In the quest of weight loss, individuals often encounter various difficulties and challenges that can hold back their progress. Many people try and fail at weight loss. Although it is frustrating to fail at efforts to slim down, it doesn’t necessarily need to be that frustrating. Here are some of the common mistakes that individuals make when they're trying to slim down. Identifying and addressing these mistakes can improve one's chances of achieving effective weight loss.
1. Overemphasis on the Scale
Rather than looking at all the different aspects which come into play when you start losing weight, many people are concerned with one thing only: the number on the scale. Placing extreme importance on the number displayed on the scale can be deceptive as weight sometimes fluctuates naturally due to factors such as hydration levels and muscle gain. Overemphasis on the scale can lead to discouragement. Remember that the scale is not the only way to measure weight loss. Take measurements of different parts of your body, such as your thighs, waist, hips and arms to help determine weight loss. Clothing sizes can also be an indication of weight loss. Be mindful of how you feel about your body especially about other positive changes in body composition and overall health.
2. Extreme dieting and eating too little
One of the most widespread mistakes is adopting extreme dieting practices or severe caloric restriction. Yes, it's possible to not lose weight because you're not eating enough. People think that if they starve themselves and don't allow themselves to eat good and proper meals, they'll lose weight rapidly. This usually happens when individuals are trying to lose weight quickly for a special event or occasion. However, starving yourself will cause your body to cling on to the fat that it has already, since it believes it won't be getting food for a long time and goes into 'starvation mode'. Rapid initial weight loss is often unsustainable in the long term. Drastic methods to lose weight can lead to nutritional deficiencies and may even contribute to an unhealthy relationship with food. Remember that a balanced diet that includes a wide range of nutrients is important for overall health.
3. Having too much stress can influence weight loss
Weight loss is a steady process, and expecting quick results can lead to disappointment and frustration. Unrealistic expectations may also prompt individuals to follow unmaintainable methods to lose weight. Some people can become stressed when they are trying to lose weight. Regardless if your stress levels are because of your desperation to lose more weight or other factors in your life, stress levels that are too high is never a good thing. Stress can cause your body to produces stress hormones, which in turn, can cause you to gain weight or hold on to excess weight.
4. Not sleeping enough can hinder weight loss
Getting good sleep can have a considerable effect on how easily your body is able to lose weight. Not getting enough sleep can have negative effects on certain stress hormones in your body, which in turn can affect you’re your efforts to slim down. People who sleep badly will released high levels of a hormone named cortisol, which is one of the important hormones which make it hard for the body to lose weight.
5. Overestimation of how many calories are being burned
You might feel like you've done a massive workout and you deserve a huge meal or a sweet treat afterwards, but people often greatly overestimating the amount of calories they have burned. Use technology to your advantage and consider buying a monitor that you can wear on your wrist or ankle – this tracks the calories you burn based on your individual fitness levels, weight and height, as well as your heart rate. Using the monitor can help you obtain a more accurate view of calories burned. It may also be helpful to talk to a fitness expert about the benefits of including both cardio exercises and strength training in an exercise programme aimed at weight loss.
By recognizing and correcting these common mistakes, individuals can develop a healthier relationship with their bodies and achieve their weight loss goals in a way that promotes long-term well-being. Embracing a balanced approach that includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, and realistic expectations sets the basis for sustainable and effective weight loss.
This post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered therapy. This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental Health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.