Occasionally you have the feeling that you are doing everything right, but are still not getting results.
You can even hamper your progress by following a wrong or outdated advice.
These are common mistakes people make when they try to lose weight.
1. Only concentrate on the scale weight
It is very common that you feel that you do not lose weight fast enough, despite being faithful to your diet.
The number on the scale, however, is only one measure of weight change. Weight is affected by various things, such as the rise and fall of liquid and how much food is left in your system.
In fact, the weight can change by up to 1.8 kg in the course of a day, depending on how much food and liquid you have spent.
Improved estrogen levels and other hormonal changes in women can also lead to greater water retention, which is reflected in the weight of the scale.
If the number on the scale does not move, you may lose a lot of fat mass, but hold on to water. Fortunately, you can do several things to lose the water weight.
Moreover, if you are training, you can get muscle and lose fat.
When this happens, your clothes may feel looser, especially around the stomach, despite a stable weight.
If you calculate your waist with a measuring tape and take pictures of yourself on a monthly basis, you can see that you are actually losing weight, even if the scale number does not change much.
2. Eating too much or too few calories.
A calorie deficit is required for weight loss. This means that you have to burn more calories than you consume.
For many years it was assumed that a reduction of 3500 calories a week would result in 1 lb (.45 kg) fat loss. Recent studies, however, show that the caloric deficit that is needed differs from man to man. You may feel that you are not eating a lot of calories. But in fact, most of us tend to undervalue and underestimate what we eat.
In a two-week study, 10 obese people reported 1,000 calories per day. Laboratory tests showed that they consumed around 2,000 calories per day.
You may consume too much food that is healthy but also contains a lot of calories, such as nuts and cheese. Observing portion sizes is the key.
On the other hand, reducing your calorie intake may be too counterproductive.
Studies on very low-calorie diets with less than 1,000 calories per day show that they can lead to muscle loss and significantly delay absorption.
Consuming too many calories can keep you from losing weight. On the other hand, too few calories can make you hungry and reduce your absorption and muscle mass.
3. Irregular training or training too much.
While losing weight you certainly lose some muscle mass and fat, although the amount depends on some problems.
If you do not train at all while limiting calories, you will probably lose more muscle mass and experience a reduction in your metabolism.
Training, on the other hand, helps to minimize the amount of lean mass you lose, increase fat loss and prevent your metabolism from slowing down. The more fat-free mass you have, the easier it is to lose weight and maintain weight loss.
Excessive exercise, however, can also cause problems. Studies show that excessive physical exercise in the long term is untenable for most people and can lead to stress. In addition, it can reduce the production of adrenal hormones that regulate the stress response.
Trying to force your body to burn more calories by moving too much is not effective and not healthy either. Weight gain and cardio several times a week, however, is a defensible strategy to maintain the metabolism during weight loss.
4. Do not lift weights
Performing resistance training is incredibly important during weight loss.
Studies show lifting weights is one of the most effective exercise strategies for gaining muscle mass and increasing metabolism. It also improves the overall body composition and increases abdominal fat loss.
An overview of 15 studies with more than 700 people even found that the best strategy of all for weight loss seems to be combined aerobic exercise and weight lifting.
Weight lifting or resistance training can help increase the metabolism, increase muscle mass and promote fat loss, including abdominal fat.
5. Choosing low-fat foods or “dietary foods”
Processed low-fat or “diet” foods are often considered good choices to lose weight, but they can even have the opposite effect.
Many of these products are loaded with sugar to improve their taste.
For example, a cup (245 grams) of low-fat yogurt with a fruit flavor can contain as much as 47 grams of sugar (almost 12 teaspoons) (19).
Instead of keeping you going, low-fat products will probably make you hungry, so you end up eating more.
Instead of low-fat or “diet” foods, choose a combination of nutritious, minimally processed foods.
Fat-free or “diet” foods are usually rich in sugar and can lead to hunger and higher calorie intake.
6. Overestimate how many calories do you burn during training.
Many people believe that they ‘boost’ their metabolism.
Although exercise increases the metabolic rate somewhat, it may be less than you think.
Studies show that both normal and fat people often overestimate the number of calories they burn during exercise, often with a significant amount.
In one study, people burned 200 and 300 calories during training sessions. But when they asked about it, they estimated that they had burned more than 800 calories. As a result, they started to eat more.
That said, exercise is still crucial to overall health and can help you lose weight. It is simply not as effective in burning calories as some people think.
Studies show that people tend to overestimate the number of calories they burn during training.
7. Do not eat enough protein.
Obtaining sufficient protein is extremely important if you are trying to lose weight.
It has even been shown that protein helps with weight loss in different ways.
It can reduce appetite, increase feelings of fullness, reduce caloric intake, increase metabolism and protect muscle mass during weight loss.
In a 12-day study, people ate a diet with 30% calories from proteins. Eventually they consumed on average 575 calories per day less than when they ate 15% calories from proteins.
A review also showed that protein-rich diets, containing 0.6-0.8 grams of protein per lb (1.2-1.6 g / kg), can improve appetite control and body composition.
To optimize weight loss, ensure that each of your meals contains protein-rich foods.
