Many people set out to lose weight with good intentions of sticking it out until they reach their goals. In fact, they intend to lose those unwanted extra pounds for good without ever seeing them again. So then, why is it that so many people lose weight only to gain it all back again? And why is it that so many people get frustrated and quit trying before they even lose any weight?
Of course dieting to lose weight takes some planning and some will power to stay with it, but a big part of the reason why so many people seem to be on a perpetual diet but never seem to lose weight often has less to do with their will to want to do it, and more to do with falling victim to some common mistakes dieters regularly make. Let’s look at some of these mistakes and some solutions to them:
1) Assuming they can eat high quantities of fat-free foods instead
One big mistake that dieters make is assuming that certain foods can be eaten in high quantities such as fat-free foods. It needs to be understood that just because a food is fat-free doesn’t mean it is calorie free. When you consume more calories than you use, you will gain, not lose, weight.
2) Assume they can eat as much as they want as long as it has zero or low carbs
Many people who tried one of the many low-carb diets out there thought that they could eat as much as they wanted as long as the food they ate had low or no carbs. This way of thinking is wrong. It is still a matter of controlling the size of your portions that makes the difference. Keeping track of your overall calorie intake each day is imperative to a proper weight loss plan.
3) Expecting too much too soon
Another mistake that is made by dieters is expecting too much too soon. When you come to the conclusion that you want to lose 30 pounds, this is a realistic goal. When you decide that you want to lose those 30 pounds in one month, this is not a realistic goal. Maybe your 25th high school reunion is coming up and you want to be able to fit into that dress or suit you wore 25 years ago.
4) Trying to lose too much weight, too soon
This is only possible if you take the time to allow yourself to properly attain that goal. Weight loss is best done at 1-2 pounds a week, not at 1-2 pounds a day, so set a small goal of say losing 5-7 pounds in a month, then set another similar goal and so on, until you reach your ultimate goal.
5) Not eating enough
Not eating enough is yet another common mistake dieters make. The fact is, if you eat too little calories, your metabolism will slow down and you will go into what is known as ‘starvation mode’. This promotes major fat conservation for survival purposes and any weight loss will therefore come from the breakdown of muscle tissue, not fat! For the average adult female, it is not recommended to consume below 1000 calories and the average adult male should not consume below 1200 calories unless under the direction of their doctor.
6) Crash Dieting and no weight management plan after
One of the biggest mistakes dieters make by far is not planning for how to keep their weight down once they lose it. Often, people make the mistake of going on a ‘miracle’ diet that promises super weight loss and although these types of diets are very dangerous and I absolutely do not recommend them, some people actually do lose weight on them. The problem is, these types of diets are designed to end at some point (which is a good thing since you would probably make it into the obituaries with a prolonged stay on these diets). That means that you would likely resume your old habits when it’s over thus accounting for the returning of all the weight you lost on the diet.
7) Doing it as a ‘one-off’ with no lifestyle changes.
Of course getting some exercise is a key part in successful weight loss as well, but putting together a well thought out eating plan designed to stay with you for the rest of your life is the real key to taking that extra weight off and keeping it off for good. Be careful not to get caught making the mistakes mentioned here and you will have a much better chance at weight loss success.
Stay Healthy & Strong,
Steven Wong – CPT, Pn1, Dip SMB
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