As you are most probably aware, weight loss is far from an easy feat. But if you do anything right on paper, you can still find that the scales just refuse to budge, and you’ll find yourself wondering where you’re going wrong.
On paper, losing weight is just a matter of eating less, doing more, and cleaning up your diet, but the fact is that things are much more complicated than that. If it really were that simple, we wouldn’t be in the midst of an obesity epidemic.
To make matters worse, there is so much misinformation out there about weight loss that it can be hard to know who to trust and who to listen to.
Another person is going to swear that carbohydrates are bad and low-carb diets are the answer, and someone else is going to advise you to eat carbs, but maybe limit them to no later than 6 p.m. in the evening, although we’re not quite sure why it would matter.
The simple fact is, in order to lose weight, you need to know where you’re going wrong, so here are 4 simple weight loss mistakes to avoid.
1. Too Little Calorie Intake
Well, not exactly. Yes, to lose weight you need to create a caloric deficit and consume fewer calories than your body needs for maintenance, but you need to ensure you don’t go too low.
If you drop too low, your metabolism will slow down because your body will enter starvation mode and you’ll find it harder to lose weight. Instead, aim to create a deficit of around 300 – 500 cals below maintenance.
2. Never Treating Yourself
Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the toughest aspects of losing weight is the toll it takes on you mentally.
Losing weight can mess with your head, and if you aren’t careful, it can lead to obsessive and unhealthy behaviour.
Of course, you need to eat healthy, watch your calories, and stay away from junk for the most part, but you also need to indulge now and then.
Many people agree that a cheat meal once per week for example, actually helps with weight loss as it gives them something to look forward to and so motivates them from cheating on their diet.
Every now and then, give yourself a treat and reward yourself; you’ll be glad that you did.
3. Trying to Over Exercise Instead of Eating Well
Exercise is an integral part of weight loss, but unfortunately you can’t compensate for an unhealthy diet by exercising, even if you are pushing yourself hard.
Exercise will burn calories and will assist with weight loss, assuming that your diet is healthy and that you aren’t consuming an excessive amount of calories.
At the end of the day, you can’t out-train a poor diet, no matter how hard you work in the gym.
4. Obsessing Over Your Weight
Finally, when it comes to weight loss, one of the worst mistakes you can make is to obsess over the scales.
Weighing yourself once per week can be useful, as it can give you an idea of whether you’re making progress.
However, far too many people weigh themselves once per day, even multiple times per day, and obsess over the numbers displayed on screen.
Weighing scales measure weight. They do not distinguish between fat, water, muscle, bone, clothing, stomach contents, or anything else for that matter.
Basically, just because the scales are saying you haven’t lost weight, don’t assume that you’re failing, as you could have burnt a pound of fat and built a pound of lean muscle mass. Instead, take measurements and use progress pics to gauge your progress.