19 Mistakes Most People Make When Trying to Lose Weight

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By Darryl Henderson

No two weight loss journeys are the same, with different people experiencing different trials and tribulations on their way to their final goal. However, here are 19 mistakes that you should avoid to smooth out your journey, helping you to get where you want to be, faster.

Over Exercising

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Exercise is a vital cog in the weight loss machine, helping you achieve a daily calorie deficit. Too much exercise can prove detrimental, however, as you will be putting your body under too much stress, increasing the chances of sustaining injuries. 

Ignoring Protein

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While protein has a slight stigma around it, as it is heavily linked with muscle building, it is also a vital part of weight loss. One Harvard study suggests that those who eat healthy proteins such as beans and chickpeas feel full quicker, leading to better weight control.

Purely Focusing on Cardio

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Cardio is very important when it comes to weight loss, as it will ensure you’re operating at a higher physical level, while keeping your metabolism in order. You shouldn’t disregard other exercises such as lifting weights, which also promotes fat loss.

Not Drinking Enough Water

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Water is the real magic potion in a weight loss journey, keeping you hydrated while keeping your metabolism running at a good rate. According to the National Library of Medicine, drinking at least a liter-and-a-half of water each day will help to lower your BMI.

Taking the Scales Too Literally

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Weight fluctuates every day, depending on the food and liquids that you have consumed. The best way of calculating your weight loss is not by overanalyzing the daily readings, but instead taking an average reading of your weight throughout the week.

Relying on Supplements

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Ultimately, weight loss is not complicated and doesn’t rely on the use of multiple different types of expensive supplements to get you where you want to be. These supplements won’t help you lose weight any quicker than you’d achieve without them and are simply exposing you to potential side effects.

Choosing Low-Fat Foods

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While it is good to eat foods with reduced levels of saturated fats, companies will often try and make up for a loss of flavor by adding more sugar into the product. This defeats the purpose of removing one negative ingredient, as it is simply being replaced by another.

Avoiding Fats

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The word ‘fat’ has become wrongly outlawed by society, with many assuming all types of fat are negative. According to the NHS, we should be consuming less saturated fats, the types of fats found in confectionery, cheese and meat, and enough unsaturated fats, found in avocados, olive oil, and nuts.

Trying Too Many Fad Diets

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A genuine weight loss journey shouldn’t involve taking up a super specialized diet for a set amount of time and should instead involve a genuine lifestyle change. A consistent, balanced diet, along with exercise, will inevitably lead to weight loss.

Eating Too Often

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One piece of advice that has been floating around for a while is that you should be eating little and often to avoid a drop in metabolism, even if you’re not hungry. This puts you at risk of consuming too many calories throughout the day, leading to weight gain.

Being Too Strict on Yourself

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Yes, losing weight requires a substantial level of discipline, but it’s no good being too harsh on yourself if you have the occasional slip-up. This strictness could lead to low morale and quitting the journey altogether due to negative feelings.

Eating Foods With Too Many Ingredients

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Packaged foods tend to be processed within an inch of their lives, packed with all sorts of ingredients and preservatives that make it a struggle to pronounce their names. Nothing beats homemade food packed with single ingredients, allowing you to keep tabs on what you’re consuming.

Disregarding Water Weight

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When we sweat, we lose what is known as ‘water weight’, which is quickly replenished by drinking more water. This is not the same as weight loss, which happens when you burn more calories than you consume. So, sweating more doesn’t mean you’ll lose more weight in the long run.

Eating Too Little

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While the idea of losing weight suggests that you should eat less, if you eat too little, your body will go into survival mode. This means your metabolism will slow down dramatically in order for your body to conserve the energy it needs to operate.

Trying to Lose Weight Too Quickly

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While the dream is, of course, to be able to shed all the weight you want within a month, it just isn’t conducive to a healthy lifestyle. According to the CDC, those who lose around one to two pounds per week are more likely to sustain their weight loss. 

Trusting Everything You Read

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This might be counterproductive considering you are reading this, but nevertheless, you shouldn’t be believing everything you read about weight loss online. While there are some genuinely good tips out there, you should always remember the two foundations of weight loss: exercise and a balanced diet. 

Trying Too Hard

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Believe it or not, stress is one of the leading factors when it comes to weight gain. Trying too hard to lose weight and worrying that it isn’t happening for you could actually be the main issue preventing you from doing so. In short, keep following your plan and the rewards will come.

Being Inconsistent

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The most important behavioral factor when it comes to weight loss is consistency. If you can keep chipping away at your goal, eating well, and exercising, you will get to where you want to be. Weight loss should be seen as a lifestyle change rather than a temporary effort. 

Not Getting Enough Sleep

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Sleep is vital for losing weight. A lack of it will reduce your energy levels, preventing you from giving all that you’ve got in your workout, and lowering motivation levels. It is recommended that you get around seven to eight hours of sleep a day.