What NOT to do When Losing Weight

March 26, 2018 • By Benjamin Wilson
The estimated reading time is 4 minutes

Losing weight is a struggle for many people. Counting calories and implementing a workout routine can be a chore for even the most dedicated person. Fortunately, we have compiled a list of several common things you should avoid while trying to lose weight.

Don’t starve yourself

Less food consumed means fewer calories, which means the weight will disappear quicker, right? Technically, yes, but not in the way you might think. You may see a quick drop in pounds, but only half of that lost weight will be from fat. When you starve yourself, your body loses muscle mass and fat in equal quantities. Losing weight slowly prevents muscle mass from diminishing while body fat is being lost.

Don’t lose too much too fast

This goes hand-in-hand with the previous entry. Losing a lot of weight quickly may be motivating at first, but as weight loss plateaus (and it will), many people slip back into old eating habits, and the weight comes back just as quickly as it was lost. Most adults should aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

Don’t get dehydrated...

Your mum always said to drink eight glasses of water a day, and she was right! Dehydration slows your metabolism and getting enough water helps to reduce water weight, since your body doesn’t feel like it needs to hang onto every drop you consume. Bring a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go, and make it a habit to take sips regularly. Feeling thirsty is a sign that your body is already dehydrated, so keep thirst at bay and you’re golden! If plain water isn’t your thing, try making your sassy water and mix it up a bit.

...but don’t drink too much

While we’re on the subject of drinking, it’s important to watch WHAT you drink. A glass of red wine with dinner is fine (and even encouraged by some doctors), but moderate to heavy alcohol intake can wreak havoc on your weight loss plans. Not only does alcohol itself contain calories, but mixers (especially those high in sugar) also contribute to the calorie count, and many people tend to over-indulge in snacks when they over-indulge in the drink.

Don’t skip breakfast

Not only does breakfast give you the energy you need to start your day, it jump-starts your metabolism, making your body better equipped to process the subsequent meals of the day. Avoid fatty, salty foods like ham and bacon and opt for lighter fare instead, like an egg-white omelet, fruit, oatmeal, or yogurt.

Don’t overwhelm yourself

It’s easy to start a weight loss regimen with gusto. You’ve got a workout plan, and a meal plan and you are set to make some major changes in your lifestyle. But studies have shown that slowly making small changes in your daily life is a more effective method of losing weight and keeping it off. Try swapping one fatty food per week for a healthier alternative, add five minutes of activity to your schedule every day, and trade in soda for the aforementioned sassy water.

Don’t skimp on sleep

Studies have long shown the link between sleep deprivation and weight gain, and there are several reasons for this. Generally speaking, 7-9 hours is the benchmark for the average adult, but most adults report getting less than seven hours a night. Sleep deprivation can greatly contribute to overeating, lack of energy (leading to lack of exercise), and a change in the brain chemicals that affect appetite. To get the most out of your weight loss plan, try to get as much sleep as you need to feel alert and well-rested throughout the day (only 3% of adults carry a gene that allows them to operate efficiently on six hours of sleep per night, so shoot for the recommended 7-8 hours).

Don’t fall for gimmicks

There is no end to the number of “miracle” potions, pills, creams, and devices promising users quick and effortless weight loss. It is important to do careful research when considering weight loss supplements, as many of them can trigger dangerous side effects. Speak to a pharmacist at your trusted online pharmacy for guidance when choosing a supplement.

Don’t get discouraged! There will be days when your diet doesn’t go as planned, you miss a workout, or you imbibe in a few drinks with friends at happy hour. Life happens, and your weight loss plans are not ruined by the occasional indiscretion. Keep the end goal in mind, stick to the major tenets of your weight loss plan, and you’ll be looking at a smaller silhouette in a healthy amount of time.

Benjamin Wilson

He is a fitness trainer and part-time blogger interested in nutrition and in leading a healthy lifestyle. He writes smart and inspirational articles on nutrition supported by scientific research and his own personal experience in the healthcare industry.
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