You may have been following your diet religiously and exercising regularly, but each time you step on the scale, you are crestfallen at the figures that appear, this makes you wonder if there is something you are not doing right. The truth is, when it comes to weight loss, there are always a few basic weight loss mistakes that can completely muddle up your efforts, despite eating healthy and exercising regularly.
Read on to find out some of these mistakes that people tend to make while working to lose weight. In this article we will be taking a look at weight loss mistakes to avoid, gym weight loss mistakes to avoid and what to do after weight loss mistakes.
The biggest weight loss mistakes you could make might be a part of your daily routine and you may have been doing this for years! Some weight loss mistakes beginners make is first, thinking they could lose weight without proper information about calories, human metabolism, and understanding what weight category they fall under.
Some weight loss common mistakes can easily be reversed, while some mistakes during weight loss make be irrevocable depending on body type. Diet for weight loss mistakes are the most common types and we will be looking exhaustively into a list of weight loss mistakes.
Some of the most common weight loss mistakes include:
COUNTING CALORIES THE WRONG WAY
Losing calories is undoubtedly crucial to weight loss, but maintaining the right calorie balance or deficit is more important. It is common knowledge that reducing 3500 calories from one’s diet will equate to 45kg loss of fat. However recent research has pointed out the error in this calculation and revealed that calorie deficit varies and is unique to each person.
Most people tend to overestimate or underestimate the number of calories they consume. While a person may think they are consuming only 1,000 calories per day, they may in actuality be consuming about 2, 000 calories daily. To be on the right side of the scale, it is important to watch your calorie intake. This means you need to take the right balance of calories, not too much, and not too little.
Consuming very little amounts of calories can be detrimental to your health in that you lose muscle mass and slow down your body’s metabolic rate. You should also learn to make informed food choices with regard to calorie content.
That seemingly healthy snack or meal you are confident is good for you may be calorie-dense. Keto weight loss mistakes may also happen if you do not properly regulate your numbers. Before consuming any food, do well to investigate the number of calories it actually contains. You can even cut calories in your diet without noticing by making certain dietary changes. Here are a few tips on how to cut calories without noticing.
- For breakfast, opt for whole-grain cereals, bread, or oatmeal that are rich in fiber and combine with proteins such as milk, fruits, yogurt or eggs. Eat pancakes or waffles made with whole-grain flour as opposed to the regular all-purpose flour.
- Replace granola with carrots or hummus. Granolas are touted as wholesome food but they actually have a high calorie and sugar content.
- Eat fruits instead of drinking them as a juice
- Go for a dark chocolate shake instead of a milkshake
- Say no to soda and get unsweetened ice tea or water instead
- Skip the whipped cream on your latte or smoothie (they just contain extra calories)
- If you are craving a burger, get it without the accompanying fries
SETTING UNREALISTIC GOALS
Sometimes in our desperation to lose excess weight, we tend to go overboard by setting next to impossible goals and targets. We focus on the end goal and not on the weight loss journey itself. While it is good to have goals and targets, it is even better to have real ones. One way you can do this is by breaking your goals into small and achievable weekly or milestone targets.
Taking it one step at a time will serve to boost your confidence and motivate you further. Take for instance you set a goal to lose 5kg in eight weeks, you can break this figure down to losing about 600 gram each week which is easier to achieve than fixating on the whole 5kg weight loss in the span of two months. Research has also shown that people with unrealistic weight loss goals are more likely to get discouraged along the course of their weight-loss journey.
EXERCISING THE WRONG WAY
Exercise can either be effective or counterproductive for weight loss, depending on how it is performed. You may naturally assume that the more you work out, the more calories you burn, but this is just a misguided belief. Engaging in strenuous and excessive exercise may elevate your stress levels and impair your health. It may also cause you to get hungry easily which drives you to consume more food.
Engaging in too little exercise to lose weight or not exercising at all can cause loss of muscle mass and a decrease in the body’s metabolic rate. This is because exercise helps you hold on to lean mass which is essential to weight loss. The more lean mass a person has, the better their chances of losing weight.
It is one thing to exercise too little or too much, and it is another to focus on one particular form of exercise. If you tend to engage in cardiovascular exercises only such as jogging and the likes, you may not be doing much to help your body composition.
Don’t get it wrong, cardio is good for your heart and your mental health but it really does little for your body weight which includes your muscle mass and bone strength. To get the most out of exercise directed weight loss, you should alternate between short periods of intense activity and cardio exercises.
