Weight Loss Mistakes
It’s important to jump into the weight loss program and start taking positive steps toward achieving your goals, but you will want to make sure that you evaluate your methods to ensure you aren’t making any common weight loss mistakes.
These mistakes are easy to correct, but so common (unfortunately), that they hold a large amount of people back from their goals of ever getting fit.
Check yourself here to see if you’re making any of these mistakes, and if so, correct them before another day goes by. These small suggestions can change your life for the better. Your weight loss success awaits!
Three weight loss mistakes to avoid:
When you are in a hurry to lose weight, you’re likely to want to take every step you can to make the weight come off faster. Psychology Today ran an article in the summer explaining how certain habits of unsuccessful dieters seem to have become ingrained in society. One such idea is that starving yourself will lead to greater and faster weight loss.
Starving yourself has a couple negative effects.
On the one hand, it depletes your willpower. Recent studies have shown that willpower is a limited resource. If you are struggling with feeling tired and rundown, your supply of willpower becomes even less. Starving yourself draws significantly on this reserve, making you likely to cave in to a much worse indulgence.
At the same time, starving yourself shuts down your metabolism. Your body is not getting the nutrients and resources it needs to continue functioning, so it slows down your metabolism to prevent you from going through your stores of fat any faster. After all, your body has no idea when you’re going to feed it again, and so it is biologically hardwired to prepare for a famine.
To prevent this, you need to make sure that you consume a sufficient number of calories for your size, sex, and age.
Doing Too Much Exercise
When working out, it’s tempting to decide to push yourself. After all, you’re in the zone, and you want to make those calories vanish. If half an hour is good, then an hour and a half should be even better!
That is quite far from the truth. Most exercises are not the kind of exercises which people would normally do on a regular basis. They isolate particular muscle groups and work them in ways that most people won’t ever work their muscles. Doing this for an extended period of time, however, leads to even more damage. These exercises create oxidative stress within the body, which leads to the formation of free radicals.
Instead, you should do a limited amount of exercise. Your exercise regimen should include heavy weight lifting, even if you are a woman. It should also rely primarily on interval or surge training to increase your cardiovascular strength and health.
Now, at the same time, let’s make one important distinction. This exercise does not refer to being active throughout the day. If you are in an active job such as working as a stock person or on a farm, then you should not try to restrict your work activity to less than a half hour. Those exercises are functional in nature. They work whole sets of muscles or, in some cases, the entire body. So if you have the opportunity to be more active throughout the day, you should do so. This includes walking, lifting, taking the stairs, and other similar things.
Following a S.A.D. (Standard American Diet)
Unfortunately, even men and women who are following a diet can be making this mistake.
The standard American diet is typically high in carbohydrates, sugars, and fats. Yes, even some of the more popular eating plans (with the exception of Atkins, Paleo, and a few others) focus on consuming supposedly low calorie fruits, pasta, and whole grain bread. Sadly, these diets are still very high in sugar and carbohydrates (foods that turn into sugar in our body). Ironically, fat, the one thing which these diets tend to remove, are often the healthiest component. Olive oil, butter, coconut oil, and other similar fats are actually beneficial to the body, translating easily into energy.
In switching over, you should pursue an eating plan that is high in protein and vegetables, particularly green and cruciferous vegetables. You can also enjoy eggs, milk, and herbs. You can have small amounts of nuts, berries, and seeds. Without heavy influxes of sugar into your system, your body can start to recover and begin purging the fat and toxins. Sugar and foods which turn into sugar in the bloodstream stimulate fat production, particularly around the belly.
These are only a few of the many mistakes that you might be making as you continue to lose weight.
But don’t be discouraged. The fact that you are taking steps to lose weight and live healthfully is wonderful. It’s a great step while also learning about sound weight loss strategies.
Sherry Pagoto, PhD, “10 Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes You Can Make,” Psychology Today (2012).
Maia Szalavitz, “Improving Willpower: How to Keep Self-Control from Flagging,” TIME (2012).