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7 diet failures: Why aren't you losing weight?

April 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
You've cut calories in your diet and are working out -- so why aren't you losing weight? Here are 7 common mistakes that could be causing your diet to fail:

1. Cutting too many calories

Rarely will an expert advise you to eat less than 1,400 calories per day. Anything less than that and your metabolism slows down to preserve the precious energy stores it has left.

Start with a proper breakfast ranging 350-to-500 calories, including protein and fiber to fuel you from your sleepy fast. Then make sure you get at least two more meals in, plus snacks (but they should be no more than 150 calories).

2. Over-compensating after exercise

Burning 300 calories on the treadmill is great, but that doesn't rationalize a coffee drink, monster smoothie, or another high-calorie treat. Have a little carbohydrate and protein, but nothing more than 150 calories.

3. Consuming diet drinks

Research scientists found diet soda drinkers had a 178 percent greater increase in waist size over a decade compared to those who don't drink it. The artificial sweeteners can raise insulin levels while lowering blood sugar, which may move calories to store in fat cells and not curb cravings.

4. Not keeping a food and fitness monitor (especially the electronic kind)

5. Having overweight friends

A Harvard study indicates you have a greater chance of being heavy yourself due to the perception of accepted weight changes in the people around you.

6. Giving up wine

A 13-year study found women who drank one or two glasses a day gained less that those who don't imbibe.

7. Going on a low-carb or a low-fat diet

Your body could be short on nutrients if you're serving up some meager meals. You need to add lean proteins, whole grain with lots of fiber, heart-healthy fats and loads of produce.

For more on reasons why your diet isn't working, check out the April edition of Prevention Magazine.

See these weight loss tips through photos.

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