If you’ve tried everything and still can’t manage to lose those last few stubborn pounds, you might be sabotaging your own efforts without even recognising it. Here are some common weight-loss errors that dietitians see regularly, as well as what you should be doing instead.
Quit Eating Less
One of the worst mistakes people make when trying to lose weight is eating less and exercising more. This is one of the worst things that you can do to yourself. It also often sabotages your weight loss efforts. The problem with eating less is what it does to your body. People who consume less food are more likely to binge eat later on because they are not satisfied.
If you are serious about shedding extra pounds, it’s not about eating less. It’s about ensuring your body gets enough calories at each meal. If you fill up with mindless calories, such as high sugar, you will be less satisfied. You want to eat a combination of fat, carbs, and proteins to ensure you feel full for longer periods. The right combination also helps balance blood sugars and reduces those random cravings.
Something else that happens when people start eating less is they consume fewer fruits and vegetables. To successfully lose weight, people need to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables. Many weight loss dietitians feel it’s the combination of water content and fibre in the product that helps you lose any unwanted weight and maintain that loss because it helps you feel full and satisfied with your meal.
Labelling Food as Good or Bad
Something else that you must quit doing if you want to lose weight is labelling foods as good or bad. People do this and deny themselves anything that they consider bad in an attempt to lose weight. Many people think they have to give up these fun and tasty treats if they want to be successful, but they really don’t. Something to remember is that there is no single type of food that causes you to lose weight, nor is there a specific kind of food that will make you gain weight. Instead, what you need to focus on are your total calorie intake and your lifestyle habits. It’s best to indulge and then continue with good choices than to deny specific foods.
Quit Looking for a Quick Fix
There are several fad diets available, none of them are effective over the long run. So, forget about the fads and concentrate on reducing weight safely and healthily. It’s important to remember that weight gain doesn’t happen overnight and neither does weight loss. While some weight loss can happen quickly, it’s not from methods that allow keeping it off. Following a highly restrictive diet might allow you to lose weight quickly, but once you quit following that diet, the weight comes right back.
The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to follow a balanced diet, make good lifestyle choices, and be patient. One of the best ways to do this is to start meal planning and to set realistic goals. By planning your meals, you are less likely to grab a quick bite from a fast food place. Working with a dietitian can also help as they can assist you in meal planning, meal preparation, and developing new and improved habits.
Relying Too Much on the Scale
The majority of the time, when people say they want to shed pounds, they refer to their desire to eliminate fat. Keep in mind that the figure on the scale is a total of not just how much any fat weighs, but also how much everything else in your body weighs, including muscle, bone, and more. Even though we all know this, we keep our attention focused on the numbers given to us by the scale. Instead of focusing on the scale, we need to look at our measurements, how our clothes fit, and how we feel. The best way to track progress is to take measurements before starting the weight loss journey and then compare your measurements as the months go by.
Focusing on the End Result
While it’s great to have weight loss goals, too many people only focus on the end results. They do everything they can to reach that goal weight, and once they get there, they tend to fall off the wagon. Once they achieve their goals, they start back up with the same bad eating habits. They also tie that ideal weight into how they feel about themselves. Don’t put too much focus on the end results, but instead, learn to love and accept yourself for who you are. The happier you are with yourself, the easier the rest of the journey will be.
This is tricky because it is important to track the number of calories you are consuming, but that shouldn’t be the main focus of the journey. There are numerous apps available for us to download onto our smartphones to help us track our calorie intake, but the problem is we are only focused on the number of calories consumed. Instead, we need to be focused on our eating patterns and the calories we are consuming. People need to learn to pay attention to their bodies and read cues about being full or hungry. Being in tune with these cues means our eating patterns will vary from one day to the next.
Eating Every Two to Three Hours
This is a big mistake that many people are making. Making ourselves eat small amounts of food every couple of hours teaches our mind and body to constantly focus on food. Small amounts of food aren’t enough to satisfy most people, so they tend to binge eat later on. Ideally, a meal should keep a person feeling full and satisfied for up to four hours. If you find yourself constantly feeling hungry and unsatisfied with your meals, it’s time to look at the amount of food you are eating along with the type of food. You need to ensure you are getting a combination of healthy fats, protein, and fibre to keep you feeling full for longer periods.
Only Doing Cardio
Many people falsely believe that doing cardio up to six times per week is a great way to lose weight. We tend to think this way because we have been taught to believe that losing weight is all about your body burning more calories than you consume. However, only doing cardio is not a great way to lose weight, as you might have noticed.
There are a couple of reasons behind this. First and foremost, research has shown that exercise alone will not result in weight reduction; rather, it is necessary to alter your diet. Second, aerobic exercises such as jogging and spinning cause individuals to become hungry, and while you’re hungry, it’s difficult to lose weight. When you combine this with calorie restriction, it becomes even more difficult to lose weight. When you exercise, you also unconsciously believe that you can consume more. Rather than only doing cardio, you need to incorporate strength training into your exercise routine.
Cutting Out Carbs
Dietitians would prefer that you refrain from eliminating all carbohydrates without first learning about the different types and how they affect your body. Even though sugar and fibre are both carbs, they are digested in distinct ways. Getting rid of carbs presents a problem since fibre, which is the most significant tool for weight reduction, can only be found in carbohydrates.
Aside from that, carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy. The problem isn’t with carbohydrates in and of themselves, but because we consume much too many of them. Something else many people don’t know about fibre is that it removes and absorbs calories and fat. It is also a great way to boost your metabolism. Instead of removing carbs, focus on eating the higher-carb foods that are full of fibre.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is a crucial part of weight loss because it gives your body time to rest and recover. Never make the mistake of giving up sleep to go to the gym and exercise. Ideally, you want to get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Suppose you aren’t getting that; you need to adjust your routine. Sleep allows our bodies to produce hunger and satiety hormones. If your body doesn’t produce enough of those hormones while you are sleeping, you will be hungrier the next day. Lack of sleep also puts a lot of stress on our bodies, which leads to inflammation.
Forgetting the Basics
With all of the fad diets available for people to follow, many of us lose sight of the basics. Losing sight of these basic principles sabotages our ability to lose weight because we are focused on the wrong thing. Following some of the basic principles of nutrition helps us shed unwanted pounds and ensures they stay off. One of the things to keep in mind is filling half of your plate with vegetables. The other half of your plate should be split equally between protein and whole grains. The size of your plate is also important because our brains think we are not getting enough to eat if there are empty spots on our plates.