This is part 6 of a 10 part series dedicated to letting know about the 101 most common and detrimental mistakes committed by dieters and and people trying to lose weight. You can find links to the other parts at the end of this post.
51. Fear of exercise pain
There was a time when I struggled a lot with the fear of exercise pain, this is when I would always plan to do exercise but then gradually back out because I was scared of the burn.
This is a common point where dieters fall off the wagon, the fear of the discomfort which exercises poses is often strong enough to wean you off the right path.
I can’t think of any easy solutions to this but from my experience doing workouts in the presence of others is motivating enough to keep you going a bit longer (for fear of embarrassment). However this doesn’t make you do the exercise in the first place, in that case I find that finding a personal trainer is a great weight loss strategy.
A personal trainer can not just help sculpt a suitable exercise program, he/she can also be your greatest external source of motivation. They can make you feel a full sense of responsibility for your weight loss, kick you into gear when you’re just not feeling like it and encourage you to complete workouts whilst your doing them.
Personal trainers are expensive so the second best option is find a friend (or someone else you can relate to weight loss wise) and motivate each other.
Groups are another option, where you form a community of like minded people with similar dieting and weight loss goals. You hold each other responsible for your collective progress.
52. Not seeking advice
All of our achievements start from a point where we knew nothing of what we were eventually to do. This is no less true when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle which includes a balanced diet and plenty of physical activity.
To set off on the right foot I recommend you seek some expert advice for both how to construct a healthy diet to and regarding exercise. You can do this by
- contacting a nutritionist – possibly the best option for working out a suitable diet.
- looking up books (making sure it’s a recommend one) – great way to build up some personal knowledge about nutrition, diet, exercise and health in general. This gives a good foundation when you’re talking to others to know what they are talking about.
- asking a personal trainer or expert friends – possibly the best option for working out a suitable exercise program.
- looking on internet forums – there are plenty of these, and you’ll find loads of great information, but make you read thoroughly and take the advice from the experts not novices.
53. Not using the right equipment
Exercising and working out is great and if you are doing that then well done! However working out using unsuitable equipment is a recipe for injury, poor results and slow recovery.
For example jogging in trainers which aren’t well fitting will result in sprained ankles, painful heels and toes. Constantly aggravating your ankle will eventually lead to greater injury, putting an end to jogging for quite a while.
It’s vitally important to use the right tool for the job, to get it done efficiently, effectively and as safely as possible.
If you’re unsure what the right equipment is then find out. There’s more than enough and easily reachable sources of information readily available via an internet search. Nowadays there’s even a lot of videos being posting on how to use certain pieces of equipment properly.
For things you have to wear such as running shoes the best and easiest option is to go to a well reputed sport store. Ask for an in store assistant to help you choose something which is suitable, and well fitting. Same principle applies for all other equipment too.
54. Not doing exercises correctly
Having the right equipment is the first step, the next and continuing steps are to exercise and correctly.
Doing exercise wrong is another recipe for injury and poor results. This is particularly true for weight training, where not doing reps correctly can easily injure you and produce poor results.
Getting your posture right is the difference between plenty of unwanted strains and a effective workout. Find out what is right and make sure you do them as demonstrated. Here are few tips to follow:
- Use a mirror – keep an eye on your posture so that you can self correct
- Get a running mate – by running together you can correct each other
- Make use of fellow gym goers – there’s always going to be someone more experienced than you, let them give you hand and putting you right
Avoid mistakes to avoid injury, too much downtime, unwanted aches and strains.
55. Not warming up and down before and after workouts
So now you know that is important to use the right equipment and do the exercises correctly, but now you also have to make sure you prepare correctly.
Warming up before working out gets the blood flowing and as it says warms your muscle up. This helps prevent injury. Here are some good ways to warm up.
- Go for a slow jog
- Some stretching of the major muscles in your legs and arms, which also helps with flexibility
- Wear a tracksuit whilst exercising lightly – the tracksuit helps insulate you keeping you warm
Warming up shouldn’t take very long, around 5 minutes should be sufficient. It shouldn’t tire you out since that the job of the rest of your exercise session.
