Losing weight is always the number one New Years resolution. In fact, in a recent survey of over 600 Canadians conducted by GoodLife Fitness, 41% of the respondents reported wanting to lose weight as their top goal. It’s a great goal to make but sadly, only a very small percentage of people will achieve it because they go about weight loss the wrong way.
If you find yourself in this boat of wanting to lose weight or start a new years diet, first ask yourself if you are making one of these five mistakes.
1. Restricting too much
A restrictive diet that removes entire categories of foods may be effective in the short term, but it’s not sustainable. A diet shouldn’t categorize foods into “good” and “bad” foods, instead, all foods should fit into your diet. Portion size and moderation are the keys to weight loss, not restriction and categorization of foods.
Instead of going on an extreme cleanse or detox diet, take a look at what you currently eat. Track it for a couple of days or a week and notice areas you can make changes. Where can you cut back some carbohydrates in your diet without taking them completely out? When do you tend to overeat and how can you adjust your diet or lifestyle to avoid that? These are the questions that will lead to long-lasting weight loss results.
2. Your expectations are unrealistic
Everyone wants to see results fast and when you see an ad that you can lose 20 lbs in a month, it’s intriguing. But setting the bar too high sets you up for feelings of failure. If your weight loss goes slower than you expected, it’s tempting to give up the effort entirely.
Healthy & safe weight loss takes time. For the average person, safe weight loss is up to 2lbs per week. But even with that, does that mean you will lose 8lbs every single month? Not necessarily, some weeks will be better than others. Life happens which means that sometimes you will get sick, you will go on vacation or you will have an unexpected event come up. It’s important to plan accordingly and be realistic with your goals to allow for these events.
3. You’re going it alone
Are you going on a new diet plan but your significant other and/or family is not. I can almost guarantee this plan will fail.
Not only is this type of plan not sustainable, it’s isolating. Weight loss is tough and it requires a support system. Instead of eating a salad while your family has pizza, lead by example and institute healthy changes for your entire family.
Increase your entire families intake of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins & healthy fats. You can moderate your own portion sizes but enjoy the same meals as your family. By making changes to your family lifestyle, you are creating sustainable and long lasting changes that will positively affect both your health and the health of your family.
4. All or nothing mentality
Diets have an all or nothing framework. Either you’re on the bandwagon or you’re off. Therefore, when you cave and eat a chocolate chip cookie that’s not on the diet plan, you feel incredible guilt. Since you already ruined the diet, you feel as though you may as well give up.
If you change your perspective to a lifestyle change instead of a diet, the all or nothing mentality disappears. It’s okay to have a cookie once in a while. It doesn’t mean you failed and it doesn’t mean you won’t still eat your broccoli at supper time. Healthy eating and weight loss is a journey, not a destination.
5. You’re not including exercise
Diet changes are important and ultimately will lead to the vast majority of weight loss but it’s never wise to forget the energy expenditure portion of the equation.
Exercise not only burns calories to assist in your weight loss efforts but also increases your energy levels, self-confidence and metabolism. All of which will further help with your weight loss efforts.
Weight loss is complicated and takes dedication. There are no shortcuts but if you don’t fall pitfall to some of these big mistakes, you have a much better chance of beating the statistics and achieving your New Years Resolutions.
This post was written as part of the GoodLife Fitness Ambassador program. However, all thoughts & opinions expressed are solely my own.