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11 mistakes to avoid when losing weight

If there’s one thing for sure — losing weight is tough. Even when you’re exercising hard, eating clean and giving up the snacks you love, it can often feel like the results just won’t come. The trick is not to be discouraged. You might be making some of the small mistakes listed below. Most of the time, they’re an easy fix, so read on to see if any might apply to you and find the tips you need to get back on track.  

If you’re just setting out on your weight loss journey, check out our quick guide to healthy weight loss to make sure you not only start losing weight but have the know-how to keep going until you reach your goal. 

Weight loss mistake #1: wanting to lose weight too quickly  

For whatever reason, whether it’s an upcoming beach holiday, wedding season or plain impatience, we want to lose weight fast. As understandable as that is, a drastic loss of weight involves a large calorie deficit, which means depriving your body of important nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Remember, it’s a slow and steady ride. When you take time to change your routine, habits and lifestyle, you’ll be more likely to sustain your weight loss rather than keep yo-yo-ing up and down.  

Weight loss mistake #2: only focusing on the scales  

It can be disheartening to look down at the scales to find you haven’t lost any weight. Progression, however, is more than just a number. You might find that you actually see more progress by looking at yourself in the mirror, comparing yourself to a picture from last week, or simply recognising how much better you feel on the inside.  

Weight loss mistake #3: not eating enough protein while losing weight  

Our body takes longer to digest protein than it does carbohydrates and fats, which means it can keep you feeling fuller for longer. Try to include a source of protein in your meals to help fight cravings in between. Foods like chicken, lead red meats, pulses, oats, fish, nuts and seeds are all rich in protein. Alternatively, you can use low calorie, high protein shakes and snacks like Body&Fit Smart Protein, Whey Perfection or Perfection Bar Deluxe. 

Weight loss mistake #4: not eating enough fibre  

Dietary fibre is important for healthy digestion, but when you’re trying to lose weight, eating enough can help you feel full. In the same way as protein, this can help reduce the urge to snack. It’s recommended to eat at least 25 to 30 grams of fibre daily. High-fibre products include:  

  • Wholemeal products (wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, brown rice)  

  • Vegetables and fruit  

  • Legumes (brown beans, chickpeas, lentils)  

  • Nuts  

Weight loss mistake #5: not reading labels  

When you’re in the supermarket, do you throw the “light”, “low sugar” or “high protein” options into your trolley without hesitation? If you do, you’re not alone. Not many people have time to check the labels of all the products they buy. We encourage you to try. Most of the time, it’s just clever marketing and there are lots of healthier alternatives on the shelves.   

Weight loss mistake #6: trying a weight-loss method that doesn’t fit your lifestyle  

On a low-carb diet even though you love pasta and rice? Giving intermittent fasting a go but love an early breakfast? Sometimes, a diet just doesn’t match your lifestyle. And that’s okay, because there are so many different ways to lose weight. Discover these 9 effective diets for weight loss to find the right one for you. 

Weight loss mistake #7: drinking calories  

It’s easy to forget, but drinks contain calories. Your morning latte macchiato at the station is already good for around 115 kcal; a can of coke contains around 140 calories; and a large glass of red wine is roughly 210 calories. You may not realise it, but these kinds of drinks can account for a large share of your daily calorie intake.   

If you are in the process of losing weight, you can also choose to drink fewer calories. For instance, enjoy that coffee with milk and sugar in the morning, but drink black coffee, tea and water later in the day, or go for zero soft drinks or sugar-free flavoured lemonades. That way, you still drink something tasty, but it doesn’t get in the way of your weight loss process.  

Weight loss mistake #8. You drink too much alcohol  

At Body&Fit, we think balance is very important. That includes the occasional party with a glass of alcohol, if you drink alcohol of course. But be careful if you often drink too much, because alcohol can get in the way of your weight loss efforts.  

In the article on calories and macros, we told you earlier that the calories from alcohol are also described as ‘empty calories’. Your body does get energy from it, 7 kcal per gram of alcohol to be precise, but the body cannot do anything with these calories. It is therefore broken down immediately. However, the calories you get from it are not bad. One 330ml beer, for instance, contains around 150 kcal. And who knows how to stick to just one drink? That makes the number of calories you take in when drinking alcohol add up pretty fast. Not to mention the snacks that are often on the table during a night out. So keep a close eye on your alcohol consumption if you are serious about losing weight, and don’t forget that the calories you take in over the weekend count too.  

Weight loss mistake #9. You give up too soon  

You’ve been eating healthy for a fortnight, taking salads to work and frying your chicken breast in Body&Fit Smart Cooking Spray instead of olive oil. And yet, according to the scales, you’ve only lost 0.3 kg. Frustrated, you throw in the towel, and give up. After all, it won’t work anyway. Is that a recognisable situation? No need to be. Losing weight takes time. If you are in a calorie deficit, you will eventually lose weight. Is that not happening? Then it would be wise to take another close look at your diet, because you might be consuming more calories than you think.  

Weight loss mistake #10. You focus on what you should do less of  

When we start losing weight, we quickly tend to focus on what we should do less of. Eating less, snacking less, eating fast food less often…. this negative mindset can cause you to fall into a negative thought pattern. So our advice is: don’t focus on what you should do LESS, but on what you can do MORE. We share some examples.  

Eat more fruit and vegetables;
Sleep more;
Exercise more;
Drink more water;
Eat more unprocessed products.

Weight loss mistake #11. Having unrealistic expectations about losing weight  

Losing weight goes hand in hand with expectation management. If you have a realistic image of losing weight, you will be more satisfied with your weight-loss process. Losing weight is not something that should happen quickly. Maybe you have gained 10 kilos over the past three years, and you want to do something about it. That doesn’t mean those 10 kilos have to come off within a month, does it? Take your time. It will make not only yourself, but also your body much happier.  

What are you struggling with in your weight loss journey? Or have you lost a few kilos and are you happy about it? Share it with us via @bodyandfit_official, if you like. We love watching your process with you, whatever your goal is. We also share tips on both our blog and Instagram to help you achieve your goals. #FINDYOURFIT