Common Weight Loss Mistakes You could be Making

With America’s obesity crisis in full swing and gaining massive amounts of press attention, it is fair to say that all of us have been forced to sit back and assess our own personal situations. Whether we’re carrying a little too much fat around our middle or have thighs that are just slightly too large for our liking, everyone has their own body hang-up that prevents them from having a positive body image. This is why the dieting industry has become so lucrative, with a multi-billion dollar turnover every year.

However, even those with the best intentions could be doing their body more harm than good in the long run by embarking upon a weight loss regime. Losing weight isn’t simply about looking good on the outside – it is also important to make attaining a healthy and nourished body a goal during this process.

Unfortunately, many people forget this factor when striving for perfection, and as such make mistakes which can actually lead to weight gain at the end of the diet. By taking it slowly and setting long term goals, your new slim look can be a change which sticks for life rather than fading away at the end of summer vacation.

Mistake #1 – Cardio Cheating

When embarking on a weight loss regime, the first step for many of us is to hit the local gym. However, without doing proper research before establishing an exercise plan, this can all be a huge waste of time. Spending huge amounts of time on the treadmill is great for short-term calorie burning, but according to personal trainer Jill Coleman this can also lead to a decrease in muscle mass which will cause your fat burning ability to decrease. Instead, use cardio as a warm-up for an intense weights session to build muscle; muscle is a metabolically active tissue and so burns through fat even when you’re not working out at all! Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, lifting weights will not make you bulk up but instead will tone and condition your body, especially if a weights session is followed by stretching and flexibility-based exercises.  By combining a weights routine with a glycogen-based fat burning supplement, your metabolism will work faster and therefore give you better results in a shorter timescale.

Mistake #2 – Restricting

Your body is a highly complex machine, and has plenty of ways to tell you what it needs. Cravings are perfectly natural – we’ve all experienced a sudden desire for a bag of chips or a candy bar in the middle of a diet! But instead of ignoring these messages and reaching for the celery, take a moment to listen to your body. Perhaps it is craving salt or sugar because you’ve cut these foods from your diet excessively? Salt and sugar, in small amounts, are actually very important for a fully functioning body; the sodium in salt helps to maintain fluid in blood cells, for example, while sugar plays an important part in insulin regulation and stabilizing energy levels. Try a low calorie alternative such as homemade popcorn with half a teaspoon of salt, or dark chocolate with a high cocoa level, to satisfy your cravings and keep your diet balanced.

Mistake #3 – Starving Yourself

It seems logical to assume that the fewer calories you put into your body, the more weight you will lose. When the body is running on empty it begins to burn fat reserves, which is essentially the principle behind weight loss. Unfortunately, by skipping meals or heavily restricting your diet, your body panics and begins to “build” these fat reserves whenever possible. According to a study conducted by Vanderbilt University, it only takes three days on a starvation diet for your body to shut down your metabolism and rapidly build fat stores. Although you will still lose weight thanks to the limited number of calories your body gains from your diet, this method can cause your metabolism to slow down significantly in the long term and will lead to weight gain when you eventually return to a “normal” diet – one which involves the consumption of around 1,500 calories per day.

By keeping your long term goals in mind and combining a healthy, balanced diet with a weight-based exercise program, the changes you make in the short term can form the base of a healthier new lifestyle.




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