5 Sneaky Weight Loss Traps to Avoid

Avoid Diet Traps

No matter what you call them (master cleanse, cabbage diet), there are certain weight loss regimens that should be avoided.

Today, nearly 70% of Americans are considered overweight or obese, and many are looking for a quick fix. However, achieving lasting weight loss results requires hard work, healthy lifestyle changes, and a long-term commitment. Here are some weight loss traps that can sabotage your efforts.

Diet soda: Avoid these zero-calorie, chemical-filled beverages and opt for water with a splash of fruit juice instead. Though diet soda itself won't add sugar to your diet, it may actually leave you feeling less satisfied and craving more sugar later.

Skipping meals: You may think you're saving calories by skipping meals. In reality, you're setting your body up to overdo it later. As the day goes on and you have no energy, you'll start to crave all the wrong foods (high-calorie sweets and junk foods). Stick to small meals and snacks that include nutrient-rich foods.

Salads: Sure, if you're making a spinach salad loaded with other vegetables and topped with lemon juice or oil and vinegar, you have yourself a healthy treat (careful on the oil though; 1 Tbsp contains about 100 calories). But if you're looking at the salad section of the menu to save calories, look elsewhere. That Caesar salad could be packing a whopping 800 calories per serving. A healthy alternative is our Parmesan Peppercorn salad dressing (with only 40 calories per serving).

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Missing calories: Having a handful of snacks here and there and licking the spoon while you bake can add up fast. Even if you're carefully counting the rest of your calories, you could be missing hundreds throughout the day. Stay accountable for all of your munching by keeping a food diary that includes even the tiniest of snacks.

Sodium: Many watch their sodium intake simply by not adding salt to their food. However, processed and canned foods are loaded with sodium. Some contain more than a day's worth of sodium in a single serving. Salt won't add calories, but it will cause fluid retention and bloating.