Dropping pounds boils down to a simple-sounding formula: burn more calories than you take in; eat less and move more. But anybody who has ever cut calories and ramped up an exercise plan in an effort to slim down knows it's a lot harder than it sounds. All dieters inevitably make mistakes along the way—and most of the time they don't even realize it. Here are the 10 flubs that everyone makes when they're trying to shed fat.
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OD'ing on protein
"Protein is important, but if you have too much, the excess gets stored as fat," says Felicia Stoler, RD. "And high-protein shakes and bars tend to be sugary and fatty." Women need about 46 grams a day, per the CDC.
"Most juice raises blood sugar, so your body produces more insulin. You'll get hungry and overeat later," says Louis Aronne, MD. Get in protein and fiber, such as eggs and whole-grain toast. Check out the 20 best foods to eat for breakfast.
Some weeks, finding that extra half hour to slip in a workout isn't easy—why it's good to have a backup plan. "Even a 10-minute cardio video on YouTube can keep you on track," Stoler says. Try these tips for making exercise a daily habit.
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Always doing the same routine
"You can't perform the same exercises over and over and expect the same benefits," Stoler says. To get better results, follow the FIT principle: Vary the frequency, intensity or time.
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Women who are getting started on an exercise program often think they should stick with just cardio, Stoler notes—but you need strength training to keep your metabolism revved up.