Losing weight can seem very tough.
Sometimes you feel like you’re doing everything right, yet still not getting results.
You may actually be hindering your progress by following misguided or outdated advice.
Here are 11 common mistakes people make when trying to lose weight.
1. Cruising on the elliptical machine
Countless studies show that cardio alone won’t make the pounds melt away. People don’t need to be doing cardio for an hour as their only workout. That said, cardio isn’t all bad; in a survey of 700 people, a mixture of aerobic exercise and weightlifting was found to be the best exercise routine for weight loss.
Try carving out two or three days a week for resistance training, with steady-state or high-intensity cardio workouts in between.
2. Eating less—but not healthier
Skipping meals or limiting yourself to tiny portions can backfire, stalling weight loss or causing you to put on pounds instead. It may sound counterintuitive, but you need to eat to lose weight.
In fact, you actually need to eat more—more healthy items like vegetables, fruit, lean protein, and whole grains, that is.
3. Expecting instant results
Avoid getting discouraged if you don’t shed pounds right away.
To slim down successfully, patience is key; a 2016 study found that long-term weight loss could take at least one year of dieting.
4. Sticking to the same workout
If you zone out while jogging on the treadmill, you might not be getting the most bang for your buck (or booty!).
The exercise habits that backfire the most are the ones that do not progress people. Progressing with either intensity or volume will go a long way.
If you follow a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) program, for example, try reducing the rest periods between intervals.
5. Eating too much protein—or not enough
Skimping on protein might tempt you to binge later, according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. When participants ate a high-protein diet, they consumed an average of 575 fewer calories per day than when they ate less protein. But don’t go overboard, either.
Protein is important, but if you have too much, the excess gets stored as fat. And high-protein shakes and bars tend to be sugary and fatty. Women should eat 46 grams of protein per day, while men should aim for 56 grams, according to the CDC.
6. Torturing yourself to shed pounds
Many dieters take the phrase “No pain, no gain” a bit too literally. The truth is, you won’t stick to a weight-loss plan that feels like punishment.
No torture treatment is going to be maintainable. The key to weight loss is to find a healthy plan for you that you can maintain so that the weight does not come back.
Focus on adopting small, healthy habits that feel doable for the long run, like riding your bike to work or drinking tea instead of sugary lattes.
7. Exercising too much
When it comes to losing weight, exercise can hurt as much as it helps.
Too much exercise can lead to injury [and] burnout, and it can actually cause your body stress, which can hinder weight loss.
Scheduling “rest” weeks into your workout regimen gives your muscles time to recover, helping you to slim down in the long run. Mix up your routine with the best calorie-torching exercises to lose weight.
8. Banning treats
Three delicious chocolate muffins packed in plastic food container. Take away bakery, dessert for coffee. Overhead shot, close up. Fresh brownie cakehurricanehank/Shutterstock
Go ahead and eat that chocolate cupcake at your friend’s birthday party. By allowing yourself to indulge here and there, you are actually doing your waistline a favor.
We naturally want what we can’t have. Restriction creates stress in the body—and it causes your body to crave the very thing you’re trying to avoid.
Instead of depriving yourself of treats, follow the 80-20 plan: Healthy foods make up 80 percent of your diet, and you can still enjoy your favorite indulgences the other 20 percent of the time. Don’t miss 42 more fast, simple weight-loss tips.
9. Not getting enough z’s
In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, dieters who cut back on sleep felt hungrier and lost less weight than those who got a full night’s rest. Translation?
If your goal is to lose fat, skipping sleep is like poking sticks in your bicycle wheels. The National Sleep Foundation recommends getting seven to nine hours of shut-eye every night.
10. Ignoring your body’s hunger cues
Mindless snacking and eating your emotions are just two of the culprits that sabotage weight loss. But by snacking only when hunger strikes and putting the food away when you’re full, you can stop binge eating in its tracks.
When we shift to honoring ourselves and tuning in to how we feel, we are naturally more mindful and therefore consume foods that are better for us, in the right amounts for us. This may take time to master but the results will be long-lasting.
11. Copying someone else’s diet
Delicious carrot green spinach, mango and banana cocktail in bottle with straw on wooden tableplantic/Shutterstock
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to losing weight—no matter what the celebrity on your social media feed might claim. It is definitely hard to shut out all that white noise coming from social media, but understand that no one diet works for everyone.
Instead, make a list of goals and follow a lifestyle that helps you achieve them, and don’t be afraid to seek out a registered dietitian for extra guidance if you need it.
One last thing… you should try this odd “carb trick” that burns up to 1 pound of belly fat per day…
“All this by Flavor-Pairing?” I asked.
I met an old friend for lunch last month and I was super impressed with how good she looked.
She said, “It’s not so much about the Flavor-Pairing, but more about how it re-awakens what the Japanese call, ‘the weight loss doubling molecule’ which signals 22-hour a day fat-burning effect in the female body.”
Even though I was skeptical, I’ve been struggling with my weight over the last few years, so I gave it a shot and watched the same video she did.
Well, it’s only a couple weeks later and you know what they say about how “you can’t transform your body overnight”…
They’re right – it actually took me 16 days to lose 22 pounds.
Now it’s my girlfriends asking ME what I’M doing differently 💅