Weight loss is hard. It takes concentrated effort over a long period of time. It’s easy to get discouraged when weight loss slows down. You know results don’t happen overnight. But when you keep working at it and still don’t see results? It makes you want to quit.
Don’t give up.
You can keep your weight loss from derailing. It starts by figuring out what is stalling your weight loss. If you are putting in the effort, something is stopping your results. What is it?
Take a look at these five mistakes that can wreck your weight loss. Is one of these the culprit? Work on these problem areas and get ready to watch your weight-loss results improve.
1. Overdoing your workouts
It happens so easily. You work through the frustrations of not wanting to exercise. Then something clicks, and you start enjoying your workouts. The pounds start to fall off. Your enthusiasm grows. You feel like you could work out all the time.
And you do.
Suddenly your body can’t keep up. You’re working out so hard, and so often, your body thinks something is wrong. Your weight loss stops while your body tries to readjust.
Or you start getting hungry from your workouts and make bad food choices.
Or you strain your body, and it diverts energy from weight loss to healing and repair.
Working out is essential to healthy weight loss and overall health. But be reasonable. Don’t overdo. Remember you are in this for the long run, for good health. Make exercise a manageable part of your daily life, and enjoy it.
2. Consuming too much sodium
In our world of fast and processed food, it’s easy to consume excessive quantities of sodium. Not only are excessive levels of sodium unhealthy. Too much sodium can also wreck your weight-loss plan.
Sodium causes water retention, which leads to bloating and extra water weight. High sodium levels in processed foods also increase appetite and thirst. While it would be great to take care of your thirst with water, at meal time water is often not the drink at hand. Also, an excess of sodium, like an excess of anything, can throw off your body’s balance. That balance is needed to keep weight loss moving.
Sodium in the right amounts is necessary for a healthy body. But know what those limits are and avoid fast-food sources of sodium.
3. Obsessing over the scale
When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s tempting to check the scale every day. Sometimes more than once a day. But that will only cause you grief and lead to bad decisions.
Weight fluctuates in a normal, healthy body. Even at your normal weight, you’ll experience a weight range, depending on many factors.
When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s understandable that you want the scale to keep dropping. You’ve worked so hard to lose three pounds, and suddenly the scale is up four pounds. What in the world?
You’ve got to realize that’s normal. In a few days, if you’re doing everything right, the scale will drop again.
So give the scale a rest. Resist the urge to check your weight more than once a week. Don’t get discouraged or overreact if the scale doesn’t show the results you want. Look for different ways to measure results: waist size, energy, blood pressure, quality of sleep.
4. Not being realistic
Being unrealistic is one of the biggest weight-loss wreckers. If your expectations are too high, and you want results too soon, you will be discouraged. Frustration leads to bad choices: Eating the wrong foods, or exercising to the point of injury. When your plan is not realistic, it’s easy to give up.
5. Not eating enough
It is tempting to starve yourself to lose weight. If fewer calories mean fewer pounds, it seems logical that eating less is better. But that’s not the whole story.
Your body is amazingly complex. While calories do play an important role in weight loss, so do other body processes. Every system in your body needs to work together to help you lose weight. For that to happen, you need the right fuel, and enough of it. Starving yourself won’t help. If your metabolism slows, your body can’t do what is necessary to lose excess weight.
Think of it this way: What you eat is what fuels your weight loss. Eat the right nutrients, within a healthy calorie range. Don’t skip meals. Be sure to enjoy a healthy breakfast every day. Eat a good variety of foods. Give your body the fuel it needs to shed pounds.
You didn’t gain weight overnight. You won’t lose weight overnight. It takes time. Weight loss is the result of cultivating healthy eating, exercising, and lifestyle habits.
Have a realistic plan and stick with it for the long run.