Updated: Jul 10, 2020
Losing weight can seem tough when you are trying your best but getting nowhere. In a world of misinformation and pseudoscience, it is now easier than ever to be misguided.
If you are trying to lose weight but the pounds are not budging, you may be making these 4 common mistakes.
1. You are Using a Fad Diet: Fad diets are often sold to you as quick fixes, with no credible evidence to back up claims.
Please note, before and after pictures are not considered credible evidence! When you adopt a new way of eating, the best way to judge if it’s the right approach for you, consider how sustainable it is. If you can’t imagine eating this way long-term, any result this diet provides, will most likely last as long as the diet does.
Weight loss should not feel like a punishment, if your diet is too restrictive, do yourself a favour and ditch that diet. 2. Eating Wrong for Your Goals Often clients reach out to me after they have grown tired of the fad and self-prescribed diets. I always ask clients to take pictures of everything they eat for 3 days. The most common issues I see are: a. Too much starchy carbohydrates or sugar: These are the carbohydrates that are high in calories and low in micronutrients. Your shop bought smoothie may not be so INNOCENT! Your serving of rice or pasta may be too large. The point is, your diet may be lacking BALANCE.
b. Not enough lean protein: Getting adequate protein amounts in your diet can support your weight-loss efforts immensely. Protein helps with satiety and you can make great calorie savings with protein, because this macronutrient requires more calories to digest.
c. Not enough fibre: although not a magic solution, fibre is by far the most underrated tool in weight loss. It helps with keeping you fuller for longer and does wonders for your gut health.
3. Not Exercising Enough
Exercising has many benefits, boosting your metabolism is just one of them.
Each of us was born with these little energy factories in our cells called mitochondria. Each cell in our body has 100s to 1000s of them. The mitochondria convert the oxygen you breathe and the foods you eat into energy.
If the mitochondria in your cells work optimally then you have a fast metabolism and if they don’t function properly, you have a slow metabolism.
The good news is, you can boost the function and the number of mitochondria in your cells through exercise.
A combination of interval training and strength training can boost the function and increase the number of mitochondria in your cells, therefore boosting your metabolism.
4. Having Unrealistic Expectations
Your mindset plays a big role in your weight loss efforts. I often have to help clients realign their expectations and be kind to themselves.
The truth is, not all of us were born to be slim. Your body shape is heavily determined by your genetics.
It is important to go over your goals and realign your expectations.
Ask yourself, have I ever been my goal weight before (during your adult years)?
If yes, then there is a possibility you can make it back to that weight.
If no, then you might just be unrealistic with your goals.
Remember, when trying to lose weight, it is always best to seek professional advice from a registered nutritionist or dietician.
Iman Hassan (BSc, ANutr)
Certified Personal Trainer
Weight Loss Specialist