How many times have you followed a diet to only see yourself quitting after few months? How can you stay motivated during your journey to achieve your goal?
A successful weight loss journey should be planned and tracked. By setting goals and tracking your progress you will start to see the results, keeping you motivated on your journey.
Here are 7 weight loss mistakes you may be making when trying to lose weight that are putting you off track:
#1- You Want Fast Results
Don’t set unrealistic goals. On average, women lose 2 to 4kg of fat and men 3 to 5kg. Why promise yourself to lose 7 kilos of fat each month when this is impossible in the first place?
Instead, aim for a more realistic 2 to 4kg a month or 3 to 5kg depending on your gender. Be patient. Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t lose your extra 15kg in just 1 month. It’s a journey. Be patient and believe that you can do it.
#2- You Think Too Much About Your Weight Goal
Don’t focus on your weight goal. Let’s say you started exercising and dieting and lost 3kg in one month, but your goal is to lose 20kg, which means 17 more kilos to go in the next 6 or 7 months. If you keep thinking about your weight goal, you may feel the goal is too far away and get demotivated.
Instead, break down your goal into small goals and focus on the process. Let’s say you want to lose 15kg. Set a goal of 2 to 3 kilos a month and focus on this. You will stay motivated when you see yourself achieving your small goals month by month. Achieving little victories over time can create excitement and a sense of success.
#3- You Set Hard Deadlines
Don’t set a hard deadline. You have to see yourself reaching your weight goal without being overwhelmed. You never know what happens during your weight loss journey. You may face some circumstances that won’t allow you to stick to your exercise routine or diet plan.
Instead, give yourself more time. For example, let’s say you want to lose 6 kg and you know you can do 3 kg a month. Give yourself 3 months instead of 2.
#4- You Weigh Yourself Too Much
Don’t weigh yourself everyday. It can be frustrating to step on the scale and see your weight jumping few grams up or going only few grams down. Your weight doesn’t change overnight. It fluctuates depending on what you ate or drank the night before.
Instead, weigh yourself every month or every 2 weeks. The two-week gap ensures accuracy in measuring the trend of your weight without feeling disheartened, as it can take some time for changes to show. And ladies, don’t weigh yourself during your menstrual period. You’re usually heavier during those few days as your body retains water. Seeing your weight jumping up will discourage you unnecessarily.
#5- You’re Looking At Your Body Mass Index
Don’t rely on your body mass index, also known as BMI. Your BMI is a number calculated from your weight and height. It doesn’t take into account your muscle and fat mass. Here is an example: Mary trains at the gym almost every day. She is 165cm and 60kg. She has a very lean and trim body with six pack. Laure is also 165cm and 60kg, but her body fat percentage is around 40. Both have the same weight and height and therefore the same BMI. The difference is Mary is lean and Laure is trying to lose fat.
Instead, take your measurements. Get a measuring tape and measure your waist and hip. The points to measure are the narrowest part of the waist and the widest part of the hips. Seeing inches dropping will motivate you.
#6- You’re Obsessed With Numbers
Don’t rely on your scale if you exercise. You could be losing fat and gaining muscle mass. Muscle is more compact than fat, so it weighs more but takes up less space. You may weigh the same but you’ll fit in a smaller size of clothing. Instead, take your body fat percentage. If you like to see numbers, this is the best way to track how well you’re doing. You can measure your body fat percentage using a body composition analysis machine like Inbody. You can do that by accessing this machine at any gym or you can visit a Kcal Extra nutritionist who can conduct the analysis for you.
#7- You Compare Your Journey to Others
Don’t compare yourself to others. Seeing your friend who has the same age, height and weight as you getting leaner faster will discourage you big time. Remember that everyone’s metabolism is different. What works for you may or may not work for your friend. Instead focus on your own journey and your own body. Take before and after pictures. You will feel a sense of achievement and get motivated when you look at your previous photos and see how your body shape has changed.