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15 Mistakes You're Making When Trying To Lose Weight

"If it's light, it doesn't make you gain weight, right?" WRONG.

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Hi, my name is Karla and I've been going to a nutritionist for the past seven months.

BuzzFeed / Karla Agis

Since I gained weight a few years ago, I have been trying to lose some unwanted weight. But no matter how many times I tried, I couldn't get rid of it, until I visited a nutritionist.

Not only did she help me lose weight, but I also learned how to put some great habits in place.

BuzzFeed / Karla Agis

In my first consultation I learned that instead of setting out to achieve the goal of "losing weight," it would be better for me to have a specific and realistic goal in mind.

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I learned many things along the way, but I mostly learned about all the mistakes that I had made before whenever I tried to lose weight:

1. Eating only three meals a day.

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Although I'd heard it thousands of times, I never really understood the value of the infamous snacks. Through working with my nutritionist, I found that what worked for me was three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and a couple snacks (almonds/other nuts, foods filled with protein, and vegetables).

3. Avoiding certain food groups.

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In my mind, through the great wisdom I acquired from magazines, I had to avoid carbs and all fat. WRONG. The key is a balanced diet featuring all the food groups for every meal.

4. Following the ~fad diet~.

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Not the Atkins diet, or the alkaline diet, or the soup diet (really, there's a soup-only diet). None of these is designed to help you lose your extra weight in a healthy and, above all, long-lasting way. They may help you feel lighter, but you'll probably bounce back within a few days.

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6. Not doing any exercise.

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GUILTY. I've never been the kind of person who exercises and, for that reason, I found it more difficult to lose those extra pounds. Do you want to see change? Eat well, eat healthy, and exercise. There's no other way.

7. Overeating when stressed.

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We've all been through the stress that leads us to down an entire bag of chips or devour an entire bar of chocolate. The truth is that there are certain foods out there that are far healthier for you and that you can use to combat stress, such as those amazing vegetables (baby carrots, please never leave me).

8. Falling for the belief that "if it's light, it doesn't make you gain weight."

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Never let that label be a pass for you to just binge on whatever you want. Even if you're eating something that is low in calories, it doesn't mean that you can overdo it.

9. Detoxing to lose weight.

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I have to admit that I have on occasion fallen for the detox fad and it was the worst experience I ever had. Not only did I go without any solid food for two days (I could eat salads by the third day), but also my defenses were so low that I got sicker than ever the following week.

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11. Going crazy on your "cheat day."

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It's a myth that one meal can ruin all the progress you made during the week. Nothing will happen if you eat a burger with fries or a milk shake one day, but if you follow that with tacos and you end up downing two beers and a pizza because YOLO, your results will probably be slower or compromised.

12. Or depriving yourself of your favorite things, forever.

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It's also not about banning your favorite foods until the end of time. Before I began my visits to the nutritionist, I used to have juice, a mango for breakfast, and one fruit with dinner. That was too much sugar for my body, so we opted for simply reducing the servings I had. If you love ice cream, treat yourself to one from time to time. As long as you keep it balanced with healthy food, it will be OK.

13. Not eating anything before you exercise.

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"So that you lose weight more quickly," they said. On the contrary, it's a sure way to end up feeling sick. One day I decided to go to my HIIT class on an empty stomach after two months of not exercising and, well, you can guess what happened...

14. Overdoing the superfoods.

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Don't let yourself get carried away just because of the name. They're not magic beans. Some of these foods will help you get more fiber, others will make you satisfied more quickly, but again, it's all about balance.

15. Not getting expert help.

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You know when you come down with the flu and you self-medicate, and you end up feeling even worse? Well, the same thing happens with nutrition. Other than a class in third grade about the food groups, I had never learned how to eat and remain at my healthiest weight without the help of a specialist. But every body is different and, therefore, each person has different needs. So do some research and try to find a registered dietitian with credentials that you can see even for just one session.

Infinite thanks to Paulina Benítez, nutritionist and pre-

and post-natal fitness trainer, for being there for me each time I broke my diet with carajillos coffee.

This post was translated from Spanish.

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