Top 5 Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes

woman counting caloriesMake Your Weight Loss Journey Easier by Avoiding These 5 Big Mistakes

When it comes to weight loss, there’s a plethora of information all over the internet. Unfortunately, not all that information is helpful information and the good information is cluttered alongside the junk information. For many individuals trying to lose weight, this can make finding the right plan difficult and even disheartening. Rest assured if you need help figuring out what type of nutrition plan is for you, than you’ve come to the right place. Some of the biggest weight loss mistakes either keep people from losing weight or keep them from long term success. However, knowing these so-called mistakes will give you the knowledge you need to find a good plan so you can successfully lose weight.

1. Not Valuing Calories

Caloric Balance chart

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There are way too many diets out there that put no emphasis on total calories. These type of diets map out specific meal plans without any regard to portion size or portion size relative to the individual following the plan. Some of these diets restrict entire food groups as well, but don’t stress the importance of total caloric intake. At the end of the day, daily caloric intake relative to one’s metabolism determines weight loss not the types of foods you eat or how many times a day you eat. Therefore, no matter what method of dieting you choose whether it be Paleolithic , vegan, gluten free, intermittent fasting, no carb, low fat, etc., you’ll need to consume less calories than you burn in order to lose weight. There’s no getting around it if you want to be successful in your weight loss endeavors, you’ll need to value caloric intake.

2. Cutting Too Many Calories

Cutting Too Many CaloriesThis tends to be a big issue with most diets. Dieters end up cutting so many calories upfront in an attempt to make drastic or fast progress without knowing the negative effects that come along with a huge drop in calories. Even for the best of us, dropping too many calories makes the diet hard to stick to for several reasons. First, when the body is in a caloric deficient it oxidizes its fats stores in an attempt to balance out the caloric deficient leading to weight loss. However, when cutting huge amount of calories the body’s ability to mobilize stored fat to make up for the difference is a process that takes time and doesn’t happen overnight. Therefore, when an individual makes a huge cut in calories to their diet, it leaves the individual experiencing extreme hunger. Even those dieters with the strongest of will power will only last a few days before they end up overeating or falling off the wagon. So that one may avoid such dieting fiascos, calorie reductions should be done in smaller amounts which result in one to two pound weight losses per week. In order to do that, find out your daily caloric needs to maintain your weight by tracking your caloric intake and finding your average intake over a week’s time period. Then lower your daily caloric intake by approximately 500 or so calories to lose about a pound per week.

3. Volume Does Not Equal Calories

Nutrition Label Breakdown

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Just because an individual does not eat that much food in terms of volume or amount does not mean they do not consume a lot of calories. When it comes to food, the volume or amount of food does not directly correlate to the amount of calories or energy the food contains. Some foods are calorie dense while others are not. Case in a point a tablespoon of olive oil has the same amount of calories as four ounces of chicken breast. However, the discrepancy of volume between a tablespoon of olive oil and four ounces of chicken breast is vast. Therefore, looking at an amount of food and assuming it does not have many calories based upon its sheer amount or volume is a big time dieting mistake. Instead, find the caloric values of foods based upon their nutritional information and serving size rather than relying on the portion size.

4. All or Nothing Mentality

weight loss collageOne unhealthy or high calorie meal will not make you fat just like one low calorie or healthy meal will not make you skinny or lean. Too often, dieters have the all or nothing mentality towards nutrition. Meaning they go all out choosing healthy, low calorie, nutrient dense foods for days, weeks, or even months on end, but as soon as they have one food that does not fit the bill such as ice cream it triggers a binge or leads to the person completely falling off the diet wagon. When it comes to a diet, think of everything in a long term perspective. If there are thirty days in a month and you follow your weight loss plan twenty-eight of those days, you’ve stuck to your plan at a 93.3% rate. Do not beat yourself up over the 7% of your diet that was less than perfect. When following a weight loss plan consistency is a key player and anything over an 85% adherence rate should lead to a resulting effort.

5. Believing Supplement Hype

supplement hypeThe supplement business is an ever growing industry. There is virtually a supplement for any condition, ailment, or disease out there. However when it comes to fitness, a supplement is nothing more than an aid to an already sound diet and exercise program. No supplement is necessary or essential to a successful dieting campaign. If you change nothing about your diet and exercise program, chances are you can pretty much expect nothing more than what you are already experiencing in terms of results regardless of what supplement you may have started taking. Do not fall for the supplement quick fix hype. If you want your supplement to help assist you in building strength or losing fat, that’s absolutely fine. However, be sure that your diet and exercise program are in line with your goals as well. Otherwise, you’ll end up with little results and a lighter wallet.

The Bottom Line

Weight loss diets are by no means a breeze, but eliminating some of the nonsense such as removing entire food groups from your diet, following very low calorie diets, buying crazy supplements, and by sticking to a plan that values the importance of an overall sound nutrition and exercise plan, you can make your weight loss journey a little easier.

What is your experience with weight loss diets? Have you fallen victim to one of these mistakes? Let us know in the comments below!

Author Profile: Julian Brown, BS, ACE-CPT, NASM-FNS      Julian is the co-owner of The Yard Fitness, an established fitness writer, a professional natural bodybuilder, a fitness & sport nutrition specialist, and a certified personal trainer. He began strength training at the young age of fourteen to improve his sports performance and hasn’t looked back since. Julian is a graduate of Grambling State University, ACE & NASM certified, and he has over a decade of personal experience in strength training.

Disclaimer: The views of the author are his or her own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ask The Trainer.
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