Losing weight and getting in shape is hard enough already. I want to offer some help by providing 5 mistakes to avoid that most people make when they start trying to lose weight.

  1. Too much cardio: Most people assume that in order to lose weight they need to do nothing but cardio. Yes, cardio does help burn a lot of calories, but it doesn’t help shape your body. Strength workouts are key to tightening loose areas on your body, it also helps enhance your curves without the extra weight, and there have been some studies that show strength training can burn as many calories as cardio. Actually lifting weights in the morning, will guarantee you will burn more calories throughout the day. Of course you need to find a balance of strength training and cardio, because both are beneficial to staying in shape and fit, but the general opinion that cardio should be the go to type of workout to lose weight is not true.
  2. Not enough food: A lot of people assume that in order to lose weight and keep the weight off they need to eat like a bird. They picture their plate basically empty with nothing but a few pieces of broccoli and carrots and that’s all they eat until the next meal. That could not be further from the truth. You actually need to eat to lose weight, not starve yourself. It’s not even really about how much you eat, but more about what you eat. If you’re trying to lose weight you want to change from fast/fried foods to clean colorful foods you cook at home. You want to make sure you eat 3 meals a day that contain vegetables, complex carbs, and lean proteins and in between the meals eat a light snack of fruit with peanut butter, vegetables, or a protein bar. You want to make sure you eat because it keeps your metabolism going, which helps you process the foods a lot faster and easier.
  3. A temporary result: A lot of the times people lose a lot of weight, and they look awesome and they feel good about themselves, and then shortly after they gain it all back plus some. The reason that usually happens is because they used a quick fix for a temporary result. If you truly want to lose weight and keep it off, there is no quick fix you can’t just take a pill or stop eating carbs for a month. You have to look at the bigger picture of what you want and you have to change your lifestyle and way of living. A few examples of small lifestyle changes can be cooking at home more often, taking a long walk/hike every day, stop drinking sodas and sugary drinks; small changes in your lifestyle can amount to great results. You just have to keep it up until those changes become habit, and the results will come with it.
  4. Cutting out an entire food group: This is why people gain the weight back! If you completely deprive your body of something for a long time it’ll start to crave it, and when you finally give in and eat it you will binge eat it and gain everything back plus some. It is not healthy to cut out protein, carbs, sugars, sodium, fats. Your body needs every single one of these things, it just doesn’t need them an excess.
  5. Wrong reasons: majority of people who try to lose weight do it strictly for vanity reasons. They absolutely hate themselves, or the way they look and think if they lose weight then all of their problems will be solved. Unfortunately, this can lead to a lot of disappointment and even more self-hatred if the results aren’t coming at a faster rate. People become very frustrated and defeated and it’s honestly because they are doing all the wrong things (like starving themselves and/or overly work out) and they aren’t seeing the results that they’re expecting. If you don’t like the way you look, you’re not alone, everyone has things that they don’t like about themselves; but like I mentioned before you have to look at the bigger picture and change your lifestyle. You have to want to take care of your body and feed it things that are good for it, and work out because you know it’s healthy for your body. You have to do it because you love yourself and want to do what is healthy and kind for yourself. Once you realize it’s about doing it because you love your body, not because you hate it, the results will come naturally.

Also published on Medium.

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