Losing weight can be tricky especially since everyone you meet and the internet seem to have so many suggestions as to what you should and shouldn't do. However, when starting out there are a few things that most of us often get wrong which prevents us from shedding the extra kilos. Here we bring to you the top five mistakes that we all make when trying to drop a size or two.
Jumping in with no plan
You know you have to and want to lose weight but you usually have no idea where to start. You head to a gym, learn to use the equipment from fellow gym-goers, get the exercises done in a haphazard manner and come out feeling like you’ve exercised. Talking to trainers often feel a tad bit embarrassing. Consulting a dietician for a meal plan feels like a chore. Jogging every day isn't feasible given your routine.
When you jump into swimming with no idea how to swim, you either end up drowning or get stuck in the four-foot shallow waters. That’s exactly what weight loss journey is. If you start without any information and don’t have a plan, you usually end up doing too much or doing nothing at all. Neither will give you the results you want. So, plan accordingly. Set your goals and get the help or advice you need.
Only doing cardio
Cardio doesn’t just include running on the treadmill or using the elliptical. It also includes jogging, swimming and cycling. While cardio is about getting the heart rate up and is crucial for weight loss, it isn’t the sole driving force of your weight loss journey.
Cardio often puts your body through such calorie-deficit state that it has to rely on muscle mass for fuel. This—while it might reduce your weight on the scale—will often lead to loss of muscle mass as well.
And the fact is the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn. So, the best way to lose weight is to combine the pros of cardio with weight-exercises and strength-training. If you don’t know how to start weight training, consult a trainer or get professional guidance for home workouts.
One of the most ignorant ways we tend to follow for weight loss is to not eat at all. This is extremely detrimental to one’s health, leads to several eating disorders and must never be done. It’s called ‘eating right’ not ‘not eating at all’. Crash dieting should never be your go-to solution.
Speaking of diets, it’s also important that you don’t exclude food groups from your meals. Many think that completely cutting out protein or food rich in fat from your diet is a fantastic way to reduce calorie consumption. But these food groups have various nutrients that are essential for proper functioning of the body.
Protein diet prevents overeating. It also helps in muscle growth which leads to higher metabolism. During starvation period, the fat in our body gives energy and keeps organs from shutting down. Liquid diets might decrease calorie intake, but they also potentially lead to gallstones in many individuals. Eventually, your metabolism will slow down so that your body can conserve energy. Avoiding food might give you quick results, but it is extremely harmful in the long run.
Forgetting calories in your drink
For most of us Nepalis, drinking milk tea and creamy coffee is a must. For many, having multiple mugs of beverages over the course of a day is a normal part of our routine. And it’s not just limited to hot drinks, we love our jugs of lemon juice and thick smoothies just as much our cups of warmth.
Sadly, most of us also forget to count them into our daily calorie intake. You might spend weeks working on your diet plan and still not count these drinks as sugar consumption, not even if your smoothies have heaps of sugar and added preservatives in them. Eating healthy isn’t only about food, it’s about everything you put into your body. So next time, pay attention to both what you eat and drink.
Quitting after hitting your weight goal
You hit your weight goal. Your weeks’ worth of effort has finally paid off. You can button your jeans without having to suck in your stomach. You can finally fit into that dress without having to hide any bulges. Yes, perfect. So what next? Well, most of us simply fall back into our old habits of having junk food for snacks, binging at restaurants, quitting the gym and becoming a couch potato. Within a month, everything you’ve worked so hard for falls apart.
The hardest part of weight loss is often maintaining your weight once you have reached your goal. Giving up on your diet and exercise routine once you get the results you always wanted is why you eventually gain back all the weight you lost plus more. So, make sure you stick to your disciplined lifestyle and eat well and exercise even after you meet your target.