20 Hidden Reasons Your Diet Isn’t Working

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Wait, isn’t the point of a diet that you are supposed to cut calories? Yes, but according to registered dietitian and author of Belly Fat for Dummies Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, it’s only one piece of the puzzle.

Focus on improving the nutritional quality of your diet rather than your calorie intake for improved body weight and health,” Palinski-Wade says. Intrigued? These are the other weight loss tips doctors wish you’d stop following.

You aren’t eating enough calories

Wait, isn’t the point of a diet that you are supposed to cut calories? Yes, but according to registered dietitian and author of Belly Fat for Dummies Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. “A calorie is not just a calorie,” she says. “Depending on what you consume, calories from nutrients such as protein and unsaturated fat keep you full for an extended period, whereas calories from simple sugars digest rapidly.”

You’re skipping meals

As with cutting calories, skipping meals isn’t effective for healthy weight loss. Ignoring hunger cues throws off the signaling in your body, as Laura Moore, RD, director of the dietetic internship program at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health, explains. “Energy intake, or what’s consumed, and expenditure, or what’s burned, is coordinated by signals from several systems, including the endocrine, adipose tissue, neurologic, and gastrointestinal systems,” she says.

You’re not mindful when you eat

“Take small bites of food and chew it slowly, stopping two or three times during a meal to determine if you are hungry or if you feel satisfied,” she says. If you get into the habit of mindful eating, you’ll be less likely to finish off those extra bites of mac and cheese from your kid’s plate. Another strategy is to change up your plate size—according to research from Cornell, subjects serving themselves food on larger plates dished out more, consumed more, and wasted more.

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