5 Weight Loss Mistakes You Probably Make without Realizing It
Wonder why you're not losing weight? After all, you hit the gym daily and have a balanced diet. The most common diet and fitness mistakes aren't necessarily the most obvious ones.
From eating empty calories to going overboard with cardio, there are plenty of things to watch out for. On top of that, you may be stalling your progress by following outdated or misguided advice.
Luckily, it's never too late to get back on track. Start by fixing these common weight loss mistakes:
Eating Too Few Calories
Do you eat fewer than 1,000 calories a day but still don't lose weight? Stop right now! Starvation isn't the key to a lean body. It actually slows down your metabolism, so you'll burn less energy throughout the day.
While it's true that a calorie deficit is required for weight loss, the recommended calorie intake should not go below 1200 for women and 1500 for men. Very low calorie diets lead to metabolic slowdown, fatigue, muscle loss, and hormonal imbalances. Once you return to normal eating, your body will "save" every calorie. As a result, you'll gain weight at a faster rate.
Eating Too Much
According to researchers, most people underestimate their daily calorie intake by as much as 50 percent. This number is even higher for those who eat at fast food restaurants where the portions are often oversized.
Let's take chicken nuggets, for instance. A large bag contains 20 pieces, which is about 920 calories. Add a coke to the mix and you'll get over 1,000 calories in one sitting.
Beware that healthy foods can lead to weight gain too. Nuts, cheese, oils, and grains are nutrient-dense and high in calories, so it's crucial to watch your portions.
Right Food, Wrong Sauce
Sauces and dressings can turn the healthiest meal into a nutritional disaster. These products are loaded with empty calories from sugar and trans fats. Since no one measures them out in half-teaspoons, the calories add up.
To get leaner, replace dips and sauces with herbs, spices, or mustard. Make your own dressings using balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add a pinch of dried rosemary or basil for extra flavor.
Drinking Empty Calories
When you're enjoying a cold beer or coke, it's easy to forget about calories. Yet, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are among the worst offenders. Just one serving of soda boasts up to 30 teaspoons of sugar.
Fruit juices and smoothies aren’t better either unless you make them at home. Commercial versions are packed with artificial flavors, dextrose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, and other calorie-laden ingredients.
Doing Too Much Cardio
When it comes to weight loss, cardio isn't the way to go. There are better ways to burn fat and keep the pounds off.
Aerobic exercise, especially steady state cardio, burns both muscle and fat. On top of that, it decreases your metabolic rate. The more cardio you do, the faster your body adapts and the fewer calories it burns. Sure, 15-20 minutes of cardio a day are unlikely to cause any harm. But spending hours on the treadmill can stall your progress.
For best results, lift heavy and do HIIT afterward. High-intensity interval training yields better results in less time. It's a proven way to burn fat and rev up your metabolism.
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t let these common weight loss mistakes hamper your progress! It's in power to drop those pesky pounds and build the body you're after!
- Eating too little or too much can add inches to your waistline.
- Most people underestimate their daily calorie intake, which leads to weight gain. Thus, tracking your portions is a must.
- Alcoholic beverages, fruit juices, and soft drinks contain empty calories that stall your progress.
- To lose fat, swap steady state cardio for heavy lifting and HIIT. You’ll not only get leaner but also boost your metabolism and athletic performance.