While regular exercise and working out is crucial to seeing a difference in our weighing scale, some achievable changes to our diets and simple tricks can speed up the weight loss process. However, despite sticking to the diet, tweaking eating habits and lifestyle, some people do not get lose weight quickly or get the weight loss result they want even though they are making supposedly healthy choices.
This could be because they are following obsolete or misguided advice and in the age of casually passing health tips, it is easy to fall into the trap of fitness misconceptions. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Prateek Lamechwal, Advance Nutrition and Fitness Coach at FITTR, listed some common mistakes in weight loss journey that you should watch out for:
1. Not counting calories – A calorie deficit is vital for weight loss. Many people forget that weight loss is effective when you burn more calories than consumed. Hence, keeping a track of your nutrient intake for the day can go a long way in losing fat.
2. Keeping short term goals – Losing weight is not the tough part, keeping it off for a longer period is difficult. That is the reason why many people tend to gain most of the weight lost in a very short span of time. Therefore, I suggest that it is essential to be consistent during one’s weight loss journey and develop long term goals. Focus on creating a lifestyle change. This will help in developing healthy eating and exercise routines that will reap great benefits in the long run.
3. Obsessing about your weight – Weight loss is not always going to be linear. To lose weight, it is important to maintain your muscle mass and reduce your body fat percentage. Hence, the correct way to lose fat is to focus on inch loss, maintaining your strength and stamina, and focus on your daily energy levels.
4. Too much cardio – Cardio is a great mode of workout when it comes to burning calories. However, too much cardio can result in muscle loss which can lead to loose and flabby skin. Hence, doing a combination of weight training and cardio exercises during the week is not only a sustainable strategy to lose fat but also a great way to build and tone up muscles.
Adding to the list of common mistakes, Dietician Mac, Co-Founder and CMO at Fitelo, recommended avoiding these weight loss mistakes:
1. Calorie counting – In today’s diet culture, we ask a dieter to reduce calories further and eat less who already has deficiencies and health conditions. Going into extreme calorie deficit can further aggravate the further health condition and breaks the body’s metabolism completely. Instead, we should focus on nutritious food. Nutrition is not about counting calories; it is about micros and macros. For instance, vitamin deficiencies and metabolic or hormonal disorders like PCOD and thyroid cannot be managed if we blindly follow the concept of calorie counting.
2. Keto/intermittent (fad diet culture)- If we talk about the keto diet, it involves consuming only fat and protein and leaving carbs. Leaving carbs is a dangerous way of weight loss. You will only mess up the natural hormonal balance of your body by quitting or restricting carbs unnecessarily. So, if you think that going low carb or no carb diet like the keto diet will help you lose weight, you might lose weight temporarily, say for a month. But without carbs, you would not be able to sustain that weight loss, and all the lost weight will bounce back quickly!
3. Weight loss shakes/supplements – Companies promote their shakes as a meal replacement but they do not contain enough calories to constitute a meal, resulting in deadly nutrient deficiencies. There have been several reports of suspected liver damage due to these weight-loss products. Moreover, when you switch your life to a regular diet, these dabba-life products damage your metabolism badly. It is highly processed. Its ingredients include protein isolates, added sugars, gums, artificial flavors and emulsifiers. Some weight loss products contain caffeine as it boosts metabolism. But, caffeine has numerous harmful effects. It increases blood pressure, depletes the body’s minerals, and can cause anxiety and imbalances in blood sugar levels, leading to people eating more or craving sugar or carbs.
4. Going on a gluten-free diet – In order to go gluten-free, you will have to change your entire lifestyle to incorporate other grains and leave wheat. Plus, gluten free is not easily available everywhere. According to a research paper by the name “Gluten free diet and nutrient deficiencies: A review”, gluten-free diet may lead to possible nutrient unbalance resulting in improper nutritional quality of diet. Moreover, gluten-free foods does not mean healthy. They have no connection to weight loss. Just because something is gluten-free does not mean it is devoid of a lot of sodium, sugar, oil, dyes, chemicals and preservatives.