Weight loss is one of the top industries worldwide. And it wouldn’t be so, if most of us weren’t trying to lose weight at some point in our lives. If you’re trying to shed a few pounds, or in the process of working up the courage, then be sure to review these top seven mistakes to ensure your weight loss isn’t a losing battle.
MISTAKE #1 Never getting started.
There are a number of reasons why you, even though you truly desire to lose some weight may never seem to find the time to start a weight loss program. They include fear, feeling overwhelmed, assuming a gym membership is required, lack of time, lack of money, or even that they just enjoy certain foods that they don’t want to give up. Another significant hold-back might be the feeling that you have too much weight to lose, that it simply can’t be done. The great news is that these reasons are actually myths, and you can overcome every one of them.
MISTAKE #2 Weight loss through starvation.
Successful weight loss is never about starvation. If you starve your body of the nutrients it needs, you’ll be doing more harm than good. The reason is that if there isn’t enough fuel in your body, your metabolism will slow down, and you’ll start to lose muscle, and not fat. In a situation of weight loss through starvation, the result is always temporary, because you did not build the healthy eating habits that go along with losing and keeping the weight off. The simple reverse of this is to INCREASE the amount of healthy food – in particular protein and vegetables.
MISTAKE #3 – Assuming that your current diet is healthy.
If you were to ask everyone you meet if they are a healthy eater, chances are most people will tell you that they are. This is because good nutrition means different things to different people. To find out if YOU are a healthy eater, write down EVERYTHING that you put in your mouth for an entire week. Don’t forget alcohol, and each little “bite, lick and nibble” as the day progresses. It’s sometimes surprising how fast it all adds up.
MISTAKE #4 – Weight loss means diet.
Long term weight loss and dieting are two different things. Most people who diet, jump onto the latest fad diet and eventually the weight returns – and often with a few extra pounds to boot. In particular, many diet foods such as low-fat grocery items and diet sodas are not as healthy as they appear. For example, did you know that most fat-free grocery items are higher in sugar? Typically, the original item is the healthier alternative. But the only way to know for sure, is to read the nutritional information on the label.
MISTAKE #5 – Weight loss without exercise.
There are two sides to this issue. Some people choose to lose weight with no thought given to their activity level. And others feel that tons of cardio is required. Neither extreme is ideal. And what YOUR body needs will also depend on your level of fitness.
Although gym memberships, personal trainers and extensive cardio may SEEM the way to go, there are two important things to remember. Our bodies need to get moving. And if you’re someone who just can’t seem to exercise at all, consider taking a WALK a few times a week, or parking your car in the farthest spot from the entrance. Each of these extra steps can add up.
MISTAKE #6 – Lack of protein.
To maintain your weight, a person needs one gram of protein for every pound they weigh. But to LOSE weight, you’ll need 1.5 grams. And this is TOUGH to accomplish. In particular, many diet programs are so rigid about portion control, that you’re actually NOT getting enough protein.
If you weigh 150 lbs, then your body will need 225 grams of protein every day. And since most people have a hard time getting to the 1 gram for 1 pound mark, don’t be surprised if you can’t seem to consume 225 grams in a single day.
Here are a few examples A 6 oz. steak has 42 grams. One egg contains 6-8 grams (depending on the size). A 4 oz. piece of chicken has 35 grams. To ensure success, latch onto some high protein foods. Tofu has 20 grams per half cup and a 14 cup of pumpkin seeds has 19 grams of protein.
MISTAKE #7 – Not dealing with emotional eating.
Ahh… comfort foods. We all have them, right Whether it’s chips or sweets, most people have a food that they gravitate to when the going gets tough. In particular, this activity is often combined with something mindless or relaxing, like watching TV or playing a game. Add these two things together and it’s a recipe for disaster. In these circumstances we don’t even realize or care how much junk we are stuffing into our mouths. One quick tip to help deal with that – right before you indulge… have a glass of water and a high protein snack. Then wait about 10 minutes before reaching for the chip bag. Once you DO reach for the chips, pour a reasonable amount into a bowl – and promise yourself that this is ALL that you’ll be having today. As you eat this snack, don’t do any other activity. Not only will you limit how much you consume, but you’ll savor each bite as the flavor becomes the focus.