When it comes to weight loss, people generally follow the same rule throughout the world, that being, consuming fewer calories and burning more than you have taken in.
Are you dieting but still haven’t shed off enough pounds to reach the target you have in mind? Is there no change in your body’s size or inches around the waist, hips or chest? Are you sure that the diet plan you are following is the one that your body needs? There must be some mistakes that you must be committing when it comes to weight loss by following a diet plan. There are several mistakes people do when it comes to weight loss. But first of all, have you inquired that if you really need to lose weight or are you suffering from a psychological disorder called Anorexia Nervosa? Most people have normal Body Mass Index but still find themselves to be fat and have the intense desire to lose weight. Such people are anorexic. While it doesn’t hurt to shed off a few extra pounds but depriving the body from its right to stay healthy is not a choice when it comes to dieting.
Losing weight might be the latest followed trend for some but for others it is a necessity. Women affected with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome are advised to lose weight even when it is not associated with food intake. There are other conditions as well when it is advised to lose weight either to prevent the occurrence of a disease or to minimize the symptoms of an already progressing one. The conditions may be Diabetes, Atherosclerotic patients with clogged coronary arteries, Hypertensive patients and many more.
It is not necessary that the weight gain is due to the issues mentioned above; it can be due to some side effect of a drug. It is thus advisable for people to consult a doctor before going for weight loss.
Following are the 10 most commonest mistakes committed by people when it comes to weight loss:
10. Skipping Meals
Half of the world’s population skips meals to lose weight. It may be right up to an extent but when you do that more often; you send your body in starvation mode, sending signals to the brain to save calories as some unfavorable conditions have struck the body.
Skipping a meal is logical in small amounts as helps consume less calories but making it a common practice confuses the mind. It disturbs the hunger control mechanism and when a person eats, he is unaware of that that he has consumed more than the meal he skipped. The body perceives this condition as a famine and saves all the calories for its survival. For people who are dieting, this should be avoided. It wipes away all the efforts you made to stay away from your favorite food to lose some pounds, yet the scale on the weighing machine does not budge.
Another theory that the dieticians have proposed is that when you skip a meal, the body goes in hypoglycemic state contributing to lower glucose levels in the blood and ultimately the brain. Glucose being the brain’s fuel, with decreased levels sends out body in a state of lethargy and immediate drop in concentration and sometimes excessive hunger attacks occur. When this condition occurs, we throw away all the shields of resistance and dig into all kinds of sweet and rich delicacies. This is the point where we realize that skipping meals is not a solution.
In order to avoid such a condition, I’ll give you three tips that you must follow to prevent reoccurrence of such an incidence.
- Have three balanced meals a day with snacks in between. If you do not have time in the morning to consume a full nutritious meal, divide the meal into various snacks to energize your system before you indulge in luncheon.
- Remember to eat only when you are hungry. Give up the habit of eating when you’re bored. Avoid having food while watching TV. You tend to eat more than the share set out for the meal.
- Have foods that have low glycemic index. They help maintain glucose levels for a long time in blood.
9. Control Your Desires On Your Cheat Day
The second most common mistake we do is on a cheat day. We hold the urge to have our favorite meal on the cheat day after a long week of diet. When it comes to the final day, we have such calorie rich food that it covers up the whole week’s calorie requirement. The purpose of cheat day was to satisfy the cravings of favorite foods that we have the whole week, but instead of having a decent portion of the meal, we choose a full fledge three course meal. The day becomes ‘all you can eat contest’ and after the weekend you get a surprise of a bloated stomach and undigested food in your system for days.
Keeping the caloric intake in mind, we can consume our favorite meals in the right portions.
For example, Tender Grill Sandwich at Burger King offers about 470 calories with honey mustard toppings whereas McDonald’s Cesar salad and crispy chicken with creamy dressings offers around 520 calories.
If you are consuming such calorie rich food, choose bottled water instead of a can of soda to complement your meal. This will reduce the caloric load to some extent.
Or, you can opt for Subway. It is healthier with veggies, sauces and a variety of whole wheat bread to choose from. With a Subway you either have a bag of chips or a 50 ml can of coco cola or any beverage you choose. If you opt for diet sodas, lesser calories will be added in your system.
- It is better to plan out your cheat meal before the cheat day. Calculate the amount of calories that your meal is has.
- Prepare your subconscious mind a week ahead to eat less and after the first signal that you’ll have a small or a decent sized serving.
- Just in case if you could not control your urge to eat more, work out more that day. An hour extra would be sufficient to burn what you have eaten.
8. Gobbling Up the Meal Without Even Tasting
The third most common mistake that all of us do is gobble up the food in a hurry in order to save time or because we’re too hungry. Our busy lifestyles have made us slaves to machines and taking something out of a vending machine is considered to be a far safer idea than to walk across the busy street in a proper restaurant to have lunch. This has been a common practice since the past few decades. Even if someone puts in the effort of having a proper lunch at a restaurant, they gobble up the food to save time to puff a cigarette.