A high protein intake helps to lose weight by reducing the appetite, increasing the feeling of fullness and stimulating the metabolism.
8. Do not eat enough fiber.
A high-fiber diet can compromise your efforts to lose weight.
Studies show that a type of soluble fiber known as viscous fiber helps reduce appetite by forming a gel that retains water.
This gel moves slowly through your digestive tract, making you feel full.
Research shows that all types of fibers benefit from weight loss. However, an overview of several studies showed that viscous fibers reduced appetite and caloric intake much more than other species.
When total fiber intake is high, some calories from foods in mixed meals are not absorbed. Researchers estimate that doubling the daily intake of fiber could lead to the intake of up to 130 fewer calories.
Eating enough fiber can reduce appetite by filling you so you eat less. It can also help to absorb fewer calories from other foods.
9. Eating too much fat on a low carbohydrate diet.
Ketogenic and low-carbohydrate diets can be very effective for weight loss.
Research has shown that they reduce appetite, which often leads to a spontaneous reduction in caloric intake.
Many low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets give unlimited amounts of fat, assuming that the resulting suppression of appetite will keep calories low enough for weight loss.
However, some people may not experience a strong enough signal to stop eating. As a result, they can consume too many calories to reach a calorie deficit.If you add large amounts of fat to your food or drinks and do not lose weight, you may want to eat less fat.
Although low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets help to reduce hunger and calorie intake, the addition of too much fat can slow down or prevent weight loss.
10. Eating too often, even if you are not hungry.
For years the usual advice was to eat every few hours to prevent hunger and a decrease of the metabolism.
Unfortunately, this can cause too many calories to be consumed during the day. You can never really feel full.
In one study, blood sugar levels and hunger decreased, while the metabolic rate and feeling of fullness increased in men who used 3 meals versus 14 meals within a 36-hour time frame.
The recommendation to have breakfast every morning, regardless of appetite, also seems misplaced.
One study found that people skipped breakfast, they took more calories at lunch than when they had eaten a morning meal. However, they consumed an average of 408 fewer calories for the day in general.
Eating when you are hungry and only when you are hungry, seems to be the key to successful weight loss.
Making yourself too hungry is also a bad idea. It is better to eat a snack than to become hungry, so you can make bad decisions.
Eating too often can damage your weight loss efforts. For the best results, it is important to eat alone when you are hungry.
11. Unlikely expectations.
Weight loss and other health-related goals can help you stay motivated.
However, having unrealistic expectations may even work against you.
Researchers analyzed data from different weight loss center programs. They reported that women with obesity and obesity who expected to lose the most weight, would most likely disappear from a program after 6 to 12 months.
Adjust your expectations to a more realistic and modest goal, such as a weight loss of 10% in one year. This can help you avoid becoming discouraged and increase your chances of success.
Unrealistic expectations can lead to frustration and give up completely. Make your goals more modest to increase your chances of successful weight loss.
12. Do not follow what you eat in any way.
Eating nutritious food is a good strategy for weight loss. However, you can still eat more calories than needed to lose weight.
In addition, you may not get the right amount of protein, fiber, carbohydrates and fat to support your weight loss efforts.
Research has shown that following what you eat can help you get a correct picture of your calorie and nutrient consumption and to be accountable.
Besides food, you can also enter your daily exercise with most online tracking sites and apps. Here is an overview of several popular calorie tracking tools.
If you do not keep track of what you eat, you may consume more calories than you think. You may also get less protein and fiber than you think.
13. Still drink sugar.
Many people cut soft drinks and other sweetened beverages from their diet to lose weight, which is a good thing.
Instead, consuming fruit juice is not smart.
Even 100% fruit juice is loaded with sugar and can lead to health and weight problems similar to those caused by sugar-sweetened beverages.
For example, 12 grams (320 grams) unsweetened apple juice contains 36 grams of sugar. That is even more than in 12 ounces of cola.
In addition, liquid calories do not seem to affect the appetite centers in your brain in the same way as calories from solid foods.
Studies show that you end up consuming more calories instead of compensating for the liquid calories by eating less later in the day.
If you cut sugar-sweetened drinks but still drink fruit juice, you will still get a lot of sugar and probably take more calories.
14. Do not read labels.
Failure to read the label information accurately may result in you consuming unwanted calories and unhealthy ingredients.
Unfortunately, many foods are labeled with healthy-sounding food claims on the front of the package. These can give you a false sense of security when choosing a particular item.
To get the most important weight control information, look at the ingredient list and the nutrition facts label, which is on the back of the pack.
In this article you can read more about reading food labels.
Food labels provide information about ingredients, calories and nutrients. Make sure you understand how to read labels accurately.
15. Do not eat whole foods with one ingredient.
One of the worst things you can do to lose weight is to eat a lot of highly processed food.
Animal and human studies suggest that processed food can be an important factor in the current epidemic of obesity and other health problems.
Some researchers think that this can be due to their negative effects on gut health and inflammation.
Moreover,whole foods are usually self-limiting, which means that they are difficult to over-consume. On the other hand, it is very easy to eat processed foods too much.
Choose, where possible, whole foods with one ingredient that is minimally processed.