Common Weight Loss Mistakes
Most of us know someone who works out obsessively, logging serious hours at the gym and berating herself after eating the occasional cookie. Every year, countless people try to lose weight with minimal lasting success. These people are dedicated to their goals, but haven't found a tried-and-true method for shedding pounds and-the hardest part of all-keeping them off. I consulted with a personal trainer, a dietician, and a nutritionist and wellness coach in my city to find out why so many of us struggle. Across the board, these industry professionals came across clients making the same mistakes.
1. Not Prioritizing Ourselves
Because losing weight and becoming a healthier individual is a lifestyle change, it needs to be incorporated into our everyday lives. It can't take a backseat to work, family, and social lives. "Sometimes you need to become a little selfish," says registered dietician Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, CSSD. "Make time to go food shopping, to plan your meals, to exercise. Not until you start prioritizing yourself and your plan will you see results."
2. Over-Focusing on Calories
Many people believe that weight loss will come by simply cutting calories. They don't factor in their bodies' needs and believe that going on a low-calorie diet will be a quick-fix solution. "People over-focus on counting calories," explains nutritionist and wellness coach Rania Batayneh, MPH. "What's really important is the quality of your calories." She recommends keeping a food journal to keep track of food consumption, but don't become obsessive or reduce caloric intake too drastically.
3. Eating Too Much of a Good Thing
With the increasing popularity of more natural, organic foods, it seems like the market is being inundated with products claiming labels like "all natural" and "whole grain." While this push toward healthier food is great, the fact that such terms are used so freely means that some people are more free with their portion sizes. A label like organic or whole grain, while laudable, is not synonymous with low calorie. Simply put-make healthier food choices, but don't forget about portion control.
4. Comparing Our Progress to Others'
The American media constantly invites us to compare our bodies to celebrities-"Find out how Britney lost fifty pounds!" "Go on Beyonce's cayenne pepper/water crash diet!" Most of us realize how impossible such standards are, but that doesn't stop us from comparing our weight loss successes and failures to those around us. Having workout buddies and making lifestyle changes with friends can be great, but not if it leads to an unhealthy competition.
5. Not Eating Before Exercising
According to personal trainer Bianca Buresh, this is the biggest mistake that people make. Bianca says that her clients who work out on an empty stomach often experience nausea and fatigue-hardly optimal conditions when trying to get fit and burn calories. She recommends eating something (even just a little something) about forty-five minutes to an hour before exercising, though she says that, if necessary, twenty minutes beforehand would suffice, too.
For several more common weight loss mistakes, visit DivineCaroline.
Originally posted on DivineCaroline by Vicki Santillano
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