Lets face the facts; weight loss is simple, right?
The principle of losing weight is easy – you move more, eat less, and achieve a healthy balance… but why is it so hard to lose and maintain your weight loss?
The answer to that is consistency.
Consistency and lifestyle changes is what separates Wendy who has been loosing the same 10 pounds for the last few years vs Stacy who lost 40 pounds of body fat, completely changed her body, and kept it off.
We all want a quick fix, right? I mean who wouldn’t want to drop those 20 pounds we are holding onto in a month?
The problem is there are a few mistakes that you could be making that are keeping you from the body you desire.
So below are my 8 biggest weight loss mistakes that you could be doing – and how to fix them.
You are only thinking short-term weight loss fixes
The health and fitness industry is full of great people who want to help others lose weight and enjoy the life they deserve.
On the other hand, there are many other people looking to make a quick buck off of someone looking for a quick weight loss fix.
These fad diets, 7 day or 21 day cleanse diets, and fasting too long cause metabolic damage and weight regain is rapid and generally makes you heavier than when you started.
Fat loss pills, wraps, and other gimmicks promise that you’ll lose weight and look like the (often Photoshopped) model.
Could you lose weight? Maybe… will you keep it off? Absolutely not.
Don’t fall for these trendy diets – they just are not designed for continued weight loss.
Change your lifestyle and start preparing as many meals that you can. Eat fresh vegetables, find some fruits you like, eat whole grains, lean protein and healthy nutritious fats.
Drink plenty of water, cut back on the sugary drinks like soda, watch alcohol consumption and let your body naturally cleanse itself. Every time you eat fast food and make poor eating choices, you put that much more strain on your metabolism and body.
This doesn’t mean you can’t eat fast food – just plan accordingly and don’t eat so much it ruins the progress you made the whole week.
You’ve created way too many rules
- “You can’t eat anything with more than 12g of carbs”
- “Don’t eat anything past 7pm”
- “No sweets AT ALL!”
- “Don’t you dare go out to eat”
- “No fried foods”
Creating all of these rules for weight loss won’t get you anywhere. Sure, you may keep with this for a few months, but what happens when you have to stay up late to work on a project? What about when your children want to go to the state fair?
As humans, we despise rules and we want to do what makes us happy. Creating these rigid rules is not something that will help you out at all.
Don’t completely cut out something from your diet overnight. Could you slowly cut out sodas, switching to diet and then completely stop and drink only water? Sure, it takes time, patience, and some understanding.
While your metabolism doesn’t work in 24 hour blocks, not eating directly before bed is sound advice. If you make it a point to not eat just 2 hours before bed, you are going to curb nighttime munching and waking up will be much more pleasant.
In the mood for something sweet?
Try eating a frozen banana that you mash-up, top with your choice of a nut butter and a couple of pieces of dark chocolate.
This is going to satisfy your sweet tooth, give you plenty of potassium and other antioxidants. Plus you won’t feel guilty afterwards!
You just don’t eat enough
Sometimes it’s just easier if you don’t eat at all, right? While this method works, it causes a lot of metabolic damage and I highly discourage anyone from doing this.
What happens if you chronically under eat? Check out this article on MyFitnessPal: Why Undereating Won’t Actually Help You Lose Weight.
If you are simply “too busy” during the day to eat properly, I suggest making the time. Take the time and prep your meals and take the time to eat them – wake up earlier, shut your phone off during lunch, quit playing Pokemon GO.
You really need to do whatever it takes to keep your commitment to yourself – even if you have to take your workout clothes with you to work.
Instead of completely cutting out foods, focus on eating high quality nutrient dense foods. When you eat nutrient dense foods, you will be fuller longer, have fewer issues with blood sugar, and you’ll naturally eat fewer calories.
Don’t sacrifice your health and nutrition because you are too lazy to do something about it.
You overeat healthy foods
I know it sounds impossible, but you really can overeat healthy foods – I’ve been guilty of that myself.
Just because you’re “eating clean” and eating organic natural foods, calories still have an effect on whether you lose, maintain, or gain weight.
Eating nuts, seeds, and dried fruit are all great sources of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals… but eating too much will slow weight loss and add pounds back to your body.
Measure out every portion so you know you have the appropriate amount.
Take the time to prep meals and snacks so you don’t accidentally eat a bag of chips instead of eating a handful of them.
Spending a couple of hours breaking down foods into portion packages, you will know exactly how much you are eating and you have no way to accidentally overeat.
