The basic premise behind losing weight seems simple, and most people understand the science behind it. When you burn a certain number of calories, your body will respond with weight loss. But the actual day-to-day implementation of losing weight often falls off the proper path. Maybe it’s due to the fact that it can be so tempting to use shortcuts for faster results. It’s definitely problematic when someone can lose weight without following any healthy rules at all. There are many mistakes that people can make in an effort to get the body they want, and here are some of the most common you should avoid.
Shortcuts and starvation – let’s get the most obvious one out of the way first. Even people who fully understand the biology of weight loss will be tempted to skip meals or deprive themselves of food altogether. Remember, there are no instant diet pills or supplements you can take that will magically burn fat away, and if you simply go without food, your metabolism will slow down almost calorie for calorie, as your body switches into ‘starvation mode’ to preserve fat – the opposite effect than intended. (This is why people’s weights go back updramatically after they ditch a starvation diet; they go back to eating tons of food, but their metabolisms rarely return to previous levels, and so calories are stored as fat even more efficiently than before the diet.) It’s far better to stick with the basics of good eating and plenty of daily activity if you expect to get results that will actually last.
Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald
No planning – did you actually have a plan the last time you tried to lose weight? Chances are it was more like a situation where you decided you wanted to get thinner and then existed on a day-to-day basis. A lot of people know that they want to lose weight but they don’t really think about an overall plan in order to make it come to life. It’s not just about forcing yourself to eat better, you should collect as much information as possible so that you become more aware of your daily patterns. This information related to food and exercise is vital for adapting your approach in the future, so it’s a great idea to keep a food diary, and also a record of your exercises, so you can figure out what times of the day you feel more energetic, and plan your time more effectively. Are you a morning exerciser? Or do you prefer to hit the treadmill when you get back from work to burn off the stresses of the day? We’re all different, and you need to find your perfect exercise time to make sure you keep coming back for more!
No help – a lot of people try to lose weight without asking for any help at all, and this can be a huge mistake. There are many steps along the way that will prove to be mental and emotional challenges, and that’s exactly why you need somebody at your side. Swallow your pride and ask for help from friends or family, or consult a physician for medical help. The more people you have contributing to your success, the better the odds you’ll succeed.
No exercise – if you concentrate on food alone you could be making one of the biggest mistakes associated with fast weight loss. A lot of people choose to go with fat-free diets or they might spend a lot of time searching for the latest healthy recipes. But the key to losing weight is boosting your metabolism and one of the best ways to do that is with cardiovascular exercise that incorporates a bit of weight training as well. You don’t have to go out and buy expensive home exercise equipment or join a gym, but you should at least try to work walking into your daily routine. Remember, it is lean muscle mass which burns body fat – no other tissue in your body will do that, so it’s wise to add a few air squats and push-ups to your exercise regime, to strengthen those muscles. Increasing the incline on your running machine is a great way to build muscle strength in your legs as well.
Obsession – for some people losing weight becomes their entire life as they are consumed with the numbers they see on the scale. If you find yourself constantly weighing yourself or looking in the mirror while pinching your fat, you might be going too far. It’s important to find a balance between a regular happy life and taking careful measures to ensure you maintain good health. Promise yourself that you will measure your weight and a few body dimensions (eg waist, hips, thighs etc) just once per week – no more! When you do things properly, a natural by-product will be a slimmer body so don’t focus on weight loss alone.