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Trying to lose weight can be frustrating, especially if you’ve tried every fad diet, exercise regimen, and diet pill known to man. When you experience problems with losing weight, you can either consider undergoing weight-loss surgery, or consult with a nutritionist who can guide you through losing weight by means of good health and nutrition.
In fact, many bariatric weight-loss programs provide patients with access to nutritionists who can help them continue along on their way to weight loss in the months following surgery.
From an expert’s perspective, here is a list of the most common weight-loss mistakes according to three nutritonists — Stephanie Clarke, RD, Willow Jarosh, RD of C&J Nutrition, and Mitzi Dulan, RD, author of The Pinterest Diet: How to Pin Your Way Thin.
1. Failing to plan ahead
According to Clarke, most people will make unhealthy eating decisions when they’re faced with either having no food on hand or lack the time to prepare a healthy meal. To fix this mistake, Clarke recommends planning meals a week in advance and doing meal prep on weekends so you can grab healthy meals on the go during the week.
2. Keeping weight-loss goals private
If your closest friends and family members aren’t aware that you’re trying to lose weight, they’ll end up encouraging you to join them for dessert or offer you soda when you visit. Keep your friends and family informed of your weight-loss goals so they can be supportive — otherwise, they might not be aware that their behaviors are tempting you to cheat and stray from your weight-loss plan.
3. Eating either too much, or too little protein
While protein intake is indeed healthy, too much can result in your not getting enough fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, beans, and whole grains. On the other hand, Dulan says that since protein is filling, not eating enough protein can potentially result in you overeating other foods that are less healthy. Eat a healthy balanced diet of protein and other whole foods to maintain weight loss.
4. Compensating unhealthy eating habits with exercise
Some individuals will joke about having to run an extra mile after eating an extra slice of cake, but in reality, this habit is no joke, and can lead to more weight gain, warns Clarke. Focus instead on eating healthy all the time, and think of exercise as a way to complement your new, healthy lifestyle. Plus, you’ll get more out of your workouts if you eat healthy foods.
5. Skipping meals for alcohol
Not only can drinking alcohol on an empty stomach lead to intoxication and possible alcohol poisoning, but it can result in your becoming hungry due to hunger hormone imbalance — leading to higher intake of fattening bar food or junk food at home. If you do enjoy drinking alcohol, eat a healthy meal beforehand and limit yourself to just one drink. Alcohol is high in calories, and can lead to increased weight gain.
6. Omitting desserts completely
Jarosh and Clarke encourage their clients to consume no more than 200 calories of desserts each day, but if you’ve had weight-loss surgery, consult with your bariatric surgeon or nutritionist to make sure this intake is acceptable. Omitting desserts from your diet completely can result in binge-eating at some point later on after you’ve had a bad day or if you experience cravings. Consume dessert in moderation to avoid extra weight gain.