We can be our own worst enemies when it comes to achieving the weight loss results we want.
Often we keep ourselves stuck. We end up working super hard to ultimately derail our own consistency.
We think, “Do more,” and often overhaul our entire lifestyle for some new popular program. When really we should be focusing on small, realistic changes to create the healthiest version of our personal lifestyle.
Too often we don’t actually recognize our priorities in life and then they become the excuses that derail us.
I don’t have time to train because of my job.
I can’t track macros because of family meals.
When really we should shape our new routines and habits AROUND what truly matters most to us.
But we don’t do this because we fall prey to the fad diet out there promising overnight results.
Because of these fad diet, overnight transformations we see online, most of us do tend to overestimate what we can accomplish short term while even underestimating what we can accomplish with long-term consistency which allows those results to snowball.
But I want to save you the heart ache of starting another program, working super hard, to only ultimately end up worse off than where you started.
That’s why I wanted to share 8 common weight loss mistakes I see people making and how to avoid them.
#1: Setting unrealistic short-term goals and expectations that cause us to give up in frustration.
Think about the last time you were actually at your goal weight. Was it 10 years ago? Or 6 weeks ago?
Or was it maybe NEVER?!
Because this timeframe WILL impact how fast you see results.
If you just gained the weight, your body will be more responsive and be more comfortable getting back to what it still may see as normal.
If you just gained the weight, your body will fight the loss of it less.
Whereas if you haven’t been at your goal for years, or maybe even EVER, your body won’t want to change from where it is now – what it sees as a normal balance.
It’s why we can’t just expect to even reverse years of damage in months – despite those months feeling long and like we’ve really been working hard.
We need to realize that progress is never linear and there will be periods where we even feel like we’re taking a step backward before we move forward.
It’s why it is key we find multiple ways to measure progress, celebrate the daily habits and the repetition of them consistently as wins themselves AND take time to step back and watch overall trends.
Remember that results take time to snowball!
#2: Eating too little.
You need a calorie deficit to lose weight.
Whether you create this through eating less or working out more or maybe a little bit of both, you need to eat less then you expend to lose.
However, this doesn’t mean a great deficit will mean better and faster results.
Often eating too little, or even training too much, will sabotage our results, especially long term.
And eating too little in the past may actually be making your current attempts at weight loss even harder.
Our body puts survival as its top priority. And when we eat too little, our body fears for our survival and will regulate what it can to conserve energy.
This is why our metabolic rate can drop and we can even lose muscle mass over controlling as much as possible for fat loss when we drop our calories too low.
This is why we need to focus first on macros and second on that smaller calorie deficit when trying to lose weight.
It may even be why we need to NOT focus on weight loss for a period even if that is our ultimate goal.
Sometimes we first need to do a period where we’re rebuilding our maintenance calories, retraining our body to eat more and properly fuel before we can even consider then creating a small deficit to lose weight.
Otherwise we may find ourselves in the situation of eating 800 calories but still not losing while training for hours each and every day!
#3: You fear heavy weights.
Let’s get one things straight…lifting heavy will NOT make you bulky. It isn’t easy to gain muscle, especially the more advanced a trainee you are.
And especially when you’re trying to lose weight because you’re eating in a deficit NOT the surplus often required to build more muscle.
We need that surplus often to build lean muscle because muscle is metabolically costly. More muscle means more calories burned at rest which means more calories needed to KEEP that lean muscle.
This is why we want to be conscious not to cut our calories too low and also focus on protein in our diet. This helps us retain our lean muscle mass. And the higher protein macro ratios can even help us potentially gain muscle while in a deficit.
But to gain muscle and keep our metabolic rate higher, we need to lift heavy. To build muscle, we must force our muscles to be challenged so they have to rebuild stronger!
As you train to lose weight, do not skip those weight training sessions. Do not cut our rest. Focus on heavy weights that really challenge you to get close to failure and eek out those last couple of reps.
Don’t just use a weight you kind of “feel” or could easily do more reps with or don’t really need rest to recover between rounds to maintain the loads.
Challenge yourself. It should feel heavy no matter the rep range you use so you don’t want to have to do all the reps you’re going to perform.
If the range says 6-12, you don’t want to be able to do 15 reps. 12 should be a struggle and you may find as you increase loads, you even hit a weight where you just barely hit 6. Then maybe you stay there for a few weeks as you build up to being able to do 12 reps with that load before increasing.
But you don’t want to just stop with a weight because you hit the top of a rep range or like the number you’ve performed.
#4: You cut out foods you love.
Here’s a question we all need to ask ourselves – Will I be able to cut this out long term?
Now, achieving a new and better results always means sacrifice. And the faster we want the results, the more we may be willing to sacrifice at least to start.
But we can’t do this at the expensive of creating something sustainable. We can’t do this with no plan as to how to add in the things we love when we are ready.
Because the simple fact is, you can’t do one set of habits to lose the weight then simply go back to what you were doing prior.
Your habits have to have changed even though you won’t be doing exactly the same weight loss habits as you maintain your results.
It’s why it’s key we learn how to balance in the foods we love and maybe even start by tweaking AROUND those foods.
