Diet is a HUGE part of the weight loss process.
Whenever someone asks me why aren’t they losing weight even though they exercise regularly, I ask them what’s their diet like.
In most cases, it turns out that they are eating too much, too little, or they think they are eating healthy when in reality they eat a LOT of unhealthy, highly processed food.
These diet mistakes can completely derail your progress and leave you wondering why you started dieting in the first place.
So in this blog post, I’m going to walk you through the biggest diet mistakes that are slowing down your weight loss.
If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume.
Knowing how much you should eat is going to be of great help if you want to lose weight.
However, a lot of girls I talk to aren’t sure how much they should be eating so they end up eating either too much or too little.
And neither is great for weight loss.
If you want to lose weight, you need to eat the right amount of calories.
I’m not saying you should obsessively count your calories but keeping track of your daily calorie intake for a week or two will give you an idea of how much you should actually eat.
Let’s say you burn 2200 calories per day. If you want to maintain your weight, you should eat around 2200 calories on a daily basis.
This is your ideal calorie intake.
If you don’t know how many calories you should be eating, please read my blog post on how to calculate your daily calorie intake :)
But if you want to lose weight, you should eat around 200-500 calories less. In this case, that’s around 1700-2000 calories.
If I want to lose weight, I usually never go for a 500 calorie deficit because I get too hungry.
But if you want to see results faster and you don’t feel as hungry when your calorie deficit is 500 calories, you can do it.
However, I wouldn’t recommend that you eat below 1200 calories per day. This is the absolute minimum for women who want to lose weight in a healthy way.
When I was younger, I used to think that a more severe calorie deficit would help me lose weight faster.
But that wasn’t the case.
Excessive dieting, especially if you do it for a longer period of time will damage your metabolism and make your weight loss very difficult or even impossible.
Actually, any form of dieting and calorie restriction reduces your metabolism a bit. The slower your metabolism is, the hard it is to burn through those extra calories.
And this leads me to another diet mistake I often see younger girls making.
As I mentioned, when you’re dieting (eating at a slight calorie deficit), your metabolism will slow down a little.
So what’s the best way to boost your metabolism when dieting?
The BEST way to speed up your metabolism is to do build muscle. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be.
This doesn’t mean you need to lift heavy weights and get overly muscular (unless you want to of course).
Any type of resistance training will help you boost your metabolism.
Nowadays, I usually focus on bodyweight resistance training 3-4 times per week and HIIT once per week.
And for my body type and my fitness goals, this works perfectly.
It keeps my metabolism high and it helps me get toned without getting bulky.
If you want to try some of my resistance training workouts, I’ll link them for you below:
Conventional wisdom has some seriously strange ideas about when you need to eat when you’re on a diet.
Unfortunately, a lot of people end up waiting until they’re absolutely starving before even having a snack, let alone a meal.
And on the surface, it makes sense. I mean, you end up eating only when your body demands it.
But think about how much you eat when you’re starving versus when you’re just hungry.
If you’re like most people, you end up eating waaaaay more.
You finish your snack or meal and feel unsatisfied. Then, you reach for something else. And something else. And wrap up your meal with something really not good for you.
Instead of waiting until you’re starving or light-headed, just eat when you feel hungry :)
Plan on eating three meals each day and supplement with healthy nutrient-rich snacks between lunch and dinner.
This will help you keep from falling into the trap of overeating when you end up sitting down to a proper meal.
Just because a food label says that something is healthy, or that it has 20% less sugar or 10% less fat, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s actually good for you.
The best way to avoid making this diet mistake is to focus on eating clean and make your own meals.
Skip eating out, especially when you’re just getting started, and make the switch to healthy, unprocessed foods.
If figuring out what to eat on your own is too much trouble or you find it intimidating (I did), try my FREE sample meal plan.
It’s a great place to start and can help you get through the first week or two when the cravings for junk food and sugar are strongest.
When you’re on a strict diet, there’s a huge temptation to take a day off. I get it.
I’ve tried it and you know what? It made me feel downright awful!
Why? Because I was binging on those cheat days.
I’d eat whatever I was craving because I’d avoided eating it during the rest of the week. I ended up waking up feeling bloated and completely derailed both my weight loss goals and my overall health goals.
If you do decide to have a cheat day—and I don’t really recommend them—keep it to a single meal or snack rather than blowing the whole day on brownies, ice cream, donuts, and pizza.
This will help you curb your overall caloric intake and can make it easier to get back to your normal diet after your cheat day is over. That said, cheat days are one of the easiest ways to blow your diet to smithereens.
I prefer to eat intuitively and stick to the 80:20 rule. This means that I eat healthy most of the time and then 20% of the time I just eat whatever I’m craving.
I really try to avoid that whole “all or nothing” mentality when it comes to nutrition and not think of any food as “bad”.
Diets don’t have to feel like you’re depriving yourself.
In fact, the right diet can be fun and inspire you to finally reach your weight loss goals.
As long as you avoid these diet mistakes, you’ll be on track to lose the weight and keep it off.
However, if you’re struggling to lose weight and you feel like you need a bit of help with your diet, you can check out my Lean Legs Program.
It will help you lose weight, especially in your lower body, and get you toned all over. And it’s going to teach you how to eat healthy and also how to actually stick to a healthy diet :)
You can find more info here.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and if you have any questions, feel free to ask! xx