“Dieting is the only game where you win when you lose!” ― Karl Lagerfield

Contrary to popular belief, dieting is not about reducing one’s food intake. It focuses primarily on substituting bad eating habits with the correct ones for overall well being. However, dieting is a difficult process and novices often make basic mistakes that must be avoided. So here are 13 of the most common reasons why your diet is not helping you achieve your health and weight loss goals:

Misconceptions about fats: For a normal and healthy functioning of the body, fats(in moderation) are vital. Not all fats will contribute to unhealthy weight gain. The fats derived from fish, avocados, and cheese are good fat sources and essential in effective weight management.

Adding healthy without cutting down on unhealthy: Yes, you can diligently eat all the salads and healthy foods throughout the day, but you won’t be able to lose weight unless you cut down on your junk intake too.

Insufficient consumption of food: Your body needs to be fed in order to keep its metabolism engaged. So if you think that eating less will help you get to your weight loss goals faster, you’re mistaken. Dietitians and nutritionists will often advise 5 moderate meals instead of 3 heavy ones in your day.

Exercise is important: Weight loss cannot be expected if you solely focus on your nutrition diet while neglecting fitness and lifestyle. Exercise helps you burn and eventually convert into the muscle the healthy calories along with providing various other desirable health transformations.

However, Exercise is not the panacea: For a healthy body, the primary factor in play is not exercise but diet. It is impossible for your body to compensate for a bad diet with exercise. The very best of the dietitians claim that while exercise has a multitude of benefits, weight loss can only be achieved if it is coupled with an appropriate diet and a good lifestyle.

Underestimation of the power of tracking calories: The average human being today eats roughly 3600 calories per day. That’s about 1400 more than the advisable value. The only way to tackle this issue is to meticulously track your calorie intake. You’ll be surprised by the results.

Fruits aren’t always healthy: Believe it or not, copious amounts of fruit are not going to help you with weight loss. Fruits inherently contain a large number of calories. Therefore, moderation is the key.

General food habits matter: Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Your breakfast must be, comparatively, the heaviest meal of the day as your body gets a whole day to work through those calories. Dinner should be the tiniest meal of your day since your body will be at rest for the next 8 (advisable) hours or so. Tiny things matter too, which is warding off tiny tidbits and cravings will go a long way in effective weight management.

Sleep!: Did you know your body also burns a decent number of calories while you sleep? Not only that, but it also gears your body to burn energy more effectively the next day. So the next time you decide to pull an all-nighter, think twice. In no way will your body benefit from sleep deprivation.

You end up neglecting proteins: In your desperation to lose weight, you might start feasting on green stuff all the time. However, by doing this you will put a halt to the process of building muscle (which, with proper exercise eventually substitutes the fatty calories in your body). Unless your goal was to look like a cadaver (that’s unhealthy), this is something you need to take care of immediately.

Alcohol is NOT your best friend: While it is widely accepted that a glass of wine a day is healthy, it is not advisable if your goal is effective weight loss. Any food consultant will advise substituting alcohol with water, or natural juices(in moderation).

Give it time: Many a time, people lose their motivation when they don’t see immediate results. Give it time. The toughest, but most important part of a diet is your dedication to it. Practice it diligently and in due course of time, you will get your desired results.

Welcome expert advice: Before beginning a diet, make it a point to consult a nutritionist or a food consultant. With their expertise, they can tailor a diet based on your lifestyle and existing diet requirements.

With that said, keeping these points in mind will help you battle through your weight loss & fitness goals and also stay on track without falling for any false advice.