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One of the biggest mistakes is starving yourself, and if you don't eat enough meals every day you will be very likely to overeat when you do actually eat. You can't lose weight just by starving yourself, and if you try to avoid eating altogether it will almost always backfire. People who skip breakfast for example will often eat too many calories at meals later on in the day. You should eat something in the morning as soon as you are hungry and don't ignore your body when it is telling you to take a break and eat something. Bring portable healthy foods with you so that you can at least have something to hold you over between meals.
You need to count calories for the HCG diet, but outside of this you don't necessarily want to count calories just for the sake of it. When you are trying to lose weight, you should focus most of your efforts on eating healthy foods rather than counting the calories of everything that you eat. When you avoid processed food and junk food, you will be much less likely to put on weight, even if you eat several servings. Focus on eliminating the major sources of unhealthy food in your diet and you won't have to spend hours every week tallying up your calorie intake for each day.
Focusing too much on exercise is a common mistake that many people make when they are trying to lose weight. Exercising too often and not spending enough time and effort on your diet is counterproductive and doesn't work very well at all. You might be able to lose a few pounds here and there by exercising a lot, but you can easily gain it back when you aren't cautious with your diet. Remember that your diet is much more important than how often you exercise, and although exercise can be a great supplement to your weight loss efforts, you will want to mainly focus on what you are eating. Changing your diet will always have a greater impact than the few hundred calories that you can burn in one good exercise session.
Diet foods are loaded with additives, artificial sweeteners and other ingredients that can cause a wide range of different metabolic problems and other issues. These foods can actually make it more difficult for you to lose weight or they can even cause weight gain. In general, you should try to avoid diet foods or other foods that are packaged and marketed as "smart" or "healthy". These foods are all too often just smaller portions of unhealthy foods. Some packaged foods that are marketed as healthy may be good for you, but you will definitely have to do your research on the ingredients and make sure that most of the ingredients if not all of them are natural.
Whole grains are still touted by some medical professionals and nutritionists as being healthy in spite of an increasing mountain of evidence that all grains are bad for your health, even whole grains. Many foods that are marketed as whole grain are often not really whole grain, and contain large amounts of refined sugars and refined grains. These foods also often have a high glycemic index, spike your insulin levels up, and cause a crash in the same way that white bread and other simple sugars do. You will want to avoid grains when you are trying to lose weight, and that goes for whole grains such as bread, oatmeal, pasta, and other grains.
Artificial sweeteners are extremely bad for you and can cause a wide range of health problems when you consume too much of them over time. Even in small quantities they can cause metabolic disruptions, hormone problems, liver and neurological toxicity, and other issues. They can have dangerous effects on your health in the same way that sugar can, such as increasing your chance of developing type 2 diabetes, causing metabolic syndrome, causing weight gain and many other negative health effects. One study found that artificial sweeteners caused a significantly greater amount of weight gain over a 7 year period of time in those who consumed them compared to people who didn't, and there are a host of other potential negative effects that are not completely known.
Although it can be convenient, you will want to do your best to avoid eating at restaurants when you are trying to lose weight. You simply can't control the ingredients and the preparation in the same way that you can when you cook your own meals and buy your own food. There's no better way to lose weight than to cook mostly at home and avoid eating out.
There are some restaurants that have started to cater to the health conscious crowd there are many that also tell you the number of calories in each meal and nutritional information. Although these restaurants are not very common, they offer a good option when have to eat out. If you do go out to eat you need to be extremely careful what you order when you are trying to lose weight, and although ordering a salad may be boring, at the very least it will protect your health and help you avoid putting on weight unnecessarily.