Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | January 21, 2009

The 10 Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes #5 – Making Big Changes to Your Eating Habits

 A few weeks ago, I introduced the first of the 10 Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes – Going on a Diet.  At this time, I described the primary reasons for the consistent failure of diets.  One of those reasons is related to Mistake #5.  Most diets require you to make dramatic changes in your lifestyle, starting with your eating habits.  But even if you don’t go on a diet, many people who are trying to shed a few pounds make the mistake of significantly altering their dietary habits, which creates a major problem.  As human beings, we are creatures of habit.  It is much easier for us to do today what we did yesterday and will likely do tomorrow.  That’s why you typically take the same route to work every day.  It’s comfortable for you.  The same goes for your eating habits.  Whatever you are eating, good, bad or somewhere in-between, it is easier to continue eating that way today, tomorrow, and the next day.  Of course, if you are trying to lose weight, this presents a problem because you need to decrease your caloric intake if you are going to be successful.  While this seems to present us with a dilemma, I have two strategies that can help you resolve the problem.  The key is to make relatively minor changes to your eating habits:

  1. One option is to make no changes whatsoever to your eating habits, but start exercising (or increase your amount of exercise if you are already physically active).  The key here is to maintain your daily caloric intake. Do not increase it! If you burn off 250 extra calories a day through exercise and maintain your current caloric intake, you will lose 26 pounds in 1 year.  You may not think of this as a tremendous amount of weight, but it is a healthful, less stressful way to burn body fat that will stay off!
  2. A second option is to make one modification to your daily eating habits that results in a 150 to 300 calorie reduction.  I discussed this approach in an earlier post (Mistake #2 – Trying to Lose Weight Too Quickly).  This will create less stress in your life because of the modest change you are making in your daily eating habits.  You will not lose weight quickly, but you will lose it more healthfully and in a way that will keep it off.

NEXT POST – January 26, 2009

The 10 Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes # 6 – Skipping Breakfast

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Responses

  1. Great info you have provided here. Very useful information.

  2. I just came across this site. Your information is great and easily understandable. I need to go back through the archives and read more.

  3. Nice write-up. Thanks for taking the time to put this up.


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