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14 Weight Loss Mistakes To Avoid at All Costs

Medically Approved by Dr. Edward Salko

Table of Contents

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So what does it take to lose weight effectively? While exercise and dietary restrictions seem to do the trick, it’s not so black and white. There are several weight loss mistakes you also need to avoid so your efforts won’t go to waste. Keep reading to find out 14 of these mistakes, particularly on diet planning, exercise, and lifestyle alteration. 

Diet Mistakes During Weight Loss

Tweaking your diet influences weight reduction as you limit compounds that lead to fat accumulation. But it has to be done right if you like to see your desired results. Avoid these mistakes when setting up a diet for weight loss. 

  1. Trying trendy diets without a health assessment

New diet trends emerge yearly, and it’s easy to join the bandwagon if you want to lose significant weight. However, tempting as it may be, it’s not generally recommended to go into diet plans, especially extreme ones, without consulting your doctor. In fact, it’s one of the biggest weight loss mistakes you can make. 

Diet trends can affect your health differently, especially if you have medical conditions you’re unaware of. Or if a current illness has developed certain complications. 

For example, you may have decided to adopt a ketogenic diet, wherein you consume fewer carbohydrates. However, this may not work if you have hypertriglyceridemia or increased triglycerides in your blood. This is because research shows that keto diets can worsen hypertriglyceridemia.

What you can do: Keep in mind that diet plans should be tailored based on individual factors. That said, do ample research before embracing a diet trend or new lifestyle, like vegetarianism, veganism, or even bodybuilding. More importantly, consult a doctor, health coach, or fitness expert. 

Did you know? Your thyroid gland impacts your metabolism, which, in turn, influences weight reduction. Learn about how you can improve your thyroid function naturally

  1. Cutting calories cold turkey

It’s a huge misconception that extra calories are the enemy of weight reduction. Firstly, calories act as fuel for the body. The higher the caloric content a food has, the more energy it provides. Restricting your energy source can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches, and digestive problems. 

That said, one of the critical calorie deficit mistakes is restricting your diet without a plan. Cutting a chunk from your usual caloric intake may speed up weight reduction but could also trigger metabolic health issues. 

What you can do: Low-calorie diets should be planned accordingly, preferably with a healthcare professional. Don’t put your body in a distressing condition by cutting calories on a significant scale. Instead, start little by little or gradually. Choose the right weight loss plan that won’t compromise your health. 

  1. Giving up all carbs and fats

It is unwise to eliminate carbohydrates and fats (lipids) from your diet in response to your weight reduction goal. Many people consider these organic nutrients as driving molecules to weight gain. Primarily because carbohydrates, when stored in the body, are converted into fats, and lipids can accumulate in the blood vessels.

While overconsumption of foods rich in refined carbohydrates and cholesterol is generally discouraged for the above reasons, cutting them out of your meals altogether also has adverse health effects. 

Without carbohydrates, you may experience foggy brain and gastrointestinal problems, among other issues. Also, you’ll be at a higher risk for metabolic diseases when limiting fat intake significantly. 

What you can do: Don’t eliminate all carbs and fats from your diet. But you have to be selective. For example, avoid eating refined carbohydrates like pastries, sweetened drinks, and white bread. Instead, choose unprocessed carbohydrate sources like grains, fruits, and vegetables. 

The same goes for lipids. Choose food sources with good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL), such as fatty fish, eggs, avocados, etc. HDL can help you prevent heart disease as opposed to low-density lipoprotein (LDL) like processed red meat. 

  1. Failing to create a meal plan

Many often jump into a calorie deficit without minding what goes into their meals. This can be a critical weight loss mistake that could impede your goal, as you may compromise your intake of essential nutrients. 

Conversely, those with solid meal plans tend to acquire the right proportion according to what best suits their health profile. 

What you can do: If you’re unsure how to plan your meals, get in touch with a health coach. You can also research independently, but it’s best to work with an expert, especially if meal planning is new to you. Also, apply meal planning regularly, even on food-heavy occasions like Thanksgiving.

  1. Not getting enough protein and fiber

Dietary fiber, mainly found in fruits and vegetables, helps you feel full despite having low calories. Hence, it’s an influential contributor to weight loss. 

Likewise, protein promotes more muscles and reduces your appetite. Therefore, you’re not inclined to eat more during the day. Plus, you’ll get the advantage of muscle growth and strength.

