5 Diet Mistakes You May Be Making
By NIKKI SHARP
While a diet overhaul can produce results, sometimes it's the little changes that make all the difference. If you're feeling fat, bloated and unmotivated, one of these little slim-down slipups might be standing between you and your health goals.
MISTAKE #1: Drinking Too Much Diet Soda
Sure, a diet drink will save you calories, but is it worth it? It also fills you up with pure chemicals and zero nutrients. To get your fizz fix in a healthier way, blend ginger and honey with sparkling water. You'll cut out chemicals while getting some inflammation-fighting antioxidants.
MISTAKE #2: Filling Up on Low-Fat Foods
I know this goes against everything you've been led to believe, but feel free to start enjoying full-fat foods in all their glory -- in moderation, of course. Low-fat foods don't always save you calories because they tend to rely heavily on added sugars and other carbohydrates to replace flavor-boosting fats. Plus, fats actually may help keep hunger at bay, preventing you from bingeing later. I will just bet you'll find a full-fat plain Greek yogurt flavored with honey and fresh fruit way more satisfying than a low-fat, 90-calorie strawberry yogurt anyway.
MISTAKE #3: Guzzling Sports Drinks
Marketers sure do make sports drinks look cool on TV, but you've got to keep in mind that they're chock-full of sugar. For example, a 32-ounce bottle of Gatorade packs about 200 calories and more than 50 grams of sugar. While it's important to replenish calories after a hard workout, too often people will throw back a sports drink after a leisurely walk on the treadmill. If you're sweating for less than an hour, choose water instead of these sugary drinks.
MISTAKE #4: Skipping Breakfast
You've been told over and over again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day -- and it's true! Breakfast gives you energy and may set you up for healthier eating all day. However, not all morning meals are created equal. Skip the bagel and orange juice and instead opt for eggs and other protein-rich foods, which research has shown may curb appetite later on.
MISTAKE #5: Dousing Your Salad With Creamy Dressing
Caesar dressing is healthy, right? Dream on. Most likely this tip doesn't come as a shock, but it's a good reminder. Creamy dressings typically contain high-fat ingredients and sugars that add unnecessary calories -- as many as 180 per serving -- to an otherwise a healthy salad. Instead, make your own healthy salad dressing.
Readers -- Have you been dieting? Did you find these tips helpful? Were any of them surprising? What are your favorite weight-loss tips? Share them by leaving a comment below.
Nikki Sharp is an international model turned healthy lifestyle expert. She runs Stay Sharp & Be Strong, an online health community that provides free information about clean eating, healthy recipes, workouts and motivational tips. Nikki is the creator of the 5 Day Detox, which has sold more than 30,000 copies worldwide. Want more of her expert advice? Join her more than 230,000 inspired followers on Instagram. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.