A balanced diet and working out regularly is the key to losing weight. But, it’s not really that simple. Skim the layers and soon multiple everyday mistakes will surface; blunders that are hampering your weight loss program. Before you get into the hardcore aspect of nutrition and exercise, here are a few basic things you may need to fix in your day-to-day schedule.

This is a very important, and perhaps the most testing virtue for someone who is watching their weight. Be prepared to see the numbers go up on the scale every time your body is experiencing a hormonal change, your metabolism is lagging, or your foods are not sitting well with your digestive system. Yes, checking your weight every morning will make you shed the pounds faster, but it sure can be a trying exercise that could leave you demotivated, every now and again.

Know Your Calorie Intake
Being on a diet can sometimes lead to poor nutrition, which will cause fatigue and hamper your workout performance. The easiest way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories than you expend exercising, so making use of a smartphone app, calorie counter, or fitness tracker as a basic guideline is a good idea. The newer ones also indicate the nutritional value of your foods, and alert you when you’re overdoing the carbs, sodium, or of any other detrimental components.

Also, remember that your daily calorie intake is determined on the basis of your individual height, weight, age, and gender. The same yardstick will not apply to you, your friends, and your family, so eat enough to suit your body type; don’t generalize.

Skipping meals (especially breakfast) and starving to the point where you feel light-headed is the silliest and most common mistake dieters make. This just slows down your metabolism and your body starts storing fat in reserve, for fear of not knowing when you will feed it again.

Condition yourself to eat after every two hours by making sure that you are only 80 percent full when you get done with a meal. Surely enough, you will find yourself reaching for a snack, every two  hours.

PS: Make sure that these snacks are healthy and nutritious; foods that will help you pace yourself and not foods that are mini-meals.

Be mindful of what you eat and chose a food plan that feels more like a lifestyle and less like a diet. In time, you will willingly be opting for  the whole-grains, grilled, and fat-free options, and it won’t feel like a compromise that you are tempted to reward on the weekends.

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Charlene Flanagan is a lifestyle journalist whose love for language drove her to earn her Bachelor’s degree in English literature, as well as pursue her Masters in Arts. Over the last five years, she’s contributed to a number of leading publications, and has particularly enjoyed reviewing books and restaurants, as well as interviewing celebrities. Her recent switch to a holistic lifestyle has her looking at her food choices very differently—although she won’t admit it. When she’s not busy writing up about workouts, home remedies, and skincare essentials, she spends her time being the quintessential city girl who’s excited to see what life has in store for her.