Weight loss is a long-term commitment. Even after you lose the weight, it can – and often does – creep back on. What you do today, tomorrow, and in two months determines your success of keeping the weight off. But, many of us are making weight loss mistakes that are common – and sometimes, are even considered “good”. Below are the weight loss mistakes that you may be making – and how to correct them.
Not Eating Enough
If you’re not eating enough calories to function properly, your body will attempt to conserve what resources it is getting, and your metabolism slows. Ideally, a dieter should know their resting metabolic rate, or RMR. You can use free online calculators (like this one from Bodybuilding.com) to get a very basic estimation, or you can have a test done to determine your exact rate. Most gyms can also do this testing for you.
Eating “Bad” Calories
Creating a calorie deficit alone won’t help if you’re on an all-chip diet. For years, dietitians preached that a calorie was a calorie was a calorie. But it turns out that may not be totally accurate. A 2011 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that people who ate a lot of starchy or sugary foods—like soda and potatoes—gained more weight over time than those who didn’t, even when controlling for total daily calorie intake. Starches and sugar are converted to fat quickly—especially if you’re not exercising much. You need to make sure the vast majority of your calories are coming from lean protein, fresh veggies and good fats.
Riding The Same Route Every Single Day
Sure, any exercise is better than no exercise. However, over time, your body adapts to whatever workout you’ve been doing. As you become more efficient, you burn fewer calories. So, the 15-mile ride that helped you lose your first five pounds probably won’t help you lose your last five. She recommends athletes add in at least one day of speed work a week. These intervals will challenge you to work harder—thus burning more calories. There’s a growing body of evidence that high-intensity interval training can burn calories long after the workout is over, too. This is thanks to something called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. When you push your body to its absolute limits, you continue to use more oxygen—and thus burn more calories—for hours after you’ve stopped sweating. A 2012 study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that young women who did high-intensity interval training lost more fat mass than those who burned a similar number of calories during steady-state exercise.
Exercising – And Then Eating Whatever You Want
Many people overestimate how many calories they burn in a given exercise session. But burning less isn’t necessarily what gets you in trouble—it’s using those incorrect numbers as an excuse to eat more. If you use a hard ride to justify eating a few extra slices of pizza, you may end up actually taking in more calories than if you’d just taken the night off from riding and had a salad for dinner.