Through experience, when people commit to losing weight, they usually go from one extreme to another as they hope to lose weight and “get fit” as quickly as possible. These extremes include trying to excessively diet or trying to exercise all the time. The hope is that you will lose weight quickly. Research has shown that 95% of fad diets fail and exercising excessively also often does not lead to weight loss.
Losing weight is initially fairly easy, it is keeping up the motivation and then keeping off the weight which is the hard part. Always remember that changing your body means changing your lifestyle and so this is not a quick fix.
Mistake 1: Fad diet
The most common mistake that I see is that people jump on board the latest FAD diet. You will probably know someone who swears by some amazing weight loss method. To be fair, they probably are having brilliant result at first. Then, you will find that they return to normal eating and the weight piles straight back on.
Mistake 2: Starvation
The second most common mistake is going from excessive eating to not eating at all. “But hardly eating means weight loss doesn’t it?”. To an extent you are right, however, it’s not sustainable long term. Moreover, dramatically cutting down food intake will see your body go into starvation mode, putting your health, daily performance, mood and energy levels in a bad place.
Mistake 3: Excessive exercise
The third most common mistake is to go from rarely exercise to going to the gym everyday.
If you are not used to this, just like with the excessive dieting, you will not sustain it. Also, ask yourself why you have not managed to go to the gym up to now? Maybe you just hate the gym and that is OK and even normal? However, if you do hate the gym, realistically, how likely is it that you are going to motivate yourself to go an hour a day 3 times a week.
The best way to sustain exercise is to find something you love. So take the pressure off yourself and spend the first part of your weight loss project in just finding an a physical activity you enjoy, be it walking, dancing, football, badminton, pilates….. the best exercise is always the one your are most likely to do.
Finally the other best way to lose weight is to naturally incorporate more exercise in your everyday life. It is always easier to stick to small changes that do not involve to much upheaval to your usual routine. So take the stairs, get off the bus a stop earlier, make a point of going for a walk at lunch time.