Are You Making These 3 Diet Mistakes?

If you have tried one weight loss program after another without ever being successful for long, you are probably making some big diet mistakes. You can be given the best diet plan in the world, but it won’t work if your attitude is wrong.

The following 3 major diet mistakes are responsible for hundreds or thousands of people going off plan and failing to achieve the weight loss that they deserve. Take the time to consider what effect they may be having on you.

Avoid making these dieting mistakes for long term weight loss

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1. Expecting Perfection

Nobody is perfect. We have all heard that statement countless times, but many of us still find it hard to apply it to ourselves and our diets. We take an all-or-nothing approach, thinking we have to stick to our diet plan 100% of the time, perfectly, or there’s no point following it at all.

This puts huge pressure on us and makes us feel terrible if we slip up. It also means that after a slip-up we are likely to think, “I’ve messed up yet another diet, I just can’t do this,” or “This diet doesn’t work,” and abandon it. In short, perfection-related diet mistakes mean that we will use the smallest slip-up as an excuse for a massive binge.

This problem is worst for dieters who like to follow very restricted plans where no treats are allowed. Inevitably, life gets in the way and instead of planning how to cope with the challenge of a party or a wedding, they try to eat nothing all day and then cave in, abandoning the diet completely.

Your weight loss does not have to be a straight downward line. It’s OK to have occasional diet mistakes, slips and gains along the way, as long as the overall trend is downward. And it’s much better in the long term to lose weight slowly. It’s much more likely to stay off that way.

2. The Band-Aid Attitude To Dieting

Many dieters see their weight loss plan as a temporary fix that they will use for a short time and then abandon as soon as they have reached their target weight. We call this the band-aid approach to dieting, and it’s the second of our major diet mistakes.

People who see a diet as a temporary measure will often pick very restricted eating plans and then go back to their old eating habits after the diet ends. If you do that, all of the weight will go back on, in 99% of cases.

Unless you only have a few pounds to lose, it is much better to pick an eating plan that gives you flexibility. You need something that you can follow for weeks, months or even years. In fact, you need something that will allow you to live your life.

Instead of using a band-aid, you need a diet that will become like a new skin: a permanent way of eating that will enable to maintain your goal weight after you achieve it.

3. The Wrong Goals

That leads us to the third of our big diet mistakes: setting the wrong goals. In anything that we do, goals should be clear, set out in steps and achievable. In terms of weight loss, this means that as well as having an idea of your ideal weight or clothes size, you should also set smaller goals along the way, and reward yourself for each one achieved (but not with food!).

Be flexible about your final goal: as you approach it, you may want to change it. That’s OK. If you avoid these diet mistakes and have the right attitude toward dieting, you will be able to achieve a weight that you are happy with – and that is much more important than numbers.

This article is a series of health-focused posts as I work my way back to living healthy. Join me in my quest.


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  1. Great tips. I am not following any specific eating plan right now except to eat less than I burn off. For example I had a Thin Mint today that was more than offset by the extra 20 minutes of walking I did because I forgot to read my e-mail (meeting cancelled!).

    And because it was only ONE cookie I savored every bite. And it tasted better than if I ate half a row like I would have done in the past.

    I love your weight loss ticker and need to add one of my own to make me more accountable!

    1. I’m definitely paying more attention to what I eat. It’s not always easy but I’m getting there! Thanks for joining in 🙂

  2. I’m totally the band-aid person! Not that I try to go into it saying I’ll be good until I lose so many pounds and then I can stop… It’s just that I seem to be more successful when I’m very strict on myself, which turns I to a all-or-nothing-approach nd then backfires. I’ve struggled with creating lasting changes without eventually slipping… Great post, thank for linking up!

    1. The all or nothing has never worked for me… so I’ve been making small changes gradually until they naturally become habits. Good luck!

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