The new trend that’s quite popular on social media nowadays is to upload ‘mirror selfies’ of people hitting the gym every day. While this is great for promoting fitness and a healthy lifestyle, sadly enough, it is also causing people to suffer from extreme self-image issues.
As a result of this, many are opting for unsupervised workouts or meal plans from unauthorized websites. In fact, most of these routines are sadly endorsed by Instagram influencers and YouTubers.
However, it is not wise to assume that these people have extensive knowledge about losing weight in general, because they don’t. They are simply sharing what has worked for them on their journey to weight loss.
And who is to say that the same will work for you? Hypothetically speaking, you may even have an underlying health condition that you probably did not know of until now and following a random meal plan from Instagram might have an adverse effect on that undiagnosed condition, causing you more harm than good.
Therefore, it is always a good idea to consult with a dietician or your doctor (if you have underlying health issues) before strictly adhering to any meal plan.
Common Mistakes of Trying to Lose Weight
So, what are some of the most common mistakes that people make while trying to lose weight? Let’s find out!
- Skipping Meals
Most people skip meals because they think that less calorie intake will result in faster weight loss. However, this also means that you will be snacking more afterwards to make up for that skipped meal causing you to gain more weight.
Another downside to skipping important meals of the day like breakfast is that it will slow down your metabolism and make you feel lethargic throughout the day.
- Not Eliminating Sugary Drinks
Eliminating chocolate cake from your diet won’t measure up to any big changes in your weight loss journey if you don’t also cut down on sugary drinks. Your regular cup of Tim Horton’s contains more sugar than an average person is prescribed to have in a day.
Moreover, even if you have cut down on carbonated drinks and sugary milkshakes, other liquid drinks like alcohol, beer, fruit juices and soda can still cause a person to gain weight as they are rich in calories and carbs.
- Doing Cardio Only
Resistance training is very important besides doing cardio for weight loss. Not only does it help to reduce belly fat but it also helps to enhance metabolism.
Therefore, if you are wondering why you are not being able to lose weight despite eating healthy food and doing cardio regularly, it is probably because you require some resistance training. Resistance training will also help you to build muscles.
- Forgetting to Read Labels
I cannot stress enough how important it is to read labels before buying stuff. It is understandable that we generally tend to buy things in a rush, so we often forget to read the labels before buying a particular product.
However, reading labels is essential for any diet that you may be following to lose weight right now. This is because packaged goods, for example, contain lots of hidden sugars in them and these components generally end with an ‘-ose’ on the back of the label, like glucose, sucrose, fructose etc.
One common mistake that most people make while buying packaged goods is that they think the entire package is for one serving only. But it is sadly the other way round. Take a packet of chips for example. 13-16 pieces of chips is an ideal amount for a single-serve and generally, a packet contains a lot more than that!
- Using the Weight Machine Too Often
We understand that wanting to use the weighing machine can be very tempting, especially when you are on a diet and hitting the gym regularly. However, it is imperative to remember that losing weight takes time as it is a very slow process.
So using the weight machine every now and then might cause you to get frustrated instead. Moreover, your weight will fluctuate on a daily basis due to several reasons, which include menstruation, gaining muscle due to resistance training etc.
Therefore, do not use the weight machine too often because you surely do not want to get frustrated and go on a binge eating session afterwards.
- Being too Strict with Diet and Portions
You should never be too strict about the portion of food you intake while trying to lose weight. Yes, portions do matter! In fact, it plays a huge role in one’s journey towards weight loss.
But it has to be done right.
You cannot eat way too little during meals because this will make you hungry every 30 minutes, causing your metabolism rate to fall.
Another common mistake that most people end up doing is that they cut out their favourite junk food from their diet chart altogether after starting their weight loss journey. This can cause extreme levels of frustration causing you to eat a lot in the process.
Hence, take a monthly or weekly break to indulge in your favourite savoury or dessert items to keep yourself happy but also in check.
- Processed Foods with Zero Fat
The term ‘fat-free’ is what attracts you to buy that one item while browsing through an aisle full of processed foods. Be it a can of fat-free yoghurt or any other item per se, there are a lot of added ingredients like sugar in the canned food that the label might not give away at first glance.
Chances are, you will find the same amount of sugar in a can of processed fat-free yoghurt and a bar of chocolate!
How to Avoid These Common Mistakes?
These are some of the ways that you can adopt to avoid the common mistakes that people make in their journey to weight loss –
- Do not Rush While Shopping
It is always important to stick to the diet chart that your dietician has given you. Therefore, it is necessary for you to take your own sweet time while shopping for those items. Make sure to read the labels before purchasing any items.
- Get Proper Sleep
Sleep is very important for any human being to function properly. If you are not getting the right amount of sleep, your cortisol levels will increase drastically, causing you to gain more weight.
Therefore, try to maintain a fixed sleep pattern if you aim to lose weight.
- Incorporate Protein, Fibers and Lots of Greens (Not only Juices)
Do not only opt to drink liquid green juices. Instead, add a bit of fibre and protein to your diet. This will give you a properly balanced diet and also keep you energized throughout the day.
A fibre-rich diet helps with digestion and keeps you fuller for longer periods. Soluble fibres that are good for your body include nuts, oatmeal, fruits, beans etc.
Furthermore, instead of simply relying on decreased portions of carbs like rice and pasta, opt for a meal that has a combination of both low carbs and protein. Adding chicken and fish can be a good place to start.
Also, do not skip vegetables only because you are on a juice cleanse. Yes, green leafy juices do help to provide the nutrition your body needs. But you also need solid fibres which come from vegetables.
- Say Yes to Cheat Meals
Cheat meals are important once in a week to keep you from getting frustrated about the kind of healthy food you have been eating lately. Do give in to cravings from time to time and do not cut out your favourite junk food entirely. Create a healthy balance to keep yourself happy and satisfied.
- Do Resistance Training
Cardio might seem like the easy way out but resistance training will give you prolonged periods of fitness that will also be visible in 3 or 4 months’ time. We can assure you that you will lose belly fat significantly if you keep at it for a couple of months.
You can also try doing cardio and strength training on alternate days to keep things exciting at the gym.
- Have Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, period. Hence, have a hearty meal during breakfast and then decrease your meal portions slowly during lunch and dinnertime. Having a good and healthy breakfast will also boost your mood and help you kick start the day with a bang.
To wrap up I just want to stress, do not set unrealistic expectations for yourself! Yes, it’s tempting to want to achieve that beach body look you often see people flaunting on Instagram. But more often than not, social media platforms set unhealthy body standards! Weight loss takes time and it is with patience, consistent practice and proper diet plans that will enable you to lose weight significantly. Remember, your objective is to attain a healthy weight, and nothing more.