2015; a brand New Year, a fresh start, and the perfect time to kick start that health plan and lose some weight. At least that’s what some of you will be thinking.

If you have set yourself the intention to lose weight this New Year make sure you avoid these common weight loss mistakes.

1. Going on a diet

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Most diets don’t work, at least not in the long term. They are often faddy, drastic and unsustainable for long periods of time. If you have significantly reduced your calorie intake you will lose weight, but the chances are you will be left feeling deprived and start craving ‘banned’ foods, making your weight loss journey boring and a challenge.

And as soon as you fall off the diet wagon the weight will begin to creep back on leaving you disappointed and frustrated. So, ditch the diet and embrace a healthy and realistic eating plan. Make gradual changes that you will be able to maintain and think of this as a lifestyle change rather than quick fix diet. After all, you want the weight to fall off and stay off right?

2. Food shopping without a list

Going food shopping without a shopping list is a sure fire way to slow down your weight loss. Whether you shop weekly, daily or every few days, plan your meals for the week ahead, check which ingredients you need to stock up on and write yourself a shopping list.

This might sound time consuming and boring, but it will keep you focused and there will be less chance of being distracted by the array of unhealthy, calorific and fatty convenience foods lining the supermarket shelves.

3. Eating on the run

Life can get crazily busy and sometimes the only option is to eat on the run or to skip a meal. But when we do eat on the go we are more likely to reach for convenience foods that are typically high in calories and trans-fats and won’t keep us full for long, increasing the chances of snacking later on.

If this happens on a regular basis the weight loss will plateau or it will begin to creep back on. If you know you won’t have time to sit down and eat, prepare your meals in advance and keep a supply of healthy snacks close to hand.

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4. Stocking up on low-fat food

Supermarkets offer endless supplies of low fat options such as biscuits, bread, cakes, cereal, cheese, crackers, crisps, curry, drinks, margarine, pizzas and yoghurts.

The packaging lulls the shopper into thinking these foods are guilt free and will help them on their mission to lose weight. But the manufacturers have increased the sugar content to improve the taste and texture. So, to avoid bumping up your calorie intake, steer clear of these low fat options.

5. Low protein diet

Protein is an important macronutrient. It helps the body repair muscle and grow tissue; maintain healthy skin, hair and nails; regulate hormones and control metabolism. High protein foods also help keep you fuller for longer, reduce cravings and will stop you wanting to snack between meals. So, if you are trying to lose weight, include some protein with each meal.  

6. Not making time to exercise

Another common weight loss mistake is not making time to exercise. Although it is possible to lose weight from dietary changes alone, for some people results are minimal and their weight might plateau, causing frustration and increasing the chances of giving up.

Not only will exercise burn up calories, it will also improve muscle tone and definition and will motivate you to focus on the end goal. You don’t have to exercise excessively, 30 minutes three times a week is a great starting point.

7. Drinking too little water

An adult body is made up of approximately 70% water so it is important to keep hydrated. When the body becomes dehydrated the metabolism slows down, the muscles abilities to generate energy is inhibited, and the body’s ability to utilise fats is restricted.

These tips are easy to implement and guaranteed to help you lose weight and achieve the body you desire. Good luck!

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