One thing many people find difficult is weight loss. You can feel like doing everything right sometimes without any positive result. You may not know that your progress is being hindered because your are following an outdated advice or a misguided advice.
Here are 10 common mistakes people make while trying to lose weight.
Focusing Only on Scale Weight
Despite sticking with your diet faithfully, it is common to feel you are not losing weight quick enough. Meanwhile, the number on scale is only one measure of the weight change. Your weight is influenced by different things which include the amount of food remain in your system and fluid fluctuations.
In actual fact, weight can fluctuate by as much as 4lbs (1.8kg) within a day base on the amount of liquid and food you consumed.
Increase in estrogen levels and other hormonal changes in women can also lead to great water retention, which is reflected in the scale weight.
If there is no different in the number on scale, it is possible that you are losing fat mass but not water. But there are different things you can do to lose water weight
In addition, if you have been involved in workout, you may be losing fat and gaining muscle. When this happens, the clothes especially around your waist may begin to feel looser- despite a constant scale weight.
That is why using tape to measure your waist and taking of monthly pictures of yourself can show you are losing fat, even if there is no much difference in the scale number.
Conclusion: There are different factors that can affect scale weight, which includes muscle mass gain, weight of undigested food and fluid fluctuations. So, you may be losing the body fat despite little or no change in scale reading.
Too Much Exercising or Not Exercising At All
During your weight loss routine, you are inevitably losing some fats and muscle mass, though the amount you lose depends on different factors.
If you are not exercising at all but restricting calories, you are possibly going to lose more muscle mass and experience more decrease in your metabolic rate.
Exercising helps you minimize the amount of lean mass you lose, prevent your metabolism rate from slowing down and boost fat loss. The more lean mass you possess, the easier it is for you to lose weight and maintain your weight loss.
However, you should have it in mind that over-exercising can cause problems.
Studies have showed that excessive exercise is not sustainable in the long term for many people and can lead to stress. It may also impair the production of adrenal hormones which regulate the stress response.
Forcing your body to over-exercise because you want to burn more calories is neither healthy nor effective.
However, when you lift weight and do cardio many times a week is a very sustainable way to maintain metabolic rate during weight loss.
Conclusion: Lack of exercise can cause you to loss muscle mass and lower your metabolism. On the other hand, doing too much exercise is neither effective nor healthy because it may lead to stress.
Eating Too Much or Too Little Calories
For weight loss, calorie deficit is required. It means, you need to burn more calories than you consume.
The believe for many years is that, a decrease of 3,500 calories a week would result to weight loss of 1lb (0.45kg). But research has recently showed that calorie deficit needed varies from one person to the other.
You may feel you are not eating many calories but in actual fact, most of us underestimate and underreport what we consume.
In a certain two-week study, 10 obese people are reported to be consuming 1,000 calories a day. The lab testing result showed they were actually consuming about 2,000 calories a day.
You may be eating many foods considered to be healthy but are also high in calories, like cheese and nuts. The key is to watch the portion sizes.
Also, reducing your calorie too much can be unproductive. Studies showed that diet lower than 1,000 calories per day can lead to muscle loss and significant slowdown of metabolism.
Conclusion: Consumption of too much calories can prevent you from losing weight while too few calories can also make you more hungry and reduce both your muscle mass and metabolism.
Choosing Low-Fat Foods
Processed low-fat foods are mostly considered good choice when losing weight, but they may actually pose the opposite effects.
Many of the products are filled with sugar to improve their taste. For example, 1 cup (245 grams) of low-fat, fruit-flavored yogurt can contain up to 47 grams of sugar which is nearly 12 teaspoons.
Instead of keeping you full, low-fat products are possibly going to make you hungrier and you’ll end up eating more.
Instead of consuming low-fat foods, choosing a combination of nutritious and minimally processed food is advisable.
Conclusion: Diet or Fat-free foods are high in sugar and can make you hungrier which can lead to the intake of more calories.
Not Lifting Weights
During weight loss, performing resistance training is highly important. Studies show that lifting weight is one of the most effective exercise methods for increasing metabolic rate and gaining muscle. It also boosts belly fat loss and improves overall body composition.
In fact, a review of 15 studies with more than 700 people showed that the best weight loss strategy is to combine aerobic exercise and weightlifting.
Conclusion: Resistance training or weightlifting can help increase muscle mass, boost metabolic rate and promote fat loss, including belly fat.
Having Unrealistic expectations
Setting weight loss and health-related goals can keep you motivated. However, setting unrealistic goals can work against you. Read How to Set A Realistic Weight Loss Goal
When researchers analyzed data from different weight loss center programs, they reported that obese and overweight women who expected to lose weight were the were the ones that are most likely to drop out of weight loss program after 6 to 12 months.
Adjusting your expectation to a modest and more realistic goal, like 10% weight loss in a year will help you lose weight effectively with ease. This type of goal will help you increase your chance for a successful weight loss.
Conclusion: Unrealistic goals can lead to frustration which can make you give up easily. To increase your chances of weight loss, make your goal very modest and realistic.
Not Eating Enough Protein.
When you are trying to lose weight, getting enough protein is very important. In fact, it has been proven that protein help in many ways during weight loss. Protein can help reduce appetite, decrease calorie intake, increase the feeling of fullness, protect muscle mass and increase metabolic rate during weight loss.
In a twelve days study, people ate a diet which contain 30% of calories from protein and ended up consuming 575 fewer calories per day on average than when they ate 15% of calories from protein.
A certain review also found that the higher-protein diets containing between 0.6 and 0.8 grams of protein per lb (i.e. 1.2-1.6g/kg), may benefit body composition and appetite control.
Always optimize your weight loss with meals containing a very high protein food.
Conclusion: High protein intake will help in weight loss by reducing appetite, boosting metabolic rate and increase feeling of fullness. Read World Healthiest Foods
Overestimating The Number of Calories You Burn During Exercise
The believe of many people is that exercise supercharge their metabolism. Though, exercise increases the metabolic rate but it actually may be lesser than your think.
Studies have showed that both overweight and normal people tend to overestimate the amount of calories they burn during exercise, mostly by a very significant amount.
In a study, people who burned 200 and 300 calories during exercise said they burned over 800 calories. As a result of their overestimation, they ended up eating more. That being said, exercise is very vital for overall health and can also help you lose weight.
Conclusion: It is true that people overestimate the number of calories they burn during exercise.
Not Eating Enough Fiber
Eating foods too low in fiber can frustrate your weight loss effort. Studies show that soluble fiber called viscous fiber helps in reducing appetite by forming a gel that holds water.
Research also suggests that all types of fiber benefit weight loss. But a review of different studies showed that viscous fiber reduces appetite and calorie intake more than the other fibers.
Researchers estimated that doubling your daily fiber intake could cause you to take 130 fewer calories into your body.
Conclusion: Eating enough fiber can help reduce your appetite by filling you up, thereby causing you to eat less. It may also help in absorbing fewer calories from other foods.
Not Reading Labels
Uncared attitude about reading labels properly can cause you to consume unhealthy ingredients and unwanted calories. Unfortunately, many foods on the front package are labeled with healthy-sounding food claims. These may give you false security sense about choosing a certain item.
To get the vital information about weight control, you need to read the ingredients list and the nutrition facts label which are at the back of the container.
Conclusion: Food labels provide vital information on ingredients, nutrients and calories. Make sure you understand how to read them accurately.