As I make my way through this journey I still make mistakes. I learn from them and try to not repeat them. The fact is, I am only human and there are days that I do repeat them. I give myself a friendly nudge and keep moving. I’ve learned over the years that some of my everyday habits were not doing me any good, and only hindering my progress.
Here are 5 mistakes to avoid while trying to lose weight:
1. Not eating enough! I talk very often about this within the weight loss community. No matter what plan or program you’re following, calories still matter. Let’s start with what a calorie is. A calorie is a unit of energy. When you hear something has 200 calories, it's means how much energy your body could get from eating or drinking it. I cannot tell you the number of times I have talked with others and they notice they aren’t losing weight. They tell me they’ve stayed at 1200 calories or stayed within their BITES, didn’t use any weeklies, and walked 5 miles in that same week. The scale just didn’t budge! Calorie needs are based on a multitude of factors, this includes the person's sex, age, weight, height, and level of daily activity. Often people talk about the starvation mode, which is something that means your body begins using muscle tissue to survive. This usually does not occur unless you’ve been eating so little over a considerable amount of time. What actually happens when you eat less than your allotted calories or BITES, it can become increasingly difficult to hit your weight loss goals if you’re not eating enough. Keep eating and keep tracking, this is key to your own success!
2. Not enough protein. Protein is such an important part of any healthy and nutritious diet, especially if you’re trying to achieve weight loss. Protein can aid in increased metabolism, increased muscle mass, and best of all, curb those cravings. Having a healthy amount of protein at breakfast can set the tone for your day ahead by keeping that full feeling for a longer period of time. When you replace those carbs and fats with protein you’re reducing that hormone that causes hunger, and in turn, increasing your satiety hormones. If you’re not getting enough protein in your diet you’re more likely to eat more, increasing your caloric intake. It really is all about balance!
3. Not keeping track. I love everything about tracking, I love knowing what’s going in and being able to assess later on if I’ve made an error and learning from that. I will admit that there have been times that I haven’t tracked something and considered it a “cheat meal” or a “cheat snack”. Of course later on when it was time to do my weekly weigh-in and the scale didn’t move in the right direction, I think back and remember the things I didn’t track. Another puzzle piece to being successful on your journey is staying accountable and keeping track of every taste, bite, or serving. Track it and move on is one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received since joining iTrackBites. Keeping track will keep you on the great path of success!
4. Unrealistic Expectations. We all want to lose weight, and we all want it to happen fast. Realistically, we didn’t gain the weight overnight, we aren’t going to lose it overnight. Wouldn’t it be so great if we could? Unfortunately, this is not the case for any of us. When beginning a weight loss journey usually you have a number in mind as well as a time frame. In many cases the number and time frame are unrealistic. Start by setting short-term goals, still keep your ultimate goal in mind. If you take it one step, and one pound at a time you’re setting yourself up for success and very realistic expectations of yourself. Take it slow and you’re more likely to see results that will stick around.
5. Drinking your calories. I was guilty of this for years. I would be out and about, and make a stop at a gas station and grab a drink from the cooler. Usually, it would be a soda loaded with sugar and all of the not so great extras for my body. Solid sugar and liquid sugar are very different. If you consume beverages that are high in calories and sugar more than once a day, you’re more likely to still feel hungry and unsatisfied whereas if you’re consuming food even with sugar, chances are you are satisfied and will eat less in the long run. Stick to water, tea, and coffee. I love to infuse my water with fresh fruit to make it taste better, this is also a great way to get in some extra nutrients!
Avoiding these mistakes will not only make you healthier, but you will feel it with consistency. When we feel good, we do good! The result will keep you on the path of a successful and healthy weight loss journey!