This is penultimate section of this 10 part series, I hope you’ve enjoyed these mistakes to avoid so far. If you haven’t read the other parts please do so as they will help you enhance your efforts by alerting you of the potential pitfalls. The links are at the bottom.
81. Eat tasteless meals
No one likes eating dull food that taste of nothing, they soon get bored of it and push it aside. Leaving plenty of room for some tasty, sugary, fatty snacks. If you are familiar with this situation (I know I am) then read on.
I’m guessing the kitchen is not your domain of choice, preferring the couch in the sitting room, but to successfully lose weight you need to stick to a diet plan and that usually involves food preparation.
Part of successfully sticking to healthy diet plan and losing weight is to enjoy eating the food, and that’s only going to happen if you make meals that you find delicious. So invest of bit of effort into finding out what tastes good to you, and experiment with different recipes whilst keeping in mind your diet rules.
82. Not learning to cook (a little)
Carrying on from the point above, you need to actually do the cooking to sort your meals out.
Cooking is really fun when you get into, and getting into it is certainly the challenging part. Once you start cooking tasty food might be surprised to find that you actually really enjoyed it, and are pleased with the results.
In fact all of the things we don’t like doing are considered chores because we find them difficult or fruitless. I used to hate cleaning as a young adult, but now I actually quite enjoy it because I realize that it makes my habitat clean and a pleasure to live in. I see the fruits of my labor.
By putting some real effort into cooking you will find that you actually liked it or at least dislike it a lot less. You can even wow your friends with your new skills, I think this is enough motivation to get started.
83. Allowing junk food in the house
Earlier in the series I talked about not relying on willpower alone to see you through to losing weight. It’s not something you should depend on 100% because there’ll be times when you fall off the wagon.
One of the biggest mistakes is having snack food or any other food you’re not supposed to be eating in your house. By keeping them available you give yourself all the opportunity needed to grab a tasty, sugar snack and put a pause (or even rewind) on your diet.
Stop buying those not allowed foods and only stock what’s part of your diet, so that when your will breaks down you have a buffer protecting you from binge eating.
84. Skipping meals
It’s a common misconception to think that the number of meals per day is not important, and skipping meals will help you burn more calories. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
What’s the difference between eating a massive meal at dinner and missing lunch?
Well the difference is huge, firstly your rate of metabolism will decrease in response to lack of food (it’s starvation mode) meaning less calories are used. Secondly you’ll suffer from any combination of a lack of energy, headaches, feeling cold, reduced immune function, poor concentration and poor mood.
So don’t skip any meals and in fact you should be doing the opposite – increasing the number of meals per day and making each meal smaller. Spread out your calorie intake whilst maintaining nutritional balance (proteins, fats and carbs) to keep you metabolism going and curb hunger pangs.
You know that patience is a virtue, but it’s a hard to get quality which usually only manifests when you are more experienced.
We often get impatience when embarking on something we don’t feel in control of, desperately want or have no experience in. This is perfectly natural, and often happens when you’re trying to lose weight.
You try to keep to a weight loss plan, don’t see the results as quickly as you thought/hoped and then give up and go on a crash diet or resort to some other methods (pills, injections, surgery). This is basically you destroying your own efforts when in reality if you are sticking to the plan you’re already doing great.
Learn to stick to what you started, especially when there’s no plausible reason to indicate that what you are doing is wrong – and not seeing result quick enough is not a plausible reason.
Just think how long it took you to gain all that weight, it’s going to take a lot longer to lose it all and that’s just the way it is.
Go on a weight loss plan, stick to it, track progress, adjust and repeat. You’ll be very pleased with the result, just don’t worry over time frames too much. The goal is weight loss not light speed weight loss worthy of a over hyped TV commercial.
86. Slipping back to old habits
So you’ve been on your new weight loss plan for a short while, everything’s going great, you feel motivated and you haven’t slipped once. Well done and congratulations.
After that a lot of people start to get complacent and old habits creep in quicker than you can say “I’m losing weight!”, the extra dollop of butter on your toast, the chocolate cookie at breakfast, the odd can of cola. It all get’s out of hand quite easily. Eventually your successful start turns into something not much better than what you were doing before.
To combat this common phenomenon I recommend tracking your progress, like I’ve mentioned countless times in this series. Keeping tabs on how you’re doing give’s you a bird’s eye view of your weight loss landscape allowing you to easily spot things that are going wrong (and well).
You tracking can be a diary, journal or spreadsheet where you record everything you eat, the workouts you do. You should review this on a weekly basis. By simply doing this you give yourself a wake up call, so that you have a similar motivation like when you first started.
87. Reducing calories by not eating after exercise
A lot of people make the mistake of not eating after exercising in the hopes that the increased metabolism will burn more fat.
In fact eating after exercise helps you recover faster allowing you to workout just as hard the next session. The long term result is better fitness achieved more efficiently, and greater fat loss due to better and more exercise.
Probably the best time to workout is shortly before your evening meal, this is the time when you’re at the physical optimum. When you eat make sure the meal is high in protein and complex carbs since they are what is required for speedy recovery.
88. Exercising first thing
Going out for a run first thing in the morning helps you wake up and gets the calories burnt so you won’t run out of time to do so later. But this is not good for your body, you are running on empty.
It affects your workout performance drastically, meaning you don’t do as well and burn less calories. It’ll possibly also have an impact on the rest of day because you need to recover of a poor workout session.
You liver has a store of energy which is at it’s lowest after a night of sleep, by exercising in this state you push your body into starvation mode which ultimately burns less calories.
These all lead to poor adaption to your workouts which means a lower increase in fitness, as well as less fat loss.
Make sure to eat a good breakfast with lots of slow release carbs such as oats and whole grains. Reschedule your exercise session for shortly before your evening meal, this also happens to be when most people perform best physically.
89. Increasing your exercise intensity/duration too quickly
In the hopes of losing weight as quicker you exercise more intensely every time, running an extra mile, pushing yourself to do more reps, etc. This is not a good idea.
Firstly, losing weight super fast is not what you need to be aiming for, simply losing weight is what you wanted so no don’t push it to the extremes.
Secondly, increasing your workout intensity too quickly will result in injury, mental burnout and a lack of results. Not good for long term weight loss and fitness development.
Lastly, extremes are in my experience and opinion not healthy physically or mentally. As individuals we should do the best we can with what we’ve got, hoping for extremes is unrealistic and always leads to disappointment. I’m saying you shouldn’t have dreams, goals and ambitions because they are what make us do the things we do. If you think about it losing weight as fast as possible is not the best you can do, it’s going to hurt your body, it’s not smart or healthy. Steady as you go.
90. Energy drinks for workouts
Sport and energy drinks are really popular (especially among students during exam time), they promise to give you what you need to do an amazing workout.
The thing is unless you are a professional athlete these drinks are pointless, they are full of sugar and caffeine. Which means an excess of sugar based based calories.
When you are on a healthy diet you shouldn’t need energy drinks to perform well in workouts, so adjust your diet first if you are finding workouts are getting better with drinks.
Caffeine does give a small boost when working out but they make you pass more water and speeds up dehydration which is not good overall (I’ve also covered this many times in this series).
Please avoid all of these mistakes and I wish you as efficient and enjoyable weight loss journey.
Here are the links to the rest of the series: