We've all been there before: doing cardio for hours, skipping meals (only to binge eat after), obsessing over the number on the scale... all to try and optimize our weight loss goals. The truth is these are just a few of the mistakes we make while on our weight loss journey that can really throw us off our track. Here's how to fix them:
1. Stop Overeating Protein
Some often believe that consuming more protein per meal serving will make you feel fuller and thus help you not overeat carbohydrates. The issue is that the body has a limit to how much it can absorb, so after the required intake is met the remaining gets flushed out of your system or turned into fat storage. The solution is to eat 20 - 30 grams per meal serving (for example: 1 chicken breast the size of your fist).
2. Strength Training Is Your Best Friend
Many people are under the misconception that the only way to lose weight is by doing cardio. No! Not only does strength training get your body to burn calories and tone up during the workout, but it helps accelerate your metabolism so you are burning calories even hours after finishing your workout.
3. Focus on Good Carbs, Not Bad Carbs
Drop the white bread! Simple carbs only make your sugar levels spike and leave you wanting to eat more. Complex carbs, on the other hand, keep you fuller and satisfied for longer periods of time (for example: sweet potatoes, black beans and quinoa).
4. It's Not a Cheat Day, It's a Cheat Meal
Don’t binge eat a whole day and then diet for the rest of the week. This will only keep your bad food habits going and will strip you off the energy you need to be more active! Instead, indulge yourself with a cheat meal once a week to keep you on track.
5. Avoid Skipping Meals
If you're accustomed to eating 3 - 4 times a day and you decide to skip a couple of meals, your body will know and react accordingly. Extreme calories restriction tells the body to store the next meal as fat storage. Why? Because your body now doesn’t know when it will get the next meal. Focus on eating more frequent meals while paying close attention to the portion size.
6. Sleep Is Key to Losing Weight
The real work happens while you're a sleeping. While sleeping, the body focuses on repairing itself which it needs to keep you in tip top shape for your fitness program. Not sleeping can also wreak havoc to your weight loss plan, by causing your cortisol levels to increase causing your appetite to get out of control.
7. Thinking You Don’t Have Enough Time
The busy excuse. We have all heard it before. “I'm too busy to go to the gym today”. “I don’t have time to make a home-cooked meal”. Think again. Focus on short daily workouts that last 10 to 20 minutes. Also, skip the takeout and opt for meals using easy-to-cook, wholesome ingredients like quinoa or kale. It’s better than the alternative!
8. Keep Your Program Fresh to Avoid Plateauing
Stop doing the same workouts with the same weights, sets, repetitions and rest times. Spice it up: go to a spinning class one week and then go to a strength training class the next. If you're having difficulty setting yourself up with a program get in touch with a personal trainer to set you up with weekly or bi-weekly exercise programs that you can easily follow.
9. Be Consistent with Staying Active
Don't expect results to come your way if you're actively working out one week and sitting on the coach watching Netflix the next. Remember thought that it’s not always about going to the gym. Try to include physical recreational activities to your day (for example: rock climbing, playing soccer, going for a nice walk, swimming). One of my two favorite things to do in my free time are boxing and axe throwing.
10. Don't Weigh Yourself Everyday
The body’s weight fluctuates a lot, so avoid obsessively weighing yourself everyday. While you're seeing the number on the scale go down you will be happy, but any minimal increase will have you yourself on what you did wrong. Water retention or even the time of day can affect your weight. Focus on only weighing yourself once a week or bi-weekly to keep everything in perspective.
Do any of these resonate with you? Are there any other mistakes you keep on making over and over? Let me know in the comments!