What kind of weight loss journey saves you the most time and energy? Is it the one where there is a yo-yo of ups and downs, starts and stops, or the one where it’s manageable and you feel like you’re making progress everyday? The answer is probably the latter.
Whether you’re thinking about kickstarting your weight loss journey or you’ve been going at it for a while, there are some mistakes that you definitely want to avoid so you don't have to waste time and energy and ensure long term weight loss results with less stress.
Setting Unrealistic Expectations and Goals
“I want to lose 20 lbs this month!” “I’m going to workout for 2 hours a day!” “I’m going to do double workouts!” A lot of the times what catapults the start of a weight loss journey is the need for change. We are conditioned that results must come quickly. After all, at work you can make things happen fast. At home, you can take care of messes quickly. So, it only makes sense that the whole weight loss thing happens by tomorrow right? Nope.
Here’s the thing: you need to be realistic . Is it really feasible to lose 20lbs this month? MAYBE it could happen, but chances are the way you’d go about doing it would be unsustainable, unhealthy, and maybe even reckless. Not only this, but the side effects would affect your energy levels ability to stay laser focused during work hours.
Also, what happens when that goal of losing so much weight in a month or doing double workouts isn’t met is that we end up disappointed, unmotivated, and simply give up. So, start setting smaller goals like 3-5 pounds a month and then add in daily sustainable, action oriented goals (like getting 20-30 minutes of exercise a day) that will get you there. When we set smaller, achievable goals that are within reasonable reach, we stay more motivated once we hit them!
Eating Less Than 1200 Calories
You always hear it: to lose weight you need to cut your calories. I’ve read on so many forums people cutting their calories all the way down to 900 calories and they're completely puzzled on why they aren’t losing weight at all. I also get it. We wan the fast way to weight loss.
However, facts are that human bodies burn a specific amount of calories when at rest (this is called basal metabolic rate). This is the same amount of calories needed to be consumed just to keep the body running. For the most part, this number is above 1200 calories. So, for one to eat below 1200 it will actually do the opposite of weight loss. The body thinks it isn’t getting fed, goes into starvation mode and holds onto fat. Not only this, but cutting calories so low can have negative effects on your body like fatigue, constipation, nausea, and diarrhea.
Working Out Longer
Working out longer won’t necessarily deliver you better weight loss results. If you aren’t eating enough, it’ll actually end up putting more stress on your body and halt the weight loss process. Fitness is about 20% of your results. While you can burn additional calories in the gym, more fitness without proper nutrition won’t get you to where you want to go. Try refocusing all efforts for fitness into those same 30 minutes you’re already exercising, increase your intensity during the workout, and then spend the rest of your time during the day on making healthier food choices. If you need a library of easy to access quick workouts to kickstart your journey, check out my Personal Trainer in Your Pocket, a program designed specifically for busy professionals.
Taking a Break On The Weekend
You worked so hard during the week to stay on track, so that means you can take a break on the weekend right? WRONG! If you aren’t careful, you’ll end up undoing all the progress that you’ve made during the week in just a day or two. It’s okay to eat what you like in moderation, but when you end up overeating, the compounded calories will end up affecting you negatively. It’s like taking two steps forward and one step (or even two steps) back- taking twice as much energy just to move forward again. Not what we want. Stay consistent on your plan and treat the weekend like any other day.
Starting and Stopping
Skirt skirt skiiiirt!!!!! You’re making progress all week. You're feeling great then “mess up” for a meal. You think, “Well, the rest of the day is over anyways.” So, you end up making choices that aren’t in alignment with your goals for the rest of the day, promising to restart tomorrow. Then, tomorrow ends up being several months down the line, maybe even years. The amount of energy it takes to re-start and build the same momentum back up to where you were before is physically and mentally exhausting especially if you’ve started and stopped several times! The start and stop can end up being extremely frustrating and stress you out even more. It’s okay, one decision does not define the next one. If you ate that cookie, cake, or fast food or missed a workout, it was simply just a moment in time, just keep going and keep progressing forward.
The results of weight loss aren't immediate; it won't come the next day, maybe not next week. The results are a compound of decisions that are in alignment with your goals day after day. They’re decisions that reflect your commitment to yourself. It didn’t take you a day to get to where you are now. So, it won’t take just a day to shed all the excess weight. Set reasonable goals that fit your lifestyle and set realistic expectations for yourself to set yourself up for a successful weight loss journey.
You got this!