Some people tend to neglect their consumption of fiber-rich and high-protein food sources. It’s an opportunity missed considering the significance of these nutrients in your metabolism. 

What you can do: Make sure you have high-fiber foods and lean meat in your diet. At least 30 grams of fiber can help you lose weight, and about 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of your body weight. 

  1. Relying on detox products 

Once you start researching weight loss, you’ll be subjected to tons of cleansing and detox dieting advertisements. The marketing can be tempting, and you might give in and put your trust in the product, only to find yourself disappointed.

Regardless of how they may advertise them, detox products don’t work as they promise. In the first place, your body can screen toxins on its own through your liver and flush them out via the excretory system. 

On top of that, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has issued a warning against detoxification program that not only poses false advertising but can actually be harmful. 

What you can do: Always keep in mind that tweaking your diet alone is not a healthy way to reduce weight. If you are tempted to take on some detox products for weight loss, do proper research first. Ask a healthcare professional or a health coach. While these are reasonable steps, it’s wise to avoid them altogether. 

  1. Ignoring food labels

You may already have a meal plan prepared, but your caloric intake may not be a hundred percent accounted for if you ignore food labels. Food companies are obliged to display caloric content and composition breakdown on their products, which can help you assess if it is a good fit for your diet.

What you can do: Learn what food labels mean and make it a crucial part of your decision when selecting your food or meal. Connect with your doctor on what ingredients to avoid based on your tailor-fitted diet plan. 

Exercise Mistakes in Weight Loss

full shot woman holding dumbbell

Exercise is a critical part of weight loss. After all, it’s the primary means of speeding up your metabolism, burning calories, and reducing fat. However, there can be exercise mistakes during weight loss that will make your efforts futile. Read on to learn what these are. 

  1. Frequent attention to the scale

Once you get into a weight reduction program or start adjusting your diet and exercising more, you might want to check on your weight occasionally. 

While it’s a good way to check your progress, constantly weighing yourself in can also stimulate doubt and frustration. This is if you have unrealistic expectations and anticipate quick results. 

You may make one of the common weight loss mistakes of assuming the absence of progress when in fact, your physical improvement should be assessed within an extended period. 

What you can do: Keep in mind that weight loss does not happen overnight. Be open to the possibility that it’s not linear, either. Focus more on the bigger picture and stay consistent even if the results don’t show up quickly. 

  1. Doing only one type of exercise

Not many people know that there are different forms of exercise with specific purposes. According to the National Institute of Health, the four types of exercise include strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility. 

Most people aiming to slim down start with aerobic exercises under endurance. These involve cardio training like running, swimming, and cycling. While these exercises effectively help you burn calories, you’ll achieve more success if you combine them with resistance training.

Resistance training, such as weightlifting and planking, increase muscular strength. They also help with fat reduction through the improved communication between muscles and fats. Simply put, as your muscles grow and become stronger, they undergo molecular changes that contribute to fat loss. 

What you can do: They say variety is the spice of life – and it stays true with exercise. So avoid the common weight loss mistake of monotonous workouts by mixing up your training. If you’re unsure, work with a fitness coach to help you out. 

  1. Lack of consistency in exercising

It’s a debate as old as time: should I prioritize consistency or intensity when working out. For people who love the gym and have the luxury of time, they don’t have to pick. However, if you’re a beginner, you may find it challenging to exercise daily at high intensity. 

Unfortunately, this affects your weight loss results as the indecision and the mere idea of not being able to bring exercise into your schedule can be discouraging. As a result, you may fail to be consistent with your workout and burn insufficient calories for successful weight loss.  

What you can do: Consistency is the first thing you must achieve when aiming for weight loss. As you make exercise a part of your routine, you’ll have a better opportunity to incorporate increasing intensity because your brain will likely drive you to it through the release of dopamine.

For example, you may start exercising on a stationary bike or doing a light workout at home for 30 minutes a day, every other day, during your first two weeks. As your body becomes stronger and more resistant, you can push for more time and intensity. The only thing that matters at first is to stay committed to your schedule. 

Did you know? Some bodybuilders who found success in the industry started with weight loss. If you want to become a bodybuilder, see if you’re cut out for the field. Start by understanding if bodybuilding is healthy or dangerous

Lifestyle Fails During Weight Loss

Aside from common weight loss mistakes involving exercise and diet, your habits, mindset, and overall lifestyle may require fine-tuning to achieve your weight goal. Check out some of the things you should work on and why they matter. 

