Losing weight is tough, certainly a lot harder than gaining it. But there is hope. Here we look at the most common mistakes people make when trying to lose weight, and if you are looking to make a start, isn’t it better to know them going into the lifestyle change rather than afterwards? Of course, so let’s get cracking
Of course you need focus, but what you focus on could be the source of the problem. Most people look down to scales for their guide, this can be harmful. In fact your weight can vary by as much as 4llbs over the course of a normal day. So instead of scales, think measurements, how clothes fit and selfies – remember photographs never lie and can document how you have changed rather than how you think you have!
We automatically think that in order to lose weight, we must punish ourselves and starve, not so. Eating too few calories can affect how the body functions, leading it to deteriorate muscle mass to feed itself and slow you’re your metabolism.
However, in order to lose weight you need to have a calorie deficit, i.e. burn more than you consume. An honest food diary will help you keep tabs on the input, and portion control is key. You need to burn around 3500 calories to lose a pound of fat, so it is much easier to both reduce intake and exercise more – eating 500 calories less is so much easier than burning 500 on a treadmill!
You must however exercise. Ensure that there is some element of resistance (weight) training in your routine – you won’t bulk up don’t worry. Muscles help increase the metabolism and keep the body ticking over better.
Exercise is not easy. Never overestimate the number of calories that you think you have burned – ending up rewarding yourself with food treats that simply have not been earned. Gym machines and apps are a great way to properly measure your calorie burn, provided you input the right details!
Too little exercise is bad but so is too much, often leading to injuries or burn out, which will inevitably result in you reverting back to how you were before. Remember this is not punishment you are simply enacting a lifestyle change for the better and for good.
5. Diet Foods
The word diet on packaging is often misplaced. There may be less fat, but how many calories are there and how much sugar? This is where your food diary comes in. Learn to understand food labels and what they mean. Remember not all fats are equal, and not all low fat foods are healthy!
6. Protein and Fibre
Your muscles need it and you need them, so get a good source of lean protein. Fibre helps the body function also and is a great way of feeling fuller, quicker. Do not neglect either.
Remember – not all fats are equal…Great. Your body needs “good” fats to function. Stay away from trans-fats, and always aim for the healthy natural fats such as olive oil.
Your body is mostly made up of the stuff, but it needs topping up to fully function. Water is also preferable to the hidden calories/sugar of soft/fizzy or alcoholic drinks.
It isn’t easy, and at times it is very tough, but with these little insights you have a head start and can start your journey. Good luck and keep at it.