The concept of weight loss is very simple: burn more calories than you eat. In other words, eat less energy (calories, aka. food) than what you burn. However, despite this simple concept, losing weight is not always as straightforward as one might think.
Oftentimes, people start their weight loss journey very well and successfully: they will lose weight in the first weeks, maybe, but not before long, they plateau or even gain those pounds back.
So, wherein lies the problem? Below, we have listed five of the most common mistakes made during a weight loss process.
Mistake #1: Eating too many or too few calories
Generally, it is believed that a person should decrease their calorie intake by 3500 calories per week in order to lose one pound. However, everyone's needs are different and vary based on their age, gender, and activity level.
You might be overestimating how many calories you burn during your exercise, or you might forget to check the calories in your food. This can easily lead to eating too many calories, which will halt your weight loss process.
On the other hand, starving yourself and eating too few calories will not only slow down your metabolic rate and cause loss of muscle mass, you will also gain those lost pounds back as soon as you return to your normal diet.
Solution: Download MyFitnessPal and start tracking your food better. It's free!
Mistake #2: You are not lifting weights
That's right! Just plain old cardio will not help you to lose weight. Not in a long run, anyway. While cardiovascular training is important and will help you to burn calories, it is vital to combine your cardio training with some weights.
According to Healthline, in a review of 32 studies, more than 4 700 people with obesity found that the best way to lose weight is to combine cardio training with weight lifting.
Solution: Check out our preset training programs - follow one of them (and get access to our gym twice a week!) and see what happens.
Mistake #3: Not eating enough protein
Protein plays a big part in your weight loss process. Protein can help you to lose weight in the following ways:
Increases feelings of fullness
Lowers the amount of weight regained
Maintains or increases metabolic rate
Protects muscle mass during weight loss
Higher protein diets, containing 0.6–0.8 grams of protein per pound may benefit appetite control and even change body composition.
Solution: Add more eggs, fish, beans, legumes, meat, and chicken in your diet.
Mistake #4: Not planning your meals
Not planning your meals can not only cause you to eat too much or too little, it can also cause you to eat things that are not good for you. We have all been in a situation when we are super hungry after work and all we want is something to eat... right now. This is when it is easy to order in or get some fast food, and this surely is not the way to go if you want to lose weight.
Solution: Prep your meals ahead of time. What does that mean? Check our ebook.
Mistake #5: Having unrealistic expectations
Weight loss is a process, and ultimately, it requires a change in lifestyle. You got to where you are because you did something you should not have (or did not do something you should have). Those pounds can sneak up on you, and getting rid of them requires dedication and discipline. You cannot go back to doing what you did before, because (let's face it), it did not work.
You can expect to lose 0.5-1 pound a week at a healthy pace, realistically. Adjust your expectations, and be patient.
Solution: Hire a personal trainer if you need help and guidance on your weight loss journey.