So you have been watching what you’ve been eating and slogging it out in the gym to lose the Christmas weight you gained… So after a few weeks you’re frustrated and damn right outraged that you don’t feel any different. You haven’t lost much if any weight and your clothes still hug you a little too tightly.
Here are the top most common mistakes women make when they want to lose weight. Read on to make sure you don’t make them again!
This is usually the first thing women do when they want to drop some weight. Yes they starve themselves, shocking their poor body from the recent high calorie intake it had been enjoying to drastically low and sporadic meals! The first meal to usually go is breakfast, you don’t always get chance to have it and if you do is usually sugar laden so you’re better of skipping it right??? WRONG! Would you ever send your kids to school without breakfast? I mean I can’t imagine a worse way to start off the day really. This only leads to you becoming ravenous by 11 o’clock and nobody makes good choices of food when they could eat a scabby dog.
Action point: Eat your breakfast within an hour of waking. If your excuse is you haven’t got time for it or you don’t fancy it. Get up earlier or prepare it the night before, your body will soon start to expect it. Your body needs food and water to function well which includes burning fat. Having lunch before you become starving is a must too, I tend to keep my lunch protein based with lots of salad or some veg as high carbs make me sleepy. Tea time is a family meal and where possible should be eaten together so you can catch up and enjoy your meal together.
Yes the diet “No Carbs before Marbs” is a favourite for women wanting to lose weight quickly. So yes I do not deny you will lose weight, however this will NOT be due to cutting out an essential macronutrient, it will be due to the LARGE calorie deficit you have taken. The other point with this is it is not sustainable so why do it? You are just prepping your body for fat gain! Cutting out carbs which are a valuable energy source and then beasting yourself to look like a fox in your bikini will be short lived you will sooner or later end up ill!
Action Point: Be clever with your choices. Cutting out REFINED carbs is a smart moved as they are laden with sugar and have little nutritional value. Everybody is different; if your body can handle carbs well and you enjoy them why give them up? On your plate a guideline portion size is a fist, so bare that in mind.
I used to be guilty of this too. I used to spend at least 40 minutes doing cardio, switching between the machines to alleviate boredom, finishing with an ab circuit. It’s what all the magazines said to do right?! We are the ‘cardio queens’ of the gym pounding away for hours on the treadmill, which is basically improving our cardiovascular conditioning, it is not the best or most efficient way to lose weight. The more muscle you build the more calories your body burns just ‘ticking’ over. Don’t worry about becoming a muscle Mary that is very difficult, you’ll become more toned and defined and will need to eat more due to your extra calorie requirements.
Action Point: Include some weight training in your routine, try and switch some of your cardio work to more HIIT (high intensity interval training) it means you can burn more calories in a shorter time. Ask a PT or a friend to show you the ropes to make sure you get the more complex moves right.
Low Fat or No Fat Foods
Due to guidelines set by the government we were warned to steer clear of fat as this was making us fat…So the food industry thought of a way they could cash in on this by making low fat foods! So they sucked the fat out of food, along with the flavour and pumped it full of sugar, sweeteners and God knows what else! So this is where our Muller light yogurts, low fat quorn, Special K cereal bars and low fat ready meals came in. They brand themselves as healthy food which the general public eat up thinking they’re eating well.
Action Point: If you want to lose weight and be healthier keep the food as natural as possible. Eat a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, full fat dairy products, meat, fish, beans etc. The best way to know whether something is good for you is to ask yourself do you know exactly where it came from and what is in it? The best thing you can do for your health is learn to cook – honestly its life changing!
You listen to everyone’s advice
This is a difficult one because as soon as you ask on Facebook or a group of friends EVERYONE becomes a nutritional expert and tells you stuff like:
- Don’t mix carbs and proteins at the same time
- Save up points through the week and then you can have a takeaway and wine on Friday
- Weight Watchers meals got me to lose X amount of weight
- Eating like a caveman is the best diet there is
- Fasting for two days a week is the best way to live
- Having [insert shake brand here] is the best lifestyle change I ever mad
While I am not going to respond to these statements as they are irrelevant. Taking advice from someone based on their experience isn’t going to help get the body you want. You don’t know what they ate before, I am pretty sure if they ate takeaways 5 nights a week and drank a bottle of wine every night any type of diet would be an improvement and you will result in weight loss. I know people who RAVE about weight groups they have attended and lost a fair few stone on it, then years later they have put it all back on now and STILL rave about it!
Action Point: Don’t listen to every Tom Dick and Harry or more likely Sally, Sarah and Sue about how they lost weight. Find out what works best for you and what food you feel good and run best on. Keep a food diary and try different style meals. For example for breakfast, try porridge with fruit which is more carb heavy and see how you feel and whether you stay full and feel satisfied. You could then try a more protein based with eggs, bacon and spinach and see if you feel better or you could have more carb heavy on training days when you require more energy. What works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for you. There is no one style diet fits all that’s why there are qualified nutritionists to give you advice individual to you!
So you’ve been eating better foods and cooking more but you can’t see any difference. There is a saying “You can’t get too much of a good thing” Well you can where food is concerned!! The basic premise of weight loss requires a calorie deficit so you need to be using more than you’re eating. If you are constantly eating throughout the day or you are having massive portion sizes it doesn’t matter if they’re healthy as they will mean you gain weight as you have a calorie surplus.
Action Point: Read portion sizes on packets and weigh out your dried food weights to make sure you’re not eating for two!
A guideline portion size I give to clients is:
- Protein – size of your palm
- Carbs – size of your fist
- Nuts/Raisins –cupped part of your palm
- Peanut Butter/ Hard Cheese – Thumb
- Oils, Butter, Mayo – Thumb tip
It’s a very basic guideline to help those gauge how much they should be eating at a quick glance.
Another an example of portion control for a meal using a medium size plate would be approximately 45% for vegetables and/or salad, 25% for Protein and 25% for carbs and 5% for fats.
These are just the most common ones that I come across with women that I have worked with. If you have others which you have made in the past feel free to add them to the comments.
I love working with busy women and showing them ways to incorporate healthy changes in to their lifestyle and giving them their body confidence back. I offer online coaching if you would like to find out more message me here >>
Check me out on TopLocalTrainer >>