56. Punishing yourself when things aren’t going to plan
Self punishment is a common trait when you fail to achieve something you feel is important. I remember berated myself whenever I failed to complete a workout successfully. Self punishing can come in many forms – self berating, thinking that you are worthless, or physical things such as self harm. This is not the way to go!
I eventually realized that punishing myself was not getting any closer to my goals, in fact it was doing the exact opposite. By making myself feel terrible about myself I put on massive pressure which eventually chipped away at my motivation.
I realized with some help from from more enlightened individuals that the only way to achieve those goals was to focus on successes. So how can you use this lesson?
- Reward yourself when you do well (but not with food, not would be a twisted sort of punishment!) by acknowledging your success you reinforce positive attitude, and there’s also something to look forward to by trying hard.
- Get close friends or family to stop you when you are punishing yourself – it hard to bring yourself out of a bad cycle but observers can give you a hand.
- Realize that it all a learning process – life is a big lesson, don’t let it get you down. The sooner you realize this the sooner you’ll live a fuller, happier life and success will come much more easily.
57. Not drinking water 30 minutes before meals
In my other posts I often talk about the importance of drinking water when you’re trying to lose weight. In fact I’ve written a whole post dedicated to it, you can check it out after reading this post here – Drinking Water To Lose Weight
The brain sends the same signal in response to both hunger and thirst, so a lot of the time when you thought you were hungry you weren’t. You were thirsty!
There are signs of thirst like dry lips but not distinct sensation, so you just feel hungry.
Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before eating, it should alleviate any hunger due to thirst which will help prevent overeating at meals and that means less calories consumed).
Keeping well hydrated throughout the day is also important for not feeling false hunger between meals, so keep yourself well hydrated.
58. Being too strict on food variety
If you’re following a very strict diet plan in terms of food variety then I recommend you stop following it. It’s not something which is sustainable, because a healthy balanced diet should include a lot of food variety. It’s the principles of healthy diet which are quite strict not the actually food choice.
So start thinking about the principles before the actual food items themselves. Reread mistake #52, it’s important to educate yourself on the things you’re trying to do. If it’s weight loss then diet is obviously the foundation of that, so read books, ask nutritionists, successful dieters for what they recommend.
Most importantly you have to distill out the principles from all the information so that you can apply them yourself.
59. Focusing on mistakes
Hope you read the point about self punishment when things are going wrong, well that’s partly because you keep on focusing on the mistakes you make. I would never tell people to ignore their mistakes, because only by recognizing them can you learn, avoid and improve from them.
But overly zoning in on your mistakes is a sort of obsessive indulgence which can only lead to negative feelings. Common symptoms are low self-esteem, lack of confidence, neurotic over-thinking and others.
I recommend that every time you realize a mistake you’ve made to immediate think of something you can do to improve it. So for example if you finding a workout too hard instead of berating yourself start thinking why it feels too hard, and then of possible solutions – advice from experts (personal trainers, the internet, friends).
By doing that you take your mind off just mindlessly revolving around the problem and onto solving it. It’s objective, effective and will make you feel like you’re making progress – because you are!
60. Only doing cardio
The great big cardio myth – doing as much cardio as possible to burn more calories. This is true but it’s not very effective, and there are other ways to burn more calories without overexerting yourself.
There comes a point of diminishing returns with cardio, where your fitness is noting increasing and your extended workout.
An alternative to is to do a sensible amount of cadio (up to 1 hour per day) and include some higher intensity training (HIT). HIT includes sprinting, sprinting cycling, intense rowing and all other things which you can’t maintain for long.
HIT is an anaerobic process meaning it uses up energy stored in your muscles, and in the recovery process energy stores must be restored this the what burns fat for up to 48 hours after the workout. It’s truly burning extra calories as you sleep!
I hoped you gained a lot of insight from those 10 common mistakes, avoid them and stop hampering your weight loss efforts. Good health to you!
Links to the rest of the series: