Everyone yearns to lose an amount of weight. Well, mostly everyone. You have probably tried your hand on different weight loss methods and have found good results but, for some reason, you tend to add up more than you have lost.
You have moved from trying diets such as low carb, no carb, no fat, high fat, high protein, paleo, zone and keto diets to eating 2 meals a day, 3 meals a day, 6 meals, 10 meals, 1 meal, not eating at night, eating only at a certain time (intermittent fasting) and many more. You have probably exhausted your mind from just choosing a diet and exhausted your body from actually trying it. But here you are with little or no weight lost or probably, a few extra pounds added. So, what is the deal?
Even though, it could be as simple as eating less or exercising more, there are many mistakes you are probably making when trying to lose weight but these five top the list.
1) Skipping breakfast. A huge trap you tend to fall into when trying to lose weight and making good food choices for yourselves is that 3 – 4 pm dip in blood sugar when you are starving but that does not happen spontaneously at 4 pm. That starts at breakfast. What really happened is when you skip breakfast, your blood sugar starts to decline and when it is time for lunch, you get super hungry and what do you crave? Sugar carbs and sweet indulgent foods. At this point, your body is trying to make up for the low blood sugar, also making you overeat your portions of food. That is really the cycle that perpetuates being overweight and having a hard time getting a handle on your diet. I grew up being so used to skipping breakfast and gaining weight until I realized how important that first meal of the day was, so it is vital for you to get the first half of the day right and make sure you are eating a satiating breakfast and a balanced lunch so that by 4 pm or dinnertime, you may be a little bit hungry but you are not ready to eat someone’s head off because once you are that hungry, all bets are off and you cannot make good choices for yourself.
2) Obligation to finish your plate. If you are anything like myself and do not like to waste food, you are going to finish everything on the plate. There is absolutely no harm in this but it becomes an important weight loss issue when you are eating from a big plate. To fix this, you either stop eating completely once you are satisfied and store up any leftovers for a later meal or make use of smaller plates. This actually works as certain researchers have shown in a study known as “Smaller Plate Study” that using a 10 inches diameter plate, instead of a 12 inches, decreased the amount of food people ate without affecting overall fullness and satisfaction.
3) Expecting quick results. You can thank the media for this one. With so many self-acclaimed fitness gurus and companies all promising weight loss of 20 pounds in 20 days, for example, there is little or no doubt that people will believe this can be done. Honestly, it can actually be done but at the dire cost of your overall health by restricting vital nutrients that your body needs. Also, when losing weight so drastically, your body gets into survival mode and fights to keep every single fat molecule it can, making it harder to burn fat. It is much more ideal to lose about 0.5 – 1 kilogram (about 1 – 2 pounds) per week or 10% of your starting weight in 6 months.
4) Long tedious exercises such as cardio. This is short for cardiovascular exercises. It was initially used to prevent cardiovascular diseases and promote a healthy heart but with the rise in aerobics, it became the standard method in weight loss. However, it takes quite a long time to do (over an hour). It is usually repetitive and could get boring with time, causing many to quit. Instead, you can try a series of exercises known as high intensity interval training (HIIT). This is a form of training strategy which alternates short periods of intense exercises with less intense recovery periods. It typically last for 30 minutes or more with varying times based on your current fitness levels. Not only does it burn calories and even promote muscle building, it does it in about half the time as traditional cardio will take, thereby promoting consistency.
5) Instant habitual changes. The decision to lose weight is usually followed by a spark of motivation to change your habits and that means changing many habits all at once. You might end up failing all at once! Losing weight itself is a multiple habit changing process such as eating less, exercising more, drinking more water daily and even counting your calories. When you try to do this all at once, you might find it difficult to follow through and stay consistent, so it is better to go about it one at a time. Stick with a particular routine until it becomes a solid habit. Try changing different habits over time until you find the one that works best for you.
So, there it is. Five mistakes that you can work on improving and hopefully help you with your weight loss goals. Please share some of the weight loss mistakes you might have had in the comments below. Enjoy!