Sometimes you feel like you’re putting in the work to shed off pounds, but you just can’t seem to lose weight. A few years ago, this was me. I was going to the gym 3-5 times per week, I wasn’t eating all that bad but I wasn’t losing any weight. I got really motivated when one of my friends couldn’t believe I was having a hard time losing weight, which lead to really reevaluate my habits. Below are some of the mistakes and trouble I went through when I was trying to lose weight.
Unaware of the 80/20 rule
Knowing the 80/20 is probably one of the most important things you should know if you’re trying to lose weight. I wish I had known this back in college. The 80/20 is basically that to lose weight 80% is what you eat and 20% is exercises. For a while, I was focusing on that I just need to work out then I will lose weight, which of course didn’t work out. To lose weight your body needs to run a calorie deficit, which means you need to lose more than you consume. For the average person, the easiest way to achieve this starts in the kitchen. Unless you’re a committed athlete, it’s going to be very difficult to achieve the deficit by mainly relying on the gym. I didn’t see a change until I made the changes in my diet.
Not knowing what to do
This is something that I ran into when I was just starting to look into losing weight. I just assumed I should eat less, which can lead to starvation sometimes. Now days there is so much on the internet to help you start. There are nutritionists online with deeply discounted fees. There are YouTube videos, there’s Pinterest, and a bunch of blogs that can help. Before starting a weight loss journey, start doing some research.
Not eating the right foods
So, you’re probably going to the gym 3-5 times per week but you’re not noticing a change. The problem may be that you’re not eating the right foods. I remember going to the gym after class in college but then for dinner I would have pasta. Basically, I would gain back all the calories I had just burned at the gym. After I decided to fully commit to losing weight, I decided to reevaluate my eating habits. I started reading more about the foods to avoid. Now I have a Pinterest board called clean eating for whenever I need a healthy recipe. Eating the right foods can help you lose weight without going to the gym.
Eating the right foods, but consuming too many calories
Like I said before your body needs to run on a calorie deficit in order to lose. I was a victim of this at one point. Even if you’re eating healthy, it’s still important to be cautious with your calories intake. Foods like avocado, mango, and most nuts are loaded with calories, eating too much of these foods can actually get in the way of your weight loss goals. I used to snack on cashews when I was dieting until when I found out how many calories were in a handful of cashews. Of course you have to be careful not to starve yourself, which is why it’s helpful to see a nutritionist.
Cheat days are probably the number one enemy if you’re trying to lose weight. I would work really hard during the week and I would weight like a pound less by Friday. Then over the weekend I would treat myself for working really hard. When I step on the scale on Monday, the one pound I lost the week before was back. This is why cheat days are not your friend. If you’re trying to lose, let’s say 10 pounds, keep working hard until you lose those 10lbs. Taking cheat days out of your life will get you closer to your goals. I’m not completely against cheat days but I do not believe they will help if you’re trying to lose weight. I saw myself consistently dropping pounds every week after I took cheat days out of my diet.
Not finishing diets
This one is pretty straightforward. I would convince myself the diet wasn’t working after only a few days. Even if you don’t feel like you’re losing any weight, I think you should just finish the diet and at least get the experience. Also, how are you going to know the diet wasn’t definitely working if you don’t see it through. Over the years I have been able to discipline myself so I’m able to finish diets. I was able resolve this by starting with realistic goals. For instance, don’t try to commit to the whole30 diet if you’re having a hard time committing to a two weeks diet.
Losing only water weight
This one has more to do with basically starving yourself then you get back to your old eating habits and end up gaining all the weight back. I used to do this where I would barely eat anything then see myself drop like 3 pounds in a week and I would be very happy. But then two weeks later after I start eating like a normal human again, all or most of the weight came back even if I wasn’t eating unhealthy foods. This is not a healthy way of losing weight, and technically you’re not achieving your goals because you end gaining all the weight back.
Eating too much sugar
People that meet me now don’t believe I have a sweet tooth. It was so bad that I was craving sugar sometimes. I was able to give up pizzas, breads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers, fries, anything you could think of except for sugar. I couldn’t drink tea without a few packs of sugar. To control my sugar addiction, I started making little changes like having less sugar in my tea then eventually to no sugar in my tea. Then less candy, skipping sugary desserts, until I wasn’t having sugar cravings anymore. It made it so much easier to control my weight and I could also feel a difference physically. In summary, you may be eating healthy, but eating a lot of sugar can be what’s stopping you from reaching your goal.
Not sticking to the healthy eating habits
This one has to do with more of being able to maintain the weight. You can lose weight but you gain it all back if you don’t maintain a healthy diet. I was a victim of this, I have friends and family who are currently victims of this. This happened to me senior year college, I was able to lose 10 lbs but gained it all back by graduation. By this time, I had a pretty good of idea of how I can lose weight in a healthy way but I wasn’t making lifestyle changes. I was basically dieting continuously. If you’re having this issue, the way to fix it is to stop dieting and make lifestyle changes. I really love pasta but I’m okay not having twice a week; now days I rarely eat pasta. When I decided to start making lifestyle changes, I didn’t suddenly stop eating 10 regular foods item; I was gradually eating less of the foods I didn’t think were healthy and beneficial to my goal.
You’re not working hard enough
Not finishing diets, spending most of the time at the gym talking to friends, cheat days, unfinished new year weight loss resolutions; all of these were me not working hard enough. This journey is all about hard work, and in the end, it will be worth it.
Note: Some individuals have medications such PCOS and sleep apnea, which can make it harder to lose weight. If you think this is the reason you’re having a hard time losing weight, then it’s best to speak to a medical professional.