Losing weight is all about eating in a caloric deficit mode and exercise more. In short, you will lose weight when you burn more calories than you eat, but the question is, is it really that simple? Unfortunately the reality is different, and many people fail to lose weight even after they have ramped up an exercise plan and limited their caloric intake. Why does it happen?
In order to lose weight effectively, you have to do so many things right, and that is where many people fail miserably. If you are also making the following weight loss mistakes, you may not be able to lose weight as effectively as you might expect.
You Focus Too Much on the Scale
Yes, it is important to keep an eye on how much weight you have lost after reducing your caloric intake, and spending more time in the gym. However, jumping too often on the scale is only going to make you feel stressed and hamper your gains. You have to understand that the scale does not always give you the best picture of your performance. The scale will tell a sorry story even if you have lost fat, but your body is retaining fluid. Depending on how much food and liquid you consume, your weight may vary greatly throughout the day. Women may start to retain more water due to hormonal changes, but that does not mean that they are gaining fat. And of course, you may only be gaining more muscle that is reflecting as an increase in weight on the scale.
You Eat Too Many or Too Few Calories
A recent survey has found that only 11% of Americans manage to estimate their correct daily calorie requirements. Many people overestimate their calorie requirements, and end up eating more than they really need. Some people make a mistake of ‘drinking’ too many calories. It means that you may not be eating enough food, but you may have included enough fruit juice and other detox drinks in your diet to exceed your calorie requirements. Ingesting that calorie dense sugar into your system is only going to lead to fat gain. Fruit juices are not as beneficial as whole fruits are, because juices do not contain any fiber.
Just like eating too many calories, eating too few is another common mistake that can hamper your performance. Not eating enough food is going to hurt you in the long-run. Studies show that eating in an overly restricted manner can lead to muscle loss. It can also slow down your metabolism and make it difficult to lose weight. Eating fewer calories also means you have less energy to go to the gym and complete your workouts. This may also make you ravenously hungry, which will eventually lead to overeating and weight gain. Therefore, it is better to know your calorie requirements and eat high quality, nutrient-dense foods instead of high fat, high-sugar snacks.
You Do Too Little or Too Much Exercise
It is important to exercise because it helps you burn calories and keeps you in a calorie deficit mode. However, going overboard with the idea of exercising can throw your body out of balance. Too much of exercise will lead to an excessive loss of calories. It means you body may not have enough calories to run basic bodily functions, such as digestion and respiration. It can affect your metabolic rate and lead to several health problems.
Excessive exercise is also difficult to maintain for long and can lead to stress. This in turn can directly affect the function of your adrenal gland, which can make it even difficult to lose weight.
The other extreme involves living a sedentary lifestyle. You should forget about losing weight if you do not exercise enough. You may think you can restrict calories and get good results without doing any exercise, but that is only going to lead to a loss of muscle mass and compromised metabolic rate. You have to find a delicate balance between your caloric intake and exercise to lose weight effectively.
You Do Not Lift Weights
Exercise and cardio is important to help burn calories and lose weight, but cardio is not going to be enough when you want to shed some serious pounds. You have to step away from the treadmill and start lifting weights. In fact, the combination of weight lifting, cardio, and resistance training is going to produce maximum results. In a review of 15 studies involving more than 700 people, it was found that a combination of weightlifting and aerobic exercise is the best strategy for weight loss.
The best thing about lifting weight is that it helps your body keep burning fat several hours after you have finished your workout. It helps you gain some muscle mass, which increases your metabolism and helps you burn calories even when you are resting.
Too much cardio can make you lose muscle mass, which is going to be counterproductive. To get best results, you should stick to multi-joint movements like pull-ups, squat, deadlifts, and even bench press. These compound exercises require serious energy, and that will help you burn a lot more calories that you just cannot burn through a cardio session.
You Fail to Count Calories Correctly
You may already be aware of the fact that you have to burn more calories to through exercise to lose weight, but you may not be losing enough pounds because you always overestimate the number of calories you burn per session. Most people rely on fitness trackers to help determine the number of calories they have burned, but studies show that most of these methods are incorrect and overestimate your caloric expenditure. Many studies have also confirmed that a large majority of obese and normal people overestimate their caloric expenditure during exercise. Another study found that people who thought that they burned 800 calories during exercise sessions had actually burned around 200-300 calories. If you are also making this weight loss mistake, you are not going to lose weight any time soon.
