6 Common Mistakes We Make That Lead to Weight Regain
With the New Year now in full effect, many of us will embark on yet another attempt to lose weight. How can we avoid another year of potential disappointment? Keep reading!
Losing weight is one of those things that we all try now and again. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us underestimate just how difficult it can be to stick to a diet, resist unhealthy fatty foods, and introduce an exercise routine into our busy lives.
It’s frustrating, for sure – but it doesn’t have to be.
To help, here is a brief guide detailing some of the most common mistakes we all make when attempting to drop those pesky pounds that end up in weight regain.
1. We Only Look at the Scale
There’s a lot that goes into losing weight. After all, it’s not as if it just “falls off” your body, is it? So, while our bodies are working hard, shedding fat, and going through the many other weight loss steps, we’re all staring at the numbers on the scale and wondering why they aren’t any lower. The frustration of not seeing the scale go down could trigger impulsive eating in some that could lead to weight regain.
Obviously, we want those numbers to go down eventually, but the weight loss process isn’t all about the scale. Some people are losing more inches than what the scale weight is revealing. If you want to pay attention to some numbers, I suggest measuring your waist, thighs, arms, hips, and calves on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. A noticeable difference in these areas means that you are on the right track.
2. We Don’t Allow Ourselves to Eat
Too many of us subscribe to an over-simplified view of weight loss. In our minds, if we severely cut calories, and leave out whole food groups, and change nothing else, we have to lose weight eventually, right? However, as counterintuitive as this sounds, starving yourself or skipping meals will actually cause your body to cling to fat!
As far as your body is concerned, your lack of regular, healthy meals is telling it that it might be a long time before the next bit of energy arrives. This is one of the reasons why many people who lose weight quickly, end up gaining it back, and then some. According to some research, yo-yo dieting or “weight cycling” may increase the risk of heart disease for women.
3. We Stress Ourselves Out
Your body weight is about more than just what you eat and how you exercise – hormones play a big part too. This is why it’s particularly bad to attempt crash dieting or to diet in anticipation of an event or occasion. The added pressure and stress of reaching our dieting goals can actually cause us to gain more weight, thanks to the high amount of stress hormones we release!
4. We Try to Take Shortcuts
Some of us succumb to temptations when attempting to lose weight and rely on shortcuts instead of healthy, well-balanced methods. Examples include starvation/fad diets, diet pills, detox beverages, and even laxatives. In most cases, these techniques can provide fast results with little effort.
In the end, the results are very short-lived. After the initial water weight loss, we soon start to lose muscle, not just fat. However, muscle is essential to the weight loss process, as it helps us burn calories and maintain a healthy metabolism.
Unfortunately, certain diet pills and laxatives can make us sick and become addictive. Outside of surgery, a healthy diet, exercise, and addressing physiological issues are the only legitimate ways to lose weight.
5. We Fudge the Math
Counting calories is considered an important aspect of the weight loss process, but many of us massively overestimate the number of calories we burn during physical activities. Cell phone apps and cardio equipment are usually highly inaccurate and might lead you to frustration when your appearance doesn’t match the reports.
To get more accurate results, buy a monitor that you can wear on your wrist or ankle. These products are better able to take your individual fitness level, weight, height, and heart rate into account.
6. We Unknowingly Let Bad Habits Creep Back In
As the weight goes down, our discipline may start to wane. After a while, we get comfortable and complacent. We start eating more “treats” than we should. We fail to remember that losing weight and keeping [most of] it off requires a lifetime commitment.
It requires taking on a mindful approach to eating basically for the rest of our lives. It involves always being in the moment and knowing what we are putting in our bodies. Permanent weight loss involves always being present and conscious of our actions. We must always remind ourselves that the old habits that caused excessive weight gain in the first place are never too far behind.
Recognizing these six common mistakes can help us be aware of their existence and avoid them as much as possible. By avoiding these common mistakes, we reach our goals in a healthier way and avoid or minimize weight regain, and keep the weight off for good.
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