People will often say ‘I tried everything but nothing works and I can’t lose weight’. There are a few exemptions in which weight loss is hindered due to physiological reasons such as specific medical conditions. For the rest, to put it simply, weight loss should happen. However, in reality it is the majority of people who find it almost impossible to achieve their weight goals.
In previous articles we have looked at some of the factors which influence the success of a weight loss program. In this article we will look at simple mistakes which people may make when pursuing their weight loss goals. Avoid these and you could be a step closer in succeeding to shed those pounds and possibly making life slightly easier.
Mistake 1: Losing weight for the wrong reasons.
The reasons why we choose to do something can influence the final outcome. Before you start on your weight loss quest, ask yourself the question ‘why do I want to lose weight’. If you are doing it for someone else or because you think you should be, or even because Angelina Jolie has, then you may not be on a good start.
Have your own clear reasons which will keep you motivated and focused in what you want to achieve. Weight loss can be hard at times and it may take months to get to your ideal weight; in order to stick to it you will need a good reason why.
Mistake 2: Choosing an inappropriate weight loss program.
There are hundreds of diets available in the market and can be a mind field to decide which one to follow. Often people will follow the latest trend and even more often a quick fix. A common result is to think that again you failed to lose weight. Well maybe is the diet that failed you and you who have failed the diet. It would be great to believe that there is a magic wand which will make you slim but to my knowledge there isn’t. A quick fix fashionable diet may be like the magic wand; just a fairy tale.
Pick a regime which is supported by science and evidence, is safe and provides a balanced and healthy program and most of all suits your lifestyle and your preferences. Make your choice realistic as well. A diet which promises 20lbs in a week may belong in the magic wand category. A regime which has worked for Angelina Jolie may not necessarily work for you.
Mistake 3: Unaccounted calories and double eating.
Have you ever thought how many calories are in a packet of mints? Well it can vary slightly for each brand, but I know that the ones I keep in my bag contain 155 kcal per packet. I also know that through a working day I can easily go through the whole packet. 155 kcal will not tip the scales but a packet of throat sweets or mints is only one example of calories you may be consuming through the day which are unaccounted for. A green tea with a spoonful of sugar, a packet of crisps or an energy drink can all be examples which if added all together may give you a calorie overload.
It is easy to control and calories count the big meals, however, it is the little things which can go unnoticed and can make a difference. Another example is finishing off leftovers (especially if you have children) or nicking food of someone else’s plate. In your mind you may think ‘I hardly had anything to eat for lunch’ but in reality you could be having an extra meal with all the unplanned calories. They still do count.
Mistake 4: Classifying food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
Foods are often classified as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and in many diets people are advised to avoid some ‘bad’ foods like the plague or eat unlimited of the ‘good’ foods. Undoubtedly there are some foods which can be potentially damaging to health especially if consumed in large quantities. However, these classifications can have a number of drawbacks in terms of weight loss.
- Psychologically when classifying foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ it makes the ‘bad’ foods feel as a sin and it can make you feel as you are depriving yourself. If you feel that you are being deprived the diet can feel like a prison service; well I don’t know many people who do actually enjoy or want to stick to a prison service. Needless to say that weight loss will feel a lot harder and will not be sustainable, making it more likely to indulge to every ‘bad’ food you can get once the diet is over.
- Moreover, you may follow a diet of fruit and salads, all classified as ‘good’ foods and you can lose weight on it but in the long term it will neither be healthy or sustainable. Think food in balance and variety. As I have already mentioned in previous articles ‘replace’ don’t ‘avoid’ and eat in moderation. For example if you do like having chips you could replace the deep fried-take away ones with homemade cooked in the oven with a little bit of olive oil and have them once a week.
- To add to the above you could also over eat in ‘good’ foods. Foods such as mixed nuts, avocado’s and oils may be very ‘good’ for your health but they do also contain quite a lot of calories.
Mistake 5: Forgetting about the rest of your lifestyle
You have the diet and the plan – check!
You are correctly calorie counting and have dealt with all of the above – check!
You are still struggling – check!
What could possibly go wrong?
Well what about the rest of your lifestyle?
Factors such as not drinking enough water, lack of sleep and stress can all influence weight loss. Check your lifestyle as well and try to make those little changes which could make a big difference. The benefits will stretch beyond to just losing weight.
I will be boring and I will finish off with saying, exercise. If you are going to make a change in your lifestyle make it to be more physically active.