When it's time for a weight loss or fat burning plan your preference may be to roll up your sleeves and get in there to blend your own recipe for success. You might mix up a few dollops of magazine articles here, some slices of conversation from friends there, two or three chunks of google searching, and maybe a sprinkling of old fashioned infomercial sugar...
Considering the ingredients it's not surprising some diets end up leaving a bitter taste - and in retrospect can be hard to pin point where things went wrong. Here are some easily made mistakes, and all going well you'll be achieving sweeter results by ditching these for good.
1) Skipping breakfast
If you haven't heard it before then you must be living in a cave - for leanness (and a healthy metabolism) breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Always eat breakfast, and make sure you include a sizeable portion of protein in there. So many people get that part wrong and end up eating a breakfast that's 99% carbohydrate (ok maybe I'm exaggerating but you get my point, eat PROTEIN).
2) Restricting calories too drastically
Extreme calorie cutting will lead to fast weight loss - but the main chunk may be lean muscle burning off rather than body fat. Have you heard the term 'Skinny fat person'? By sacrificing lean muscle you can end up with a HIGHER body fat percentage (when fat stubbornly hangs on while you kiss goodbye to muscle). Not to mention when you eat 'real food' again your body fat can rebound to new levels.
3) Using protein bars as meal replacements
For weight loss, protein bars are not good. In many cases they are loaded with 'bad' sugars such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). You can bet money that the bars that aren't high in sugar are pumped full of artificial sweeteners (regardless of low carb or not). These sweeteners are the ones that have been shown to drive up insulin in exactly the way you'd be best to avoid for optimum fat loss.
4) Not being prepared
Remember the Scout motto: Be prepared. Lack of meal preparation is one of the big potential problems for a weight loss plan. Your success really is dependent on planning. Sit down and think it through. Better still if you can write down your nutrition plan of attack, it's the best way. When the clock strikes meal time you need to know well beforehand where your next bite is coming from. If you have to make a hasty decision on the run it can end up being a bad one.
5) Eating the wrong foods too close to bed time
Calories we eat at night (especially carbohydrates and fats) are much more likely to be stored as body fat than at other times of day. By the time darkness rolls around the rate at which we burn calories is diminishing. Also as most of us are least active at night energy consumed is unlikely to find a use to be burned as fuel. It's wise to keep calorie intake low for the last few hours of each day. For fat loss it's a good idea to keep carbs especially to a minimum at least an hour or 2 before bed. If you feel you need something mix up a whey protein shake, or eat a few tablespoons of lite cottage cheese (that's if you don't mind the taste!).
6) Giving up too soon
For any healthy dietary change you make there is some lag between when you start and when you will see actual visible results. Often it's the people around us who notice the changes first. In most cases for people of average to higher body fat levels, 3 - 4 weeks is the time frame to expect before seeing noticeable differences. Because of this lag many people will impatiently skip from one diet plan to the next without having the perseverance to see a diet plan through. Stay committed, as long as your plan is sound (and you avoid these mistakes above) you will get there over time. Weight loss is a game of patience and consistency.