*DISCLAIMER: Health and weight loss are not the same thing. This post is in no way claiming your weight is dependent on your health and happiness, nor stating weight loss should be your goal.
MISTAKE 1. DOING CARDIO INSTEAD OF LIFTING WEIGHTS.
Lifting weights builds strength and muscle, which increases your metabolism to promote fat loss. Cardio doesn't do the same. It's much easier for our bodies to adapt quickly to cardio, meaning our metabolism becomes efficient at that exercise, requiring less energy (aka calories) to do it. This mean you will have to continually increase your time and intensity of cardio. Progress overload in resistance training is required to continually progress, too.
MISTAKE 2. ASSUMING MORE IS BETTER WHEN IT COMES TO EXERCISE.
Exercise is good, which means the more the better, right? WRONG! Too much exercise is neither effective nor healthy. It will slow down your progress, halt muscle growth, and will lead to severe stress. Exercise with intention. Make every repetition count. But beware of overtraining.
MISTAKE 3. ASSUMING LESS IS BETTER WHEN IT COMES TO FOOD.
The less I eat, the quicker I'll lose weight faster, right? WRONG! Much like cardio, our bodies will adapt to the low-calorie diet, slowing down our metabolism as a protection mechanism to keep us alive. Eating too few of calories will make it extremely hard to build muscle or even have energy to get through your day.
MISTAKE 4. EXTREME EXERCISE AND CALORIE DEFICIT.
Mistake 2 + Mistake 3 = a recipe for burnout. A quick, more aggressive approach to weight loss is not sustainable. Extreme exercise and an extreme calorie deficit are both huge stressors on the body. Too much stress inhibits weight loss, whether that be through high levels of cortisol, unhealthy stress-induced behaviors, or a combination of them both.
MISTAKE 5. FOLLOWING A SPECIFIC DIET.
The more rigid and restrictive your diet is, the less sustainable it is. Following a low-carb or low-fat diet may provide motivation at first, but that will soon dwindle. In a world full of delicious foods constantly at our finger tips, extreme restriction often results in a worse relationship with food. You don't need to diet to lose weight. Focus on consuming whole foods, getting enough protein, and eating lots of vegetables.
MISTAKE 6. EATING DIET FOODS INSTEAD OF WHOLE FOODS.
Just because something is advertised as "low-fat" or "sugar-free" doesn't automatically mean it's healthy. A lot of times, this means that it was altered or processed in some way. The more processed foods you eat, the more you will crave processed foods; they're produced to be hyperpalatable.
MISTAKE 7. TRYING TO OUTRUN YOUR DIET.
It takes 30 minutes of running to burn 250 calories and it takes 30 seconds to eat 250 calories. Weight loss is very dependent on both a healthy exercise routine and a healthy diet.
MISTAKE 8. FOCUSING ON THE SCALE.
Many factors affect your weight, from muscle mass, to fluids, to undigested food, etc. Maybe you're gaining muscle and losing body fat, but maintaining the same scale weight. It's okay to monitor the trends, but the scale doesn't account for the whole picture.
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