Almost every person who tries to lose weight ends up making some mistake or the other. Below are the 10 mistakes that one should avoid.
10 Weight Loss Mistakes
1. Focusing Only On Scale Weight
The scale is not the best measure of fat loss. If you are addicted to the scale and your mood is dependent upon the scale number, get rid of the scale – it’s not telling you the truth.
The pounds on the scale are a measure of a mix of different things such as water weight, muscle, bone and contents in your stomach, for example. The best indicator of fat loss is in inches lost. So measure your waist, right above your belly button for the most accurate weight loss feedback.
2. Not Eating Enough Fiber
Fiber is a key component to weight loss success. Fiber sends the signal to the brain that you have had enough to eat. Adequate fiber also balances blood sugar which helps to stop annoying hunger and cravings.
Adding 25-35 grams of fiber a day is recommended from sources such as all veggies, wild or brown rice, beans such as black beans or lentils, fruits, nuts or seeds such as chia seeds.
3. Snacking Too Much
Snacking throughout the day used to be considered key to weight loss, now, with more research, we know differently. Constant elevation of can packs on the pounds.
However, not snacking during the day increases fat burn. Fat is burned as your carbohydrate stores reduce and this will kickstart the use of fat for energy and this results in weight loss.
Granted, chips or pretzels will raise insulin more than a handful of nuts, but you are still triggering insulin. Additionally, mindless innocent nibbling or eating small bites of food such as an olive, a bite of your child’s meal, a taste of this or that and including beverages during the course of the day, can add up to an enormous amount of caloric intake each day.
4. Not Planning Ahead
Planning ahead is a foundational key to weight loss success. Not planning leaves one at the mercy of their environment. If you don’t plan to have healthy foods in your home, you will be tempted to eat out more.
If you have junk food in the house, you will most likely eat it. Plan out what healthy meals you are going to have, make your grocery list, schedule your exercise and honor it as you would a doctor’s appointment, have reminders to ensure you do what you need to do such as to drink more water.
Planning and preparing mean that you are taking preventive action on any obstacles that may arise.
5. Not Having Enough Protein
Protein does much more than build and repair muscle tissue. Research shows that those who incorporate more protein while reducing excess carbohydrates, lose the most weight.
Protein balances blood sugar which kicks hunger and cravings to the curb. Adequate quality protein also releases the hormone CCK which is a natural appetite suppressant.
Protein also triggers the hormone leptin that tells the brain you have had enough to eat. Choose protein foods at every meal instead of excess carbohydrate-laden options and you’ll see results over time.
6. Not Building Muscle
Lifting weights resistance training in any form gives you an edge over belly fat, stress, heart disease, and cancer – and it’s also the single most effective way to create a slim body.
Research shows that strength training is much more effective and powerful than simply cardio alone and that strength training promotes fat loss where just dieting alone is a mix of fat loss and muscle – not a healthy mix.
Muscle is metabolically active and burns fat at rest and even while you sleep. When you do strength training or resistance training, you boost your metabolism for close to 40 hours later. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Strength train 2-3 days a week.
7. Drinking Fruit Juice
Drinking fruit juice for many is a hallmark of good nutrition and weight loss. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Fruit juice contains no fiber and is very high in sugar. Because of this lack of fiber, you are downing massive amounts of sugar in a glass.
This means blood sugar surges with precipitous drops leading to blood sugar crashes and a desire for more sugar or carbs later. The fat storage insulin is also triggered and if in excess, can promote weight gain.
The fruit sugar fructose is metabolized in the liver that in excess can lead to weight gain and a fatty liver. A fatty liver triggers metabolic effects such as diabetes and obesity.
8. You Choose Low-Fat Yogurt
Many people in their quest to lose weight reach for yogurt. However, most of the yogurt sold in stores are fruity yogurt that contains an enormous amount of sugar – as much sugar as you would find in a candy bar in most cases.
When the food manufacturers remove fat from foods, the food isn’t tasty so they have to add something back to boost the flavor and that is typically sugar. Sugar is inflammatory and promotes weight gain and poor health.
9. Not Getting Enough Sleep
When we get too little sleep, our metabolism slows to preserve energy. The more sleep-deprived you are, the higher your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite and promotes overall weight gain, in particular, belly fat.
Lack of sleep also triggers the hunger hormone ghrelin and decreases the hormone leptin (leptin means thin in Greek) that tells the brain you have had enough to eat. Make it part of your weight loss action plan to get between 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
10. Not Journaling
Your number one key to weight loss success is journaling. Keeping a food diary is crucial to weight loss and the research backs it up. Studies show that people who keep food journals lose more weight and keep that weight off.
Tracking your food promotes ‘food’ responsibility as it shows every choice you are making and it also will show patterns that provide information such as you are not eating breakfast but your lunches are packed with foods that add on the pounds.
You then make the decision, based upon your journal information, to begin to eat breakfast so that your choices are healthier later that day. When you journal, write what you eat and drink (even small bites throughout the day), how much, when and where, how you were feeling and if you were in a social situation or alone. Journaling will help create a slimmer and healthier you.