5 Weight Loss Mistakes You Might Be Making (And What You Can Do About It)

Woman exercising for weight loss.

5 Mistakes You’re Making In Your Quest For Weight Loss

If you’ve been eating healthier, working out and generally improving your lifestyle habits to lose weight and aren’t seeing results, you’re probably a little discouraged. This is a common problem among guests that come to our weight loss retreat and our health coaching clients. We see it all the time and because of that, there are some recurring actions that seem to contribute to not making progress. It can be as simple as a diet tweak to the type of exercise you’re doing. Here are a few of the big mistakes people make when trying to lose weight.

OVEREATING HEALTHY FOOD

Just because it’s healthy for you doesn’t mean it’s a “freebie” food. Although it’s hard to overeat things like vegetables there are certain healthy foods that can add up quickly. Grilled proteins, potatoes, brown rice and nuts are just a few of the items that I see people overeat regularly.

What To Do About It: Get in the habit of using portion control so you can measure how much food you need to be eating. Track what you’re taking in using a journal or an app like My Fitness Pal or Lose It. If you’re not sure how to use portion control, the eyeball method is detailed below.

For Women (per meal)
Protein = 1 palm - size and thickness of the palm of your hand
Carbohydrates = 1 cupped hand - about 1/4 - 1/2 cup depending on your hand
Vegetables = 1 fist - size of one clenched fist (green leafy veggies are freebies)
Fat = 1 thumb - size of 1 thumb

For Men (per meal)
Protein = 2 palms - size and thickness of the palm of your hand x 2
Carbohydrates = 2 cupped hands - about 1/2 - 1 cup depending on your hand size
Vegetables = 2 fists - size of clenched fist (green leafy veggies are freebies)
Fat = 2 thumbs - size of 2 thumbs

It gets easier as you practice using portion control. One thing I love about the eyeball method is that you can do it anywhere. So no matter if you’re at home or at a party, you can portion control your food.

TOO MANY SNACKS

Hunger can be a little challenging in the beginning of a new nutrition plan. Usually, you’re eating better foods but they may be less caloric than what you’re used to. You might be taking in a little less fat and cutting back on the amount of food you’re taking in. Naturally, this leads you to feeling a little hungry. The only problem with this is that it can lead to too many snacks in between meals or snacks that have too many calories in general.

What To About It: Plan out your meals and snacks and stick to your schedule. For example, have breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner and an evening snack. The other thing is that it’s ok to be a little hungry. You might be hungry here in there in the beginning until your body gets used to the reduced intake. Sometimes, that feeling of hunger is also just digestion or even boredom. Try drinking water or waiting it out a little bit to determine if you’re truly hungry or not.

EATING WHILE YOU COOK

This is a classic mistake. Does this sound familiar? You get home from work or running the kids around at their activities and you’re starving. You have a nice healthy meal planned out but — you’re starving. You begin cooking but while you cook, you snack on chips, nuts, seeds, cheese or trail mix. Before you know it, you’ve added in a few hundred extra calories.

What To Do About It: Make sure to have a small balanced (protein, carb + fat) late afternoon snack that will hold you over until dinner. This way you won’t be starving when it comes time to cook and you’ll be a lot less likely to snack while you prepare dinner. If you love to snack while you cook, stick to things like plain cucumber or celery. Both are very low in calories but offer a little crunch to satisfy you.

YOU’RE NOT MIXING UP YOUR WORKOUTS

This is a classic problem with our weight loss clients. The majority of the people see are doing the same workouts all of the time. Some people just walk every day which is great but it eliminates intensity and strength training. Some people do a lot of strength training but it’s the same routine week after week. Some people never do cardio. Whatever it is, if you’re always doing the same workouts, you’re probably not going to change after a while.

What To Do About It: The obvious answer is mix it up. It’s not quite that simple though. Yes, mixing it up will help but it’s also important to make sure you're getting in a good mix of cardio (intense and some steady state), strength training (moderate - heavy) and core/balance training. If you have trouble with workouts, head to the classes at your local gym or meet with a personal trainer to get a customized plan. Either way, make sure your workouts actually work for you. Don’t just go through the motions. The right workouts can help elevate your metabolism, improve strength and posture and burn extra energy.

EXERCISING TOO MUCH

I know you might be surprised by this one but it can be a problem from time to time. You’ve probably all heard that saying that you can’t outrun a bad diet. It’s true but when you’re eating clean and restricting calories, there can be some damage done if you’re exercising too much. If your energy expenditure well exceeds your calorie intake day after day, your body may begin to store what you’re taking in because of stress that causes your hormones to be out of whack.

What To Do About It: If your activity level is really high, make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of protein, carbohydrates and fat at each meal and snack. You may need to add in an additional meal or snack to see if that helps.

PUTTING IT INTO ACTION

Now you know what some of the biggest mistakes are. Take a look at your current nutrition plan and your exercise routine to see if and where you can make any adjustments to jumpstart your weight loss goals. Most of our clients come to our weight loss boot camp to reset their healthy habits and fitness routine in order to get a kickstart. This is a common issue so if you’re struggling to lose weight, you’re not alone. Sometimes it just takes a little adjusting to get back on the right track.

WORK OR TRAIN WITH US TO REACH YOUR WEIGHT LOSS GOALS

Can’t make it to a fitness retreat? We also offer online personal training and nutrition coaching. Sign up and get professional guidance to reach your goals today. We offer in person and online coaching for fitness and nutrition. Whether you’re at the retreat, local or in another part of the country, we can help.

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