You stand before the mirror and are greeted with the reflection of pure beauty—a reflection that could resemble your 45-year-old Sweety Uncle with diabetes a bit less, but a beautiful figure nonetheless.
You’ve tried it all: pills and potions, exercises that helped you realize that, yes, your leg can bend that way, and weird microwaveable space food—but you still can’t seem to shave off those extra pounds. Below are some of the most common weight loss mistakes we all, including Sweety Uncle, have made.
1. Eating in front of the TV
I know meal plan food and protein shakes suck, which is why you skip over to the TV to distract yourself before forcing another spinach and goat cheese shake down your throat. Mindless consumption is a stealthy sabotage, though: you don’t realize you’re a victim until your favorite baby tee no longer fits and is reduced to a cleaning rag. It is better to eat at the table to make yourself more aware when eating, and squash any possibility of finishing a biryani plate for five in just one episode of “Pretty Little Liars.”
2. Skipping Breakfast
It’s been a rough morning, and, of course, all you need is a CLIF bar and tall coffee to keep you going until lunch—but this might not be the best option for your body. Eating breakfast can significantly increase your metabolism because when one sends their body a signal that they are content, the body begins processing and burning fat.
Also, don’t forget to fatten up that omelette: a study reported by Allure Magazine in the International Journal of Obesity states that mice process carbs and fat more effectively when presented a fatter breakfast opposed to a high carb one.
3. You’re sweet enough: drop the artificial sweeteners
“Splenda, please,” you request as the Barista completes your order. But did you know that besides making you feel better about yourself, artificial sweeteners do more harm than benefit? It’s true: studies suggest that artificial zero-calorie sweeteners allow more weight gain than loss due to the mixed signals they present to your digestive system that reduce the burn of calories and increase cravings. Instead, opt for a natural alternative like honey or cane sugar to comfort your sweet tooth.
4. Sharing is caring… unless it’s cupcakes
Most people like to keep the fact that they’re on a diet a secret, as they find it too much trouble to explain to everyone. But if it feels like your friends and family are making your diet difficult (like when your mom wants to bring fried samosas to your job), let them know about your fitness goals. If you let people know, they’re going to support you, help you stay on track, and keep your dream Deepika Padukone legs in mind the next time an ice cream truck passes by.
5. Cheat days
Cheating—on exams, lovers, and diets—simply doesn’t end well. By adhering to your schedule all week, you do well. You’re confident, strolling down the sidewalk with a ziplock of organic baby carrots tucked in your Michael Kors handbag and your goals in mind, and then…. Girl Scout cookies. Your heart sinks as you find yourself in line for a box of caramel de-lites.
Hold your horses: “One cheat day can undo all the weight loss work you’ve put in during the week,” Willow Jarosh, a certified RD, said. By rewarding yourself one chocolate covered strawberry a day, you’re treating yourself and avoiding the possibility of having to be a laddoo for Halloween.
All in all, dieting is not easy, and being fat isn’t unattractive or bad. But by being healthy, working out daily, and watching your diet, you’re doing something for yourself and conditioning your mind to overpower your body. You’re becoming stronger, more cognizant of your surroundings, and soon enough, you’re only a few jogs and a bag of kale chips from being Katrina Kaif in “Kamli,” or at least not being Sweety Uncle.