Lots of people want to lose some amount of weight. Chances are, you’ve tried your hand on different weight loss methods. Maybe you have even found some results. However, the overwhelming majority, unfortunately, haven’t.
From trying diets such as low carb, no carb, no fat, high fat, high protein to paleo, zone, keto and Atkins. From eating 2 meals a days, 3 meals a day, 6 meals, 10 meals, 1 meal to not eating at night, not eating in the morning, or eating only a certain time.
Chances are you’ve exhausted your mind from just choosing a diet and exhausted your body from actually trying it. And, there’s also a good chance that… here you are, still the same old you, no weight lost. Maybe you even gained a few extra pounds as a result of your effort!
So what’s the deal? Well, even when following the proven weight loss rules of calories in vs. calories out, aka eat less and move more, there are still some mistakes most people make when trying to lose weight.
If you want to make sure you actually start seeing results the next time you go on weight loss plan, it’s best to avoid making these 5 common weight loss mistakes…
1: Underestimating how much you eat
People commonly underestimate the amount of calories they really eat. A study found that people underreported the amount of calories they consumed by as much as 50%. This means that if someone says they are eating 1000 calories, the real number is probably closer to 2000.
So your best bet is to count your calories. But let’s face it… it’s not much fun having to read each nutrition label and measuring your food. You can try using a calorie counting app or website that will help you do it. Granted, it’s not always accurate, but much better than having to do it alone.
The most important this is to be brutally honest with yourself. And yes, snacks also count as calories! Remember, chances are you are underestimating your actual calorie intake by 50%.
One of the best ways to reduce your calorie intake while simultaneously getting more healthy nutrients from your food is by switching from processed to natural, whole foods.
2: Feeling obligated to finish your plate
Do you catch yourself thinking… “Might as well just eat it” when there’s a bite or two left left on your plate, or a single chicken wing or pizza slice… no matter how gut-bustingly full you are?
If you’re like most people, your probably don’t like to waste food. You’re gonna finish everything on your plate. After all, you worked hard to put food on that plate, and the last thing you’re going to do is throw it away! That would be almost like throwing away money.
It also means bye bye to weight loss goals!
To fix this there’s two things you can do. You can stop eating completely once you feel satisfied. If you’ve ever tried this you will know how hard this is. One of the problems is that the signal from your stomach indicating that you are full typically arrives in your brain 20 minutes late. That leaves you a lot of time to overeat! What does work is eating slower.
The other thing is to buy smaller plates. It might sound silly, but it works. In fact, there’s a whole Wikipedia page where it was shown that using 10 inch diameter plates instead of 12 inches decreased the amount of food people ate without affecting fullness or satisfaction. Pretty cool right.
3: Doing long, tedious, exercises
Cardio and weight loss often go hand in hand, but should they really? Cardio is short for cardiovascular exercises. Initially it was used to promote a healthy heart. But with the rise of aerobics, it became the standard method in weight loss.
However, it takes forever to actually do. Today’s world, time is money, so spending an hour to burn 300-400 calories is just not worth your time. And steady-state cardio, such as jogging on a treadmill, is super tedious, repetitive, and… booooring.
Most of us don’t have the time (or motivation) for such long workouts and many people will eventually quit.
So instead of boring yourself with grueling long-winded cardio, you can try something known as high intensity interval training. Not only does it burn calories and promote muscle building, but it does it in half the time as traditional cardio will take.
If you are really pressed for time even 10 minute, high intensity workouts (like for instance the Curveball Effect workouts) can deliver great results in a fraction of the time it would take steady state cardio.
You can also try the moderate weight, high fatigue resistance workouts taught in Old School New Body. These are a great way to burn a lot of calories while maintaining muscle mass.
4: Expecting results too quickly
You can thank the media for this one. With so many so-called fitness companies and self-proclaimed fitness “gurus,” all promising that you can lose something like 20 pounds in 20 days, there’s no doubt that people will begin to believe that it can actually be done.
Well, honestly, it can be done, but at the cost of your overall health by restricting nutrients that your body needs. Another problem when trying to lose weight so drastically is that your body goes into survival mode and fights to keep every single fat molecule it can, making it harder to burn fat.
On top of this, a study found that in the popular television competition show, “The Biggest Loser,” where contestants compete to lose the most weight in a small amount of time, many of the contestants ended up regaining all the weight they lost with some even gaining more. It was shown that this was due to their basal metabolic rate completely crashing.
Your best bet is to shoot for roughly 1 to 2 pounds a week, or about 10% of your starting weight in 6 months.
5: Changing too many things at once
Have you ever heard the proverb ‘He who follows two hares catches neither’? Wanting to lose weight is usually followed by a sudden spark of motivation to change your habits. And a lot of times, people want to change multiple habits… all at once. And when they try to do it, they end up failing on all of them.
Losing weight itself is a multiple habit changing process. Eating less is a habit. Exercising more is a habit. Drinking more water is a habit. Even counting your calories is a habit.
When you try to do all of this at once, it gets pretty difficult to follow through. You’re better off just going after one a time.
So whether it’s eating more chicken or waking up early to workout, stick with one until it becomes a solid habit. And remember, everyone is different. Some habits are easier to change for some people than others. The trick is to start small and to stick with it. It’s the small changes to your lifestyle that will make a huge difference in the long run.
Well, there you have it, five mistakes that you can work on improving and hopefully, help you with your weight loss goals. Avoiding them will go a long way towards achieving the weight loss success you are looking for.