Weight loss is a journey though at times it might feel more like a battle. I get people asking me about their weight loss efforts all the time. They feel they are doing all the right things and yet they aren’t seeing the results they want. In these conversations, I’ve seen some common themes. Unknowingly, a lot of people are making choices that are sabotaging their weight loss efforts.
They’re on a diet
The word “diet” makes me cringe because it implies a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t have an end point either. Instead of focusing on a set diet that tells you what you can and cannot eat, focus on making small changes in the current lifestyle that you lead.
My suggestion to start is to write down every single thing you eat for a week then take a good hard look at it. Look for small changes you can make to your eating pattern. So for example, maybe you notice that you crave sugary treats in the afternoon when you’re at work and usually go and buy a muffin or cookie. Try switching that for a piece of fruit. Maybe you notice that you go to Starbucks for a chai latte five times a week and if you switched that to a chai tea with milk and sugar you could save yourself close to 800 calories a week!
Related: 5 Most common weight loss mistakes
They aren’t eating enough
For women particularly, this is a very common weight loss mistake. Weight loss is simply calories in vs calories out, so if you eat less you’ll lose weight faster, right? Wrong!
In truth, weight loss is a lot more complicated than that. Starving yourself with a 1200 calorie per day diet while hitting the elliptical for 45 minutes a day is not going to result in quick weight loss. Instead, you will find yourself tired, cranky, not seeing results and binge eating from starvation.
They’re not looking outside of the scale
We put our worth into a number on a scale and that scale lies. Weight can fluctuate wildly day to day or even within a single day. Have you ever weighed yourself at the beginning and end of the day and seen that you gained 5lbs? That’s because of changes in fluid status, not 5lbs of fat, yet it’s easy to perceive it the wrong way. While a scale can show long-term progress, daily weigh-ins only serve to frustrate and confuse the person on a weight loss journey.
My advice is to step off that scale and look for non-scale victories. Notice how your clothes are fitting, how your body changes when you look in the mirror and how you feel about yourself. Ditch the scale and stop valuing yourself by a number.
They have an all-or-nothing mentality
Weight loss doesn’t have a quick fix and it isn’t a linear process. Dieting implies that you’re either “on” or “off”. When on a diet, eating a food that’s not part of the diet is seen as a failure and often spins into being off the diet again. When you’re off the diet, you eat as much as you can before you start the next diet. This yo-yo effect not only confuses your body and messes up your metabolism it also messes with your psyche.
Instead of thinking in absolutes, think in the gray area. One cookie doesn’t derail your efforts. After eating the cookie, think about your next meal and how you will strive to make it a healthy choice.
Are you guilty of any of these weight loss mistakes?