’t consume more than 24 g of fats of the animal origin per day.
Remember – you should always avoid eating trans fats! I’m not going talk about them right now, but I’m going to write about them in the near future because trans fats and why they’re bad for you deserve to be in an individual article.
3. Counting only calories
“Losing weight is all about counting your calories”, I hear people saying this all the time. But is it true or not? It’s both!
Calories really DO matter when you are losing weight because you can’t lose weight if you are in a calorie surplus. BUT… A Calorie is not equal to a calorie! You can consume 1600 kcal from sugar, and you can consume 1600 kcal from grains, meat, fruit, nuts, vegetables and so on.
Macro nutrients play a HUGE ROLE in weight loss, and in a healthy lifestyle in general. It’s really all about macro nutrients!
So, if you want to lose weight, yes, you should be in a CALORIE deficit but at the same time you should be consuming adequate amounts of all of your MACRONUTRIENTS – this is the key to successful weight loss and healthier living!
4. Skipping breakfast
Sometimes people think skipping breakfast will help them lose weight, but, unfortunately, it won’t. Instead, skipping breakfast will lead to lots of craving and eating way more than you should have during lunch or dinner.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that breakfast is seriously the most important meal of the day. And guess what, it truly is! Breakfast boosts your metabolism, it prepares you for the day ahead, it helps you to concentrate better and it prevents you from overeating in the evening (as you probably know overeating in the evening leads to gaining fat).
Also, eating breakfast has many long-term health benefits! But make sure your breakfast is balanced too – incorporate lots of protein, especially if you work out (eggs is the #1 protein source for breakfast) and carbs (fruit and/or grains like oats or pearl barleys). Moral of the story – DON’T skip breakfast!
5. Eating “invisible” snacks
Quite often, I see people who think they’re following their diets, but they really aren’t. They’re eating balanced meals, not eating any sweets or chips, but occasionally, they enjoy tiny little snack like, let’s say, nuts. I call these “invisible snacks”.
Let’s say that your daily calorie intake is 1800 kcal and you are in 15% calorie deficit, in this case, it would be 270 kcal. You have a meal plan made especially for you and you are sticking to it.
But, you are snacking every time you pass that bowl of nuts in the kitchen. “It’s just 1 almond, how much harm could it do, right?” You have one almond, then the second one, then another one. And eventually, from a 270 kcal deficit only a 50 kcal deficit remains, if any remains at all.
What happens if you’re snacking on candies instead of almonds? You know the answer. If you have a meal plan YOU MUST stick to it! And sticking to it means that you eat ONLY that food which is planned, and you aren’t eating NOTHING ELSE. Leave all that extra snacking for the cheat days.
So there you have, the biggest diet mistakes people make! I hope this helps in your weight loss journey – happy dieting!
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