The 10 Most Common Mistakes People Make When They're on a Diet

Whether you get your nutrition and diet information from the Internet, diet books, your favorite podcast, or morning TV show, there’s plenty of information to go around ...

Whether you get your nutrition and diet information from the Internet, diet books, your favorite podcast, or morning TV show, there’s plenty of information to go around. The downside? Not everything you read, see, or hear is legitimate. Here are the most common mistakes that dieters make across the board.

1. Eating Too Much (or Not Enough) Protein

Ever hear the expression that too much of anything is never a good thing? Protein is important for weight loss, but consume too much, and your body will store the extra protein as fat. In the beginning, it could be difficult to determine how much protein is enough. The South Beach diet doesn’t just tell you how much your body needs, but actually shows you what the correct amount looks like by providing full meal plans, snacks, and meals, taking the guesswork out of meal time.

2. Trying to Overhaul Your Whole Life at Once

Sometimes, we reach a point where we need to make massive changes, but for some, it’s better to start small. Losing weight doesn’t just require exercising and dieting. You also need to be getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, staying motivated, etc.

3. Trying to Go it Alone

You need a support system. It’s much easier to diet when you have to take responsibility for your decisions. The great thing about enlisting the help of professionals is that you’re never alone on your journey. The South Beach Diet’s engaged community of coaches, trainers, dieters and dietitians, for example, guide dieters though the process and keeps them motivated.

4. Skipping Sleep

The amount of sleep you get has a huge impact on your diet and appetite. Make sure you’re getting between 7-8 hours of high quality rest. When we get less sleep, we tend to crave unhealthy foods and do less physical activity.

5. Going Overboard on Cheat Day

To really embrace and commit to a healthy lifestyle, depriving yourself of the foods you love won’t keep the weight off for good. While the concept of a cheat day is great, it’s easy to go overboard and over indulge in excess. Nutrisystem’s perfectly planned out meals, snacks, and desserts help dieters practice restraint and portion control, so they can treat themselves without falling off the wagon.

6. Relying on Exercise Too Much

Exercise is important, but extra cardio time won’t outdo a bad diet. To lose weight and keep it off, much of the effort should go towards what you’re eating. Choose vegetable side dishes whenever possible, opt for lean protein, and stick to non-refined sugars.

7. Skipping Breakfast

Even if you make yourself toast with peanut butter as you run out the door, it’s important to begin your day with some fuel. Skipping breakfast will prevent low blood sugar fluctuations and keep your energy levels up.

8. Not Reading Labels

It’s crucial to know the ingredients in the food you’re eating. Even a “snack” sized chocolate bar may seem like it only has one serving, but you may be eating multiple servings in one go. Maybe the low-fat version contains even more sugar than the non-low fat version. South Beach has plenty of resources to help you navigate choosing the healthiest options.

9. Drinking your Sugars

One of the most important things to cut back on when trying to lose weight is sugary drinks. Even fruit juices can pack a lot of sugar, which can lead to more overall cravings. To keep calories in check, opt for smarter choices like water, or unsweetened tea.

10. Following a Crash Diet

There’s a reason they’re called crash diets. Going to the extremes to lose weight will never work in the long run, because your body craves balance. Nutrisystem‚Äč has gender, age, and lifestyle-specific plans to help you avoid the urge to crash diet—and ultimately stick to a healthier lifestyle.