You’ve been following a new diet and exercise regimen for a few weeks or months, but have barely seen the scale drop. What are you doing wrong?
It’s easy to make weight loss mistakes when you start a new diet. A lot of information is available at our fingertips (thanks to the internet) but much of it is conflicting.
You might think you’re following top diet advice without success because you’re just ‘one of those people who’ll never lose weight.’ Don’t believe it!
Everybody can lose weight with the right nutrition and exercise program so keep reading to see if you’re making any of these common mistakes that stall weight loss.
Seven Weight Loss Mistakes That Are Killing Your Progress
If you haven’t seen the scale drop despite hard work on your weight loss regimen, check this list to see if you’ve been committing some common weight loss mistakes.
Looking for a Quick Fix
Fad diets cause yo-yo weight loss and gain. It’s been proven time and again that the only way to lose weight well is to take a steady approach with regular exercise and balanced nutrition.
Many quick-fix diets will only cause you to lose water weight in the first few days. This can feel like a good incentive to keep going as you lose weight fast but without balanced nutrition, you could harm your health in the long-term.
Not Tracking Calories for Healthy Foods
Even carrots have calories! When we change to healthy eating it’s very easy to overeat and serve large portion sizes because we don’t equate vegetables with calories.
Healthy foods are generally lower in calories but you still need to make sure you’re not eating more than your daily diet allowance if you want to lose weight.
Try using a diet tracking app to learn how many calories are in your typical portion sizes. This will help you to recognize healthy portion sizes for weight loss maintenance once you reach your goal, too.
Not Setting Realistic Goals
If you tell yourself, “I must lose 50 pounds in six months,” then you’ll become disenchanted with your efforts when that doesn’t happen. You’ll feel upset that you didn’t reach your goal and will be more likely to give up on your diet.
Healthy weight loss is between 1-2lbs a week, depending on how much you need to lose to start off with. People with more weight to lose will often drop weight faster to start with compared to someone with only a few pounds to lose.
Keep this in mind when you’re setting your weight loss goals. Remember that you need non-scale goals as well. A pair of jeans that are one size smaller than your current pair, for example, is a great way to motivate yourself without fixating on the numbers.
Not Eating a Balanced Diet
A diet regimen that cuts out all of one food group is one of the classic weight loss mistakes we’ve all been guilty of doing.
Whether you want to go no-carb or entirely fat-free, you’ll be depriving yourself of essential nutrients that your body needs. This, in turn, will make you feel sluggish and tired so you won’t want to work out as much.
Some dieters are scared to eat any fat but in fact, there are some good fats which contribute to a healthy diet. These fats also improve satiety, the feeling of being full, so you’re likely to eat fewer calories overall.
A diet that’s too low in protein is also risky as you could be losing muscle mass along with your fat. Ensure your protein intake is about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day to preserve muscle while losing fat.
Improper Exercise Routines
There are three main cardinal sins when it comes to exercise for weight loss:
- Not exercising at all
- Exercising too much
- Only doing cardio
No exercise at all means you’re not creating a calorie deficit, nor will you be building muscle for a strong and lean figure. You can still lose weight without working out but it will be much slower and you will miss out on the benefits of exercise such as improved energy and better sleep.
Exercising too much won’t give your body time to recover between workouts, causing a multitude of health problems and stalling your weight loss. Constant intensive workouts will spike your cortisol levels which hinders fat loss. Instead of daily heavy workouts, have a couple of days each week with less intensive exercise such as yoga.
Cardio-only exercise is not as beneficial as lifting weights. Weight lifting will also help you to build muscle to stay lean and improve your daily calorie burn, as muscle requires more calories than fat.
Drinking Too Many Calories
It’s easy to eat healthy food but are you drinking for weight loss too? Remember to count the calories in your coffee, iced tea, smoothies, and protein shakes.
These drinkable calories can mount up without you realizing it-especially if you add alcohol some days, too. A few glasses of wine will soon stack up to 500 calories or more!
Relying on the Scales to Monitor Progress
A new exercise regimen alongside your diet is the best way to lose weight. However, exercise can cause you to gain water weight if you start doing more intense workouts than before.
Higher intensity workouts can cause micro-tears in your muscles. This is a good thing! It will help you become stronger over time.
However, your body reacts with an inflammatory response, flooding your muscles with water.
This will cause your scale weight to go up. A common weight loss mistake is to only read the number on the scale but your water weight will fluctuate so bear this in mind and don’t become fixated on the scale!
How to Achieve Long-Term Weight Loss
Now you know the weight loss mistakes that have been stalling your progress, it’s time to look at what you can do to help achieve your goals.
Check out our guide to losing weight safely and start your journey today!