On paper, losing weight might seem simple. Unfortunately, too many of us end up making mistakes when training or dieting that make losing weight more difficult than it should be.
The good news is that these mistakes can usually be corrected pretty easily. Once you start paying more attention to your eating and fitness habits, you may be able to identify things that you are doing wrong and turn things around.
Let’s take a look at some common weight loss mistakes that you should avoid at all costs.
Snacking Too Much or Not at All
A lot of people see snacking as an enemy to good health and weight loss, but it’s a bit more complex than that. It’s not about whether you’re snacking or not; it’s what you’re snacking on that matters the most.
While you need to stay under your daily caloric threshold, snacking smart could actually help you reach your objectives.
Good snacks can prevent you from overeating on your main meals. They can also help supplement you with much-needed nutrients.
Perhaps the most important nutrient when trying to lose weight is protein. Protein helps support weight loss in several ways.
For one, it helps keep you full for longer. Second, it can support and promote muscle growth and a larger muscle mass means that more energy has to be consumed to maintain it.
Lastly, protein demands more energy to be processed by your body and only a fraction of the calories you ingest will end up being stored.
So, if you’re going to snack, make sure that 50% of it is made of protein.
One example of a perfect afternoon snack would be whole wheat pita and hummus. The hummus will give you all the protein you need and the whole wheat pita will give you those complex carbs you need for sustained energy.
Cheese, crackers, and fruit are another example of a great complete snack that will keep you full and give your body all the protein and nutrients it needs.
Skipping meals is another very dangerous mistake you need to avoid if you’re trying to lose weight. Skipping meals puts your body in starvation mode where it will try to hold onto your fat reserves by slowing down its processes.
This is why we suggest you look at meal replacements if you don’t want to eat too much or don’t feel like eating but still need nutrition.
If you’re looking for great meal replacement shakes, you should check out Shake That Weight.
They have one of the widest selections of top-quality shakes you’ll find anywhere. Their shakes taste delicious and will keep you full while only contributing to a tiny portion of your daily caloric intake.
Extreme Caloric Restrictions
Having a caloric deficit should be your goal, but going too extreme can also be detrimental for the reasons we just mentioned.
Your body will again see this as a sign of starvation and will severely slow down your metabolism to hold on to fat.
Not only that, but you will eventually lose muscle in the process as it needs sufficient calories and protein to be maintained.
Only Looking at the Numbers on the Scale
Your scale may be lying to you when it comes to weight loss. If you’re on a strength training regimen, for instance, the scale can’t tell if your weight has remained stable because you couldn’t shed fat or because you gained muscle.
Likewise, you might think that any weight loss is good, when in reality, you may be losing muscle mass due to poor eating habits.
Taking measurements of yourself could be a better indicator of progress. So, get in the habit of measuring up your waist, chest, and midsection often.
We also suggest that you take regular pictures of yourself so you can get a visual idea of which direction you’re going.
Eating too Much Diet or Low-Fat Food
You should also avoid anything that says “low-fat” or “diet” on the label. This is little more than a marketing ploy in most cases, and these versions of popular items will often have all sorts of additives that will actually make them worse for you.
It’s not uncommon for low-fat or diet foods to be very high in sodium, for instance. Since sodium does not add to the calories, and taking fat and other things from food to make them lower in calories robs them of their taste, more sodium needs to be added to compensate.
These products often also contain artificial sweeteners that can wreak havoc on your body.
If you manage to avoid these few mistakes, losing weight should become much easier for you.
Do not make the mistake of basing your regimen on things you have heard, and consider seeking expert advice if you’re truly serious about getting leaner and healthier.