Losing Weight the Right Way: Top 3 Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Wondering why the scale number does not seem to react to all your efforts to lose weight? It’s very likely that you make common mistakes which are shared by the overwhelming majority of people trying to get rid of unnecessary pounds. Not only do they hinder the process – they urge all the lost pounds to come back afterwards.
Mistake #1: Fascinated by the numbers
Stop looking at the scale all days long. Even if you’ve started following a certain diet and exercising regularly, it does not mean you can expect immediate results. Most people believe their efforts are in vain, as they don’t lose weight fast. Some are also disappointed when they see
they gained another couple of lbs after having lost them in the morning. No worries – it’s normal.
Weight fluctuations depend on how much liquid and food there’s still in your body. In the morning, there are no undigested substances in your stomach, whereas your dinners and lunches result in the seeming weight gain. The fluid and food you drink and eat will be processed soon, and the numbers will get optimistic again.
Besides, when you accept the challenge of losing weight and limit your intake of food, fat is not the only thing lost, because water and muscles are also affected. That is why you simply cannot lose weight fast: if you do, and the scale numbers change drastically in one day, it means you’ve lost a lot of water (which can be dangerous) and a tiny amount of fat.
Remember: daily weight fluctuations of 4 lbs are normal. Instead of being mesmerized by the numbers, measure your waist regularly, as it will be a way more reliable indicator of your progress.
Mistake #2: Unreasonable calorie deficit
Most people think restriction of calorie intake should be radical. Yes, if you consume scant doses of food, you will lose weight, but it will be at the cost of water and muscles. It’s explained by a variety of factors. First, your body cannot eliminate that much fat in one day. Second, an intake of 1000 calories a day is very likely to alter your metabolic processes. A number of researches proved that depriving your body of calories to such an extent leads to metabolism slowing down. As a result, your body starts spending less energy to maintain its functions: after three months of following a 900-calorie diet, the study participants had their metabolism slowed down significantly: their bodies used 431 fewer calories than those of the control group. It means they had to exercise more or eat less to compensate for the changes.
Another research revealed that restricting your calorie intake to 1114 per day alone makes your metabolism work 13% less efficiently.
Remember: don’t believe it when you hear that the fewer calories, the better. Each case requires an individual approach, and limiting your intake to 1000 calories is likely to cause you troubles instead of helping you lose weight for a long time.
Mistake #3: Overestimating burned calories
One of the most common habits among those trying to lose weight is to eat more after having exercised. Many people are sure their metabolic rate is in the turbo mode after workouts, so it will handle all their donuts and burgers with ease. That’s completely wrong, because the overwhelming majority of people believe they burn much more calories than they really do. For example, if a woman that weights 60 kg (~132 pounds) runs for 30 minutes at the speed of 8.5 km/h, she will burn only 250 calories – the price of a couple of cookies. Most of us tend to overestimate our calorie burning rates and think they can eat more because of it. Say hello to extra pounds and exercising in vain.
Remember: it takes a lot of willpower and determination to lose weight, and if you’ve burned a certain amount of calories, you should not compensate for them by eating more, as the challenge will get even more difficult. Also, most treadmills and other equipment are inaccurate when they show calorie burning rates, so don’t trust them that often.
Metabolic and behavioral compensations in response to caloric restriction: implications for the maintenance of weight loss – Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Metabolic response to short-term 4-day energy restriction in a controlled study – Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Discrepancy between self-reported and actual caloric intake and exercise in obese subjects – Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov