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5 Dieting Mistakes That Can Lead To Weight Gain

Are You Making These Mistakes?

Posted by acarneiro - May 22nd, 2016

Losing weight is already a hard and challenging task for so many people around the world. It takes dedication, time and consistency to reach your desired goals. With so much information out there coming from magazines, videos and particularly marketing fads, we can easily get lost on what are efficient ways of losing that unwanted bodyfat and weight. Many believe that they are moving a step closer towards their goals everyday, when they could in fact be going backwards. So how is that even possible?

1. Make It A Lifestyle Not A Diet

Dieting. Let’s briefly analyze that concept itself.  Most people who decide to jump on a diet have usually a specific time frame they want to stick with in order to reach their goals. Reality is, we all want things done now, fast and effortless. Whether it be a 30 day challenge or 90 day transformation plan, it seems there is always a date or time frame associated with it. The good about that is that it definitely gets many off the couch and into the gym. The bad is that with a set date in mind, you might fall off the wagon once you reach your target goal. If you have been doing the same things over and over daily for years, it will be hard to immediately change those habits from one day to the other.

The key is to get motivated and slowly start making changes you can sustain without withdrawal, and to eventually completely change your habit(s), or at least decrease the amount you do it substantially. For those coffee lovers that add caramel, whole milk and more, slowly start making healthier substitutions like 0% fat free milk, very little to no caramel etc. These small changes will eventually become habit, and you won’t be stuck with a coffee that contains as many calories as a cheeseburger with fries. The major problem with diets is that they go up and down like a roller coaster or yo-yo. You start off going 100% on the right track, and then slowly as time goes you go switch back to old habits and re-gain the weight you originally lost, or worse, you gain more weight. Don’t allow this to happen, slowly start making healthier lifestyle changes that will burn the fat off, and keep it off.

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2. Healthy Eating Doesn't Always Mean You Will Burn Fat

Organic, natural, gluten-free, farm raised, sugar free, fat free etc. I’m sure you have heard these terms and words before associated with food. Let me start with the usual sentence I hear from several people daily “But I eat all organic meats and tons of fruits daily, how is it that I can’t lose weight?” Foods, whether they may be organic, natural, fat free etc., still contain calories. It’s simple, if you are trying to lose weight while you are dieting, the key is to lower your calorie consumption, or expend more calories in a day that you are taking in. Substituting your foods to organic or natural won’t make a difference in the caloric count. It will no doubt be better for you and your body, but you are still consuming calories.

The mistake is when people start dieting and making healthier food choices without truly knowing the macronutrients of the food they are consuming. Let’s take fruit for example. Great for you, as they contain high amounts of natural vitamins and minerals, but when we look at the sugar content of fruits, they can be relatively high. So don’t go rushing to your local fruit juice smoothie store because they are promoting it as a healthy drink, it is loaded with sugars that will add up to your caloric intake. Even if you are eating healthy, itt doesn’t mean you are really eating for your desired goals. In fact, your kitchen might now be all organic and natural, but your overall caloric intake is too high. So don’t make that mistake, keep your portions and macronutrients on point.

3. Skipping Breakfast

“I’m trying to lose weight, I’m not going to eat breakfast”. It’s very common that people might think that since they’ve been fasting all night while sleeping, that skipping breakfast and starting your day will burn more calories. However, it's actually the opposite. Studies show a direct correlation between eating breakfast and consuming fewer calories throughout the day. This begins with the fact that if you skip breakfast you’ll most likely be hungry at lunch time and want to eat more then, and later in the day.  If skipping breakfast makes you more likely to binge later in the day, don’t skip it. Additionally, if you are trying to sustain energy levels, gain muscle and train during lunch time, skipping breakfast will not be beneficial for you.

You won’t have optimal energy to lift as much, and you might not end up burning fat. Skipping breakfast isn’t correlated with gaining fat and being a direct mistake while dieting, but the goal of dieting is to lose weight and body-fat, not lean muscle. Skipping a meal that will potentially affect your training capabilities can be a direct factor to potentially gaining more fat. After all, like mentioned above, all you have to do to lose weight is consume fewer calories than you expend in a day, and stay physically active to maintain as much muscle mass as possible.

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4. Healthy Fats

This is connected with key point # 2, so there’s no need to re-explain that healthy doesn’t always mean healthy. However, it is important to bring up this point as it is something we often read or hear a lot about. Trans fat and saturated fats are bad for you because they raise your bad cholesterol and increase your risk for hearth disease. On the other hand, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good for you as they lower your bad cholesterol, increase your good cholesterol, and reduce heart disease. Additionally, fats are needed for healthy hormone production. The problem is when people hear this and assume that they should be consuming as many healthy fats as possible as they’ve read or seen somewhere that healthy fats help you burn fat. It’s true, they do, but like anything in life, moderation is key. Almonds, fatty fish, oils and seeds are healthy, but in a game of numbers fats carry 9kcal per gram. So be aware of how many fats you are consuming in a day, and whether or not you are still hitting your target overall calories.

5. The Lights, Frees and Sugarlesses

Today chemists can create any type of flavors that mimic almost anything. Even if it doesn’t exist they can come up with new flavors for us. But as I said, chemists do this, not Mother Nature. For that reason today we have tons of products in our supermarkets and stores that advertise 'fat free', 'sugar free' and ‘light’. These are immediate sales for those trying to lose weight and still trying to stick with their favorite beverages or snack. However, the chemicals being used to mimic the natural sugars and the real flavors of food can actually trigger us to want more sweets later. Beyond the gastrointestinal problems that these foods may cause us, there are other problems as well. An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered some frightening facts that should make us all swear off diet drinks and products.

  1.  Diet sodas raised the risk of diabetes more than sugar-sweetened sodas!
  2.  Women who drank diet sodas drank twice as much as those who drank sugar- sweetened sodas, because artificial sweeteners are more addictive and are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar.

So be careful with these lower calories or 0 calorie products, as they might eventually add back more weight than you originally started with.


We all try and find the fastest way to reach our goals but as we all know the fastest way is not always the best way, especially when we are talking about our bodies and health. The five factors above are dieting mistakes one can easily correct. Don’t make these mistakes, and stay on track with your weight loss goals by having a balanced exercise and nutritional regimen.

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