15 Weight-Loss Mistakes Nearly Everyone Makes

Experts reveal the tiny (but mighty!) mistakes that can derail your weight-loss goals

Cruising on the elliptical machine

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Countless studies show that cardio alone won’t make the pounds melt away. “People don’t need to be doing cardio for an hour as their only workout,” says Erica Suter, MS, a certified strength and conditioning coach. That said, cardio isn’t all bad; in a survey of 700 people, a mixture of aerobic exercise and weightlifting was found to be the best exercise routine for weight loss. Suter recommends carving out two or three days a week for resistance training, with steady-state or high-intensity cardio workouts in between. Check out 50 easy ways to lose weight naturally.

Eating less—but not healthier

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Skipping meals or limiting yourself to tiny portions can backfire, stalling weight loss or causing you to put on pounds instead. “It may sound counterintuitive, but you need to eat to lose weight,” says Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD, owner of BZ Nutrition. In fact, you actually need to eat more—more healthy items like vegetables, fruit, lean protein, and whole grains, that is. Don’t know how to start? Try these easy ways to eat more vegetables without even trying.

Expecting instant results

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Avoid getting discouraged if you don’t shed pounds right away, says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RDN. “Some will try to have you believe if you follow these three (five, eight, ten, whatever) ‘simple’ rules, that the weight will just fall off and you’ll be successful—no sweat, no problem,” she says. “That just isn’t true.” To slim down successfully, patience is key; a 2016 study found that long-term weight loss could take at least one year of dieting. Learn 50 more weight-loss breakthroughs your doctor wishes you knew.

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