Why Am I Not Losing Weight? 6 common mistakes when trying to lose weight & how to fix them! – Michelle Braude

Jul 31, 2018 | Blog, Nutrition, Wellness

You seem to be doing everything “right” – cutting out junk food, eating salad all day, snacking on nuts or celery sticks, but just don’t seem to be seeing the results you want or ever reaching your “goal weight”. Here are some of the most common dieting mistakes I encounter, that may be stopping you lose the weight you want, and my tips for making the simple changes you need to fix them and finally shed those pounds!

  1. Allowing yourself to get HUNGRY – You might think you’re being virtuous by skipping meals or even going from lunch to dinner without snacking at all… but think again! When you’re ravenous two things happen: First, anything & everything looks and tastes delicious. Second, it takes a LOT more food to feel satisfied. As a result, you end up eating a lot more bad food! The solution is to eat small, healthy snacks between meals. These will help keep your blood sugar stable and your metabolism going strong. To do this, always carry healthy snacks with you if you know you’re going to be out and about for a long time, or working crazy hours and there’s risk of getting this starving! Snacks should be 200 calories or less and a combination of fibre, healthy fats and protein for optimum satisfaction and blood sugar stability. Good examples are a portion of nuts, seeds & dried fruit; an apple & a tablespoon of peanut butter; or whole-grain crackers with hummus.

2. Portion Distortion – It is essential to understand that: “healthy” does NOT equate with “not fattening”. Even if you stick to consuming only healthy foods such as nuts, hummus, avocado, olive oil and dark chocolate, you still have to watch your portion sizes and quantities. Just because they’re healthy, it does NOT mean you can eat them freely. Whilst there’s definitely benefit in consuming a little olive oil… if you pour it liberally over your pasta and dip your bread in it, it will lead to excessive calories and weight gain! The same goes for nuts… learn what a normal serving size looks like (it’s VERY EASY to eat the whole big bag!) and limit yourself to that.

3. Mindless munching – Whether it’s the odd nut here or there, tasting while you cook or bake (cake batter or cookie dough doesn’t count as eating, right!?) or nibbling leftovers from your kids’ dinner… every bite adds up! If you find you mindlessly eat at frequent times throughout the day, try keeping a food diary for a few days (at least 3) – to bring back your awareness of everything you eat and drink. This will allow you (or a qualified nutritionist) to analyse and identify where your eating habits could do with some improving!

4. Avoiding carbs like the plague – Cutting out carbs completely might lead to weight loss at first, but it WON’T be sustainable, you’ll end up tired, lethargic, cranky and irritable. You will also pile on the pounds (and more!) the minute you start eating “normally” again… (unless you like the idea of living off dry tuna, chicken, lettuce leaves and steamed broccoli for the rest of your life!) Although cutting out all starchy foods is a MAJOR diet disaster, when eating them you must stick to the rights ones! These include whole-grain unrefined carbohydrates such as: whole-grain or rye bread, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, sweet potatoes and oats. These are great sources of fibre and full of a variety of other essential nutrients.

5. Trying to go “fat-free” – You need some good fats to burn fat! This means eating good, healthy unsaturated fats found in nuts, seeds, peanut butter, avocado, olive oil and various other healthy oils. These fats are super-healthy and add satiety to food. They should be included in your daily diet, as they are proven to lower the risk of heart disease and aid the body in the absorption of vitamins and minerals. As long as you incorporate them in moderate amounts (as they are calorific), you’ll feel fuller and more satisfied, helping you lose weight (and keep it off for good!). In their absence, we tend to reach for sweet and starchy foods. Incorporating good fats into your diet will help reduce sugar cravings, increase energy levels and keep you fuller for longer!

6. Getting despondent…… and giving up! Getting despondent and impatient, with a need to see “fast” drastic results, will sabotage all your efforts. Don’t get “weighed down” by the number on the scale – it’s really NOT everything. Besides, there are other (perhaps more important) ways to track your progress, such as how your clothes fit, how you look and feel, your energy levels, mood and stamina, your waist circumference and body fat percentage. Giving up or getting despondent just because you don’t see the number on the scale dropping as much as you’d like is the worst thing you can do. Making sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle, and noticing results can be a slow process. It can take several weeks to achieve noticeable results… be patient and stick with your new healthy habits. Your body is benefitting every day from all the changes you make. Stick with the healthy changes you are making, and you are guaranteed to see results (most importantly, ones that will LAST!).

These are all common mistakes and struggles that I see on a daily basis amongst my clients.  Whilst being aware of them is a big start to changing and getting you on your weight loss track, it’s common for anyone (and almost EVERYONE) to struggle and need some coaching from a professional.  These are all areas that I give advice on in my book THE FOOD EFFECT DIET, and also guide clients effectively in, to ensure that their weight loss goals are reached smoothly without the need to struggle alone.  Like any real change in life, it’s often easier done by sticking to a long-term plan, rather than try to navigate nutrition on your own!

By: Dr. Michelle Braude, founder of The Food Effect, www.thefoodeffect.co.uk
Born in South Africa but raised in London, Michelle qualified as a medical doctor (MBBS) at University College London (UCL), and also completed a BSc degree in Nutrition at King’s College London. Michelle runs The Food Effect nutrition consultancy practice, and has just written and published The Food Effect Diet book, which was serialised by The Times in January 2018.

She is regularly featured as an independent expert in The Daily Mail, The TelegraphHello!Women’s Health, Marie Claire, Healthy Diet, Byrdie Beauty and LOOK magazine.  Through guiding her clients, as well as via her growing public and online profiles, Michelle’s mission is to teach the world to eat well, enabling everyone to look and feel their best!

Author of The Food Effect Diet: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Food-Effect-Diet-Weigh-Better/dp/034941582X
Twitter and Instagram:  @thefoodeffectdr

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