Last weekend, I had to prevent myself from banging my head against the wall as my 2 sisters practically bulldozed me down in an Asian supermarket to get their hands on that lethal diet drink which I’ve dubbed the poo tea. No matter how much I lectured them on the benefits of physical activity, the need for lifestyle change as well as the serious health repercussions of obsessively drinking the poo tea, they refused to listen. Then after talking to friends and other work colleagues, I realized my sisters aren’t the only ones who are only too eager to apply the quickest and easiest methods for supposedly losing weight only to wail why they still don’t have the body of Angelina Jolie after all that sacrifice. I will brief 10 Common Diet Mistakes in details.
I came across this article from www.sheknows.com which highlights 10 common mistakes people make when attempting to lose weight. I’d been there before (attempting to lose weight through other means besides the most logical) so I definitely agree with these. So, if you’re wondering why you’re still not losing as much weight as you would like, despite your hard work, read on
1. CRASH DIET
Crash dieting would have to be the most popular weight loss program many people undertake and one that has proven to be the most ineffective in the long run. Sheknows.com highlights two problems with crash dieting. You may lose weight BUT a lot of that is muscle tissue. So you may fit into an outfit a size smaller than you would previously wear but you’ll find you still have flabby arms, tummy and thighs. The other problem is, because you’re losing a lot of your muscle tissue, your metabolism slows down. Muscle is your body’s metabolism when you lose it, you reduce your metabolic capacity.
I remember when I went through 3 months of drinking the poo tea. While the kilos dropped and I traipsed around in size 8 dresses, I couldn’t prevent my brother from teasing me about my turkey arms and I had to continually suck in my tummy when wearing a bikini.
2. FOCUSING ON THE SCALE
Many people complain when, after doing a week of hour-long workouts at the gym, they find the scales haven’t budged a bit. Rather than focusing on scales and using that as confirmation that you are losing weight, opt for a tape measure instead. You may not notice any difference on the scales because if you are exercising properly, you should be building muscle (which weighs more than fat) and losing fat at the same time. But you should notice a difference when you look in the mirror, people make a comment and, best of all, when you suddenly find you can fit into a pair of pants that you hadn’t worn in ten years.
3. FOCUSING ON CARDIO
Many people opt to do only cardio workouts when trying to lose weight because cardio workouts burn more calories in the duration of the workout than, say, resistance training. But what they don’t realize is that the key to getting a more toned body is to increase the metabolism. You should go for activities that not only burn calories during the workout but also burn calories for hours and days afterwards, such as resistance and/or interval training. In short, don’t focus on just cardio-only workouts but aim to combine it with some weight training to build up muscle.
4. SKIPPING BREAKFAST
Skipping meals is something many people do especially when they feel they ate like a pig the night before. But there is a reason why breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be missed. When you wake up, your body craves for nutrients as it’s been fasting for six hours or so. When you skip breakfast, your body starts breaking down muscle for energy again, you have to remember that your muscle is your metabolism. Eat a healthy, well-balanced breakfast and you’ll find you’re less likely to overeat later on.
5. RELYING ON PILLS
I scoff every time I see ads on TV with a distinguished spokesperson, an MD of some sort or other, talking about the benefits of their particular diet pills. Please! I have never met anyone who has ever lost weight through diet pills. Just as bad as crash diets.
6. EATING TOO LITTLE
Eating too little throughout the day will result in you overeating during dinner where there is little opportunity to burn off the calories as you’re more likely to just sit in front of the TV and relax. You may have heard this too often before but you really should try to eat 5 to 6 small meals throughout the day.
7. EATING OUT TOO MUCH
Since I started cooking at home, I realized just how much bigger the servings are in takeaway shops and restaurants. And because you paid $10 or so for the meal, you don’t want to waste it and you end up scoffing everything down even though you were already full halfway through. Avoid eating out too much not only are you more likely to control how much food you put in your mouth at home, you also know exactly what goes into the food.
8. EMOTIONAL EATING
How many times have you found yourself stressed at work then wolfed down a Hungry Jack’s large whopper meal to make you feel better? If you want a healthy body, you need to find a way to control your emotional attachment to food.
9. LACK OF CONSISTENCY
A key to getting and keeping a fit, healthy body is changing your lifestyle and ensuring you maintain it. Which is why crash diets don’t work because not many people can maintain it over a long period of time. When starting a weight-loss program, you need to ensure you can incorporate that into your lifestyle and that it is something you can maintain for a long period. I have seen too many friends of mine who have gone hard at exercising, spending time at the gym for 3 hours every day for 2 weeks only to find themselves dropping off and not being able to keep up with it.
10. NOT ENOUGH SLEEP
My personal trainer told me this was by far the most important key to losing weight. Getting a reasonable amount of sleep at night (at least 8 hours) relaxes and revitalizes your mind and body, which is a must if you’re working out regularly. Having insufficient sleep-time leads to increase in stress hormones and you’ll find when you wake up in the morning, you become hungry and crave for junk food.
Sheknows.com suggests to commit to correcting one common mistake a week. As much as people like my sisters don’t want to hear it, getting a fit, healthy body and maintaining it isn’t a quick-fix. You have to be prepared to discipline and motivate yourself and change your lifestyle