How to Avoid the Top 3 Diet Mistakes and Boost Fat Loss

How to Avoid the Top 3 Diet Mistakes and Boost Fat Loss

Sep 28 2021

Making these top 3 diet mistakes can lead to frustrating weight gain and stubborn pounds that won’t drop. Learn what NOT to do.

About 80% of fat loss happens based on what you eat and drink—so diet mistakes can get anyone off track. You can exercise every day, but if you’re not paying attention to your nutrition too and make these three common mistakes—stubborn fat just won’t budge.

Diet Mistake #1: Not Eating Enough Wholesome Calories.

Starvation diets don’t work — not to mention, they’re not a healthy way to lose weight. Restricting too many calories slows your metabolism to a halt and causes your body to store calories instead of burning them off. Plus, starvation diets aren’t sustainable. They can lead to overeating when the diet ends — causing you to gain even more weight in the long run.

Instead of starving yourself, focus on eating healthy meals and snacks throughout the day. Try to keep your meals around 400 calories and your snacks around 200 calories each — making sure that protein and fiber, along with wholesome carbs and healthy fats, are prioritized. Eating enough calories regularly throughout the day will help keep you feeling full.

When you eat every two hours, your metabolism revs up and fat loss happens automatically. Remember you must eat wholesome calories and not junk food. Registered dietitians recommend finding a favorite site with recipes you love like (also a monthly printed magazine)—which takes traditional meals and lightens them up. EatingWell even offers seasonal meal plans to help you structure what your week of healthy eating should look like. Wherever you find recipe inspiration, look for those that are high in protein and fiber and low in calories and “bad” fats —the saturated and trans fats found in processed foods.

thinkhealth personal wellness snacks

Diet Mistake #2: Not Getting Enough Protein.

Protein is important in each meal for a variety of reasons, and unfortunately most people aren’t getting enough each day. When it comes to losing fat, protein is a must.

The reason? It takes more calories to digest protein compared to fats or carbs — which boosts your metabolic rate. It’s also vital to supply your body with the dietary protein needed to build and maintain muscle mass, since muscles increase your resting metabolism.

That’s why it’s so important to find protein-rich recipes. And if you’re wanting to squeeze in some extra protein throughout the day — try shakes or smoothies, or choose from this list of snacks high in protein with an appropriate snack serving size.

  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese (14 grams protein!) topped with your favorite fruit
  • Celery sticks or sliced apples with 1-2 tablespoons peanut butter (4 grams protein per tablespoon)
  • Veggies and 1/2 cup herbed yogurt dip (5 grams protein)
  • 1 ounce of raw almonds (6 grams protein)
  • 1 hard-boiled egg (6 grams protein)
  • 1/3 cup hummus with veggies (4 grams protein)

Here are even more high-protein snack ideas that are easy to make and portable. Adding protein to every meal is a healthy habit will keep you feeling full, boost your metabolism and prevent you from snacking on easy to grab options like chips or cookies that are high in fat, carbs and sugars.

Diet Mistake #3: Drinking Too Many Sugary Beverages.

A huge diet mistake that many people make is drinking too many sugary beverages. Liquid calories can be sneaky — they add up fast and impact fat loss.

Maybe you’re grabbing a soda or a sweetened iced coffee. Twenty ounce sizes of popular coffee drinks can be over 500 calories—which is what you should allotting for an entire meal. Drinking too many alcoholic beverages can also add up fast. For example — craft beers can average 300 calories per serving (along with added carbs) and cocktails made with regular soda can quickly add up with extra calories and sugar.

Whatever your sweet liquid vice may be, know that those calories can easily become a daily habit and can significantly stall fat loss. It can be easy to swing by the gas station for a soda or drive through a coffee shop for a caffeine fix, but those beverages should be special treats you should enjoy occasionally — not daily. Sugary beverages can give you a quick energy boost for a bit, but they drain your energy over the course of the day.

So, what should you be drinking? The answer — good, old-fashioned water. Nutrition experts recommend striving for half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. It sounds like a lot, but 75% or more of Americans are chronically dehydrated, meaning they don’t get enough water daily. This leads to weight gain and can actually increase the risk of illness and injury since hydration helps you build and repair muscles as you exercise and recover. The human body needs proper hydration to deliver vitamins, nutrients and minerals to stay healthy and recover quickly

Dietitians advise that drinking plenty of water also helps curb hunger since many times when you find yourself reaching for a snack, it’s because you’re thirsty — not necessarily hungry. This can lead to grabbing a piece of candy, a handful of chips or whatever is convenient when instead, a delicious glass of cold water can do the trick.

If you find water boring, there are so many options to flavor it up. One idea is to try fruit-infused water by making your own or buying an affordable water bottle with an infuser built in. Try one of these delicious, nutritious combos — like Strawberry, Basil and Lemon. If the fizz in soda is what you’re craving, try a sparkling fruit flavored water — there are so many on the market today with every flavor you can imagine.

Other good options for healthy hydrating are unsweetened coffee or tea. Get some additional hydration by snacking on fruits and veggies with high water content throughout the day. Cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, strawberries, tomatoes and watermelon are great options.

Try a 30-day water challenge and take note of how much better you feel at the end, and if your weight loss is back on track.

Thinkhealth personal wellness water

Don’t Stop Moving

Once you have these top three diet mistakes avoided, provided you’re getting regular exercise (try for at least 30 minutes a day), you’ll start to feel better with more energy and notice fat loss happening. If you’re struggling for motivation to keep moving try some of these ideas:

If you’re a Priority Health member, you also have access to the Wellbeing Hub—an online tool that’s personalized to your specific health and wellness needs with a variety of exercise challenges available. Not a Priority Health member? Check with your insurance provider about wellness offerings.

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