Another surefire way to lose weight by exercising is to carry out strength training activities such as weight lifting. Research has it on record that lifting weight is the most effective method to gain muscle mass and speed up the body’s metabolism. It is also effective for losing belly fat. One study found that the best exercise strategy for weight loss is to combine aerobic or cardio exercise and weight lifting. It is also imperative to mention that losing weight whilst exercising is more effective when combined with a good diet.
ADOPTING THE WRONG DIET
For most people, the weight loss routine is incomplete without a diet. While this may be true to a large extent the puzzling question remains ” why does it feel like the revered and almighty diet that is supposed to get you back to being a size six, is doing nothing at all to shrink your waistline or reduce your overall body composition?” It’s quite simple, you are following the wrong diet! And yes, it is possible to make vegan weight loss mistakes.
More often than not, we try to battle weight loss on our own by following a self-directed diet plan culled from the internet of books without making the right consultations with a nutritionist or a dietician. Like with everything else, what may work for one person may not work for you.
When going on a self-directed diet plan, you should factor in your lifestyle and food preferences and plan your diet accordingly. Also, popular diets like the juice-only diet, flexitarian diet, gluten-free diet, and the military diet (which claims to help you lose 10 pounds in three days by eating certain strict meals) may do you more harm than good by causing you to lose out on certain essential nutrients.
A juice-only diet will deprive your body of essential proteins and affect your metabolism, thereby making you lose muscle mass only without any fat loss. Contrary to popular opinion, gluten-free foods may do the exact opposite of what they are being touted for as they are often packed with extra sugar and salt to make up for the missing flavors.
This is especially true of store-bought and processed gluten-free food products. There is also no scientific evidence to support the claim that foods that are gluten-free can aid weight loss. Following the popular military – diet leaves you without vital food ingredients and nutrients like proteins, fruits, vegetables, and good fat.
Making the wrong diet choices doesn’t end with meal plans. opting for diet soda or souping which involves eating all your meals in liquid form can also be detrimental to your weight loss goal. Research has shown that diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners which can contribute to body and belly fat.
Souping on the other hand exposes one to the risk of high blood pressure as the soups are often loaded with sodium. Also, it is not sustainable because it can be quiet difficult to keep drinking your food instead of chewing it for a long period of time, one is likely to succumb in the long run.
Diet is also uniquely tailored to certain groups of people such as athletes and wrestlers. It will be foolhardy to follow the wrestler diet simply because you read an article that explained how wrestlers lose 10 pounds in a day. Some of this information may be misleading.
More so, some wrestlers tend to skip meals or restrict their daily intake of food to a large and dangerous extent in order to keep fit for their games. This eating behavior can pose a negative impact on their health and athletic performance.
A good wrestler diet should be made of a healthy balanced diet rich in carbohydrates, low in fat, and should contain a moderate amount of protein. A wrestler’s diet needs to be high in carbohydrates to help them replenish the excess energy levels lost during periods of intense training and activity.
Some well researched healthy diet plans you can adopt include plant-based diets, Mediterranean diet, the paleo diet, DASH diet, Weight Watchers diet, and low-carb diets. However, remember to check in with your doctor,a dietician or nutritionist before embarking on any diet plan.
EATING THE WRONG SALAD DRESSING
No doubt, salads are good for your body and can help you lose weight, but drizzling those fancy sauces or dressings on your salad or food can be your undoing. Some of these dressings contain extra calories that puts your healthy salad to shame. The oil content alone in these dressings can up your calorie intake to about a thousand extra.
Store-bought and packaged dressings rank high in this category as they are often rich in sodium, saturated fat, and sugar, in addition to having a high amount of calories. The point is, you are better off making your own salad dressing at home and controlling the amount of sugar, fat, and sodium that goes into its preparation. You should also monitor the serving size you drizzle onto your salad so you don’t go overboard.
If you must buy from a store, note the ingredients especially the fat, sodium, and sugar content. It is said that the healthiest types of salad dressings are usually made with simple ingredients and contain few calories. If you are looking to lose weight, Do not buy salad dressings that contain unfamiliar ingredients. While eating out, opt for the lowest calorie salad dressings at restaurants or order for the oil-free and lighter versions. To be on the safer side, You can switch a salad dressing for a vegetable broth which is a healthier choice.
