Six Weight Loss Mistakes to Avoid Many dieters make mistakes when attempting to lose weight. But being aware of these mistakes - and making small physical and mental changes - will help you lose the weight and keep it off for good.
Slow is Better
The first mistake dieters make is having unrealistic goals. It has been shown that individuals who rapidly lose weight often times are more likely to gain it back. So if you've lost a few pounds this month, that GREAT!!! Don't be discouraged because you see someone on T.V. losing 15 pounds in two weeks.
Everyone is Different
Some people lose a lot of weight in the first few weeks, others may not, you may not lose for a few weeks. This can be frustrating when you're doing everything right, it's not a reason to give up. Some folks it may take a little while longer to see the results on your scale. Eating right and exercising regularly have positive impacts on your health, many of more energy, less stress, better sleep, and reduced risk of many diseases. You'll receive those benefits--despite the number on the scale.
Weight Loss is Rarely Constant Week to Week
A lot of people lose in the first few weeks, and then the weight loss slows down considerably. It's completely normal to have weeks when you lose more and weeks when your weight remains the same regardless of your efforts. Our bodies don't always know the estimates as to how much we should expect to be losing. People rarely lose a consistent number of pounds each week. Measuring weight loss on a monthly basis can be a more accurate gauge of how well you are doing.
Weight Loss is Not Immediate
Cutting calories today (with diet and exercise) will probably not show up on your scale at the end of the day or even by tomorrow. Most people's weight will fluctuate from day-to-day for reasons that have nothing to do with diet and exercise. Much of this fluctuation is due to water and food intake. While your scale may show changes throughout the day, fluctuations that could be due to food & water alone are not permanent weight losses or gains.
Weighing yourself after wearing a "sweat" suit, getting into a sauna, or finishing an intense workout might (or might not) show a loss on the scale. But that is temporary water loss that will come back after you rehydrate yourself. Remember--you're trying to lose fat, not "weight" or water weight. This is a good reason to only weigh yourself no more than once a week. The Fitness Resource Center has several articles that expand on this idea, including Body Composition Measures Results and Measure Progress Without the Scale. Setbacks Are Normal You can expect to hit some bumps in the road, no matter how hard you're working. The important thing is not to let those bumps get you totally off track, but to learn from them and move on.
Eating Less Isn't Always Better
A lot of people assume that the less you eat, the faster you will lose. One of the biggest mistakes dieters make is not eating enough. Your calorie range is based on your current weight, goal weight, how aggressive your goal is and how much exercise you are doing. Your recommended calorie range might seem like a lot of food--especially if you are accustomed to fad, restrictive diets.
But if your body is not getting enough nutrients and calories your metabolism will slow down. This is called "starvation mode" because your body thinks it is experiencing a famine, so it starts holding onto every calorie you give it, making weight loss much slower or impossible, and weight gain more likely. That's why it's so important to eat within your calorie range. If you aren't, you could be doing more harm than good.
Hopefully these tips will help you avoid many of the common pitfalls dieters face, and deal with the ups and downs of weight loss more easily.
Hang in there! It's not always easy, but you can do it!