Everyone has their own personal goals for their health and body composition, and sometimes those include weight loss. But there's a lot of misinformation out there. So BuzzFeed Life reached out to Dr. Holly Lofton, director of the Medical Weight Management Program at NYU Langone Medical Center, and registered dietitian Brian St. Pierre, director of performance nutrition at Precision Nutrition, to ask them about some of the common pitfalls, stumbling blocks, and misconceptions around weight loss. Oh, and how to actually be successful at losing weight and keeping it off.
1. You're not eating enough.
2. Or you're not eating the right things.
3. You eat whatever you want on weekends.
4. You aren't exercising enough.
5. Or you've been exercising the same way for a long time.
6. You overestimate how many calories you burn in workouts.
7. You eat most of your calories at night.
8. You're going HAM on "cheat days."
9. You get fewer than seven hours of sleep a night.
10. You order a lot of delivery.
11. You eat while watching TV or scrolling through your phone.
12. You eat super quickly.
It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that your body is full, says St. Pierre. So if you're housing your meals, you're probably eating most (or all) of your food before your brain's had a chance to decide whether or not you even want all that.
Time your next meal. If you finish in a few minutes, try to make the next one last 10 minutes. Keep building on that until it takes you 20 minutes to eat a meal, says St. Pierre. He recommends things like putting your fork down or sipping water between bites, or, if you're eating with people, try to match the pace of the slowest eater at the table.
13. You eat a lot of fat-free products.
14. You try all different kinds of diets all the time.
It's tough to find something that's working for you — both in terms of weight loss and lifestyle — if you frequently make sweeping changes to the way you eat, like going paleo, then vegan, then dairy-free and gluten-free, etc. Lofton recommends resisting the pull of diet trends as they come and go. Instead, just stick to a meal plan that seems to be working for you. If you're having trouble finding one, check in with a doctor or nutritionist for help.