Everyday we face different challenges when trying to keep a healthy lifestyle regimen. We all know that achieving and maintaining a healthy weight requires balance, discipline and moderation. However, some people may be struggling more than others in their weight loss journeys. There are different facts why this is happening, but the truth is, more often than not, it’s our own habits and mindset that determine our success in this process. So what makes the difference? If you are feeling demotivated or “stuck” in your weight loss journey, you may want to take a look at some common mistakes you’re unconsciously making when trying to lose weight. I will outline the top 5 setbacks or “myths” about losing weight..
This is the number 1 most common misconception when attempting a healthier eating.
“Dieting is not the same as starving!”
I personally hate using the word “diet”, as it is easily confused with not eating enough, or only avoiding certain meals. Did you know that the more times a day you eat, the faster you will burn calories? Yes this will improve your weight loss process. The least you should be making is 5 meals a day, that includes: breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks.
If you workout regularly, then add an extra snack (for muscle recovery). Of course, you also need to consider proportion and quantity, here I am referring to small meals and not the custom “big” plate full of carbs and meat. Remember that about half of your plate should include vegetables.
Not having breakfast is also a huge No, especially when trying to keep a healthy nutrition. Remember why: When you first start in the morning, your body needs all the nutrients and energy to be on track and function correctly. Avoiding breakfast leads to lack of concentration, headaches, bad mood throughout the day and digestive problems such as gastritis. Apart from that, you are slowing down your metabolism, causing anxiety and the urge to “crave” more food than you should, especially late at night (carbs and fats).
Replacing important solid meals with smoothies
Another common mistake is making meal replacements (e.g. breakfast and lunch) with juice or smoothies. Unless you know you are getting all the nutrients in these products, avoid replacing the mentioned meals with these types of shakes. The best way to go is having a full breakfast, which I will detail later in another topic, and then continue with the other meals, all in the appropriate proportions.
Doing full day “cheat meals” will not affect weight loss
Another huge myth is thinking that since we are already learning to eat correctly, we can go crazy eating whatever types of foods during the weekends. You want to watch out for this. It is ok to have some treats here and there and enjoy to your delight, but be also careful with excesses. One full day of cheat meals can go beyond 3000 calories intake (the normal average per person is 2000 Cal), which can have an effect on your regimen. You may refer back to this topic for further guidelines.
Not eating enough fruits and veggies
This is another misleading fact. People tend to believe that having 2 fruits a day ( one as a morning snack and the other in the afternoon), makes it enough for a healthy regimen. You should be eating at least 5 fruits and vegetables each day. Otherwise, we would be lacking essential vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. Eating greens is related to a better digestion and also with losing more fat. A smart way of doing this is adding more salads, greens, or including healthy smoothies. There are lots of fun, easy and creative ways to include more fruits and veggies each day. You may want to check out my article on healthy smoothies here. There is also a PDF guide with cool recipes that you can download and do at home.
Not drinking enough water
I think everybody has failed to follow this rule when it comes to staying hydrated. On a regular basis, water intake should not be less than 8-10 (8 oz) glasses. If we exercise, then the amount must be higher. Drinking water is important to help our kidneys and bowels working correctly, but also aids in lowering anxiety, associated with weight gain. If you are struggling to drink enough water, a great way to start is by adding some drops of lemon juice or orange juice.
No balance between eating healthy and exercising
Exercising is definitely one key component of weight loss journey. It is important to have a regular exercise regimen to achieve great results! Evidence shows that exercise should only be 20% of being healthy, the other 80% must be good nutrition. However, there are two common errors that lead to not getting the objectives we want in losing weight:
- Eating “healthy” and not doing enough exercise
A lot of people fall into this category, thinking that eating “clean” and “lean” but almost no workouts will lead to good results. The truth is, you will be burning less calories, plus gaining more fat inside and losing muscle, even though you may be getting thinner.
- Working out a lot, but making poor food choices
This one is a great excuse for people who love junk food and “dread” making the right eating choices. For instance, spending more than 2-3 hours training at the gym, to then go home to have a hamburger isn’t really a wise decision when aiming for a better eating lifestyle.
Some final insight
Remember that when it comes to a weight loss journey, you must be prepared. Aim to make conscious and smart choices to reach your goals and avoid feeling frustration. Also, listen to your body! There are signs that will let you know when things are going in the right way. Know that it is normal to have weight fluctuations from time to time.
If you start on the right path, understanding how the body works and the reasons to follow a proper guide, then it is a fact that you will become successful in learning how to make good habits in the long term. Let me know what are your struggles? Have you been guilty of these mistakes? Comment below with your experiences; share with a friend who is struggling to get on track on the journey.