5 common mistakes when trying to lose weight
Losing weight can seem very difficult at times. The internet is filled with all sorts of advice on how to lose weight quickly, ‘magic cures’ and crazy weightloss stories… It’s easy to get confused with what is real and what is just a scam. It’s also easy to follow the misguided or outdated advice. In today’s blog we’re looking at 6 most common mistakes people make when trying to lose weight.
- Believing dietary supplements are a one-for-all fix.
If only we could take a pill and magically lose any excess weight… It doesn’t work that way! There is no magic cure, there is only one legit way to lose weight: through a calorie deficit. Calorie deficit can be achieved either by eating fewer calories or by burning them off (through exercise or other activity).
Don’t believe a pill will speed up the process either. Your body knows what to do and, unless you have an underlying condition which may prevent this, you can lose weight naturally by limiting your calorie intake and/or increasing your activity. It is perfectly normal that this process takes time (see below for the recommended weight loss rate).
- Choosing all the ‘diet’ foods.
A lot of foods in the shops are marketed as ‘diet’ or ‘fit’ food. Unfortunately, they often aren’t any healthier than the other options. Don’t let yourself be fooled: remember to read the ingredients (and see our post about reading food labels here for more information)! Even when a food is tagged as ‘low fat’ or ‘low sugar’, it still has calories. Rather than choosing the ready ‘diet’ foods, try to eat nutritious and balanced meals which are not over-processed.
(Consider Fitasty’s Complete Meal Plans if you’re struggling to sort out your meals ? )
- Eating healthy, but eating too much.
It may seem that in order to lose weight all you need to do is cut out all the nasty foods. Not really… Even when you’re eating healthy, balanced meals, if you consume more calories than you need, you won’t be able to shed the excess weight. If you’re trying to lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit.
Do you know what is your required calorie intake? Get in touch with our team to help you calculate it! And remember – in Bristol you can get Fitasty calorie-controlled food delivered straight to your door!
- Not counting the liquid calories.
Many people trying to lose weight cut out a lot of highly processed (and high in calories) foods but forget about the calories they drink! Juices, energy drinks, smoothies, even flavoured water – these all can be very high in calories and they don’t help you feel full. If you’re unsure how many calories you consume through your drinks, it’s best to stick to the well-known low-calorie options: water (!), black coffee, tea, fruity tea. Why not try to make your own flavoured water drink by adding fresh fruit to your water bottle?
- Restricting your diet too much.
Some restrictive diets can be very effective for weight loss. However, they are usually very difficult to follow and only give you the results you might expect when adhered to 100%. They are also not for everyone, as they can restrict certain important food groups. For most people, a balanced diet is the best way to go, ensuring you get all the nutrients your body needs.
(We will be discussing the pros and cons of keto-diet in one of our future posts. Sign up to our newsletter to get notified when this story is published!)
- Expecting huge results too soon.
Having a set goal keeps you motivated. However, setting yourself unrealistic goals can quickly lead to burnout when you don’t see the expected results quickly enough.
It is very important when trying to lose weight to adjust expectations and aim for a realistic goal. If you’re trying to lose weight, the optimal, safe rate of weight loss is between 1–2 pounds (0.45–0.9 kg) per week or 0.5%-1% of your starting weight (e.g. if your starting weight is 70kg, expect to lose 0.35-0.7kg per week). At the beginning of your wight loss journey this may be more, but once your body adjusts to the calorie deficit you’d introduced and your glycogen stores are used up, you should expect to be losing weight at that rate of 1-2 pounds per week.
This isn’t a value set in stone (no pun intended!). Usually, the more you weight to start with, the higher your weight loss rate may be at the beginning. This also isn’t a value which you should be comparing with others. To achieve long-term results and avoid the yo-yo effect, aim to maintain a stable weight loss rate not exceeding the rate mentioned above.
We hope this list gave you a good idea of what mistakes to avoid and how to best prepare yourself in body and mind to achieve the best results.