What are the most common diet mistakes?

It's difficult to follow diets that require excluding foods in an unrealistic way. Do not keep track of food intake. If your favorite pair of jeans doesn't fit you, the scale seems to be stuck, or your weight decreases just to recover, there's a chance you're making one of these 10 weight-loss mistakes. Determined to lose 10 pounds quickly, you resort to an intensive diet.

Maybe your plan requires nothing more than grapefruit or cabbage soup every day. You reduced your daily calories to less than 1000 and, of course, the pounds are fading away. But when you eat so few calories, you train your metabolism to slow down. After the diet is over, your body burns calories more slowly and you usually regain weight.

Skipping breakfast seems like an easy way to cut calories, but it can make you hungry for the rest of the day. This can lead to eating unplanned snacks at work and eating a huge portion at lunch, causing the calorie count to skyrocket. However, breakfasts that are high in protein and fiber can reduce hunger throughout the day. In fact, studies show that people who eat breakfast every morning are more likely to maintain a healthy weight.

When counting calories, many of us tend to overlook what's in our beverages. This is a big mistake when you consider that some luxurious coffees and alcoholic beverages have more than 500 calories. Even the calories in fruit juices and soft drinks can add up quickly. Self-service is handy after a busy day and you can always order the salad or another healthier option.

But once there, can you resist that milkshake or other treat? And if you ever allow yourself the ease of fast food, it could become a habit. According to a long-term study, people who ate fast food more than twice a week gained 10 more pounds than those who ate it less than once a week. Telling yourself that you'll lose 20 pounds the first week is probably setting you up for failure. If you know that you won't be able to do it, you may never start your diet from the beginning.

If you're dieting and losing 5 pounds in a week, instead of celebrating it, you might feel discouraged that you haven't reached your goal. A realistic goal is vital to a successful diet. If you're not sure what your goal should be, talk to a dietician. The goal of losing 20 pounds in the first 2 weeks is to set yourself up for failure.

You'll be discouraged when you don't see your dream number on the scale. Skipping meals may seem like a quick way to cut calories, but you're more likely to be hungry and overeat the rest of the day to make up for it. Studies show that people who eat breakfast every morning and follow a regular meal schedule are more likely to maintain a healthy weight.