Losing weight can be tough for many of us. You feel like you are doing everything right, yet your results are stalling.
The problem could be that you are hindering your progress by following misguided or outdated advice.
12 common mistakes I have seen people make on their journey toward weight loss and a healthier life style.....
1. Obsessing over the scale\n Many of us make the mistake of constantly weighing ourselves to measure our progress. You believe because your diet is clean that the number should be moving. Give your body some grace! Your body will go through phases, and there are many factors that play into the weight your scale measures.
Our bodies may retain more water one day and less the other. Some foods can remain in your system longer, and some foods are denser than others. Your weight can fluctuate up to 5 lbs a day just by eating and drinking.
As women, we tend to retain fluids more during certain times of the month and our estrogen levels will increase which also increases our water retention.
Another factor that plays into this measurement is that for many of us, we will gain muscle and lose fat first. This will keep the scale higher, but now would be the time to look back at your pictures and body measurements. Pay attention to how much looser those clothes are now! In the end, we really need to focus on our other accomplishments and only use that scale once in a good while. It is healthier for you mentally.
2. Extreme Calorie deficit
We know that when we want to lose weight, we need to consume less calories than we burn. But how much is too much? Studies have shown that eating less than 1,000-1,200 calories a day can lead to muscle loss and significantly slow down your metabolism. When we slow down our metabolism, it makes it even harder to lose weight. This is counterproductive. Our goal is to build lean muscle mass so that we continue to burn fat.
3. Eating more than we admit
When it comes to wanting to change our body composition, we often think to ourselves, if it is healthy, I can eat it. Everything adds up. If you have half an avocado, hemp and chia seeds and two eggs with toast, that is already half of your daily intake of fat in one meal. So now think about everything you pair together for each meal. This leads me into the next topic.
4. Not keeping track of your daily intake
We all know that eating clean, healthy food is great for weight loss. However, you could still be eating more than you need to, to lose weight. You may not be eating the right amounts of protein, fiber, carbs and fat to make your weight loss effective. It has been proven that when you log what you eat, you create accountability for yourself, and you get a more accurate amount of your intake to make sure you aren't too far over or under.
5. Not Exercising or Exercising Too Much
It is unavoidable to not lose muscle mass along with fat while trying to lose weight. If you do not exercise while eating a deficit, you are more likely to lose more muscle mass and decrease your metabolic rate. On the other hand, if you exercise too much it becomes unhealthy and unsustainable. You increase stress on the body and may hinder the production of adrenal hormones that regulate stress response. Forcing your body to burn more by excessive exercise is neither healthy or constructive.
6. Not Lifting Weights
Resistance training during the process of losing weight is very important. Studies have shown that challenging yourself to lift weights increases lean muscle mass and metabolic rate. Which in return boosts your all-day calorie burn and improves your body composition, while decreasing belly fat.
7. Not Eating Enough Protein
It is very important for your body to get enough protein on your weight loss journey because it helps your body in multiple different ways. Protein can reduce your appetite by making you feel fuller, longer. In return, this will decrease your calorie intake, increase your metabolic rate and protect your muscle mass during weight loss. By preventing muscle loss, you increase fat loss. Let’s keep that protein high for best results. :)
8. Having Unrealistic Goals
When we start our weight loss journey, many of us hurt ourselves by setting unrealistic goals. This can actually work against you. When you set your numbers high in a short amount of time, you are making it uncomfortably hard and more times than not, you give up. Setting realistic goals in a time frame will help you stick to your journey. Start with smaller steps to lead into that end goal. An example would be half a pound a week or simply drinking more water. Having goals towards a healthier consumption will aid in your weight loss journey. Make the goals about your life as a whole instead of focusing on the pounds.
9. Still Drinking Sugar
Many people start weight loss with cutting out the soda and coffee creamers. This is great, but instead of these items we often decide on fruit juices or unhealthy ways to flavor our water. When we do this to ourselves, we are often trying to satisfy those taste buds of what we really want. Then we end up consuming more sugar and calories then if we would have just had the soda. It is very important to also pay attention to the liquids we choose to put into our bodies.
10. Not Reading Labels
When we do not pay attention to the nutrition labels before, we buy, we often set ourselves up for failure. We often think foods are healthier until we take the time to read the labels. It is important to pay attention to the fat grams in comparison to the carbs. They are both energy sources, so let’s do our best to pick one or the other to avoid storing too much of the other. Having food high in sugar and sodium is a red flag.
11. Not Eating Single Ingredient Foods
One of the worst decisions we can make is eating too many processed foods! Processed foods are proven to factor into obesity, so let’s avoid buying them as much as we can. No matter how convenient it is, lets prep instead. Processed foods disrupt our gut health, increase inflammation throughout the body, and are super easy to overeat. Whole foods are harder to overconsume and you know there isn't added garbage that can negatively impact your progress.
12. Not Drinking Enough Water
When trying to lose weight, many of us sweat from exercise. This makes it more important to make sure you are getting enough water. When we lack water, we get headaches, feel sluggish, have dull skin, lack energy and feel fatigued and have a dry mouth. This can also make us gain weight!
Many of us often mistake thirst for hunger which causes us to overeat. When we make sure we get enough water, we are increasing the number of calories we burn. Drinking water before a meal can help prevent us from overeating. When we chose water over sugary drinks, we avoid the extra unhealthy calories.
When we pay attention to our water intake, we help maximize our performance, help our energy levels and brain function, prevent headaches, relieve constipation, and aid in weight loss.