The 5 diet mistakes you’ll make today

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  • Losing weight is hard work. There’s no denying it. Whether you’re trying to eat healthily, get stuck into a bit more exercise, or both, it’s no easy task.

    And to make matters worse, there’s a whole host of common, everyday traps that we all fall into along the way. But with a bit of awareness you can overcome them, get those pounds off and keep them off too! Here are five classic diet mistakes you’ll probably recognise (and even make today)… and the easy ways to avoid making them.

    1. I’m too tired to diet

    The problem:
    Feeling exhausted can be a trigger to reach for food as your body tries to compensate for lack of energy.

    The solution:
    Choose foods that will fill you up and give you slow release energy without lots of calories. Good options for meals are porridge, pasta, chicken or fish sandwiches made with grainy bread, or vegetable soup. Snack on nuts, dried or fresh fruit and low fat yogurts. A moderate caffeine hit at lunch time (a cup or two of coffee) will help you through that afternoon dip, but don’t overdo it.


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    2. I’m feeling emotional

    The problem:
    You’ve just had a blazing row with your partner so you reach for the biscuit tin.

    The solution:
    Occasional comfort eating isn’t a major problem if you get back on track and don’t beat yourself up about what’s happened. But you can’t solve a serious emotional eating problem unless you tackle what’s causing the unhappiness in the first place. You may need help from a dietitian who specialises in emotional eating disorders.

    Don’t fall into the trap of emotional eating when you’re feeling down

    3. I’m feeling guilty

    The problem:
    Many of us feel so hung up about eating ‘naughty’ food (like chocolate or cake) that we eat large amounts quickly, and guiltily, without really enjoying the experience.

    The solution:
    Start loving food again by noticing which foods genuinely please and satisfy you, and which make you feel sick or uncomfortable. The welcome outcome is that you’ll learn to stop eating food when it stops tasting good, or when you’re full. Remember no one food is ‘bad’, it’s your overall diet that counts.

    Savour the foods you really love and recognise when you feel full

    4. I always eat on the run

    The problem:
    A sausage roll grabbed here, a packet of crisps there… It’s really hard
    to find healthy food on the run, and that can spell disaster for your

    The solution:
    Always carry healthy snacks, for example fruit, nuts, a wholegrain
    sandwich or a yogurt, so you’re prepared. But don’t miss proper meals if
    you can avoid it. It’s the sure way to put on pounds as you’ll be too
    hungry to make sensible choices when you do get to eat.

    If you find yourself rushing around (and don’t we all… ) make sure you keep something healthy with you

    5. I’ve ruined today’s efforts… why stop now?

    The problem:
    Otherwise known an ‘all or nothing syndrome’, this is what happens when
    you tell yourself you’ve blown it with just one slice of chocolate
    cake – so you finish the whole thing.

    The solution:
    A lapse isn’t a collapse! Just get straight back on track with healthy
    eating. If allowing yourself a small portion of your favourite
    indulgence is too hard, you may need to keep foods that are a weakness
    completely out of the way for a while. You need to eat over 12 Mars bars (3500 calories) to put on 1lb
    of fat. So one bad day isn’t going to spell disaster.

    Remember: a lapse in your hardwork doesn’t have to mean collapse for your diet!

    … And 5 ways to keep that weight off for good!

    When you’ve lost your weight, how do you keep it off? Researchers in
    America interviewed thousands of dieters who have lost more than 10 per
    cent of their body weight and kept it off for at least a year. They came
    up with the following advice:

    * Be physically active for an hour or more daily.
    * Severely limit the fatty and sugary foods you consume and keep a check
    on overall calorie intake.
    * Always eat breakfast.
    * Weigh yourself once or twice a week.
    * Maintain a consistent eating pattern across weekdays and weekends.

    Where to next?
    5:2 diet meal planners! Everything you need to get started

    Are you an emotional eater?

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