You’ve probably been told that eating small frequent meals daily (Grazing) is the perfect strategy for losing extra fat. It is believed that consuming mini-meals for weight loss will help keep hunger at bay, boost your metabolism, and will also keep your blood sugar level in check.
However scientific evidence reports that meal frequency has no impact on weight loss. Grazing for weightloss can either be beneficial or counter-productive. It can aid weight loss as long as it is not practiced mindlessly. This ultimately boils down to your choice of meals and the portions you consume.
Choosing meals that are filling and nutritious in the right proportions will help you control how many calories you consume. When grazing, Opt for foods and snacks that are rich in protein, fiber, and plant nutrients such as fruits, dried nuts, raw vegetables, and wholegrain cereals. The bottom line is, grazing works for weight loss when you consume healthy foods and keep the portion sizes under control.
EATING ONLY LOW- FAT, LOW-CALORIE OR FREE-FAT FOODS
When it comes to making the right food choices to aid weight loss, it is not uncommon to be caught up in the confusing battle of the free fat vs regular food or low fat vs low-calorie food options. You’ve probably heard an earful of how fat-containing foods add up the numbers on the scale. You may have also heard that fat has it’s own health benefits and should not be completely eliminated. So how do you make the right food choice?.
For starters processed low-fat or free-fat foods may contain more calories than the regular varieties because of added flavor-enhancing ingredients like sugar, salt, starch, and flour. And it is also true that your body needs a certain amount of fat to function properly.
You can solve this problem of “what to choose” by going for foods containing good fats like avocados, salmon, and nuts while keeping an eye on the portion size since they are calorie-dense. These foods are also filling and will keep you from going hungry quickly and stop you from eating more.
Also, to make the right food choices, You should always check the nutrition information on food labels.check for total calories and the serving size, because at the end of the day, the calories you consume will determine how much weight you are able to lose.
BIGGEST WEIGHT LOSS MISTAKES – SKIPPING MEALS
Bypassing breakfast, lunch or dinner might seem like a good way to keep your calorie intake at healthy levels, but it might not be the most effective strategy to shave off extra pounds. Skipping meals can trigger binge eating. If you skip a particular meal, you are bound to overeat the next meal. However, research is still conflicted as to the effects of meal skipping on weight loss.
One particular review found that eating breakfast led to weight gain while skipping it contributed to weight loss. However, the researchers are of the opinion that skipping the morning meal might not be the key to weight loss or gain as the quality of the studies reviewed were low. Another animal study found that mice who ate once daily ended up overeating and gaining belly fat. If you are skipping meals, make sure to eat healthy in order to give your body the essential nutrients it requires.
CONSUMING CALORIES IN DRINKS
Most dieters often cut back on soda, soft drinks, and other calorie-dense beverages as part of their weight loss plan, which is a smart thing to do. However, the mistake occurs when these drinks are replaced with fruit juice.
Contrary to popular belief, fruit juice is not a healthy alternative to other drinks as they are packed full of sugar that can hinder weight loss and cause other health problems. Also, liquid calories compared to their solid versions can stimulate your appetite more and cause you to overeat.
Some dieters are of the habit of being very restrictive when it comes to snacking on their favorite treats like chocolates and ice cream. But nobody said having a cheat meal will slow down your progress or ruin your efforts. In fact, science indicates that indulging in a cheat meal while on a diet can make one lose more pounds.
Some people starve themselves of certain “sweet indulgences” and claim to be saving calories for the weekend or for a particular day and time when they can cheat on their diet. And the result? They wound up binge eating and adding more calories.
Allow yourself a treat or two of about 150 calories each day instead of putting yourself at the risk of binge-eating. Also, The more you deprive yourself of treats, the higher your chances of eventually giving in to the temptation of binge-eating.
SMALL LIFESTYLE HABITS THAT CAN MAKE YOU LOSE WEIGHT FASTER
Sometimes weight loss is not all about following a super strict diet and exercising vigorously. Making some tiny changes to your lifestyle can produce significant results. Experts believe that people who adopt tiny habits for weight loss tend to shed more weight. Below are some tiny changes you can make to shed that extra weight quickly:
- Drink more water daily
- Practice mindful eating. Eating while distracted can make you eat more than your required portion.
- Get enough sleep, at least 7-8 hours each day
- Refrain from binge-eating during weekends
- Use smaller plates to eat your food
- Keep a food journal to track your eating habits
- Take more walks during the day
- Ditch the elevator for the stairs
- Make time to prepare your own lunch instead of eating at a restaurant.