As you’ve probably noticed, for most of us at least, the sun is shining more frequently, the temperature is warmer, birds are singing, flowers are blossoming, and people are venturing outdoors wearing less and less clothing. It’s great being able to strip down and not wear several layers in order to stay warm, but if your body is far from your idea of perfect, having to wear less clothing can be a pretty daunting affair. If you’re fed up of having to cover your body and feel ashamed when venturing out in public, the good news is that it is never too late to change your body and transform your physique, losing unsightly body fat and perhaps even toning up and adding a little lean muscle instead. Losing weight is not as difficult as some people would have you believe, when you know what you’re supposed to be doing. The problem is that many people simply are not sure about the most effective methods of losing weight and burning fat, which is why they make mistakes and errors which hinder their progress and really cause their motivational levels to sink to all-time lows. Here’s a look at five of the most common mistakes made by people trying to lose weight, and how you can ensure you don’t make them yourself.
You rely on your scales too much
Weighing scales are useful, so we’re not bashing them entirely, however, one of the most common mistakes that people tend to make, is focussing on the numbers that their scales display, rather than how much actual fat they’ve lost. For example, if you were to weigh yourself, and then eat a healthy, low-fat meal, and drink a lot of water, your stomach would be full, so you’d weigh more. People may weigh themselves with full stomachs, see that they’re heavier, and will sink into depression and become angry that they’ve gained weight. Of course they’ve gained weight, they have a stomach full of food and water. The key word is WEIGHT, not FAT. Despite this, it can still be psychologically damaging to see the numbers higher than previously, or even the same, which is why you should only use your scales sparingly. Scales don’t know the difference between fat, water, muscle, heavy clothing, or anything else for that matter, so just because the numbers say one thing, that doesn’t necessarily reflect the truth. You may have lost 2lbs of fat, and built 3lbs of lean muscle, so when you weigh yourself and see that you’re actually heavier, it’s easy to feel depressed and stressed, even though you will look better.
Crash dieting is extremely common amongst people trying to lose weight, and truthfully not only is it not productive, it is also pretty dangerous as well. When crash dieting, dieters will often go for prolonged periods of time without eating and barely drinking in order to create a calorie deficit, they will consume far less calories than required, which can not only damage their health, but can also actually lead to weight gain and trouble losing weight. By starving yourself, you will slow down your metabolism which will make it much harder for you to lose weight, and much easier to gain weight. Not only that, but as your metabolism will be running much slower, you will also have much less energy than before and so won’t be as active, so you won’t be able to exercise. Rather than crash dieting and starving yourself, you should be eating healthy and balanced meals every three hours or so, which will keep your metabolism running at its full capacity. As long as you stay in a deficit of around 500 calories, you will lose weight.
They aren’t getting enough nutrients
Another common mistake that people losing weight tend to make is to consume bland foods with very little nutritional content. They may rely on frozen ready meals, meal replacement shakes and bars, and other convenience foods that although low in calories, will offer very little nutritional value in the slightest. Instead, they should be consuming fresh fruits and/or vegetables with each of their meals, along with a lean protein source, a complex carbohydrate source, and a healthy fat source as well. These nutrients will strengthen the immune system and various systems and organs within the body, and the healthier we are, the more weight we’ll be more likely to lose.
Another common error that people trying to lose weight tend to make is simply not getting enough exercise and hoping that diet alone will be enough to get them to where they want to be. In reality, exercise is essential not only for weight loss, but for general health and well-being as well. If you’re serious about losing weight, you should be eating healthy and balanced foods, drinking fresh water, and getting plenty of regular physical exercise each week. If you hate the thought of going to a gym, don’t go to a gym, play games, go walking, go swimming, go cycling, or workout at home instead. Do what you enjoy, but make sure you get up off your butt and actually become active as not only will it benefit your weight loss, it will benefit your general health and well-being in the process.
Eating and doing things they hate
This is another example of a common error made by people looking to shed body fat and again it is detrimental and not beneficial in the slightest. These people may eat bland and tasteless meals that they really dislike, just because they’re low in fat and will help them lose weight. They may go to the gym and spend hours on a treadmill, hating every single minute of it. Eating and exercising in this way is mental torture, and it will only harm you in the long run anyways. By eating food we hate, we crave unhealthy foods we love, and as soon as we come off our diets, we go back to binge eating to make up for all the time we denied ourselves. If we hate the exercise we’re doing, this makes us stressed and depressed, and truthfully we won’t be as productive anyways, because our hearts won’t be in it. Instead, we should find healthy foods and drinks which we do enjoy, and do physical exercise and activities that we also enjoy and actually look forward to completing. It doesn’t matter how disciplined you are, eventually it will catch up with you and besides which, why would you want to be miserable when you can be happy and still achieve the same results?