There are a lot of mistakes that people make when trying to lose weight. This can be due to either people thinking that something is too simple of a factor to make that much of a difference, or they believe common weight loss myths that they’ve heard in the past. Keep reading to learn about six common mistakes that people make when they are trying to lose weight.
1. Skipping Meals, Especially Breakfast
A lot of people think that skipping meals is a good idea for weight loss, but it can often lead to the exact opposite outcome. Many people are hopping on the intermittent fasting bandwagon these days, or at least skipping breakfast and waiting longer to eat their first meal of the day. And while this may work for some people in certain situations, there can be some disastrous consequences. Intermittent fasting can cause hormonal imbalances, especially in women, which may wind up working against your efforts of weight loss in the long run. Eating breakfast soon after you wake up is very helpful when it comes to weight loss because it kick-starts your metabolism and keeps it burning strong throughout the day. Skipping meals can cause your metabolism to slow down, which can actually lead to increased weight gain in the long run. Plus, skipping meals can cause people to feel intense food cravings and they may wind up making unhealthier food choices because of them.
2. Not Drinking Enough Water
People really underestimate the importance of water when it comes to weight loss. Sometimes it’s the simple things that people ignore because it seems “too easy.” Being well hydrated will help your weight loss efforts tremendously. This is because increasing your water intake will increase your metabolic rate, which will help you burn more calories. Drinking water throughout the day will also help curb unnecessary snacking and reduce cravings for sugary food. When we become chronically dehydrated, sometimes our body’s signal for thirst winds up getting confused for hunger, and instead of simply drinking more water, we wind up eating more food than we should.
3. Trying to Make Too Many Changes at Once
Oftentimes people decide to focus on losing weight, but then try to implement too many changes at once. For long term success, small habit changes are key. Willpower can only get you so far, and it often fades fast. The key to long term success is creating daily habit changes. But these changes have a higher chance of becoming long term habits if you implement them one at a time. Too many changes at once can feel too overwhelming and may result in you wanting to quit and give up because it feels too hard. This is not a race. If you focus on one change at a time you will find the whole process to be much more manageable.
4. Focusing Only on Cardio and Ignoring Strength Training
Exercising is a great tool to keep your body healthy and assist in weight loss. While cardio is important, it’s a good idea to include strength training into your exercise routine as well. Strength training can help shift your body composition to greater muscle mass and less fat. The more muscle mass you gain, the quicker your metabolism will be.
5. Being Too Focused on the Number on the Scale
Do you fixate about the number on the scale? Many people do. But it’s important to focus on other metrics of success. Take waist and hip measurements, pay attention to how your clothes feel, and take progress photos. Some weeks you may not lose any weight, but you may lose an inch or so around your waist or hips. When you become too fixated on the number on the scale, you turn a blind eye to other indicators of being successful, which may result in you wanting to give up too soon because you don’t think the approach is working. Even things like noticing that you have more energy or can exercise longer are also indicators that you’re headed in the right direction on your journey of becoming healthier.
6. Not Getting Adequate Sleep
Sleep is another factor that people often ignore when they are trying to lose weight. Lack of sleep can affect your stress hormones negatively, which can lead to food cravings and weight gain. Sleep deprivation can also make you crave more sugary foods which can throw off your progress even more. Focusing on getting a good night’s sleep every day can do wonders for your weight loss.