I’m 100% pro macros and tracking. This is truly the best way to see what you’re currently eating and learn how to adjust YOUR lifestyle.
You can also plan in the thing you want first and adjust your other meals around that snack or dessert or meal to then hit your overall macros for the day.
And you can even learn how to eventually make swaps to strike your balance.
But too often we simply cut out the things we enjoy even though we will eat them long term and never learn to strike that balance.
A healthy diet has to be one you’re going to stick with if you want to lose weight and KEEP it off.
#5: You estimate portions. You eat intuitively.
If you’re looking to lose weight, I’m sorry but you don’t yet intuitively know what you need. You can’t just fully listen to your body and fuel.
You don’t truly know the portions you need to see results.
You need to LEARN what your proper portions are and truly relearn how to listen to those natural hunger cues.
We have to remember that there are so many things that fight against us actually being able to tell what our body needs – from hyper palatable foods that don’t cause us to feel full when we should, to stress and lack of sleep making us feel hungry when we aren’t to even distorted portions we are just used to eating and consuming that now feel normal!
Learning what you need to reach the weight you want, means tracking and measuring. It means giving yourself an accurate picture of what you’re consuming to adjust.
We are really bad at estimating our portions until we’ve truly seen what the correct portion sizes are.
So while your ultimate goal should be to learn what you need to do, you first need to start by tracking and measuring everything.
That is the only way to have that objective outside look at what you’re doing.
What we measure gets managed!
Don’t deceive yourself by not giving yourself that clear picture. Don’t let yourself feel frustrated that nothing is working when you can’t truly know what you’re doing.
Track and measure to learn what your body needs and be able to adjust even as your needs and goals change over time!
#6: You don’t focus on sleep.
We often focus on our workout and diet routine when we want to lose weight. And part of that is because it truly is easier to “control.”
It’s hard to be like I need sleep and then get more sleep!
But we can’t ignore the importance of getting adequate rest.
Not only is sleep key to recovering and rebuilding from our workout session, and even making us want to push hard during our training because we are energized, but getting enough sleep is also key to helping us avoid overeating!
A lack of sleep can basically make you feel hungrier!
This isn’t your imagination.
It is due to the fact that a lack of sleep can raise ghrelin levels while lowering leptin levels. Ghrelin increases your appetite while leptin surpresses your appetite.
So you can see how increasing ghrelin and decreasing leptin can literally cause you to feel hungrier during the day so you feel like you need to eat more. This is also why tracking and not just eating intuitively to start can be so key!
The hard part is…how can you focus on getting more sleep?
Creating a pre-bed routine to help you wind-down can be key. And even getting in the habit of going to sleep and waking up at the same time can help you build that pattern to get better quality of sleep.
And as weird as it sounds, you may even want to adjust your workout design and schedule so you aren’t always sacrificing sleep for training if you do train early in the morning.
While working out is essential to our overall health, we can design for the time we have while caring about the quality of our sleep to get more out of every training session!
#7: You don’t focus on a proper warm up.
Ever notice if you don’t do a warm up that you feel like you’re not as able to squat as deep or perform that bench press as well for the first few rounds?
Like it takes you time to WARM UP and fully get the most out of moves?
It’s because you’re basically wasting rounds of your workout warming up and you’re potentially putting yourself at greater risk for injury with improper recruitment patterns, which could lead to you actually having to take time off of training.
Time off from working out won’t make losing weight easier.
And by not warming up and not necessarily using the correct muscles as efficiently, you may not really be getting the full benefit of moves.
This can mean subpar muscle growth and even fewer calories burned simply because you aren’t getting the most out of moves.
Your warm up doesn’t have to be long, but with a combination of foam rolling, stretching and activation for 5-10 minutes you can help yourself get so much more out of each second of your workout.
You may be surprised by how much more efficiently you are able to run or lift and how much more you feel the correct muscles working to truly benefit!
Because if the correct muscles aren’t working, we aren’t only putting ourselves at risk for injury but potentially not even building the muscle we want to build to improve our resting metabolic rate and make losing weight even easier!
#8: You force yourself to skip meals or to eat 6 small meals a day.
Starving yourself with Intermittent Fasting only to find yourself so hungry you overeat later?
Forcing in 6 small meals a day so that you never really feel satisfied or full but instead constantly feel hungry and overwhelmed by the meal prep?
There is no one magic meal timing that is guaranteed to work.
You need to adjust your fueling to match your schedule and lifestyle. And no matter how you feel best breaking up your meals, you need to track your macros.
If you hit those macros, you will see results.
So don’t try to force a meal timing that leaves you stuffed or starving or overwhelmed with the meal prep.
Find a sustainable schedule for you even experimenting to see what makes you feel best.
But eating before a certain time of day or after a certain time of night isn’t going to magically make you gain fat.
If you need the calories, you need the calories. If you overeat, you’ll store the excess energy.
If you’re looking to lose weight, avoid these 8 common mistakes.
And focus on meeting yourself where you are at.
Ultimately small changes based on YOUR needs and lifestyle will be best. Don’t just get caught up in doing more.
Stay focused on doing these basics to see amazing results!
Ready to map out what YOU need to succeed? Ready to get your leanest, strongest body at any and EVERY age?