Choose the European style of dining in place of grabbing a hot dog off a stand. Have small bites and break the food in small portions. Take time to feel different flavors as you slowly grind it between your teeth. The food tastes amazing when it is eaten slowly with its flavors tangling the taste buds.
Here are a few facts related to chewing that will change the way you eat:
- Chewing not only breaks the food into further tiny particles, it gives time for the tongue to roll it in a bolus, add saliva and make it moist for the food to pass through the esophagus into the stomach.
- Chewing improves digestion by digesting half of the carbs in the mouth by the help of saliva and its enzymes.
- Chewing mixes the food with saliva which possesses the antibacterial property to kill the bacteria before they enter the stomach to cause food poisoning.
- When you take time to chew your food, there as less chances of gaining weight or over eating.
7. Not Drinking Enough Water?
My mother has always forced me to have at least 2 liters of water daily when I wanted to lose weight. According to her, water should be consumed before the start of the meal, in the middle and a sip or two at the end of the meal.
It is observed that when we have approximately 2 glass of water before a meal, it reduces the false hunger alarms. Also it affects the quantity of meal you consume. Water fills up about half of the stomach, indirectly reducing the volume to minimize the amount that we will be consuming during the meal.
Also a common concept that our population has is to avoid having water when they diet in fear that it will cause weight gain. People consume diuretics to excrete out water from their body just to budge the scale of the weighing machine towards the left. Let me tell you girl, this isn’t healthy! Our body is made up of 75% water, emanating it isn’t a smart move. It will slow down your metabolism leaving the body lethargic, hankering in desires to have caffeine and sugar rich foods to combat the stress and provide instant source of energy.
This concept will change when you’ll notice your beautiful radiant skin going dull and the freshness on your face disappearing in thin air. So yes, for the sake of beauty have water!
6. What if You’re Not Losing Weight Because Of the Medications You’re Taking?
What if it is the medications that do not move the scale on the weighing machine? Medications have a great impact on our weight loss program. There are various drugs that induce weight gain that we take in our lives almost daily and their adverse effect is unavoidable. In some conditions such pills are important life savers whereas on the other hand, they are an accessory to adapt to our lifestyle.
Here are some of the medications that you’ll be shocked to know can cause weight gain.
- Anti-epileptic drugs used to prevent the occurrence of seizures promote weight gain in patients.
- Along with this, corticosteroids are used in treatment of Lupus, a disease in which antibodies form against the body’s own tissues causing rash, inflammation, lethargy and fatigue.
- Sulfonylureas are medications used to treat Diabetes Mellitus type II.
- Anti-psychotic or Schizophrenic medications have caused weight gain.
- Beta Blockers used for the treatment of high blood pressure and some cardiac diseases also contribute in the gain of pounds.
- Hormone replacement therapy used in treatment for various conditions for example is given in post-menopausal women or women reaching menopause to deal with hot flushes and to manage osteoporosis in such women.
- Birth control pills that women take almost daily induce weight gain. It is wise for women to use other modes of protection rather than the pill to minimize the side effects.
- Corticosteroids are used in inhaled pumps for short term control of Asthma. They are also given intravenously when life threatening Asthma attack occurs.
- It is thus advisable for a person to talk to his doctor if he is starting on the weight loss program.
5. Reevaluate The Liquid Intake And Its Calories
I think it is wise to check for the amount of calories of fluids when aiming for weight loss. Most of us make this mistake frequently of taking low calorie meals accompanied by calorie rich fluids like smoothies and juices. You get approximately 21%of the calories from the beverages when you are on a diet so choose them with care.
In weight gain regimens it is advised to switch from calorie laden beverages to something light like Water, Club soda, Skimmed Milk, Vegetable juices and small portions of pure fruit juices.
Here are the caloric values that you might want to have an eye on next time you opt for a beverage:
- 12 ounce smoothie has about 410 calories
- 16 ounce sweetened tea has 160 calories
- 8 ounces of coffee with creamer and sugar has about 30 calories
- 12 ounces of diet soda contains has zero calories, so you want to keep this in mind as it has zero calories.
- But a normal 12 ounce soda can has about 150 calories.
- Monitor the calories in liquids. You might be able to lose some inches from here and there.
4. Sleeping Less? Consider This As a Reason Of Failure As Well
If you do not give enough time to your sleep, there are chances that you are not only failing at weight loss but also at life. Sleeping is an important part of daily routine and those who take this as a waste of time should reconsider after I tell you this that without sleep, your body shuts its systems down. Every machine needs rest to give a better performance. Choosing day’s sleep over night’s sleep is also a mistake as the body releases growth hormones at night when you sleep. For the night owls, you should improve your sleeping habits ensuring better growth and a relaxed state of mind.
