Exercise, eat more vegetables, drink lots of water, get a full night’s rest…sound familiar? These are all among the most common things advised for people who want to lose weight. While it is important to know what to do, it is equally important to know the things to avoid. Here’s a list of common mistakes that weight loss beginners make along with tips to prevent them.
- Setting unrealistic goals: There’s no doubt that goal setting is a great motivator, but if you set the bar “too” high, you may get discouraged and give up. For example, if you have a weight loss goal of 30 pounds, don’t stress yourself trying to lose it ALL in one month, instead, take it 5-10 pounds per month at a time and keep progressing from there.
- Tolerating foods that you hate: I admit, dieting requires compromise and sometimes that means eating foods you aren’t fond of. However, you don’t have to limit your food intake to get slim. Can’t stand kale? Trying subbing it out with a different leafy green like spinach. As you open yourself up to more nutrient dense options, dieting will feel like less of a “chore.”
- Weighing yourself every day: One of the most common habits of people on a weight loss journey is stepping on the scale EVERY DAY. Sometimes the number makes us smile, most of the time it doesn’t (LOL). Remember, your weight can fluctuate up to 5 pounds (sometimes more) a day depending on water retention, hormonal changes, muscle growth and other factors. Instead of judging your progress by a number, LOOK in the mirror! Are you noticeably slimmer? Are friends and family complimenting your change in appearance? How do your clothes fit? A true weight loss transformation is more than a number. Instead, take pictures and compare them every 2 weeks to REALLY see how your body is changing. Also, if you MUST weigh yourself, pick a consistent day/time of the week to track your progress every 7-14 days.
- Excessive exercise to make up for poor food choices: Most of us are guilty of this. After a weekend of binge eating, we sweat it out in the gym for HOURS trying to make up for the poor food choices made over the weekend. One of the most certain ways to waste time on your fitness journey is trying to out-train your diet. I mean think about it: it takes 10 minutes to eat a 500 calorie dessert but 50 minutes to burn it off. Doesn’t sound like a fair trade-off to me. Avoid putting the extra stress on your body to make up for overeating. Instead, find low calorie, healthier options to satisfy your sweet tooth and do your best to practice self-control so you can stay on track.
- Comparing yourself to other people: One of my favorite quotes is: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” How often do you find yourself looking at a person who appears to be fit and saying: “I wish I had their body.” As a Coach and Personal Trainer, I have found that one of the hardest parts of a weight loss journey is self-acceptance. Don’t judge your Chapter One to someone else’s Chapter 10, we all have our own unique path to success and the key to getting there is to focus on YOU. Avoid the pressures of trying to be like someone else. Remember, you shouldn’t aim to lose weight because you “hate” your body, but because you LOVE it and want the best for yourself. Remember, the only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday.
There’s no doubt that beginning a fitness journey can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Take it one day at a time, trust the process, put forth some effort and you’ll be crushing your goals before you know it!
For more fitness tips, workout routines, and motivation follow me on Instagram: @mariamore and check out my personal website: www.mariamore.com. I’d also love to coach you through your next workout on the Fit Radio App! Tap that coaching tab and let’s make it happen!