25 Weight Loss Mistakes to Avoid

    1. You Don’t Leave Time For Fun. Since stress is shown to cause weight gain by triggering the body to eat more — especially foods high in sugar and fat — make sure you give yourself time to relax and unwind. And it’s an added bonus that so many fun activities (like dancing, hiking, and shopping) are already natural calorie-burners!
    1. You Overindulge in Low-Fat Foods. Going for foods with a lower calorie count can be deceiving, since many times they’re filled with extra sodium, sugar, or chemical additives to make up for the ingredients the company has removed or decreased. Not only are these light versions less nutritious, but they also end up tasting “lighter,” leading you to eat more. You’ll probably end up consuming more calories than you would if you just ate a regular-sized portion of the real thing.
    1. You Don’t Keep a Food Journal. Writing down what you eat is an essential way to monitor daily caloric intake. Don’t think it’s worth the effort? A study from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics surveyed 123 women and found that those who were the most successful at losing weight monitored their food intake by keeping a journal.
    1. You’re Always Dining Out. Hitting your favorite restaurant is a great way to unwind, but you’re more likely to indulge in a huge meal complete with appetizers, drinks, fried foods, and dessert. Calorie counts are also a mystery, since many foods aren’t labeled. If you don’t want to give up your nights out, then split a meal with a friend, order healthy options like salads and grilled chicken, and sip water instead of wine.
    1. You Never Indulge. In an otherwise healthy diet, eating a few french fries or a piece of chocolate cake isn’t going to ruin your weight-loss goals. A study found that it isn’t necessary to up workout intensity the day after a piece of cake and that a daily variance of as much as 600 calories won’t reflect on your waistline, as long as you maintain a healthy diet in the long run.
  • You Eat the Wrong Post-Workout Snacks. A post-workout snack is just that — a snack. And unless it’s mealtime, what you eat after an average workout should be around 150 calories. Since healthy foods like trail mix can be high in calories, measure out a serving instead of mindlessly chomping straight out of the bag.

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