Now before you assume this article is all about making you feel guilty for mistakes you might be making - it’s not. This is purely to highlight and make you aware of the painful weight loss mistakes you don't know you're making (#2 will shock you).
These 5 painful weight loss mistakes you don't know you're making will not only cause you to think, but also help you identify potential areas for improvement.
Now I know nobody likes being told what they’re doing is ‘wrong’ and again, that’s not what this article is about. It’s to point you in the right direction to prevent you from falling apart in the first place.
You might be making none of these mistakes, or you might be making all of them. Either way, read through them at your own pace and work on one at a time.
Okay let's jump in.
5 Painful Weight Loss Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making
#1 - Keeping Your Goal A Secret
I’ve seen this too many times in my career as a Coach.
Weight loss can come with a whole mixed bag of emotions from shame to guilt to embarrassment. Especially if you’ve let yourself go and people who you haven’t seen for a while remember you as being slimmer.
One BIG mistake you can make on your journey to a fitter self, is keeping your goal a secret. You’re cutting off a flow of support that would make your life a whole lot easier.
Here are two scenarios.
Scenario #1 - The Secret:
You’re out with friends and family for dinner. Nobody knows you’re trying to lose weight so when the cocktail menu comes out, guess who's pushed to order one? Nobody knows you’re on a mission to lose weight. You’ll be highly influenced to choose the calorie laden items on the menu, followed by another cocktail and then the icing on the cake with dessert (pun intended). You’ll go home feeling guilty, like you failed and probably feeling pretty depressed about it.
Scenario #2 - Transparency:
You’re out with friends and family for dinner. You’ve purposely chosen a restaurant that allows you to grab something healthy on the menu, yet doesn’t force the others to miss out on their favourite burger or pizza. They know you’re losing weight, so they respect your decision to skip the alcohol. You’re having a great night feeling lighter choosing the healthy option on the menu and you feel satisfied by your decisions. You go home feeling accomplished and one step closer towards your goal, because you had the support on the night and weren’t heavily influenced by other’s decision.
Which scenario would you rather?
If you picked scenario #1, you can probably stop reading here - this article isn’t for you.
That’s purely one example, but the benefits of telling others can be huge such as:
Now, I’m not saying you need to shout your weight loss intentions from the rooftops, but I do recommend you tell the closest people to you in your life so when times get tough, you have someone to turn to.
#2 - Aiming For Perfection
I say this to my clients all the time, but it’s such a great reminder:
You don’t have to change a lot, to change a lot.
I will go as far as saying this weight loss mistake is the BIGGEST and most common one people make.
We try and do everything by the book. One foot wrong, and we’ve screwed up. Losing weight (and to keep it off) does NOT require perfection. Perfection doesn’t exist. In fact, the more perfect you try and be, the faster you’ll fall flat.
Lose the shackles and understand that you’re human. You’ll make mistakes and need to deviate from the plan from time to time. Life happens and you NEED to account for that.
Let’s throw in an analogy:
Weight loss is a similar journey to that of an aeroplane. An aeroplane will never take the EXCACT path from A to B. Why? Because obstacles come up. Bad weather can force a change in direction as well as a busy airspace. The point is, the pilot knows the destination (goal), it knows the general direction to head in (program), but accepts it may need to change course at times throughout the flight (life gets in the way).
The point is, your weight loss journey is no different in this principle.
You won’t be able to be perfect all the time and that’s okay. Stop aiming for perfection.
#3 - Doing The WRONG Type Of Training For Your Body
A quick google of “weight loss training program” and you’ll get 1.6 million results in 0.65 seconds.
The point is, it’s not hard to find a bunch of exercises to do to help you lose weight. Problem is, are you doing the right ones for YOUR body?
If you sit down all day, spend hours at the computer and have an old shoulder injury, do you recon that intense CrossFit workout with lots of overhead work is going to work for you?
Hey it might for a little while, until that shoulder becomes a little funny and you end up tearing your rotator cuff and injure your back from poor posture.
Look, I’m not saying what you’re doing right now is wrong, but a common mistake I see as a personal trainer when I begin working with clients is they’re doing the wrong type of training program for their body and lifestyle.
Your training plan must be suitable to your goal, your needs and your lifestyle. If it doesn’t? You won’t stick to it.
The best training plan in the world is still useless if you can’t adhere to it.
It’s the same principle has having a Ferrari with a poor driver. Great car (program) but not used effectively (wrong body).
To make sure the program you’re doing is working for you, seek help from a professional or make sure you’re measuring your progress so you KNOW you’re heading in the right direction.
#4 - Self Sabotage
There’s a lot of psychology involved with this one (and beyond the scope of this article) so let’s keep this mistake short and to the point.
Self sabotage usually comes in the form of the “screw it” mindset and in a way, this can relate back to the ‘perfection’ mistake.
See it as an elastic band. The more we try and be perfect, using willpower and all that jazz, we pull the elastic band further and further in one direction. Eventually, the resistance becomes too great and we get ‘flung’ the other way and ‘self sabotage’ yourself by saying ‘screw it’ I ate something I shouldn’t have, so I might as well keep going.
Self sabotage is usually a mistake we never talk about because it seems so silly when you explain it from a logical standpoint. You feel silly, stupid and ashamed.
Explain to me right now, in your words, why you ate the last thing you ate. I bet when you justify the reason from your logical brain it sounds silly but when your emotional brain is making the decision, it ‘feels’ right.
You see, self sabotage is purely emotional. We know it’s wrong, and we shouldn’t do it, but we do it anyway.
Maybe it's stress that triggers you to self sabotage?
The psychological reasons for self sabotage are beyond the scope of this article.
Psychology is a mega cool topic and I’m a bit of a geek (okay I’m a huge geek) with this sort of stuff.
You see, whatever your 'triggers' are (and everyone is different) the key is this:
If you catch yourself ‘self sabotaging’ your results, you’re already taking the first step to overcoming this common weight loss mistake.
Begin by simply becoming self aware of these actions. Write them down.
Usually, by taking this split second to become ‘aware’ of what you’re doing, you’ve stopped self sabotage dead in its’ track.
I’m not saying self sabotage is an easy weight loss mistake to overcome, or fix, because it isn’t, but by simply being aware, you’re well on your way.
#5 - Overthinking Weight Loss
We’re all guilty of this. Too many people (myself included) focus on the nitty gritties of weight loss that don’t really matter.
Are all nitty gritties that (although important) don’t really matter all that much in the bigger picture of weight loss.
I find overthinking everything leads to procrastination and procrastination leads to standing in front of the fridge wondering what to eat.
Then nothing gets done.
Weight it comes to losing weight, keeping it simple is key. If something sounds too complicated, it probably is.
Avoid making this mistake by keeping it simple.
Consider this next time you exercise for weight loss:
If you enjoy the exercise you're doing, you're going to keep doing it.
Yes, there will need to be some sacrifice along the way, but remember, if you enjoy it then you'll spend less time thinking about it, and more time doing it.
The Bottom Line
These 5 weight loss mistakes that nobody talks about are the most common we see as personal trainers.
If you’ve made these mistakes before, believe me, you’re not alone. In fact, I’d go out on a limb and say anybody who’s ever lost weight, has experienced if not one, but ALL of these mistakes.
Perfection doesn’t exist remember? If you’re experiencing these mistakes currently, don’t panic, simply pick ONE mistake that you want to change, and focus on that. From there, you can move on to the next.
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