So you've decided you could spare to lose a couple pounds. Be it fifteen, five, or a mere two pounds, but you can't seem to lose the stubborn weight! You've been doing everything right (or so you think) so what gives?
Well, if you are new to the fitness ordeal, it can be easy to overlook small details that might actually be crucial to reaching your goal. Here are the top six mistakes I've seen when trying to lose weight.
Top six misconceptions/mistakes about losing weight
1) Why am I not losing weight? All I've been eating is salads!
To just about everyone a salad tends to be the go-to for eating lighter fare. The dilemma is that, while salads can be a good option, oftentimes they are just as bad as choosing a high calorie meal. The number one thing to look for is dressing. Seems innocent (and of course tasty!) but drowning your spinach salad in ranch just made it the equivalent of ordering a burger. One single serving of ranch (30g) has 15 grams of FAT! Other items that may be sabotaging the healthiness of your salad are bacon, cheese, tostada chips, nuts (depends on amount), and croutons to name a few. Rule of thumb, order a salad that is simple (mostly greens, veggies) that doesn't have the aforementioned items and please order it with DRESSING ON THE SIDE. It will allow you to taste the flavor by dipping not drowning, and cuts calories.
2) I work out everyday why am I not losing weight?
Losing weight is a three part equation: water intake, diet, exercise. You cannot expect quick or perfect results by only doing part of the equation. What is most important is your water intake as it is what flushes toxins and keeps your body hydrated, then it will be your food. What are you eating? You can be at the gym for an hour everyday, but if you leave and have a soda then eat a 1500 calorie meal your results just became null. In order for exercise to be beneficial, your diet needs to be in check as does your water intake.
3) I am exercising but it's not working! Why have I seen no results?
The key to this problem is simply choosing the right exercise. There is a vast array of choices when it comes to choosing how to work out, this is because each form of exercise is made for a specific purpose. In the case of losing weight, you need to be doing cardio. Weight training can be combined with cardio to help with results, but ultimately your base needs to be cardio. Running is your best bet because it does not require a gym and can be done anywhere. Swimming is also a great form of cardio. If you are more of a gym person, you can do the stairmaster for good results. Try to do half an hour of cardio everyday as a minimum.
4) I am eating healthy why am I not losing weight?
Healthy in general is often viewed as fruits, veggies, and whole grains. This is true if you are simply trying to maintain weight, but if you are trying to lose weight it is not enough to eat fruit. There are actually a lot of factors to consider, for one, there is a big difference between being overweight (say a female 5'5 at 180lbs) than being at a good weight and wanting to lose a muffin top (female 5'5 130lbs wanting to be 125lbs). This is a huge determinant in deciding what to eat, as it is a lot easier to drop pounds if you are overweight. If you are overweight it is okay to begin by switching to a healthy diet. If you are not overweight, then it is not enough to simply stop eating bread per say. At this point you want to increase water and eat food that is clean. Meaning food that is not overloaded with sodium, fat or sugar. Such a food could be chicken breast cooked in olive oil with pepper and a side of steamed broccoli.
5) I am eating once a day, why am I still not losing weight?
This is actually a pretty common mistake. Believe it or not, substituting coffee for breakfast, eating one large unhealthy meal, then skipping dinner is not going to solve any problems. For one this is unhealthy and is bad for you metabolism. Second, starving yourself puts your body in starvation mode where it assumes you wont feed it so it starts to turn what you do eat into fat. These eating habits can also lead to binge eating which is also unhealthy and can lead to eating disorders. Instead opt for eating more (yes more!) with smaller portions. Try to eat around five times a day every two to three hours. Each meal should be a small portion with both protein and carbs. Eating like this keeps your metabolism going, keeps you fed, and if done correctly will actually help you lose weight.
6) Eating a heavy dinner
It is of no use if you eat healthier in the early hours and then eat something more fattening at night. At night your body no longer burns off food calories as it does in the before around 6pm. Structure your food so that if you must have a heavy high calorie meal it is in the morning not the afternoon and much less at night!