Many of us will be making 2013 the year that we decide to change our lives and get slim. New Year’s resolutions tend to mean a new start – and for many of us, weight loss is at the top of that list. Weight loss plans are actually notoriously difficult to stick to (we have made the Lose Baby Weight plans easy to stick to) – and often, making mistakes when we first start our weight loss regime can spell disaster for our weight loss plans in the future. Often, these mistakes can be costly in that they can actually cause us to gain weight, rather than lose it – so how do you avoid making these mistakes?
Mistake No.1: Doing Too Much Too Soon
Losing weight is tough. Getting the motivation to lose it and overhaul your eating habits and lifestyle habits at the same time can be incredibly tough. When you’re finally ready to lose weight, it can be really tempting to do everything at once – that means, changing your diet, cutting your calories, exercising every day and cutting out the treats. The problem with doing things this way is that it can overwhelm you. Getting used to a whole new lifestyle takes some time, and if you try to do too much too soon, it can make it really difficult to stick to any of your weight loss plans.
How to Avoid it: You can still lose weight without doing everything in one day. It’s a simple principle – if you try to do too much too soon, you will burn out. Instead, spread your changes over days or weeks. Make food swaps and then look at your calorie intake. Next, add a little exercise into your regime here and there. Up your exercise until you’re doing at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times per week. Eventually, you’ll have an entirely healthy lifestyle, which will help you to keep the weight off into the future.
Mistake No.2: Going on a Diet Until You Reach Your Goal Weight
This is probably one of the most common weight loss mistakes there is. Many people think of their diet as something that they’re going to follow just until they reach their goal weight. Then, when they reach their goal weight, they come off the diet – and they slip straight back into their old eating habits. Healthy eating and exercise shouldn’t be something that you do just until you reach your goal weight. It should be something you do for life, because it will help you to keep the weight off in the future.
How to Avoid it: Don’t even think that what you’re doing is a diet. Always view it as a healthy lifestyle change. A lifestyle change is something that you can adapt to – it can become habit. And habits are always easier to stick to than diets!
Mistake No.3: Eating Nothing But Salads
There’s obviously nothing wrong with eating salads. But healthy eating can have a bit of a bad rep as just eating “rabbit food”. People often think of healthy eating as boring but something that has to be tolerated, meaning that when they start to eat healthily, they cut out everything that they think is bad for them and stick to a diet of vegetables, fruit and protein with little carbohydrate. The truth is that to lose weight, you need to eat a wide and varied diet that includes carbohydrates – cutting them out will only play havoc with your blood sugar and will also cause you to put more weight on when you do start eating them again.
How to Avoid it: Remember that food is something to be enjoyed. To lose weight, you need to eat lots of different foods from lots of different food groups, not only to make sure that you’re getting all of the vitamins and nutrients you need, but also to keep your sanity in check. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean protein, but also include some low fat calcium (studies have shown that 2 portions of low fat calcium per day can help you to lose more weight), complex carbohydrates to keep you full and even some heart-healthy fats such as salmon and olive oil to look after your heart. And don’t forget to include treats – this will make your healthy eating plan much, much easier to stick to, and if you factor the treats into your daily calorie intake, they needn’t derail your weight loss journey.
Mistake No.4: Being Too Hard on Yourself
Humans are very critical – that’s their nature. But we are more critical of ourselves than of anyone else, and this can play havoc with our weight loss plans. Eating a chocolate bar or enjoying a glass of wine that turns into a bottle could make many of believe that we’ve failed. And because we’ve failed, we become defeated – and this leads to us having a “go for broke” attitude. After all, we’ve already broken the diet for today, so why not one more chocolate bar? Right?
How to Avoid it: This is harder said than done, but accept that you are going to make those mistakes and try not to be too hard on yourself! 99% of people who are on a healthy eating plan will make a mistake at one point or the other – but they may deal with that mistake differently. If you’re really worried, do some more exercise to burn the extra calories off. Or if you’ve skipped the gym, do an extra hour next time you go. Compensate for the mistake and then write it off as experience – don’t let it get you down.