The Biggest Diet Mistakes

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No matter what weight-loss plan you're following, there are some common mistakes you need to know about. Read all about them here, and learn how to avoid 'em, HG-style!

HG Diet Mistake: Not Drinking Enough Water
  Not drinking enough water.

Of course, drinking water is good for your body -- it keeps everything functioning properly. But the reason it's a diet blunder to skimp is that it's very common to mistake thirst for hunger, which means you may start gobbling down excess food when what you really need is a glass of H2O. Plus, being dehydrated can make you cranky and lead to poor food choices. Have trouble getting enough water each day? Check out these tips 'n tricks.

  Swearing off your favorite foods.

Eating well shouldn't feel like punishment. And if you completely cut out the foods you love, it's unlikely you'll be able to stick to any eating plan for very long. Face it: If you're a chocolate fiend and attempt a diet where it's off-limits, chances are you're gonna find yourself knee-deep in brownies in no time. So seek out better-for-you craving-busters, like chocolatey VitaTops! And check out this great roundup of our best comfort-food swaps. FYI: The Hungry Girl Diet is full of craving-busting meals and snacks... like these beef tacos!

HG Diet Mistake: Swearing Off Favorites
HG Diet Mistake: Assuming Salads Are Always Smart
  Assuming restaurant salads are always good choices.

A bowl of leafy greens seems inherently diet friendly, but restaurants tend to make salads more appealing by adding too many decadent ingredients: bacon, candied nuts, fried chicken, cheese, creamy dressings, oily dressings, sugary dressings... The resulting "salad" often has just as many calories, if not more calories, than standard entrées. Don’t believe us? Look at these scary finds (and their guilt-free swaps!). In general, you're much better off with a plate of grilled lean protein and steamed veggies. Get more dining-out advice here.

  An all-or-nothing attitude.

We get it -- you're hard core. You go big or go home. But when it comes to dieting, perfectionism can spell disaster. You might have a slip on a Wednesday afternoon and decide the week's already ruined, so you'll start again Monday! Next thing you know, that single slip has turned into a five-day junk-food bender. No one's perfect -- accept it! If you fall off the diet wagon, just brush yourself off, and get back on... ASAP. Now that's hard core.

HG Diet Mistake: An All-or-Nothing Attitude
HG Diet Mistake: Not Paying Attention to Food Cues
  Not paying attention to food cues.

There's a reason that one single meal plan doesn't work for every person. People react differently to food. Your friend may feel completely satisfied with a hearty breakfast sandwich, whereas you might find yourself feeling hungrier after a starchy morning meal. Another pal might enjoy a sweet afternoon snack, while a protein-packed snack is best for you. (Pssst... This is why the HG diet is flexible and provides many options.) Listen to your body, and make food choices accordingly. If you don't know which choices are triggers (a.k.a. foods that set you on a snacking spree), spend a couple of weeks writing down everything you eat -- you might notice some patterns, like which foods lead to overeating and which support your weight-loss efforts.

  Skipping meals.

If you're not hungry first thing in the a.m., don't skip breakfast; just have something small, and pack a midmorning meal. Otherwise, you're likely to find yourself snacking on whatever fattening foods are nearby throughout the day. Another classic meal-skipping situation? In anticipation of a big dinner, you think it's a good idea to bypass meals earlier in the day. NOPE. If you eat a light lunch before a special dinner, you'll be less likely to overdo it when the main event comes around. But if you skip lunch, you'll probably be ravenous, make bad choices, and eat way too much. So prioritize those meals, people... all of them.

HG Diet Mistake: Skipping Meals
HG Diet Mistake: Not Reading Nutritional Labels Closely
  Not reading nutritional labels... closely.

You may be thinking, "Hungry Girl, DUH. Of course I check the nutritional info of my food." But people tend to overlook one crucial piece of information: the servings per container. Too many foods (and beverages) look like single-serving packages, when in actuality, the numbers on the label are for 1/3rd of the container. Also worth noting: Just because a food is gluten-free, all-natural, organic, etc., that does not mean it's necessarily low in calories and fat. CHECK THOSE STATS!


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Happy National Animal Crackers Day, April 18th. Barbara's Snackimals Cookies are a total upgrade -- nutritious, delicious, and they come in a bunch of flavors. Snickerdoodle? Don't mind if we do...

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