Creating my own custom 100 calorie, 200 calorie, and 500 calorie meals and snacks have been a life saver and takes the guess-work out of losing weight.
You do not track your food intake
Not tracking your intake is undoubtedly one of the most common downfalls for someone who wants to lose weight.
Really though, it is easy to forget everything you’ve eaten today or yesterday.
With smartphones today, it is impossible to say that you can’t track your food in a log or on your phone. Using an app like My Fitness Pal helps you track and find new foods and their nutritional value.
Keeping a food log will keep you honest – take pictures, weigh your food, and track everything that you put into your mouth.
Once you start seeing a realistic picture of your overall intake, you can start to play around with different macros and foods to see what works and what doesn’t.
If you start logging what you eat, you may find that the extra 300 calories of tea that you’ve been omitting is the exact reason why you aren’t losing weight anymore.
Your cheat days are too cheat
Staying motivated is something that’s hard to do when losing weight – so we implement a cheat day to “reward” ourselves for eating and exercising like we should.
Cheat days have a caveat: they can trigger a derailment quicker than you can ask for a doggy bag.
Alcohol is another issue for many dieters because it’s not easy to track your calories while drinking. A glass of wine can add up to 100 calories per day (700 in one week). These calories add up and can slow or reverse weight loss.
Moderation is key with everything. Plan accordingly and enjoy everything that life has to offer.
Instead of taking a day to eat whatever you want, use 1 cheat meal to enjoy something you’ve been craving lately.
Showing restraint and indulging in your favorites is something that needs to be developed if you wish to maintain weight loss.
Find someone who will hold you accountable and will not sugar coat anything.
You only focus on what the scale says
One of the biggest mistakes to weight loss is you practically live on the scale and every decision is made from how much you weigh.
Someone who is 140 pounds who’s never gone to the gym will look drastically different from someone who is 150 pounds and has trained in the gym for years. While the scale doesn’t lie, it also doesn’t give you a fair assessment on the overall health and body composition.
I’ve had days where I can fluctuate 10 pounds depending on the time of day and what I’ve eaten. This is bad news for anyone who rides the scales every day.
Instead of focusing solely on what the scale says, use it as a guide and adjust accordingly. Weigh yourself at the same time every week, once per week and use the results as a guideline to what you are going to do next week.
Instead of focusing on a number, keep track of how many times you’ve been able to decline an extra helping, cut your portions, or not snacking too much at night.
Maybe you have to learn how to not feel deprived since you aren’t eating that large fry or maybe you finally cut out the large soda you buy every day at the gas station.
Success comes in so many different situations that most people don’t recognize them. What about that time you turned down that piece of cake or you chose grilled chicken instead of fried chicken on your sandwich?
Take every win as a huge win, stay positive and learn to make sensible food choices and I promise you will lose weight.
You don’t lift any weights
Losing weight and not taking the time to do any sort of resistance training is a lot like deflating a balloon and said it lost weight.
You will not experience any metabolic benefit from lifting weights, you won’t get toned, and your overall body will not be where you think it should be.
You don’t have to go train 7 days a week for hours in a gym to realize progress. A simple 3 day beginner weight training routine (the most popular and most shared workout on this website) is more than enough to see amazing results when you pair it with sensible eating.
Weight training increases your strength, gives you a toned and defined body, and paired with sensible eating and cardio will increase your quality of life drastically. Your progress will fuel your motivation and when your confidence rises, the world is your oyster.
If you’ve made it this far after reading through everything, I am proud of you.
If you have taken the time to read and start taking action in your weight loss journey, it’s time for you to finally win.
For those who are too lazy and didn’t read everything, here are the main points:
- Quit thinking short-term – no fad diet will work forever.
- Don’t have too many rules – you never follow rules anyways.
- Eat enough – starving yourself will get you nowhere except further in the hole than you already are.
- Be mindful of healthy foods – they still have calories so you can overeat them.
- Track your intake using an app or paper journal – find someone who will hold you accountable.
- Think cheat meal instead of cheat day.
- Don’t get on the scale too often – numbers don’t lie but you’re only getting half of the story.
- Pick up some weights – please don’t be the same people who say lifting weights make you bulky.
Losing weight isn’t rocket science but it does take a level of commitment.
Anyone can lose 20 pounds by not eating and doing the opposite of what you’ve been doing. Keeping the weight off is another story.
What is the biggest mistake that you make? Did it make the list? Let me know below!