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Top Dieting Mistakes You Might be Making

Whether you’re starting a new diet to get healthier in general or reach your weight loss goals, there are common misconceptions that could hinder your progress. Here are some of the most common dieting mistakes you might be making without even knowing it.

Skipping breakfast. There’s a mistaken belief that if you skip breakfast, you’re saving calories. Eating a healthy, protein-filled breakfast jumpstarts your metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout the day.

Forgetting about liquid calories. Did you know a regular soda can pack on 15 pounds in one year? Even juices include “hidden” sugars we tend to overlook since they have a healthy stigma. Also, let’s not forget to factor in your morning coffee, smoothies and alcohol. If you’re craving something a little more flavorful, try water with fruit slices in it.

Not exercising. Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand. Eating right won’t help you burn fat or build muscle and exercising won’t combat a bad diet. If 30 minutes is too much, start with 10 and see how it goes or try something enjoyable like bowling, playing ping-pong or dancing.

Using extreme diets and cutting out important foods. Nowadays, it seems like there’s a new fad diet every week. These trends don’t help you keep off unwanted weight in the long run and are hard to maintain. For example, cutting out carbs and fats might seem like a good idea, but your body needs them for energy. The best diet is a lifestyle choice that includes variety, portion control and replacing “bad” carbs/fats for “good” ones.

Mindless munching. Having a snack is one thing but anything over 200 calories is another. Also, focusing on how much your intake adds up to instead of “subtracting” can help keep your diet in check.

Not stashing healthy snacks in your home or office. Keep a supply of nuts, fresh or dried fruit, protein bars, yogurt, cheese, graham crackers or granola handy for when hunger strikes.

Going overboard on low fat. It’s psychological. You pick a low-fat snack and justify eating more of it because it’s low fat. Research backs this up.

Not drinking enough water. Staying hydrated is essential for everything your body has and does. Drinking the recommended eight 8 ounces of water per day benefits digestion, nutrient absorption, mood, skin health, energy and metabolism.

Tip: Your body absorbs water at a certain temperature so if you’re looking for a metabolism boost – drink ice cold water. Your body will have to do some work before absorption.

Waiting too long to eat. Intermittent fasting helps your body burn some stored fat for energy but there is fine line between this and starving yourself. Waiting too long to eat can put you in “famine” mode which, most of the time, causes you to overeat or choose unhealthy foods for convenience.

Cutting out your favorite foods. While you can’t eat buttery popcorn, cookies, pizza and ice cream every night it’s important to eat your favorite foods occasionally. People that completely cut out their food “vice” tend to give up on their diet completely. The key is to take note of how much you eat and balancing with healthier foods and exercise.

Relying too much or not utilizing natural ingredients to supplement your diet. Relying completely on supplements to do all the work for you isn’t going to do the trick. You need to combine it with a healthy diet and exercise. That said, taking a multivitamin, probiotic or digestive enzymes can help you reach your overall health and wellness goals. And if you’re specifically looking to slim down, supplements such as apple cider vinegar, aloe vera and other weight loss aids might boost your efforts. Talk to your healthcare professional about what products are right for you!

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