Weight loss is one of those issues where everyone has a different opinion or solution. It’s also one of the largest industries in the world which means we are constantly bombarded with advertising offering quick and easy ways to lose weight.
I have been through a journey over the last 12 months and losing 3 stone was hard work, but I can tell you that when it comes to weight loss, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is, especially if you want to keep the weight off over time. There is no substitute for eating well and exercising regularly.
Having said this, talking with our Ladies at Bootcamp empathises there are some common mistakes people make when trying to lose weight which can really sabotage their best efforts, here’s a great top ten:
1. Skipping Breakfast
Not eating breakfast is not going to assist with weight loss. Take it from me that this will have exactly the opposite effect! Skipping breakfast will slow down your metabolism, can lead to overeating later in the day and encourages sugar cravings.
2. Diet Soft Drink
Diet soft drinks are the enemy. Most diet soft drinks are made up of synthetic chemicals that offer absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever. You need to ditch diet soft drink and replace it with water. Drinking water throughout the day will help flush the toxins from your body which will help your body work more efficiently and improve your digestion. If you find normal water hard to drink in quantity, buy some sparkling water and add some fresh lemon or lime, or add a little sugar free squash.
3. Too Much Fruit
Fruit is very good for you but eating it all day is not going to help you lose weight as it’s filled with fructose. This is a simple sugar that occurs naturally in fruit and gives it its sweetness. Even though it is natural it’s still a sugar and therefore will create a spike in your blood sugar levels. As a general rule, I try to eat 7 portions of fruit & vegetables each day, but only one portion is fruit, and make sure it is a ‘one portion’ size.
Don’t go from nothing to doing two training sessions a day, which can be dangerous and can often end up with an injury. Quality not quantity and variety is the key to training for weight loss. You also need to make sure you have at least one rest day to allow your body time to recover. I did 3 sessions of week when I started and believe me, I needed the rest days in between. Once my fitness level improved, I upped to 5 sessions per weeks and maintain that today.
5. Not Eating Enough
Being hungry I guarantee is the way to get off track with your eating as it’s just too easy to grab to closest thing, which is never a healthy option. Starving yourself if not going to help you lose weight and keep it off. I actually eat more now than I ever did before, but eating more of the right stuff is key. If you are following our good nutritional guidance, you should not be hungry.
6. All or Nothing Approach
Not only when it comes to training as I mentioned above, but I hear this far more often when it comes to food. You might be out somewhere for dinner or one day you might just crack and scoff a massive chocolate bar. This is NOT going to wreck all your hard work to date and does not mean you have to wait until next Monday to start all over again! None of us are perfect and it’s OK to have a cheat meal once in a while. If you do indulge, don’t beat yourself up, put in behind you and focus on making your next meal a good one.
7. Not Being Organised
I know I’ve mentioned this in a previous blog, but preparation, preparation, preparation is key and not being organised is number one when it comes to damaging your weight loss efforts. Losing weight requires determination but most of all being organised. You need make sure you have the right food on hand at home and also with you when you are at work. This requires real planning and effort.
Make sure you are also organised when it comes to your training too, set aside the exact time you will train each day and know what you are going to do. After a few weeks this will become habit, but to start with you might consciously need think about each day to get yourself into a new rhythm.
8. Unrealistic Expectations
If your weight gain has taken a while to put on then it’s just not realistic to expect it all to come off in a couple of weeks. We are constantly subjected to diet advertising that promises fast results, but have you ever purchased or taken part in a ‘magic diet’ that really worked out over a long period of time?
I have tried many in the past and the first thing I got my head around this time was to have realistic expectations when it comes to how long it will take. 3 stone over 12 months sounds a lot, but it’s only an average 0.36kg per week which is very achievable.
9. Meal Replacements
This one gets me, it is ultimately short term fix. They are marketed as the fast weight loss option but in reality nothing can replace real whole foods when it comes to putting nutrients in your body. These type of diets are marketing as ‘easy’ and ‘ideal for the busy person’ and you will probably lose a few kilos quite quickly, but you will put it all on again and then some when you return to eating normally.
Last but not least alcohol in general is full of sugar, especially beer and wine so it’s no different to drinking soft drinks, except that you will probably have more than one drink at a time! A lot of times you will also be eating when you are drinking alcohol which can also lead to bad food decisions.
My advice is to give alcohol a miss if you are focussing on losing weight but if you have to have a drink, then a clear spirit such as vodka and soda with fresh lime is your best option.
Hopefully, some of my top ten rang true for you and might help you think about weight loss in a different way. It’s really important to break the cycle of the ‘diet’ mentality and instead start to think about food in terms of nourishing your body rather than ‘losing weight fast’.
Maintaining a healthy weight and having a positive ongoing relationship with food is the key. It’s also important to think about how you can create some balance, as this is the only way to stop the diet and ‘yoyo’ cycle forever.
Have a great day 🙂