Diets aren’t simple. Even when you have the best of intentions, it’s easy to fall victim to bad habits or dieting myths that may cause more harm than good. We pinpointed the four common dieting mistakes that hinder your progress. Find out if your diet is stalling because you’re guilty of one or more of these missteps.
Thinking Gluten-Free Means Low-Calorie
When you strip grains like wheat from your foods, high-calorie sugars and oils are often put in to replace them. This is especially common with processed gluten-free foods. If you’re reliant on processed foods with a gluten-free label, be sure to double-check the nutrition facts to be aware of what you’re ingesting. But, the better way to go gluten-free is to do it the natural way. There are plenty of whole foods that are naturally gluten-free, like amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa and teff.
You Go Overboard on Fruit
Fruit is a great thing when you’re dieting – as long as it’s in moderation. While most fruits are low on the glycemic index because of their high fiber content, there are some that are much higher – causing spikes in blood sugar that can lead to insulin resistance and dysregulation of hunger hormones if consumed in large quantities over time. This is a dead giveaway for weight gain causes. In order to avoid these fruit pitfalls, make sure to eat fruits that are low on the glycemic index, like pears and apples, and limit consumption of the fruits high on the index, like melons, pineapple and dried fruit.
Relying Too Heavily on Protein Bars
Most Americans get more than enough protein each day, so eating protein bars as snacks can add unnecessary sugar, fat and calories to your diet. Instead of overloading on protein bars, you can opt for bean chips that are low in calories and sugar, and packed with fiber that’ll help tide you over between meals.
Juice as a Go-To Drink
When dieting, juice is a common swap people make for soda when they’re craving something sweet, but don’t want all the added calories. The problem is, juice is still packed with sugars, and more often than not, people will consume more than the suggested 8 –ounce servings, causing more harm to their diet plan than good. A great alternative is to drink water with fruit slices in it, so you can get some flavor without so many extra calories.