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When Trying to Lose Weight, these are 15 Common Mistakes

Updated: Sep 21, 2021

  1. Only Focusing on the Scale Weight: However, the number on the scale is only one measure of weight change. Weight is influenced by several things, including fluid fluctuations and how much food remains in your system. In fact, weight can fluctuate by up to 4 lbs over the course of a day, depending on how much food and liquid you've consumed.

  2. Eating Too Many or Too Few Calories: You may be consuming too many foods that are healthy but also high in calories, such as nuts and cheese. Watching portion sizes is key.On the other hand, decreasing your calorie intake too much can be counterproductive. Studies on very low-calorie diets providing less than 1,000 calories per day show they can lead to muscle loss and significantly slow down metabolism.

  3. Not Exercising or Exercising Too Much: If you don't exercise at all while restricting calories, you're likely to lose more muscle mass and experience a decrease in metabolic rate. Exercising helps minimize the amount of lean mass you lose, boost fat loss and prevent your metabolism from slowing down. The more lean mass you have, the easier it is to lose weight and maintain the weight loss. As was stated before, over-exercising can also cause problems. Studies show excessive exercise is unsustainable in the long term for most people and may lead to stress. In addition, it may impair the production of adrenal hormones that regulate stress response.Trying to force your body to burn more calories by exercising too much is neither effective nor healthy.

  4. Not Lifting Weights: Performing resistance training is incredibly important during weight loss. Studies show lifting weights is one of the most effective exercise strategies for gaining muscle and increasing metabolic rate. It also improves overall body composition and boosts belly fat loss.

  5. Choosing Low-Fat or "Diet" Foods: Processed low fat or diet foods are often considered good choices for losing weight, but they may actually have the opposite effect. Many of these products are loaded with sugar to improve their taste. Fat-free or "diet" foods are typically high in sugar and may lead to hunger and higher calorie intake.

  6. Overestimating How Many Calories You Burn During Exercise: Many people believe that exercise "supercharges" their metabolism. Although exercise increases metabolic rate somewhat, it may actually be less than you think.

  7. Not Eating Enough Protein: Getting enough protein is extremely important if you're trying to lose weight. It can reduce appetite, increase feelings of fullness, decrease calorie intake, increase metabolic rate and protect muscle mass during weight loss.

  8. Not Eating Enough Fiber: Research suggests all types of fiber benefit weight loss. Eating enough fiber can help reduce appetite by filling you up so you eat less. It may also help you absorb fewer calories from other foods.

  9. Eating Too Much Fat on a Low-Carb Diet: Although low-carb and ketogenic diets help reduce hunger and calorie intake, adding too much fat may slow down or prevent weight loss.

  10. Eating Too Often, Even If You're Not Hungry: Eating too often can hurt your weight loss efforts. For the best results, it's important to eat only when you're hungry.

  11. Having Unrealistic Expectations: Unrealistic expectations can lead to frustration and giving up altogether. Make your goals more modest to increase your chances of successful weight loss.

  12. Not Tracking What You Eat in Any Way: If you're not tracking what you eat, you may be consuming more calories than you realize. You may also be getting less protein and fiber than you think.

  13. Still Drinking Sugar: If you cut out sugar-sweetened beverages but continue drinking fruit juice, you're still getting a lot of sugar and are likely to take in more calories overall.

  14. Not Reading Labels: Food labels provide information on ingredients, calories and nutrients. Make sure you understand how to accurately read labels.

  15. Not Eating Whole, Single-Ingredient Foods: One of the worst things you can do for weight loss is to eat a lot of highly processed foods. In addition, whole foods tend to be self-limiting, meaning they are hard to consume. It's very easy to overeat processed foods. When possible, choose whole, single-ingredient foods that are minimally processed.

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