Losing weight can be difficult. Sometimes you find yourself slipping back into bad habits. At other times, you may be trying your hardest but still not see the results that you’re looking for. There are a lot of weight-loss myths out there, and following the wrong advice might be sabotaging your efforts. Listed below are 5 common mistakes that people make when starting a weight-loss plan.
Eating Low-Fat, Low-Calorie, or Diet Foods
When getting ready to kick off a weight-loss plan, your first instinct might be to fill your cart with anything in the market that is labeled with phrases such as “diet,” “low-calorie,” or “low-fat.” These products often promise the same great taste as your favorite foods without the “bad” ingredients that contribute to weight gain.
The problem with these products is that they often replace those “bad” ingredients with alternatives that are no better for your waistline. For example, a low-fat food might be loaded with sugar.
The other issue with these foods is that by cutting calories and fat, they lose important nutrients. This prevents your body from getting the nutrition it needs to be healthy and keeps you from feeling full after eating. Both of these issues will most likely lead you to eat even more than you would have normally.
Instead of putting your faith in these miracle foods, focus on eating real food. Whole foods with minimal processing are the best for your weight-loss plans.
Skimping on Shut-Eye
Waking up early to hit the gym is a great way to burn some extra calories. However, you shouldn’t be doing it at the expense of a good night’s rest.
Appetite and hormones are greatly influenced by your shut-eye, so not getting enough sleep can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Studies show that not getting enough sleep can contribute to higher appetite throughout the day, and can also be a predictor for long-term health issues such as cardiovascular disease.
To keep your weight-loss (and health) on track, try to get a solid seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Overestimating the Impact of Exercise
We’ve all been there. You finish a workout. Your legs are aching. Sweat is pouring off you in buckets. You think you must have burned hundreds of calories, so you decide that you’ve earned a big breakfast muffin.
The problem is, most people overestimate how many calories they’re burning. Assuming you weigh about 65kg, you’ll need to spend about 2 hours on an elliptical machine to burn off the calories in that muffin.
Exercise should definitely be part of your weight-loss plan. Not only does it burn calories, but it also improves your cardiovascular health. It can even amp up your metabolism to help you burn fat faster.
However, instead of using your exercise as a license to eat, think of it as a way to melt calories faster. Don’t waste all that effort by gaining all the calories back with one snack!
Letting the Scale Rule
When you’re starting a weight-loss plan and you feel like you’re doing great, it can be tempting to step on the scale frequently to check your progress. It’s definitely a good idea to monitor your weight, but stepping on the scale too often can actually derail your efforts.
One problem is that people in the early stages of a weight-loss plan can drop a lot of water weight quickly. While that can be great to see, watching the losses peter out over the next few weeks can be discouraging. Staying motivated is important, so don’t sabotage yourself by staring at the scale.
Another issue is that weight can fluctuate greatly. In fact, it can vary by close to 2kg per day! If you see a drastic gain like that, you can get discouraged, so weighing yourself too frequently can be bad for motivation.
Finally, the number on the scale isn’t always the best indicator of progress. For example, if you’re including weight training in your exercise plan, you may be gaining muscle as you lose fat. This means that you won’t necessarily see your progress reflected in the number on the scale.
Instead of relying on the scale, focus on how you feel. Do your clothes feel looser? Do you have more energy? These are great ways to know your plan is working!
Eating an Unbalanced Diet
There are a lot of diet plans out there you may be considering. Some tell you to eat tons of fruit; others say that carbs are the enemy. While some foods are definitely healthier than others, one surefire way to sabotage a diet is through unbalanced eating.
Your diet should include all of the major food groups. Protein is important for reducing appetite and increasing muscle mass, but too much means that the excess gets stored as fat. Good carbs are important to help your body make energy, but too many are just empty calories. Fruits and vegetables are great for making you feel full and providing nutrition, but too many might mean excess sugar. Good fats can also help stabilise your blood sugar, but too much means added weight.
Eating a diet that includes all the food groups in equal measure is the best way to ensure that your body is getting what it needs without packing on weight.
The most important thing to remember when trying to lose weight is to use common sense. If it seems like a healthy choice, chances are that it’s going to help you reach your weight-loss goals.
If you want an added boost to start off your weight-loss plan, consider trying a cleanse. Isagenix products are a great way to kick off a weight-loss plan by cleansing your body and getting it ready for your new, healthy lifestyle!