You think you’re following a healthy diet when you step onto the scale and discover you’ve gained five pounds! What’s going on?

If you’ve found yourself in the same situation, you could very well be sabotaging your weight loss efforts with nothing other than your diet! Don’t let the small mistakes sabotage your diet.

Here are some of the most common diet mistakes you could be making every time you sit down for a meal:

  • 100-calorie snack packs – Certainly, those 100-calorie snack packs are a great way to indulge in a little treat. The problem is that they are usually very small and leave us feeling less than satisfied. So what do we do? You guessed it: grab for another innocent snack bag. A better solution may be fresh fruit or cut vegetables with a little hummus or a handful of heart-healthy nuts. These types of snacks with fiber and protein keep us fuller longer, thereby staving off our hunger pains until dinner.
  • Diet snacks – The “fat free” snacks you stock your pantry with may be doing more harm than good. Although the snack may be low in fat or free of fat, it likely has a ton of sugar to make up for the loss of taste. And, as we all know, our bodies turn sugar to fat. Instead of eating low-fat or fat-free cookies, for example, opt for a regular cookie (perhaps even one made with whole wheat or oatmeal for the fiber benefit), but limit yourself to one or two.
  • Sugary drinks – Unless you’re drinking coffee, tea, diet soda or water, you’re taking in calories. In particular, sweetened fruit drinks and sodas can add hundreds of calories to your diet each day. Instead of drinking a fruit cocktail or even a large glass of orange juice, opt for water or skim milk and instead grab a piece of fruit; the fiber will keep you feeling full.
  • Energy bars – Energy bars are a big market, and they are usually designed as a meal replacement. Although energy bars are usually packed with fiber and other essential nutrients, they are not low-calorie foods and probably should not be the first thing you grab when hunger strikes. Instead, use energy bars when you are too hurried to enjoy a healthy meal.
  • Fat-free salad dressings – Fat-free salad dressings are not necessarily healthy. It is important to realize that fat-free dressings usually replace fat with sugar. If you are going to enjoy a large salad, skip the fat-free salad dressing and instead choose a salad dressing with heart-healthy oils, such as olive oil. Mix your own healthy salad dressing with olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, and a dash of fresh ground pepper and salt, and your waistline (and heart) will thank you.
  • Yogurt – There are plenty of reasons to add yogurt to your diet, but pay close attention to the type of yogurt you are choosing. Many types of flavored yogurt contain a large amount of sugar. The best way to enjoy the benefits of yogurt is to choose a plain yogurt and add fresh fruit to it.

Many seemingly “healthy” or “diet” foods may be wreaking havoc on your weight loss plans. By avoiding the pitfalls listed, you can more quickly be on your way to achieving your ideal weight.

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