As a certified personal trainer I get asked all of the time by clients and people I meet how to lose weight. The formula is factual and basic but many seem to hit a pitfall with their own weight loss journey so I want to share some common mistakes my clients and people whose weight seems to yo-yo and provide solutions so you either can stop or avoid making these common mistakes. Let’s get into it.
Doing too much too soon
It can be exciting to wake up invigorated to get healthy and start your weight loss journey. So you clear out all of your cabinets of unhealthy foods, run out and buy up everything in the produce aisle of the store, find healthy recipes on Pinterest and start a 6-day a week workout program. Because after all you are dedicated. After about three weeks you find that you have fallen off and or reverted back to your original habits before embarking on the journey. That is because you tried to do too much too soon especially if you have been sedentary and not very active.
Solution: Ease into making small changes over time, like weeks. There isn’t a rush. Stop and smell the roses and slowly change your habits. Look to pick up one healthy habit weekly until eventually it becomes part of your day in and day out lifestyle.
Not setting realistic weight loss goals
I realize we live in an instant society so we want things quickly and now. Unfortunately our bodies don’t necessarily work that way. I have seen people say they want to lose 50 pounds in 4 weeks. And for some situations that may actually be very realistic especially in morbidly obese people who can’t even walk on their own. But for someone who may be 50 pounds overweight, losing 50 pounds in 4 weeks may not be that realistic and if you are serious about it, would take a WHOLE lot of drastic change to make it possible. More than MOST aren’t willing or capable of doing that without injury.
Solution: Assess how much weight you have to lose, get checked out by your physician if you need to and get a recommendation from them if you aren’t sure. Then chart your path. Write SMART goals and post somewhere highly visible for you. Slowly chip away at those goals and focus on the goal, and not the scale for the next 6 months. The average person can lose up to 1 to 2 pounds a week assuming you aren’t morbidly obese. Stay consistent with working your goals and before you know it your weight loss expectations will be exceeded.
Doing the same routine over and over
Our bodies quickly adapt to a routine. Initially when you first attempted to run that mile around the track, you may have felt like your heart was going to beat right out your chest. As you continue to do the same workout routine, you eventually got used to it. At first your body was dropping weight, now it isn’t so what’s up with that? Our bodies are highly adaptable so we need to constantly change up our workout routine.
Solution: Change up your workouts every 3 to 4 weeks dramatically to keep your body guessing. No workout should feel “easy” unless it is an active recovery workout. So constantly challenge yourself, keep changing things up every few weeks and try new things. That’s what keeps things interesting.
Not getting enough sleep
This is a BIG one. You can eat right, exercise all you want and drink bunches of water daily but if you aren’t getting enough sleep, you are wasting your time. Sleep is imperative. Sleep is when our bodies repairs and heals. It is a time our bodies restore and it is also when the magic happens. Our muscles mend and grow as we rest so we are stronger the next day.
Solution: Turn the television off, record your favorite show to watch during the weekends and turn off social media and go to BED! You want to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a NIGHT on a consistent basis. It sounds harder than it is but if you just let go of some of the evening unnecessary activities sucking up your time, you will be surprised how much time you get back and can use for doing what’s best for your body by resting it.
Not eating enough
I get that this may not be intuitive because we know in order to lose weight one must have a caloric deficit. But when you start an exercise routine, your body needs good food for fuel. Calories are energy and as long as your body is using the energy you don’t have to worry about weight gain. Now, not all energy or calories are the same. If you aren’t eating enough to fuel your body it will think it is starving and hold on to every calorie it can because your body doesn’t know when it will be fed again. That’s not where you want to be.
Solution: You want to consume nutrient-dense calories from fresh fruit and vegetables along with lean meats, fish, and legumes just to name a few. Minimally processed is best. Water is the best beverage for the body since the average adult is made up of about 70% go 80% water. Shoot for at least 74 oz a day if you are female and 3 liters if you are male.
Bonus tip: You are not staying accountable
For many of us to stay on task we have to be accountable to someone other than ourselves. It helps with comradery, not feeling as if you are going at it alone and you have someone who understands your struggle and gains.
Solution: Join our FREE fitness online accountability group where you get motivation, can share your struggles and successes. We are here for you and ask me, certified personal trainer, any health or fitness question you want. Sign up here: http:facebook.com/groups/femmefitale and invite your family and friends to join with you.
There you have it 5 top mistakes many make along their weight loss journey. Now that you know better, do better.
What do you find most challenging along your weight loss journey and how did you conquer it?
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