The 7 Most Common Weight Loss Mistakes

healthy breakfast options( — The road to losing weight can be a very bumpy and frustrating one. As people reach obstacles and hit potholes, they tend to become discouraged. For all the different people there are in the world, most dieters actually make some of the same mistakes.

Recognizing theses mistakes early on, may prevent you from making them later.

You set unrealistic goals to begin with. The first mistake dieters make is developing unrealistic weight loss goals. Slower is better. Studies show that individuals who rapidly lose weight are more likely to gain it back. So if you’ve lost a few pounds this month, excellent! Don’t discount that, because you see someone on TV losing 15 pounds in two weeks.

You don’t realize that weight loss is different for everyone. While some people lose a lot of weight in the first few weeks, others might not lose any weight for a few weeks. Although this can be frustrating when you’re doing everything right, it’s not a reason to give up. Sometimes it just takes a little while longer to see the results of your hard work reflected on the scale.

You try too hard to be perfect (and kick yourself too hard when you’re not). You can expect to hit some bumps in the road, no matter how hard you’re trying. Setbacks are normal. The important thing is not to let those bumps get you totally off track, but to learn from them and move forward.

You don’t eat enough. A lot of people assume that the less you eat, the faster you will lose. Eating less isn’t always better. One of the biggest mistakes dieters make is not eating enough. Your calorie range is based on your current weight, goal weight, how aggressive your goal is (whether you want to lose weight quickly or slowly) and how much exercise you are doing.

You skip breakfast. Maybe you were in a hurry. Maybe you thought you could cut some calories. But now it’s 11 a.m., and you haven’t eaten anything for 15 hours straight. You’re so famished, you can’t decide whether to buy a bear claw at the bakery, steal candy from your coworker’s stash, or wait until lunch so you can pig out at your favorite Chinese restaurant. Studies continue to show that people who eat breakfast every morning tend to be (and stay) thinner.

You’re drinking your calories. Why is this a problem? The body doesn’t register liquid calories, so even if you drink 900 of them, you’ll still crave food. When Pennsylvania State University researchers gave people a caloric drink (such as fruit juice, sweetened soda, or even milk) with a meal, the participants didn’t consume any less food when they sat down to eat.

You eat fast food way too much. Hitting the drive-through once in a while isn’t such a big deal — the problem is that if you do it one time, you’re much more likely to do it again, and again, and again. And that’s when the pounds really start to pile on. A 15-year study led by researchers at the University of Minnesota showed that people who ate fast food more than twice a week gained 10 more pounds than participants who had it less than once a week. There were also health ramifications: The drive-through frequenters had a higher risk of diabetes.

You skip meals to make up for eating something you feel guilty about. Don’t. Skip. Meals. This is one of the most important rules of dieting – it throws your metabolism off, makes you cranky, and actually can just make you eat more later on. Why does this strategy almost always backfire? The day after your severe restriction, you’ll be eating everything, including the paint off the walls.

You don’t keep track of what you eat. We understand. Writing down every little thing you eat can annoying, boring and time-consuming. But if you don’t, it’ll cost you those pounds you’re trying so hard to lose. Why? Because most people don’t realize how much mindless eating they do every day, especially when you first start dieting. You taste what you’re cooking, or grab a French fry (or five) off your sweetie’s plate, or you eat the rest of your child’s cake at a birthday party. On average, there’s probably 25 calories in each of those mouthfuls. And please believe…all those random little bites do add up.