You’ve killed your ass off in the gym almost everyday of the week, you have skip numerous dinner, you shed a lot of weight in the first couple of weeks, but since then nothing much has changed and now you are frustrated. The struggle is real! So what is wrong? Before you get all depressed and give up check out these 5 common mistakes that are probably stopping you from achieving your goals.

1.    Focusing solely on scale weight

Credit: Dailymail
Credit: Dailymail

The problem with scale weight is that it is inaccurate for the purpose of tracking your weight loss progress. The number on the scale can varies in just one day due to the amount of water in your body or how much food remains in your system. Your weight can varies up to 4 pound (1.8kg) in one day! You may be losing body fat even if the scale stays the same because your water retention is high! So don’t get too obsessed with the weight scale.

Instead of focusing on scale weight, you should focus on body fat percentage!

Body fat is the excess fat stored by the body, it is created when you consume a larger amount of calorie that you need to carry out for the day. So the next time you are about to eat that cupcake, take a second and really ask yourself whether you need that extra calorie, most chances are you won’t need them.

The acceptable body fat percentage for women are 25% to 30%, while men are 18% – 25%. Above that, you are obese! Below that? Good! You are very fit!

FOCUS on body fat!

2.    Not staying hydrated

Credit: Life-Without-Fat
Credit: Life-Without-Fat

It is very simple and super easy! Drink enough water! However, there are a lot of people who does not drink enough water for whatever reason when they are in a mission to lose weight. They risk of being dehydrated and it might hinder their progress. The amount of water required is different for everyone in order to stay hydrated. A study of nearly 10,000 adults ages 18 to 64 shows that staying hydrated could help with weight management.

Here are other benefits of drinking water / staying hydrated:

One – Drinking water leads to more calories burned by your body.

Two – Drinking water before meals can reduce your appetite, this means reduced calorie!

Three – Staying hydrated will keep your metabolism at a high level.

Four – It just keeps you healthy!

3.    Avoiding carbs

Credit: Bret Contreras
Credit: Bret Contreras

Low-carb or carb-free diet works very well, in the first week at least. However, you should never do this sort of diets if you are seriously thinking of losing some fat! This is a big no no! According to experts, low-carb or carb-free diets don’t work and it is not healthy for the body!

Get this, not eating enough carbs will actually make you fatter! Yes, you read that one right. According to a study led by Grant Brinkworth, PhD, carbs boost mood-regulating, stress-reducing chemicals in the brain while high protein food may deplete them. This makes you a ticking time bomb. You may experience a phase where you will snap at your kids, your partner, co-worker, basically anyone. You will get stressed out due to the lack of carbs you are consuming.

Consequently, stress produces high levels of hormones such as cortisol, that boost your appetite and most likely lead you to binge eating according to obesity expert Elissa Epel, PhD.

Better think twice before you cut out those carbs.

“According to experts, low-carb or carb-free diets don’t work and it is not healthy for the body!”

4.    Eating too few calories

Credit: Mark's Daily Apple
Credit: Mark’s Daily Apple

This might comes as a surprise, but eating too few calories may be counter productive towards achieving your weight loss goal. At first you may lose weight very fast, but in the long run you will gain weight. How come, you say? Here’s how.

When you eat too few calories that your body needs to function properly, your body will learn to live on less by slowing down your metabolism! Moreover, in this adjustment period you may feel sluggish, irritable and apathetic. Eating too little can actually hinder your weight loss goal.

Eating too little also has negative impact on the wellbeing of your body. You risk your body of malnutrition when you eat too little. Moreover, you will lose valuable muscles and organs! This is serious problem if allowed to continue in the long run. Basically, your body need glucose (sugar in the blood) so that all the cells and organs in your body can keep functioning well. Surprise, surprise, glucose comes from carbs

Ladies, try to eat at least 1,200 calories per day and men 1,800 calories.

5.    All cardio, no weights

Credit: Fitness Ruler
Credit: Fitness Ruler

Lifting weights seem to be most women’s worst nightmares. You are afraid that you will get bulky or too “muscly” by lifting weights. That’s not going to happen ladies (Read myth-busted: Women won’t get bulky by only lifting weights)! In fact, lifting weights will help you lose weight much faster.

After every weight lifting sessions, your muscles broke down. It needs to be repaired and that’s when you are feeling all the soreness. This is a good thing, because this means that your muscles are repairing their fibers and in order to repair their fibers they need energy. As a result, your body will continue burn calories for up to 48 hours after your workout! In simpler words, by doing weights training, you will increase your metabolism.

So, start planning your workout and incorporate lifting weights.

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