Leaving Out the Yolk
THE MISTAKE: Getting an omelette sans yolk deprives you of vitamins (folate, vitamin D) minerals (zinc, phosphorus, calcium) and carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin). Additionally, an egg-white omelette (which is naturally fat-free) will not satiate you as well as one utilizing the entire egg. The longer you remain satiated, the fewer calories you consume.
HOW TO SOLVE IT: Rather than getting an egg white omelette with cheese (a source of saturated fat and sodium), go for a regular omelette with three or four different color vegetables.
THE MISTAKE: Ordering salads or steamed vegetables and accompanying them with fat-free dressing is a waste of nutrients! Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble and, therefore, need to be consumed with fat in order for our bodies to absorb them.
HOW TO SOLVE IT: Replace fat-free dressing with an oil (preferably olive) based vinagreitte. If you absolutely love the taste of a certain fat-free dressing, add avocado, almond slices, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds to your salad.
THE MISTAKE: Snacking on rice cakes, pretzels, and crackers might sound healthy, but they aren't your weight-loss allies. The reason? They are missing fiber, which is essential for a feeling of fullness.
HOW TO SOLVE IT: Include high-fiber snacks into your diet: boiled edamame, fresh fruit, red pepper strips with hummus, plain popcorn, and high-fiber crackers (ie: Kavli, Triscuit Finn Crisp, etc.)
(Artificially) Sweetening The Deal
THE MISTAKE: Sugar-free pudding, ice cream, candies, sodas, and chocolates contain fewer calories than their regular counterparts, but they are still mostly devoid of nutrition. Plus, since the artificial sweeteners used are hundreds of times sweeter than regular sugar, often leading to more cravings.
HOW TO SOLVE IT: Instead of replacing highly caloric sugary items with ones made with saccharine or Splenda, substitute them with real food. Replace a diet popsicle with an actual piece of fruit. You'll get more nutrition -- and real taste!
Leaving Exercise Out of the Equation
THE MISTAKE: Eating fewer calories isn’t the one and only diet solution. For optimal weight loss and maintenance, you should engage in physical activity at least three times a week. Remember, our bodies need to work hard (aka, burn calories) to sustain muscle.
HOW TO SOLVE IT: If you are only doing cardio, add a 15 or 20 minute weight-bearing workout. Not only are you helping your bone density, you’re also helping your body shed the pounds faster.