Out Eating Your Workouts The Problem: Physical activity burns calories, but it is easy to overeat to compensate. It could be because exercise makes you hungrier, so you might eat more than you just burned. Or, you might think you need to down a hefty protein shake before and after your workout to support muscle recovery and growth. Not true! 1 The Solution: Count your pre and post-workout snack or meal in your daily total – they are not freebies! Stave off hunger during your workout with a light meal or snack 2 to 4 hours before it, and fill up on an extra helping of veggies, such as carrot sticks or grape tomatoes, if your pre-planned post-workout fuel-up still leaves you hungry. A protein shake is rarely necessary for supporting your muscles. You only need about 10 to 20 grams. That is the amount in: ½ cup cottage cheese. 1 cup Greek yogurt. 2 hard-boiled eggs. ½ cup beans with 1 ounce low-fat cheese. 2 ounces of chicken, turkey, or fish. ½ cup tofu. 1 cup pea or lentil soup.


2 The Solution: Instead of losing inhibition the entire weekend, keep it to a cheat meal once a week. A special occasion, such as a birthday party or a night out with friends, is a good time to have your cheat meal. If you have no special events coming up, feel free to pick a meal that works for you. Pure pleasure, no guilt, and right back on track at the next meal! Coffee shop: Unsweetened iced or hot tea or coffee with almond milk. Restaurant: A salad with grilled chicken, chicken or fish with veggies, or minestrone soup. Mall food court: Veggie stir fry with chicken, shrimp, or tofu; no rice or brown rice. You might be surprised to find that not only might your friends admire your commitment to weight loss, but they may also decide to follow your healthy lead!

3 Mistaking “Gluten- Free” for “Healthy” The Problem: Gluten is a protein in wheat and some other grains. You may be avoiding gluten for health reasons, such as because you have celiac disease or you have noticed that gluten-containing products do not agree with you (think bloating and stomach aches!).

Avoiding gluten may be necessary for your health, but being “gluten-free” does not automatically make a food healthy or good for weight loss. Unless labeled otherwise, glutenfree cereals, breads, and flours can be refined and low in fiber and antioxidants. 

The Solution: Check the label for “whole grain” if you are buying a gluten-free grain, and remember serving sizes. Gluten-free grains are just as high in carbs and calories as grains with gluten, so stick to your 1 or 2 slices of bread, ½ cup of cooked pasta, and 1 ounce of unsweetened cereal.

4 Skimping on Sleep Why is it so hard to take care of ourselves? You know sleep is good; it gives you energy and helps you think clearly. If you are like most people, though, you skimp. 4 Here’s something that may motivate you to put sleep a little higher on your priority list: it will help you lose weight. Getting enough sleep suppresses a hunger hormone, helps you fight sugar cravings, and normalizes hormones that work to control blood sugar. For a side benefit, know that getting more sleep can lower diabetes risk.