Diet Mistakes: 6 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight

These common dieting pitfalls can sabotage weight loss.

By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Are you dieting and not losing weight? More than likely, some common diet mistakes are tripping you up.

The truth, experts say, is that even when you're "on a diet," you may be eating a lot more calories than you think. There's often a disconnect between what we know we should do to lose weight, and what we actually do while trying to diet.

For starters, stop thinking about dieting. Instead, take a look at those everyday habits that could be causing weight gain. Going on a diet can create an obsession with food, heighten cravings, and lead to a "throw-in-the-towel-because-diets-don't-work" mentality.

You might not realize just how quickly calories can add up. An extra tablespoon of salad dressing can add 75-100 calories, an extra tablespoon of butter adds 102 calories, and that 1-ounce bag of chips with your sandwich at lunch adds 162 calories. Eating while cooking, starting each day with a high-calorie coffee drink, finishing off the kids' plates at dinner, or having one too many glasses of wine -- these are just a few of the sneaky habits that sabotage weight loss efforts.

Yet as quickly as calories can add up, they can be subtracted. Becoming mindful of your diet mistakes -- the subtle ways that calories sneak into your diet throughout the day - can add up to real weight loss.