Weight loss still remains a mystery for most people. In spite of their knowledge and education, most people still keep looking for that magic pill that would help us lose those extra pounds with no or minimum effort and this fuels one of the biggest scams in the world – the weight loss industry. In order to achieve sustainable and healthy weight loss you need to avoid these common mistakes.

FAD DIETS :  One of the worst things that you can do when you are trying to lose weight is trying to do it rapidly. Rapid weight loss is never fat loss; it is always water, muscle, bone, and a tiny bit of fat loss. So cutting down on calories and starving will only make you “skinny fat” or cause sarcopenic obesity. As per BMI (Body Mass Index) a person with a BMI of 30 or above is termed obese; sarcopenic obesity is a condition when the BMI is within limits but the person has an abnormally higher proportion of fat in comparison to muscle mass. So even though the person may have a normal BMI, he/she is still susceptible to a number of diseases such as coronary heart disease, Type II diabetes, and poor cognition. So even though you may be able to fit into your skinny jeans, you may still not be healthy! Fad diets are one of the main causes of sarcopenic obesity and the urge to look a certain way in the shortest time possible has driven countless individuals on this perilous path.

IMPATIENCE :  Let’s put this in perspective : nobody puts on 20 pounds overnight; so why the urge to lose those extra pounds in a month? The key to healthy weight loss is patience and perseverance.  No matter what you do, you cannot possibly lose 20 pounds of fat in a month! Patience is the key to sustainable weight loss.

OVER TRAINING : In the urgency to lose weight, you may be tempted to train hard and long. But it is better avoided. If you are new to exercise, it is always better to gradually build up intensity. Your body is not accustomed to heavy training and if you build up the ante from day 1, you are most likely to injure yourself. Let your body adjust to the training regimen, give adequate time for the body to recover, and as your neuromuscular system adapts, build up the intensity. Just because your favourite celebrity works out four hours a day, you cannot, or rather should not do the same.

WEEKEND BINGING : Most people on a weight loss plan eat like a monk from Monday to Friday – no sweets, no fried food, and only healthy, home cooked meals. However, come weekend and the scenario completely changes; you eat like there’s no tomorrow.  You then check your weight on Monday morning, the scale remains where it was, or worse you put on a little. Sounds familiar? So two days of binging spoils five days of eating clean. And then you wonder where your plan went wrong?!

CUTTING DOWN CARBOHYDRATES: Cutting down carbohydrates is in fashion; everyone seems to be doing it. But it might not be the way out. Do you need to avoid processed and refined carbohydrates? Absolutely! But a blanket ban on carbs might be counterproductive. It can slow down your metabolism, hamper with your natural hormone function and make you feel tired and cranky at all times. In fact, depriving your body of carbohydrates totally can cause muscle loss and promote fat storage. Having the right carbohydrates (whole and complex sources), and at the right time, is critical for sustainable weight loss and also to maintain normal bodily functions.

SLEEP : Getting adequate amount of sleep is necessary for weight loss. Sleep deprivation can impede your fat loss goals. Ideally, you should aim for seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.

LIFTING WEIGHTS : When you are trying to lose weight, do not reach out for the treadmill first. You need to lift weights; it will increase your metabolic rate, keep your lean muscle and bone intact and facilitate weight loss. Of course, adding an adequate amount of cardiovascular exercise is also necessary.

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Anoushka Sharma

Anoushka Sharma