The 13 Diet Mistakes Men Make Most and How to Avoid Them

Diets come and go, but a healthy lifestyle should stick around

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The 13 Diet Mistakes Men Make Most and How to Avoid Them

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With fluctuating diet trends, celebrity-endorsed regimens, and new food innovations, it’s easy to believe that going on a diet is the solution to all your weight-loss problems. It’s difficult to even know whether or not a certain food is healthy, due to conflicting advice from nutritionists. When it comes to unhealthy diet tactics, it is difficult losing weight and even maintaining a healthy weight. Setting yourself up for success begins with planning and preparation. We spoke with registered dietitian Heather Mangieri about the biggest mistakes that men make with their diet. 

Avoiding Carbohydrates

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“While scaling back on specific macronutrients, like carbs or fat, may be necessary to lose weight, eliminating them completely won't do you any favors,” Mangieri says. Carbohydrates keep you energized and provide fuel for your body throughout the day.

 

Avoiding Fat

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Although eliminating fat from your diet may seem like the best option, it will end up destroying your immune system. “The body needs some carbohydrates for energy, and small amounts of healthy fat to aid the absorption of disease-fighting antioxidants,” Mangieri explains.
 

Cutting Calories Too Low

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“Men need more calories than women, yet sometimes I see them cut so much out of their diet that their daily intake is lower than most women,” says Mangieri. “While this will result in a noticeable weight loss, eliminating key nutrients can result in a weight-loss plateau before you reach your goal.” She recommends losing weight by slowly reducing portion size and daily calorie intake so that essential nutrients are not cut out completely, just downsized.

Drinking Calories

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Sometimes excess calories hide in innocuous-seeming beverages. Drinking high-calorie drinks will add unwanted calories to your daily intake without you even realizing it. It is important to hydrate with water or drinks that do not contain a lot of sugar and calories.

Eating a Light Breakfast

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Starting out the day off right makes all of the difference. “Increase protein in the morning meal to 20 to 30 grams,” says registered dietitian Chris Mohr. “Try half a cup of cottage cheese, one handful of almonds, and some berries for an easy solution.” By starting your morning off satisfied, you’ll make healthy decisions for the following meals.

Eating When You’re Not Hungry

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Just because your clock says it’s lunchtime doesn’t mean you have to start eating. Being in tune with what your body wants and needs is the key to not overeating. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to ensure that you don’t confuse hunger with thirst.

Eliminating Food Groups

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Eliminating food groups could mean eliminating major nutrients that the body needs. “If you are really interested in trying a gluten-free, dairy-free, or meat-free diet, for example, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it,” says Mangieri. “Simply removing certain foods is not nutritionally sound. It is essential that you make up for the nutrients found in foods like whole-grain bread, low-fat milk, or lean protein elsewhere in your diet.”

Limiting Forbidden Foods

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There is no escaping the fact that you always want what you cannot have. By putting certain foods off limits in the daytime, you are more likely to binge on them later at night. “To avoid late-night hunger, fuel during the day by making sure to have a balanced breakfast and lunch,” says Mangieri. “A small snack before leaving the office can prevent you from eating everything in sight when you get home.”

 

Making Changes Too Quickly

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Making drastic changes to your diet, such as eliminating foods, dramatically cutting calorie count, or eating things you do not like, can lead to a downward spiral. Easing into a new diet will ensure success and leave room for modifications along the way.

Not Eating Enough Vegetables

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In terms of other meals, one of the weight-loss tips for men is to increase your vegetable consumption. Mohr recommends that every meal include a handful of protein, a handful of grains, and half a plate of vegetables. “Fill up half your plate with veggies each time you eat a meal,” Mohr says. “Only have another serving of food if half the plate again includes veggies.” 

Skipping Meals

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“Hunger is the number one reason for overeating, so if you don’t fuel by day, it can leave you ravenous in the evening when you’re home and tempted by treats in your house,” says Mangieri. Plan meals and snacks throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. That way, you will avoid drops in energy.

 

Skipping Post-Workout Recovery

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To refuel after a workout, feed your body with a combination of proteins and carbohydrates. “I'll usually blend unsweetened almond milk with whey protein, a banana, and a tablespoon of almond butter,” Mohr says. ”It is simple, easy, and tasty!”

Unbalanced Meals

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In the midst of lowering caloric intake, it may seem sensible to remove certain food items — such as meat, fruit, or rice — from your meals. Unfortunately, removing something completely from a meal may set your body up for malnutrition. Balance is essential, and a dietician can help. “If you are trying to lose weight and you want to eliminate food groups, work with a dietitian to learn what foods you need to add in to meet your daily nutritional needs,” explains Mangieri.