  1. Starting off with unrealistic expectations

Weight loss strategies can be easily misrepresented on social media. And tying up your goal with these illusions can only hurt your motivation and intent. 

Solely focusing on the result without understanding the process leads to unrealistic expectations that will leave you frustrated. This, in turn, will make you more passive and even want to quit altogether. 

What you can do: Do ample research when picking a weight loss strategy or program. Consider your body type, health history, genetic disposition, degree of activity, and other factors that might affect your goal. For an easier way to do this, consult a healthcare provider or a health and/or fitness coach. 

  1. Perceiving exercise as temporary or a burden

Adding regular exercise to your lifestyle can be a challenge if you only see yourself doing it for a certain period and simply to lose a specific weight. It goes the same way with nutrition. Hence, people often find themselves gaining weight again after hitting their goal. 

Exercise, in particular, is sometimes viewed as a burden – something you can’t wait to stop doing due to its physical demands. If this is your mindset, you may fail to reap the long-term benefits of weight loss. 

What you can do: Don’t start your journey with extreme workouts and high-intensity exercises. If possible, begin with light physical activities or a particular sport you enjoy. Associating a positive experience with exercise long before you see results will allow you to easily integrate it into your routine. 

  1. Refusing to give up beer 

Alcoholic beverage intake, particularly beer, can impede your body’s ability to burn lipids – one of the critical fat loss mistakes. As a result, it increases waist circumference and, by extension, your overall weight. 

In 2022, a Gallup survey determined that 35% of Americans are beer drinkers – still the highest among alcohol preferences despite its slight margin against wine. This only goes to show how beer has become an integral part of the American lifestyle. And as it is, a challenge on its own as far as giving up goes. 

What you can do: How you’ll surrender or regulate beer depends on the degree of your habit. If it’s something that you can’t easily live without, it may be high time to seek outside help. On the other hand, if you’re keen on doing it yourself, inform the people around you and start by setting a practical drinking goal.  

Did You Know? While beer can prevent proper weight loss, another beverage does promote it. Green tea is a ubiquitous beverage with plenty of health benefits, including improving metabolism. 

  1. Not getting enough sleep

You may be eating right and exercising regularly, but you can still compromise your weight loss if you don’t get enough sleep. This is because the sleep-wake cycle influences appetite and metabolism. 

Insufficient sleep slows down your metabolic rate, which impacts caloric conversion. In addition, you may crave food if you lack sleep, which can tip off your meal planning altogether. 

What you can do: Secure about seven to eight hours of sleep a night. If you’re having trouble due to stress and anxiety, check out our tips for a good night’s sleep based on scientific evidence. But if you’re exhibiting symptoms typically associated with sleep disorders, consult a healthcare provider. 

Frequently Asked Questions

young caucasian woman isolated on blue background with weighing machine and looking side

Why am I gaining weight when I’m eating less and working out?

There is no one true answer to why you’re still gaining weight despite cutting back on your caloric intake and working out. Some people attribute the condition to a significant gain in muscle due to resistance training and a high-protein diet. However, in some cases, it’s due to underlying thyroid problems, metabolic issues, and other illnesses.

You’ll have to see your doctor to assess your weight loss actions and accurately determine the cause of counterproductivity. Want a convenient way to do it? Book a virtual consultation with our healthcare provider. 

How can you tell if you have a slow metabolism?

There are physical and mental manifestations of abnormally slow metabolism. Symptoms of slow metabolism include unexplained weight gain, extreme fatigue, gastrointestinal issues like constipation, dry skin, headache, hair thinning, and depression. Of course, the most accurate way to find out for sure is to consult your doctor to have you tested for factors like a metabolic hormone imbalance. 

What illness causes weight gain? 

Several health conditions can cause weight gain and fatigue due to their effect primarily on your metabolism and molecular absorption. These diseases include hyperthyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Cushing’s syndrome, hypertension, diabetes, persistent depressive disorder, and heart disease. 

Bottom Line 

The emergence of tons of diet fads and workout crazes, with their irrational results, can be nothing short of tempting. But nowadays, information on how weight loss should be individualized is available widely to guide you on what to do and not to do when targeting your ideal weight. Steer clear of the biggest weight loss mistakes to ensure you get the desired results.

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