7 Common mistakes people make when trying to lose weight quickly
Although in theory, weight loss is best done over several weeks, months and even years, sometimes, you need to shed a few pounds, and you need to do so quick. You could have a wedding coming up, or you've spent the months leading up to July slacking on that summer bod; whatever it is, you've got some excess chub to get rid of, and not much time to do it.
Many people like you have been in that similar boat, but when the time comes to show off that new-and-improved body, a lot of people end up falling short of their weight loss goals, but not for the lack of trying. Why exactly is that? They probably made a few mistakes that a lot of people make when trying to lose weight fast, which you can learn about right now. Isn't that convenient?
1. Cutting calories indiscriminately
Anyone even remotely familiar with weight loss is aware that when your net energy consumption is negative (ie when you're expending more energy than you're putting into your body), that's when you lose weight. But when you do that without considering any factors relating to you personally, it might not all go to plan. No two people's bodies work the same, and being too general with your weight loss plans might cause you to compromise your nutrition in the long run. Fresh Fitness Foods nutritionist Georgia explains: "Everyone has a different basal metabolic rate (which can be worked out using an online calculator) and everyone’s different in terms of body composition.”
2. Messing up their metabolism through fasting
While I personally wouldn't recommend straight-up not eating in an attempt to lose weight, the 5:2 diet has got quite a bit of traction in the dieting community. Fasting for a couple of days shouldn't do you too much harm, but Georgia explains that there are a couple of potential metabolism-related drawbacks. "Your body can go into starvation mode," she explains. "Often it will use the food from the meals that you do eat and store it as fat, a fuel reserve just in case you don’t eat for another 10 hours."
3. Not eating enough carbs
It's very tempting to assume that carbs are the enemy of any weight loss plan worth its salt. And while eating pizza or mashed potato isn't exactly conducive to losing weight fast, too many people cut carbs out completely, and expect to drop down several sizes instantly. This is not great for your weight loss plans, especially if you're working out quite a lot alongside that. "The way our body uses the key macro nutrients - carbs, fats and protein - is in that order," Georgia reveals.
"Your body will burn a certain amount of carbohydrates in the form of glucose first, then it leaves a little store and then it will switch to fat and the fats stores leave some reserve and then it will switch to your protein stores and that’s your muscle. This means if you’re not eating enough, especially of carbohydrates and fats, your body will start to burn its own muscle and the less muscle you have the harder it is to burn fat."
4. Employing extreme macro dieting that's also super vague
In the world of healthy eating, macro dieting is one of the biggest buzzwords out there. For the uninitiated out there, macro dieting is just when you count the numbers of individual nutrients (eg fats, carbohydrates or protein) instead of just counting calories, but by focusing too hard on your individual numbers and not looking at the bigger picture, you're going to end up sabotaging your weight loss plans. This'll probably mean you don't get enough carbs, and go too heavy on the protein. "Look at your plate, it should be divided with half green vegetables, which are fibrous carbs, a quarter of your plate should be your starchy carbs like sweet potato, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and then a quarter of your plate should be a lean protein," Georgia recommends.
5. Not hydrating enough
You don't hear about it too often in weight-loss blogs and fitness videos, but one of the biggest factors in effective weight loss is making sure your body has enough water. Health coach and chef Jennifer Moore says that you should be drinking two to three litres of water a day, for one simple reason: "If you are hydrated, you won’t overeat. If we are dehydrated, we can mistake thirst for hunger and end up eating and snacking unnecessarily, when really all your body is asking for is water." When you're dehydrated, you also retain water weight, so every meal you eat will ensure your body holds on to it to attend to your depleted water reserves.
6. Going for low fat and diet foods
When you're going on a diet, it only seems logical to ditch the full-fat versions of your favourite foods in favour of the diet option. Otherwise, why else would they call it diet? Unfortunately, though, most low-fat or diet versions of your favourites compensate for the lack of fat by adding in tons of sugar. The more your blood sugar levels spike, the harder they'll crash, and that's when you're vulnerable to getting hangry and going on food binges.
7. Going hungriest at night time
After a long, hard day of eating right, working out and generally living your best life, it can be really tempting to come back home and head straight for the cookie jar or the ice cream drawer, rendering your best efforts useless. "Close the kitchen after dinner and try to eat early. Have a light dinner before 7:30pm and then stop the evening snacking," says Jennifer to help you get through those late-night cravings. "This will give your body a mini break overnight and let your body get on with its normal functions of resting and repairing while you sleep, instead of digesting. You will wake up feeling fresher and actually feel hungry in the morning when you break this mini overnight fast."
Well, folks. Isn't that helpful? Of course, weight loss is harder for some people than it is for others, but if you have to lose it fast, be careful not to make the same mistakes that have been detailed above. You've literally got no excuse now.