Watch Out for These Common Weight Loss Mistakes
Deciding that you want to lose weight is usually the easiest part. Once you know you want to lose some weight, actually carrying out your wishes can take a lot of work. If you're going to lose weight, doing so in a healthy way is essential. You need to use methods that don't damage either your physical health or your mental health. Too often, people try to use weight by using methods that aren't healthy or that won't work. But healthy and effective weight loss techniques can seem like the holy grail, especially if you don't want to be completely miserable. However, that doesn't mean they don't exist. If you want to lose weight, there are some mistakes you should avoid if you want to meet your goals.
Using Fad or Short-term Diets
When someone wants to lose weight, they often start looking for a diet to follow. There's almost always a new diet that everyone is trying, and they all espouse a particular way of eating - or not eating. Sometimes they involve fasting or cutting out certain food groups. One thing to keep in mind about a lot of these diets is that they often don't work and when they do, they're not a long-term solution. You might lose a few pounds, but as soon as you're no longer on the diet, you're liable to put them back on. Making changes to your diet is a great way to lose weight, but it needs to be a healthy, long-term change, not a quick fix before you go back to your old habits.
Only Exercising, Without Diet Changes
Exercising does help you to lose weight but burning calories and fat. Combining diet and exercise is a good idea if you're creating a weight loss plan. However, just relying on exercise might not be the best idea. It can depend on how much weight you want to lose and how much you currently exercise. If you're pretty sedentary now, stepping up your exercise but not changing your diet could help you lose weight. But it's usually best to take a look at both your diet and your exercise. If you want to lose a lot of weight, it's likely to be your diet that makes the most difference.
Not Eating Enough
Changing how many calories you eat each day and what nutrients you get can help you on your weight loss journey. It's also important, though, not to restrict your diet too much. You still need to get enough calories to power you through your day, including any workouts you do. Your body also needs energy to be able to burn fat. Restricting your caloric intake so much that you don't have enough energy or you're tired all the time won't help you. You can try using a calorie calculator to work out how many calories you should have each day based on your height, age, gender, activity levels and weight loss goals.
Relying on the Scales
Measuring your weight loss isn't always as simple as you might hope. A set of scales is the choice for many people, but they're not always ideal. If you're losing weight but gaining muscle at the same time, what your bathroom scales say might not be an accurate representation of how much fat you've burned. A smarter option is to use a tape measure to measure your body in inches. It's easy to learn how to take body measurements for weight loss by yourself. Circling a tape measure around your waist, hips, arms and legs gives you measurements you can use to track how much fat you're burning. Of course, you also need to remember that if you're building muscle, this can change your measurements too.
Many people are guilty of skipping meals, even when they're not trying to lose weight. When you're busy and always have somewhere to be and things to do, it's easy to miss out on breakfast or lunch. While missing a meal might seem like it could help you lose weight, it's unlikely to help. It can mean you're hungrier later, so you eat more than you need to. Skipping meals can change your blood sugars and affect your metabolism, and it can have an impact on your focus and concentration too. You don't necessarily have to have three square meals a day, though. Some people like to have smaller portions more regularly.
Giving Up When Weight Loss Slows Down
When you first start losing weight, you can drop a considerable amount in a short time. Your first few pounds often consist of excess fluid and carbs that quickly drop off. But don't make the mistake of assuming that your weight loss will continue at the same rate. Things can slow down and level out after that, which can feel discouraging. However, don't give up just because you're not losing weight quickly. Weight loss is often a slow and steady journey, rather than a miracle, fast-track process. You need to have patience and dedication to reach your goal.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Sleeping enough is always important, whether you're trying to lose weight or not. However, if you have set a weight loss goal, you definitely need to make sure you're getting in the hours. Sleep is necessary to help you lose weight and to allow your body to repair itself. So if you're not getting enough sleep, you could find that your efforts to lose weight aren't going as well as you hoped they would. Not getting enough sleep can also make you want to eat more, which isn't great if you're trying to lose weight.
Using Exercise As an Excuse to Pig Out
When you start working out more, it's easy to justify what you eat based on the exercise you do. Your fitness tracker tells you that you burned 300 calories, so it's totally fine for you to have a piece of cake, right? But if you're just replacing what you work off with what you eat, you not going to have much success losing weight. You need to eat the right amount and get the right nutrients too. The calories you eat should be nutritious, and you need to burn off more than you're taking in.
Not Addressing Bigger Issues Behind Your Weight
There are many reasons someone might start to put on weight, from emotional overeating to simply getting older. One of the things many people fail to do when they start to lose weight is address the things that might have made them put on weight in the first place. If you tend to overeat to deal with your feelings, you need to find another way to process your emotions, or you could easily go back to bingeing when things get tough. If your busy life makes it hard to exercise and cook healthy food, you should look for solutions that will help you fit healthy living into your schedule.
Getting Stuck in a Rut
It's so easy to get stuck in a rut when you start a new diet and exercise regime. You start off by coming up with some food ideas and a workout routine, and you take some time to learn to stick to it. But as you keep going, you can start to get bored, or you can hit a plateau and find that you're not getting the same results as before. If either of these things happens, it can make you want to give up. Switching things up more keeps things interesting and can help you with your weight loss too. Keep looking for recipe and food ideas, and try out some different types of exercise.
Only Focusing on Cardio
People often pick cardio exercise right away if they want to lose weight. They start running, cycling, swimming or just going on brisk walks. While these are all great forms of exercising, neglecting weight training could be a big mistake. You might not think it, but it's an excellent way to lose weight. Strength training helps to boost your metabolism, which is great if you're trying to burn some fat. There are all kinds of ways you can approach this type of workout, from bodyweight training such as push-ups to using free weights or kettlebells.
Expecting Too Much
Setting goals for yourself helps you to have something to aim for, but you have to make sure your goals are realistic. If you expect too much, you could end up simply giving up because things aren't going the way you want them to. It's better to exceed your goals than to have no chance of meeting them in the first place. Try to a set a modest weight loss goal over a longer amount of time, instead of expecting to lose a lot of weight quickly. You'll be more motivated to keep going if you're able to set a steady path to your goal.
There are a lot of things you can get wrong if you're trying to lose weight. However, if you prepare yourself before you start, you can make sure you plan a healthy and effective way to do it.