While nearly everyone would rather be healthy and fit, it takes a lot of effort, discipline and consistency to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Many people struggle with the extra time and devotion required to maintaining a healthier life, but it is within reach for those who work for it. Below are nine of the most common dieting mistakes to avoid.

Skipping Breakfast

We’ve all been guilty of running late and simply having a cup of coffee for breakfast, but falling into the habit of skipping breakfast can take a huge toll on your metabolism. Not only does morning fasting reduce your ability to lose weight, it can greatly increase your desire to overeat later on in the day. Save time by preparing a morning cup of fruit, nuts and oats that can easily be eaten on-the-go.

Not Drinking Water

Most diet plans focus on eating healthy and getting enough exercise, but staying hydrated is one of the most important aspects of a good diet. Many people make the mistake of continuing to drink sugary or caffeinated beverages instead of replacing them with pure water, so they are still consuming more sugar and calories than they realize. Don’t make the mistake of thinking fruit juices or sports drinks are a good substitute for water.

Improperly Managing Time

Modern-day Americans usually have a very busy schedule, and it can be a real challenge to manage your time appropriately. Eating healthy requires much more preparation, meal planning, cooking and cleaning than alternative fast food or packaged options, so this increased amount of time may mean getting up earlier or preparing meals in advance. If you aren’t mindful about dedicating a little extra time each day to your overall health goals, then you’ll be more likely to abandon your diet altogether.

Thinking you are too Tired

The most common excuse people give for why they slack on exercising and eating well is because they are too tired or lack the time to commit to a healthy lifestyle. It may surprise many, but exercising and eating the right foods can actually increase the amount of energy you have to devote to other things.

Lacking Balance

A great health plan incorporates a healthy diet, exercise routine and hydration schedule. One of the biggest blunders that an aspiring dieter can make is neglect to find a proper balance between healthy eating and exercise. It’s critical to calculate how many calories you plan on eating and how many calories you are burning. Many enthusiasts tend to overexert themselves by drastically reducing their calories and incorporating strenuous workouts. This type of workout plan will leave you exhausted and will decrease your body’s ability to efficiently lose weight.

The Zero Snack Rule

Some people mistakenly believe that they should cut out snacking altogether and consume all their calories in three or four daily meals. While this method has its benefits, waiting too long between meals can work against your overall health goals. Blood sugar levels will decrease when time between meals is too long, and this will make you feel even hungrier. It may seem counter-intuitive but snacking throughout the day can increase your metabolism and help you lose weight more quickly than implementing a zero-snacking rule.

Failing to Shake Things Up

Having healthy meal plans is fantastic, but you may start noticing less overall progress when you get stuck eating the same foods week after week. It’s important to spice things up sometimes to ensure you are eating a wide variety of healthy foods. Receiving all your nutrients and vitamins requires an expansive diet, and you can’t get by eating the same groups of food repeatedly even if they are super healthy for you.

Being Too Hard on Yourself

It’s important to have realistic and achievable goals. Some individuals mistakenly set themselves up for failure by having unrealistic expectations about their weight loss. Unfortunately, too many weight loss programs advertise the best-case scenario when using different methods, so don’t feel disappointed if your results aren’t as spectacular as seen on TV.

Giving Yourself a License to Binge

While everyone deserves a treat sometimes, too many people tend to think that a single intense workout session or successful day of eating well gives them the ability to binge without feeling guilty. This common mistake can significantly undermine your dieting progress and make you feel worse overall about your ability to meet your goals. Instead of binging on the weekends, try to give yourself smaller treats more frequently to boost your mood and help you stay focused.

Skipping breakfast, not drinking water, improperly managing your time, thinking you are too tired, lacking a balance between diet and exercise, never snacking, failing to shake things up, being too hard on yourself and giving yourself a license to binge are all common dieting mistakes. Falling into these traps can have you questioning your goals, but don’t let them stop you. Keep making progress, and remember consistency is key!