Weight loss is hard work and you want good results, but sometimes it feels like you’re doing everything right and not getting anywhere. The Military Diet is primarily a calorie deficit diet, meaning you eat less calories than you burn. A calorie deficit is the only scientifically proven way to lose weight. However, even though you think you’re in a calorie deficit, you can plateau with extended dieting or by eating the wrong foods and not exercising at all. Read on for common dieting mistakes that can hamper your weight loss…
Dieting mistakes people make
Too Many or Too Few Calories
To lose weight, you must always burn more calories than you eat. We need to calculate calories carefully. We have links for the Military Diet calorie count and portion sizes, or see the FAQ. But on our days off, we have to be careful not to underestimate the calories in what we’re eating. We might think we’re eating 1200 calories but we’re really eating 2000 calories a day! Be careful about portion sizes for high calorie foods like nuts and cheese. If you’re overestimating calories in the food you eat, you’re going to end up hungry and tired and unmotivated. Make sure you use trusted calorie guides and measurements if you are counting calories!
Buying Misleading Diet Foods
Foods that are advertised on the shelf as ‘low fat’ or ‘diet’ seem like a good choice, but often they’re not. These so called diet foods can have the opposite effect on weight loss. Low fat diet food has to make up for the loss of taste somehow, so they end up loaded with sugar instead. A cup of low fat yogurt might have 12 teaspoons of sugar, far worse for your diet than a bit of fat. Fat actually keeps you feeling full and is better for your metabolism and blood sugar than pure sugar.
Not Getting Enough Protein
Protein is a key ingredient for weight loss. It reduces appetite, keeps you full longer, and increases metabolism. The Military Diet has adequate protein for weight loss, but make sure you’re getting enough on your days off too. Include at least one source of high protein in every meal.
Not Getting Enough Fiber
Having a diet rich in fiber is linked to a lower risk of belly fat, the most dangerous kind of fat. And the best kind of fiber is soluble fiber, which mixes with water in the body and forms a gel that moves through your gut slowly, making you feel full longer. This kind of fiber also contributes to better gut health, meaning healthier gut bacteria which also puts you at a lower risk of belly fat.
Not Eating Enough Whole Foods
Eating a lot of processed food is bad for weight loss and a major contributor to obesity. If it comes in a wrapper or a box, it’s processed. With whole single ingredient foods, like rice and vegetables, you know exactly what you’re eating and how many calories you’re getting. With processed foods, all the extra ingredients can cause health problems like inflammation that are terrible for losing weight.
Not Reading Food Label Information
If you don’t look at food labels when you buy, you could end up eating a lot of unwanted calories and unhealthy ingredients that are detrimental for weight loss. Labels are misleading and meant to sell you something, but you should look at the calorie count, sugar and fat content before you throw something into your grocery cart.
Drinking Sugary Drinks
In case you haven’t heard, sugar is the biggest enemy to weight loss, especially soda. Fruit juices seem healthy, but they’re almost as bad, and sometimes worse, than sodas. A juice labeled 100% fruit is still loaded with sugar, adding calories and messing with your blood sugar levels, causing weight gain instead of weight loss. Getting your calories in liquid form is not as good for weight loss as eating your calories in solid form.
Focusing Only on the Scale
The scale is only one measure of weight loss. Your weight can vary up to 4 pounds over the course of a day depending on water retention and how much food and liquid is in your system. Women’s weight can vary even more over the course of a day with hormone fluctuations. You can also be losing fat but retaining water, which won’t be reflected on the scale. Or you might be losing fat but gaining muscle. Another way to measure progress instead of just the scale is with a measuring tape, photos or that pair of skinny jeans.
Not Exercising or Moving
More muscle burns more fat. If you’re not exercising at all during the Military Diet or on your days off, you could be losing muscle which means it’s harder to lose weight overall. Even exercising just a little bit, like a 20 minute walk per day, helps you lose weight and keep it off, all while providing a little metabolism boost. If you want to go the extra mile for weight loss, cardio and lifting weights are even better!
Overestimating How Many Calories You Burn in a Day
When you want to calculate how many calories you burn in a day before exercise, make sure to calculate based on your current weight and age. And make sure you don’t overestimate how many calories you’re burning during exercise based on your age and weight too, most people do. And then they overeat to compensate and have trouble losing weight. Exercise, and especially cardio, is the best way to up your weight loss and metabolism, but make sure you’re getting the most out of it.