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Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Trying to Lose Weight

August 17, 2015 3 min read

When it comes down to it, more energy in than out means you're gaining weight. Your body will be storing that energy as fat. It doesn't matter where those calories came from - wither they're from a candy bar or the more healthy apple, it's all gotta be burned off or you just won't be losing. Sure, your workout can be targeted at losing weight but even that can go a bit awry. Keep these common mistakes in mind when it comes to losing a little pudge.   1. Relying on the Gym We've all heard that famous (or infamous) New Year's Resolution: "I'm going to join a gym!" with the goal of losing weight or getting more in shape. Unfortunately, this idea is nearly where it ends with most people. I know how difficult it can be to stay motivated going to the gym (and so do the stats: a whopping 90% of people with that resolution stop going to the gym within three months), so instead I suggest finding ways to get fit at home. Try running through your neighborhood instead of getting on the treadmill and home workout routines. 2. Caloric Burn is misleading weight loss mistakes It's a lot easier to track the calories you consume than the ones you work off. I know that sounds a bit strange, considering how common calorie-burning devices are common and often built-in to multifunctional devices on the side, but the truth is, that number isn't really that accurate. Not only do we all burn calories at different rates, but there are lots of variables that can change that rate:
  • Current body composition (i.e. body fat levels, BMI)
  • Current caloric intake
  • Current metabolic rate
  • Weight
  • Age
  • Type of exercise
  • Gender
Since all of these things affect how well we're burning, the fluctuation shown on our wearable devices could be as high as 50% off. This number is just one variable of your weight-loss equation anyway, and you're still left with managing the other two big factors: intake and progress. I find it's a lot easier to focus on just the latter to, lest you go relying too heavily on the potentially false numbers. 3. Focusing on only cardio Let's get this out of the way: more muscle = more calories burned, in general. In your day-to-day, your body will consume more calories just 'being alive' if you have a bit of muscle than if you don't. Another thing, is that our bodies, are, well, efficient. If you're only running, for instance, surprisingly quickly, you'll suffer diminishing results when it comes to calories burned on your run. You might only be working off 1/3 of the calories by your tenth run as you were on your first. But don't try to overcompensate as that will just make things worse. 4. Expecting instant results Losing weight takes time and dedication, sort of like your job. In fact, some people say that it IS a full time job. 5. Making assumptions on intake As tempting as it is to guess how many calories your meal has, it's definitely better to go by the book. It turns out that we pretty much always lowball it and come in way over or estimation, throwing off the work we've done so far. Just keep track on a note on your phone - I personally use Google Keep - but there are lots of options available to you for helping you track, and there are probably better ones. I know it's tedious, and I remember balking as one of my friends' kept track of literally every meal he ate for awhile, but to him (who was not bookish at all) it became like nothing, just a regular routine.  

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