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Trying to Lose Weight? Avoid the 10 Common Diet Mistakes

Posted Aug 24 2008 2:19pm

Women who are trying to lose weight, get fit and work out often make some very common nutritional mistakes. Today, we will discuss 10 of the common diet mistakes you should avoid to help you achieve greater fat loss and build more lean muscle.

Ten of the most common diet mistakes include:

  1. Avoiding carbs prior to a workout. Slow-digesting carbohydrates are required to fuel your workout. For best results, consume carbs about 30 to 60 minutes before your workout along with some healthy fat and good quality protein.
  2. Failing to take a protein supplement. Most women consume too few vegetables, fruits and too little protein to build lean muscle. If you consume less than 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight , consider adding one full scoop of a protein supplement to your diet ( whey , soy or casein protein ). Some flavors, such as vanilla, are highly versatile and make great smoothies when fresh fruit or berries are added.
  3. Taking too many supplements. Some women do not consume enough "whole foods". Supplements are for "supplementing your diet" only and should not make up the bulk of your diet. Aim to get most of your nutrients from whole foods and supplement where needed.
  4. Consuming too little fiber . Often women who cut carbohydrates from their diets experience bloating and constipation as a result. Eat complex carbohydrates, such as beans, to boost your fiber intake and reap the benefits of a lower carbohydrate diet.
  5. Completely removing sugar from your diet, including fruits and vegetables. Being too strict on your diet will often railroad your efforts. Have the occasional treat, such as dark chocolate, which is rich in flavonoids .
  6. Consuming too little fat. Fat does not make you fat - consuming too many calories is the culprit. Fat is required for the maintenance of healthy skin, hair and nails. Avoid saturated fats and consume polyunsaturated fats, as well as omega-3 fats that help keep your heart healthy and reduce the incidence of joint pain. This is especially important for post-menopausal women.
  7. Overdosing on health foods. Most of your diet should resemble its natural state as much as possible. On occasion, pre -packaged foods may be required, however they should not make up the bulk of your diet.
  8. Drinking too much diet soda. Recent research has shown that sugar substitutes such as aspartame actually increase calorie intake. The brain appears not to shut down its hunger signals when you consume these sugar substitutes.
  9. Drinking too much caffeine and too many energy drinks . If you are relying on caffeine and energy drinks to get through a workout, you are likely consuming too much. You should be able to get through a workout without the use of stimulants. The occasional cup of coffee or energy drink is fine, just do not overdo it.
  10. Failing to plan ... means planning to fail. Keep a diet and exercise journal. Set goals and plan out your week so that you achieve them. If you want to lose 1 pound per week, plan to consume 500 calories less per day (or burn off 500 calories/day) for 7 days every week. Write everything down - that's the way to succeed.

Try incorporating the suggestions above and be sure to avoid the 10 common diet pitfalls.

Good luck with your weight loss and strength-training efforts.

Sandy Huard , President, Women's Health Supply International

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