Let’s get real—losing weight is hard (like really hard). Between making healthy diet changes to working up a sweat with a kick-butt workout each day, there’s nothing easy about it. But, there are also some healthy eating mistakes we are all guilty of that make it even harder.
We’re breaking down these mistakes, plus some steps you can take to turn them into tools to help take you closer to your weight loss goals.
5 Healthy Eating Mistakes That Make Losing Weight Harder
#1 Not Eating Enough Protein
Let’s get serious about protein for a sec. While we often think about it in regards to muscle building and post-workout fuel, the body needs protein for all the things. Seriously, we need protein to make hormones, enzymes, and it even acts as the building block for our bones, cartilage, muscles, and skin.
But, protein also plays a huge role in keeping us full. Research shows that protein happens to be the most filling macronutrient, so you can get the best bang for your buck when it comes to protein-rich meals. You may find yourself eating less, but still feeling full.
The bottom line? Not getting enough protein is one of those healthy eating mistakes we may not even realize we’re making. Not getting enough may lead to overeating and may ultimately make losing weight harder. So, try squeezing in some sort of clean protein into each meal and snack to keep yourself full (and nourished) throughout the day.
Here are a handful of our fav protein sources to munch on to keep you feeling satisfied.
- Nuts & seeds
- Nut butter
- Wild-caught fatty fish (like salmon)
- Full-fat unsweetened Greek yogurt
#2 Skimping on Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are also a super important part of healthy eating. And, not getting enough happens to be another one of those healthy eating mistakes that can stall weight loss and make it harder to reach our goals.
While it may seem counterintuitive to eat fat to lose fat, adding some nutrient-dense clean fats to your diet will help promote satiety. Chances are, you’ll eat less in one sitting with some healthy fats mixed into your meal than if you just eat something super carb-heavy.
Strive for balance when it comes to healthy eating. Think about adding a complex carb (like quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato), a protein source (see above), and a healthy fat to your plate. A balanced meal is key to helping you optimize each meal to help you push forward towards reaching your health goals.
Here are some of our favorite healthy fat choices to add to your diet.
- Nuts & seeds
- Nut butter
- Wild-caught salmon
- Coconut oil
#3 Not Logging Your Food Intake
While you may think logging your food is a totally out of date way to help support weight loss efforts, it actually serves as a really great tool. If you find yourself having a hard time losing weight, it may be time to start tracking the foods you eat.
Why? Because while most of us may think we are doing pretty well with our diet, it’s easier to really take a closer look at everything we put into our body when we have it written down. You may be surprised to find hidden sources of sugar or inflammatory fats (like vegetable oil or fried fats) in the things you eat each day. These may be foods that are hindering your progress that you weren’t even aware were popping up in your diet far too often.
The takeaway here is to keep track of everything you eat—at least for a few weeks. It will give you a really good idea as to where your diet may be able to improve to help support your weight loss goals.
#4 You’re Not Meal Prepping
Meal prepping is king when it comes to keeping your healthy eating on track. Keeping even a few prepped recipes in the fridge or freezer that you can reheat for dinner on a busy weeknight will help prevent that fast food pick up on the way home.
And, while many of us live crazy busy lives, there are hacks you can use to meal prep with limited time.
Here are some of our go-to ways to get meals prepped in no time.
- Prep twice a week instead of stressing over fitting in one giant meal prep day.
- Wash and cut up your fresh veggies as soon as you unload your groceries.
- Make snack containers with things like nuts, seeds, and raw cacao nibs and store them in jars to grab and go during the week.
- Batch cook by mixing and matching the same ingredients for multiple recipes.
- On a night when you’re cooking, triple the recipe and store leftovers in the freezer.
#5 You Eat While Distracted
Real talk—we’re all guilty of certain healthy eating mistakes, and for many of us, eating distracted ranks high on the list. It’s not really our fault—I mean, we live in a world where there are constant distractions (like 24/7). But, if we could just put our phones down and focus on the task at home (aka eating), then we may actually be able to stop eating when our brain signals that we are actually full.
When we’re scrolling through our Insta feed or catching up on work emails while scarfing down lunch, chances are, we’ll keep eating past the point of feeling full. Why? Because it can take your brain (and your stomach) around 20 minutes to tell you that you’re actually full. If we’re distracted, we may totally miss that signal.
So, put the phone down, turn the TV off, and just focus on eating. You may even find that you enjoy mealtime more when you get to practice mindfulness around meals.
Don’t Make Weight Loss Harder Than it Needs to Be
There’s no denying the fact that losing weight is hard. It also takes a ton of work and dedication. So, don’t make it harder than it needs to be! By avoiding these healthy eating mistakes, you may notice yourself inching your way closer and closer to your weight loss goals, and we’re here for it all.
Keep crushin’ it—you so got this.