7 Big MISTAKES Preventing YOU From Losing Weight

If you are struggling with weight loss, keep reading to find out 7 mistakes you could be making preventing you from losing weight. And learn simple fixes to jumpstart your weight loss now!

1. Snacking Too Much

Snacking can unknowingly add a lot of calories in your diet taking you out of a calorie deficit needed for weight loss. If you find yourself munching on food throughout the day, or reaching for a small snack every few hours this mistake may be why you are not losing weight. Ideally you should try not to snack more than once a day. The only time I snack is between lunch and dinner. Choosing the wrong snack can also be a problem. Some things like granola or protein bars are loaded with sugar and calories. Good healthy low calorie snack options are fruit, veggie sticks and greek yogurt.

2. Not Eating Enough Protein

When trying to lose weight it is essential you eat enough protein. I don't count calories, or track macros, but I do make a concerted effort to eat protein at every meal. Why is it important to eat protein when trying to lose weight you might be asking? Firstly eating protein at every meal will keep you fuller longer and prevent you from snacking. Eating protein will slow down digestion of carbs in your body preventing your insulin from spiking. Insulin spikes or prolonged insulin secretion in the body leads to fat storage. Lastly when you cut back on calories you need to keep your protein high enough to not lose muscle mass. Sometimes people who lose a lot of weight fast end up looking flabby for this very reason. They lose muscle mass along with fat because of a diet that is lacking in proper nutrition. Losing muscle mass will not only make you look flabby but will slow down your metabolism and inadvertently make it easier for your body to hold on to and put on more fat. While cutting calories you should aim to eat 0.8g/lb of protein a day. That means if you weigh 190 lbs you should be eating 152 grams of protein a day. (190x.8=152) Again there's no need to track, if you make an effort to eat protein at every meal and snack you should get enough. High protein foods include eggs, meat, chicken, cheese, fish, soy, beans, nuts, yogurt, oats, green peas, chia seeds, quinoa, wild rice and even broccoli and brussel sprouts.

3. Not Eating Enough Fiber

Not eating enough fiber is a weight loss mistake that many don't think about. When you don't eat enough fiber in your diet it can do two things. One you will not feel full when eating food, increasing your chances of snacking or binge eating. And secondly not getting enough fiber in your diet can lead to chronic constipation. Research shows that constipation can lead to bloating and delay weight loss due to the water retention caused by the constipation. Also like with protein adding fiber to every meal can keep you feeling fuller longer as fiber delays the digestion of food in your body as well as slow down how insulin is secreted. Remember increased secretion of insulin leads to fat storage. So like protein try to add fiber rich foods to every meal. Food rich in fiber include fruits and veggies, whole oats, brown rice, quinoa, beans, avocados, whole grains, and nuts.

4. Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Do you find yourself sitting down with a bear for dinner every night, or hitting the bars with your friends every weekend? If you answered yes to both or either of these questions than you are commiting a huge weight loss mistake. Drinking to much alcohol may be contributing to your inability to lose weight. Alcohol has 7 calories for every gram as opposed to carbs and protein that have 4 calories. Fat has 9 calories per gram. This is why your excess alcohol intake is adding on the pounds. Even worse is that excess alcohol consumption leads to abdominal obesity which is exactly why you see people with a "bear belly." If you are actively trying to lose weight avoid all alcohol except 1 drink ever so often for celebrations. In order from most calories to least beer, sugary mixed drinks, wine, hard liquor. Yes there are some health benefits from drinking red wine, but don't use this as an excuse, those benefits don't include weight loss. 

5. Not Drinking Enough Water

When trying to lose weight water should be your primary drink of choice. I recommend only drinking water and unsweetened tea or coffee as these 3 drink options are the only natural calorie free drinks. Its recommended to consume about 2 liters of water a day which is about half a gallon. There are so many health benefits to getting enough water during the day. One primary benefit that aids with weight loss is helping you stay fuller longer. Often times when you feel hunger, you might actually be thirsty. So always try and drink water first before reaching for a snack or food. Check my article HERE titled "Don't Drink Your Calories." To learn all the health benefits of water as well as how to prevent weight gain from drinking the wrong drinks. Cutting out all sugary drinks and focusing on drinking more water is a simple weight loss mistake to fix.

6. Not Walking Enough

Nutrition plays a huge role when it comes to weight loss, but physical activity is also important. What some people don't realize is that walking can be enough to help you reach your weight loss goals if your nutrition is in check first. It is recommended that everyone partake in either 20-40 minutes of moderate physical activity 3-5 days a week or 30-60 minutes of light activity 5-7 days a week. Walking would be classified as light activity, and thus should be done everyday. Try and go for daily 30 minute to hour long walks, but also track your steps and try to get more and more steps over time. If you are new to walking start at with 5,000 steps a day and work your way up to 10,000 steps a day. I recommend getting a fitness tracker like the Apple watch to track your steps and calories burned each day. Using an Apple watch to track your fitness can make exercise fun and competitive as you try to beat your daily goals to improve. You can even get friends involved who have an Apple watch and challenge each other. Leading a sedentary life is one of the leading causes of early death and added weight. Luckily this is a simple weight loss mistake you can correct, by simply walking daily. 

7. Changing Too Much All At Once

Finally the absolute BIGGEST MISTAKE preventing you from losing weight is.....trying to change too much at one time. If you go from eating McDonalds, drinking Beer, and picking up the remote as exercise to trying to workout 7 days a week, only eat salad, count calories, track macros, etc...all at the same time, you will likely fail and give up on yourself. So the best thing to do when trying to create a new healthy lifestyle is change one thing or one bad habit at a time. Get consistent with that one thing and then continue from there. For instance instead of trying to workout and eat healthy just cut out all drinks but water, only make this change for 1 month until it has become a habit. Once drinking water is no longer a chore, add in another healthy change like walking 30 mins twice a week. The best way to lose weight is to create a new healthy lifestyle by starting with small changes first, and setting realistic goals for yourself. 

I hope this post has helped you to gain clarity on how to avoid mistakes and better achieve your fitness and weight loss goals.

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