With the world’s increasing incidence of obesity and other potentially debilitating lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension, losing weight has become a must more than a want.

People hit the gym and engage in fad diets only to find that their bodies are constantly under stress.

Avoid doing more harm to your body and stay away from these 7 weight loss mistakes:

1. Reliance on Scale Measurements

Probably the worst mistake next to copying fad diets is one’s heavy dependence on weighing scale numbers. While this is certainly a proper reference, weight is multi-factorial.

Besides fats, weight is influenced by muscle mass, fluid retention, and even hormonal changes (estrogen makes women bloat, for instance).

Constantly fretting over slow to zero incremental scale changes is useless because evidence shows that your body can fluctuate up to almost 2 kg throughout any given day due to food and fluid intake.

2. Cutting Down on Calories

It’s easy to blame the calories for your weight gain and the usual defense mechanism is to cut down your caloric intake.

This may work fine for a few months but studies show that long-term deprivation leads to slow metabolic rate and significant muscle mass reduction. If you’re not mindful, you are only preparing yourself to get fatter in the long run.

3. Over-exercising

You want to burn those ugly fats as soon as possible so you train intensely (maybe even abruptly, too).

While exercise is generally a good option for losing weight, an exaggerated regimen produces negative results. Research shows that over-exercising disrupts hormone production. Hormones are known to mess up not only your skin but also your build.

Instead of over-exercising, try to mix your workout routine with fitness equipment such as a vibration machine to help burn fat faster.

4. Avoiding Fats

An increase in weight may give you an instant fat-phobia. But be careful with your supposed low-fat foods, they might just spike your hunger pangs.

Commercially-sold diet foods may contain less fat but high sugar. This combination is not ideal as blood sugar fluctuations substantially increase leptin (your hunger hormone), so you end up eating more.

5. Using Digital Caloric Counters Only

Monitoring your consumption, tedious as it may be, is crucial to any weight-loss program. You certainly don’t want to depend on intelligent guesses, so you use digital counters.

But to count only your calories is faulty. As mentioned, it’s possible to lose calories and still be unhealthy.

This said, you must invest in holistic applications that track not only your calories but also your food’s nutritional value like MyNetDiary, MyFitnessPal, and Nutrients-Nutritional Facts.

6. Limiting Protein Intake

Afraid to lose a pound higher, you may be tempted to exclude protein from your meals as well. But this is one big weight loss mistake.

An average 130-pound adult needs 70 g protein to function properly. If you cut back on protein, your metabolism slows down after middle age — not an ideal scenario at all. Shifting to protein alternatives won’t even help.

7. Forgetting About Sleep

Your immediate focus when you aim to shed off fats is food and exercise. But not too many know that sleep and rest are equally crucial.

Sleep deprivation leads to increased production of the stress hormone, cortisol, which is responsible for expanding the body’s fat storage as a mechanism.

So if you’re all about working, sweating out in the gym, and limiting food intake, you’re not losing weight sustainably.

Health is wealth. If you have to lose weight, do it in a sustainable manner. Avoid the capital 7 mistakes.

Emma Pyke
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