Sleep regulates our metabolism, decreases the metabolic rate and helps control hunger during dieting. It reduces the cravings for carbohydrates and fat, in turn decreasing our weight.
It is advised to have good quality sleep of 8 hours approximately for healthy state of mind and body.
To ensure good sleep, here are some points you will be keeping in mind:
- Your bedroom should be airy and comfortable and should only be used for sleeping.
- It is advised not to have caffeine in the evening as it shoos away sleep.
- Sleep in early. Sleep is a golden chain that binds heath and our bodies together.
- Refrain from watching TV in your bedroom. It keeps your brain up for a very long time.
- Avoid having medication that affects the quality of sleep. Less sleeping hours means a cranky behavior in the day.
3. Choosing The Wrong Food
People miss out all the healthy food when they diet. Or they make mistakes in ways that makes their food unhealthy and fattening. The drumstick made in the picture if were baked, it would have much less calories. If that huge glass of Pepsi was replaced with a can of soda, the fries air fried, the burger bun made out of whole wheat, and the patty inside was grilled; this meal could have been a much healthier one.
People do not use such ways to make their favorite dishes the healthier way. I always find much healthier ways to make my favorite dish. A few days back I made oat pizza crust, used grilled chicken and low fat cheese for the topping. It tasted delicious!
I’ll say if you want to have chicken, marinate it with herbs and grill it. Serve it with baked beans, boiled corn, some fresh leafy lettuce, and baked potatoes. I would suggest try grilling the potatoes with skin on low heat and enjoy the crisp.
If you are opting for juices, take a small amount of fresh juice, dilute it with water and have it for breakfast. This is what I have been doing since the past 3 years. Concentrated juices are calorie rich!
Add proteins in place of carbohydrates in your diet. Your body will choose to use already stored carbohydrates while maintaining the muscle mass.
Have a salad in the afternoon. Choose organic vegetables in place of canned food when making them. Avoid using creamy dressings. Your aim is to lose weight, not to find ways to cheat yourself using foods that are fattening.
2. Excessive Cardio? A Big Mistake!
Dieticians suggest cardio for weight loss. Cardio helps losing stubborn body fat located at the things, the chest, the back and the belly. We choose some aerobic exercises in cardio to help make those muscles hidden behind the flab of fat strong while burning the overlying fat. Cardio has a better effect when done moderately even when we know that it burns less calories as compared to high intensity exercise. It does not stress your body that much and maintains weight loss for a longer period of time. It is always better to keep in mind that slow and steady wins the race.
Activities in cardio include:
Cardio has the following effects on the body:
- Strengthens your respiratory muscles.
- Promotes more red blood cell production to aid with oxygenation of the body.
- As the name suggests, cardio strengthens the cardiac muscle, its working capacity and its affectivity.
- Decreases stress and anxiety while refreshing the mind.
- Increases circulation.
- As you get in shape, it increases your confidence and self esteem.
But if you do cardio for a prolonged duration, it might burn your fat but on the long run, it would not be that beneficial. Do not over do what you have planned. It leaves you body strained, the muscles pulled, muscle breakdown starts if cardio is done for more than an hour, leaving the fat in their places in the body.
It is best to plan it with your coach if you go to the gym for the exercise. Plan duration, time, intensity and nature of cardio you will be doing according to the bodily requirements.
A tip before doing cardio is to have water. Keeping the body hydrated is our number one priority.
1. No Rest Day For The Busy Body? This Is The Reason For Sure!
As important it is to exercise, it is equally important to rest. A mistake that people do is that they neglect the rest day. They avoid relaxing their body fearing that this might gain back the pound they just lost. Well the situation is entirely opposite. Rest boosts your body’s immune system, minimizing the occurrence of common colds, fever and other ailments. It minimizes fatigue, rebuilds muscle strength, reorganizes the glycogen stores, reduces the over do’s causing injury and helping your body repair itself.
- Let your body rest. It is its basic requirement!
- There is no better time than now to start living healthy.
- Life is better when you are laughing.
- Eat better to feel better.
- Health is the best wealth.
So now you must have figured out the mistakes you did or you are doing while losing weight, it is better to avoid them to see results of the efforts you are putting in. I hope these will help you through the journey of weight loss, moving towards better health.
Remember; Health is the greatest of all Possessions; a Pale Cobbler is better than a Sick King.
- Keep a food journal and write down the food you have taken and monitor the calories you have consumed.
- Drink about eight glasses of water a day. Better to have two glasses of water before having meals to minimize the intake.
- Choose greens in place of fried, crispy, fattening foods.
- Instead of using fat rich oil, opt for olive oil and less fattening substitutes for weight loss.
- Measure everything. From the helping you have taken to the small teeny tiny bites you took off a chocolate bar.
- Eat more proteins.
- Chew your food well because a better chewed bolus is better digested.
- Exercise and take rest after it to produce better effects.
- Change your mind, for a healthy mind aids a healthy life.