But when it comes to dropping excess weight, knowledge is truly power. As a certified personal trainer, I’ve seen many, many people make the same missteps over and over again. Today, let’s learn from their mistakes and not let history repeat itself.
Here are the top 7 dieting mistakes:
- Buying “low fat” foods. As it turns out, the label low fat isn’t synonymous with healthy. And our bodies need good, essential fats. Limiting unhealthy saturated fats is a smart move, but ensure that you still get plenty of the good fats found in olive oil, nuts and avocados.
- Doing lots of cardio and no strength training. It’s true that cardio can help create the calorie deficit that’s needed to lose weight, but many dieters skip the weight room entirely. Without strength training, cardio is more likely to burn off both fat and muscle. And less muscle mass means a slower metabolism. It becomes a vicious cycle. The long and short of it is keep lifting weights!
- Starvation. To lose weight, a calorie deficit is necessary. A good calorie deficit occurs when we consume fewer calories through dieting and burn more calories from exercise. However, some dieters take things to the extreme and severely restrict calories to less than 1,200 for women and 1,500 for men. Caloric intake at this low level results in a massive slowdown in the body’s metabolism; energy is conserved to keep you alive. Eventually, you’ll need to eat. And when you do, your metabolism will be so slow that weight gain is unavoidable. Starvation is unhealthy and counterproductive.
- Drinking diet soda. Sure, diet sodas are calorie-free, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re a wise choice for dieters. Though more research is needed, a handful of initial studies have linked diet soda consumption and artificial sweeteners to weight gain and obesity. One theory is that artificial sweeteners feed our sweet tooth – and thus cause us to crave other sugary, unhealthy foods. The moral of the story is stick with water.
- Skipping meals. There is a misconception that skipping meals saves calories. According to researchers, people who eat fewer than three meals a day end up eating more calories in total throughout the day. Pace yourself by eating breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Relying on fad diets. Some fad diets do work – but usually only for a short period of time. You can’t eat cabbage soup, for example, for the rest of your life. The problem is that most fad diets are pumped full of gimmicky marketing but short on lasting, sustainable results. Eating smart and exercising might not sound sexy, but it works.
- Measuring progress in pounds or kilos. Scales don’t tell the full story, and too many people get caught up weighing themselves every day. Evaluating your progress is crucial for success – as you can determine what is and isn’t working – but think beyond the scale. Body fat measurements are more accurate. Measuring your waist is also smart. Take before and after picture to monitor your journey. Pay attention when your clothes start to fit differently.
Be a smarter dieter by putting the above knowledge into practice. If you need more help achieving your weight loss goals, download The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program. Use discount code “youtube” during checkout to save 25%!
And in the comments below, share any more tips that you might have!