8 mistakes you are probably making when trying to lose weight
I have mentioned before that losing weight is not rocket science, but to many people is hard and arduous pursuit. Losing weight is simple but not easy. You need to navigate between online myths (untrue information) and the facts (basic principles that are always true). If you are not losing weight, you are probably making some mistakes and errors in your judgement. In this blog, I will describe eight common mistakes you are probably making when trying to lose weight.
It’s true that you can exercise and eat healthily and still struggle with losing weight. There is a difference between a general exercise you see many influencers post on Youtube and an actual personalised exercise programme for weight loss. The latter is much more specific and focused on achieving your goal.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the most common mistakes when trying to lose weight.
8 mistakes you are probably making when trying to lose weight
These eight mistakes have been extracted from many of our use cases. If you avoid these mistakes, you will be much closer to achieving your weight-loss target.
Mistake #1: Following a generalised exercise and nutritional programme
When trying to lose weight, many people watch Youtube exercise videos and expect to achieve their results. It rarely happens. You want to know why? Because the exercise workout is not personalised and adapted to you. It’s adapted to the person in the video, and in most cases, this is also the wrong assumption.
To successfully lose weight, you need to have an entirely personalised solution. Namely, you need to follow a personalised, not generalised exercise and nutritional programme.
The first thing you should do is assess your current workout. Ask yourself, is it entirely personalised to me? Does it consider my fitness level, my specific weight-loss goal, my injuries, my equipment and my environment, my current active and nutritional habits, my exercise preferences?
In the same way, assess your current nutritional programme. Is your nutritional programme entirely personalised to you? Does it consider your allergies, medical history, your specific weight-loss goal, your active and nutritional habits, your personalised exercise programme?
This all needs to be taken into consideration for you to reach your weight-loss target.
Mistake #2: Violating the basic calorie deficit principle
I have talked about the calorie deficit principle in one of our previous blog posts. Let’s revisit the principle in detail here again.
The calorie deficit principle states that to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit. This principle is always true, and there is no way around it. It’s very simple to describe; you take in fewer calories than you expend. However, to understand this principle practically, you need to know more about it and how to respect it.
To achieve your calorie deficit, the first thing you should do is increase your energy expenditure. In other words, you need to be more active, for example, through regular walks, sports activity or doing chores around your house. Our blog post Lose weight with effective lifestyle changes describes how to be more active in detail.
The second thing is to determine your total daily energy needs (I call it daily calorie intake threshold ) based on your daily activities’ energy cost and your basal metabolic rate. Here is a helpful blog post that we wrote on this topic How to calculate your total daily energy needs.
Mistake #3: Not getting enough sleep
People that get less than 6 hours of sleep have a 50 % less chance of losing weight. Sleep is crucial when you want to reach your desired weight.
In our blog post How sleep affects your weight-loss, we talked about how our sleep directly influences our two important appetite hormones, which are called leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone that decreases our appetite, and ghrelin is a hormone that increases it.
So, lack of sleep increases your level of ghrelin and decreases your leptin levels. When this happens, you are more likely to eat unhealthy food and consume snacks full of sugar and calories. As a result, you gain weight.
To avoid this, make sure to get plenty of sleep so you can feel fully restful and energized. If you are serious about losing weight, you should prioritise your sleep.
Mistake #4: Spending time with the wrong people
What does it mean to spend time with the wrong people? It can mean spending time with people who don’t exercise regularly and who don’t eat healthy. In other words, spending time with people who don’t share the same goal will slow down your weight-loss results.
So, you want to find your tribe, surround yourself with positive and encouraging people who share the same weight-loss goal as you. This way, you can support and encourage each other when you feel lazy and not in the mood for a workout.
In life, you will go as far as the people around you let you. The law of association is very powerful and responsible for any success in life.
Healthy social circle and why is important to your weight-loss blog post will teach you how to create your ideal environment which will speed up your weight-loss results.
Mistake #5: Not changing lifestyle
Your current lifestyle brought you into this situation (need to lose weight), so you need to change and improve it. You can’t be doing the same thing and expect different results. Life doesn’t work that way.
To successfully lose weight, you need to assess your active and nutritional habits and then replace those habits with healthier ones.
I usually divide healthy lifestyle habits into two categories:
- Active lifestyle habits
- Nutritional lifestyle habits
Examples of healthy, active lifestyle habits are regular walks, taking the stairs instead of elevators, sports hobby, gardening, doing chores around the house, parking your car further and then walking the rest of your way. There are many more active lifestyle habits than what I mentioned, but you get an idea.
Nutritional healthy lifestyle habits are: taking a fruit or vegetable snack in the afternoon, eating slowly and mindfully, consuming nutrient-dense foods, having your last meal in a day 2-3 hours before you go to bed, not eating immediately after you get up, etc.
If you want to learn more about how to adopt healthier active and nutritional habits check out our blog posts How to adopt healthier nutritional habits for optimal weight loss and Lose weight with effective lifestyle changes.
Mistake #6: Worrying and stressing
Did you know that worry and stress can have a significant impact on your weight-loss pursuits? The more you stress, the slower your weight-loss results will come.
When you feel stressed, you will be more likely to miss your meals and eat unhealthy food, which gives you a short sugar spike like snacks. As a result of stress, many people lose the entire desire to eat, which negatively impacts their energy levels and their immune system.
Worry and stress tend to disrupt our sleeping patterns, and we know what happens when we don’t get a restful sleep dose.
The most sensible solution when you deal with worry and stress is purposefully to slow down. Get the proper perspective. Take a deep breath and think about a single step you can do to alleviate worry or stress. If you live your life one step at a time, you will find it more manageable. Lastly, why not try meditation? Regular meditation is an excellent way to alleviate stress and worry.
Mistake #7: Failing to find an accountability buddy
Many research studies showed that people lose weight faster when they have somebody to hold them accountable for their action steps. It’s very easy to let ourselves down, and we do it often, but it’s not easy to let somebody else down.
An accountability buddy can be one of your family members, your friend or your trainer. The trick here is to ask them to hold you accountable for your action steps regarding your personalised exercise and nutritional programme, active and nutritional lifestyle habits.
Simply give your accountability buddy your personalised and nutritional programme and let him/her check in with you ideally every other day. Some people send their accountability buddy a progress report every week. It’s a great way of making sure you follow your weight-loss plan.
So, go out and recruit your accountability buddy but make sure he/she has a positive attitude and your best interests in heart.
Mistake #8: Giving up too soon
Many marketing campaigns lure people to lose weight in three weeks promises. It’s because we as people are trained by our society and millions of years of evolution to seek immediate results.
The process of losing weight takes time. You will not lose weight overnight, and very rarely in three weeks. The truth is you will need to sacrifice and change your lifestyle completely. You will need to be more selective and choose only the exercise and nutritional programme personalised to you.
But most of all, you shouldn’t quit just because you don’t see any results after a couple of days or one week. Remember that your weight-loss results and the speed you achieve them will depend on your fitness level, experience, current active and nutritional habits, etc
One thing is for sure: If you quit, you will never achieve your weight-loss goal.
These eight mistakes are the most common mistakes people do when trying to lose weight. Assess yourself and see how many mistakes from the list you are making.
Once identified, make a plan to correct those mistakes. You can read our previous blog posts where we describe many solutions how to correct each of these mistakes.
If you need any help, we are here to guide you step by step to losing weight,
Until next writing,
Damir Pervan, Founder and CEO of TrainChampion | Online weight-loss platform