You Do Not Eat Enough Protein
It is important to ensure that you are eating ‘enough’ protein per day to keep losing weight. Protein works great to keep you full, which in turn prevents hunger pangs. A review has found that eating 0.6-0.8g of protein per pound of body weight may benefit body composition through better appetite control. Why not check out these other surprising appetite suppressants.
Similarly, your body burns calories to digest protein and this will again translates into weight loss. A 12-day study showed that people on a diet with 30% calories coming from protein ended up eating 575 fewer calories per day, as compared to when they consumed 15% calories from protein.
Protein is also important to help maintain muscle mass, which also plays a big role in weight loss. Unfortunately, many studies have found that protein is among the most under-consumed macronutrients. If you are not getting enough of it, you will fail to maximize your weight loss benefits. Also, bear in mind that eating a diet very high in protein is also counterproductive, because your body will store excess protein as fat. So, be sure to have a clear idea of how much protein to have each day to lose weight effectively.
You Do Not Eat Enough Fiber
Under-consumption of vegetables is a common weight loss mistake, and it can hurt you in a big way because it keeps you from getting enough fiber. By increasing your intake of fiber, you promote a feeling of satiety that keeps you from overeating. It also improves your digestive system and makes it easier for your body to process what you eat.
Vegetables contain loads of fiber, and they also provide you with essential vitamins and minerals that benefit you a lot in losing weight. The good thing is that you can eat loads of your favorite veggies without having to worry a lot about increasing your caloric intake. It is important to point out that some studies have found that viscous fiber works amazingly well to reduce appetite. This type of fiber turns into gel when it reaches your gut. It takes time to move through your gut, which is why you stay full for long.
You Eat Too Often
Some people are under the impression that eating several times a day will help improve their metabolism. While it is true in many cases, you should not be going overboard with the idea. Eating when you are not hungry is only going to hurt your weight loss efforts.
When you eat, your body releases insulin. With too much insulin in the body, it is not possible to burn fat through exercise. A study has shown that people who consume three meals a day have increased metabolic rate and lowered sugar levels, than people who have 14 meals in a 36-hour timeframe. It means that if you are finding it difficult to lose weight even after spending so much time in the gym, you may be eating too often. Correct this mistake and you may lose weight more effectively.
You Eat Too Much of Nutritious Food
There is no denying the fact that nutritious food is your friend. It provides you with important minerals, vitamins, and other essential nutrients. However, you may find it difficult to lose weight if you do not pay attention to portion control. Eating too much of nutritious food can also lead to a storage of excess calories and fat.
It implies that though a cup of oatmeal with a sliced banana, walnut, and a glass of organic blueberry juice, certainly has more nutrients as compared to pancakes with syrup and butter, but it may not be the best choice for weight loss. That is mainly because of so many additional calories you are ingesting into your system. Therefore, do not eat too much just because you think it is healthy – portion control matters a lot!
You Have Unrealistic Expectations
Working out with a goal in mind will hurt you in a big way and keep you from reaching those goals. However, it is equally important to set realistic targets, so you feel motivated when you achieve them. People who try to lose so many pounds in a couple of weeks are only going to feel disappointed. You get results when you stick to a weight loss program for long enough.
Researchers have found that women who are obese and join a weight loss program with expectations to lose several pounds in a short time, are likely to drop out of a program within 6-12 months. It is therefore important to proceed with realistic expectations and modest goal in mind. Setting a goal that you want to lose 10% of your body weight in a year is more achievable than trying to accomplish these goals in 4 weeks.
Disclaimer: Our reviews and investigations are based on extensive research from the information publicly available to us and consumers at the time of first publishing the post. Information is based on our personal opinion and whilst we endeavour to ensure information is up-to-date, manufacturers do from time to time change their products and future research may disagree with our findings. If you feel any of the information is inaccurate, please contact us and we will review the information provided.