When it comes to weight loss, everyone has something to say on it. There are plenty of myths and false information being passed around. Losing weight can be hard; you are breaking lifelong bad habits, changing how you eat and trying to get healthier. All of this is happening alongside your hectic schedule, trying to enjoy what little free time you do have, and going to the gym.
However, the New Year can be a great starting point to make a change in your life. Whether you’re trying to quit smoking, lose weight or start exercising, the New Year can give you the motivation you need to finally start to change. But beware, making life changes means it is easier to make simple mistakes. Check out these 11 common weight loss mistakes Cardiff Sports Nutrition see happening the most.
- Only focusing on what you can eat
- All or nothing mentality
- Not planning ahead
- Simply cutting out a food group
- Liquid meal replacements
- Thinking fats make you fat
- Eating dangerously low calories
- Ditching fruits and veggies because of their sugar content
- Relying on supplements and weight loss pills
- You use the weekend as a food free for all
- Not drinking enough water
Weight Loss Mistakes
1.) Only focusing on what you can't eat
If the only thing you can think about is what foods you can't have, that's an issue. When we talk to our thousands of customers here at CSN about switching their diet and what foods they should steer clear from. We visibly see how bummed they are.
However, after chatting with use they realise they can give up a couple of foods but enjoy the rest of the nutritious and tasty foods out there. The key message here is quit focusing on what you can't have and shift your focus to what you can have. There is no reason you should get bummed out because you can't have bread or your favourite dessert. Moderation is key; you aren't losing these delicious treats forever.
2.) All or nothing mentality
The next mistake is when you see someone going full steam into losing weight. They adopt an "all or nothing" mentality; if you don't deprive yourself every delicious and fun thing to eat, you aren't going to lose weight. As you see, this isn't sustainable and will be detrimental in the long run.
If you happen to stick to your guns on the issue, you could develop eating disorders due to being afraid that if you enjoy a reasonable portion of your favourite food that you will gain your weight back. The 80/20 rule should be applied. If you can get 80% of your calories from nutritious and healthy foods, the last 20% of your calories can come from things you love.
3.) Not planning ahead
You've come up with your goal: Lose 3 stone. Now what? Prepare yourself for success by coming up with a realistic plan that contains small actionable steps that you can work towards. Start small and work your way up. For example, cutting out fizzy drinks 2 days per week doesn't sound like much of a feat, does it? What if you stop drinking fizzy drinks one additional day every week? That sounds reasonable, right?
With this plan, you're going to cut out fizzy drinks completely (and not want it) in 6 weeks and you have hardly had to change anything. Making small changes and building from that foundation is what builds a sustainable weight loss journey.
4.) Simply cutting out a food group
Cutting out a whole food group for a "diet" is not a diet at all, it's deprivation. Depriving yourself of something makes you naturally want it more. What's worse, it will create an unbalanced diet that will eventually lead to deficiencies in certain nutrients and minerals.
If you have decided to completely cut out a food group, can you really eat like this for the rest of your life? Is it worth losing the 20 pounds to gain back 40 trying to lose weight this way?
5.) Liquid meal replacements
With smoothies and green juices being a huge fad right now, many people are going to replace meals with these. Most of these juices lack the fibre and protein you need in your diet to remain satiated and regular. The smoothies are loaded with sugars from the oversized portions and fruit juices in them. The calorie count can skyrocket once you start adding large portions of healthy fat sources like nuts and seeds.
6.) Thinking fats make you fat
From the 70s to the 90s, there was a "fat makes you fat" scare. This is what spawned the low-fat and fat-free versions of many (healthy) foods. These "low-fat" foods are stuffed with sugars and refined carbs, which you should already know has a detrimental effect on your health and waistline.
If you start including healthy fats into every meal by eating nuts, seeds, liquid oils, avocados, oily fish, soy, and dairy products, you'll start feeling fuller and you will not crave the sugary crap we think we like.
7.) Eating dangerously low calories
The calorie counting trap is real. The fewer calories you eat, the more weight you lose... Right? We are so obsessed with counting calories that we deprive ourselves the nutrients that our body needs to perform.
Instead of trying to starve yourself with 1200 calories, why not eat more calories that are full of nutritious foods? Count nutrients, not calories. You'll start making better food choices and not feeling guilty because you have eaten more calories.
8.) Ditching fruits and veggies because of their sugar content
If you compare the sugar content of fruit and veggies to the same sugar content of your favourite highly processed snack, you're doing it wrong. Sure, some fruits have a higher amount of sugar in them, but they contain fibre which offsets the effect on blood sugar.
These sugars are naturally occurring and your body processes it much easier. Start comparing apples to apples instead of apples to Snickers... It just doesn't make sense.
9.) Relying on supplements and weight loss pills
Weight loss pills and supplements do just that - supplement. Relying on a pill instead of a portion to lose weight is dumb and will not really work long term. If there was something that actually worked like that, do you think we'd be sitting here having this conversation? We are so desperate to find a quick fix that we don't change to a healthier lifestyle, we try to find something that will override it.
Long-term weight loss management is a skill that requires changing your mentality on food and educating yourself on proper nutrition and diet techniques. Quit listening to your friend's fat aunty that sells wraps... It obviously doesn't work for her.
10.) You use the weekend as a food free for all
If you were to follow the 80/20 rule when eating, you wouldn't feel the need for the weekend "free-for-alls." If you patiently starve yourself all week to have that pizza with your boys on the weekend, you're doing it wrong.
Eating mindfully while you eat your favourite foods will help you eat a reasonable amount instead of undoing a week's worth of hardwork.
11.) Not drinking enough water
I'm sitting here thirsty and holding onto water because even I don't follow this all of the time. If you start drinking more water, your body is going to start decreasing how much you can physically eat. Staying hydrated keeps those pesky headaches away, it helps your body regulate how much water it is holding, and helps with your mental and physical performance.
Grab a nice water bottle and drink up. The fewer times you have to go and make yourself a glass of water, the more you'll be drinking.
Wrapping It Up
Weight loss doesn't involve dumb rules and deprivation. It involves making smarter and healthier choices more often than not. It takes some willpower, some dedication, and a lot of work... But it's worth it.
Sit down and write in a personal journal all of the nitty gritty details about what you need to change. Be truthful with yourself. Do you eat by yourself because you have an unhealthy relationship with food? Do you binge on foods when no one is looking? Do you turn to food during stressful times?
All of this stuff are things I have done or still do. I refuse to eat with friends and family because of an unhealthy relationship I've had with food. I've slowly changed habits of binge and emotional eating into discipline and I've never felt better. Quit being hard on yourself, enjoy life a little, and start making a few steps towards getting healthy.
I may not be able to run a marathon, but I could certainly keep walking until I finally get there.