If you’re trying to get healthy and you’re having trouble losing weight, maybe one of these common mistakes is holding you back from reaching your goals.
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, chances are you’ve come across some setbacks in your progress. Perhaps you’ve even let these setbacks knock you off track, causing your goals to fall by the wayside. There are many common mistakes that people make when working toward a healthier lifestyle. Hopefully being aware of these things will prevent you from making these errors, and will make your journey to getting healthy an easier one.
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Mistake #1 – Going on a diet instead of making a lifestyle change
Diets are temporary and are basically all about making sacrifices which are often unrealistic. People end up feeling deprived or the diet doesn’t work so they give up. Getting healthy is about making lifestyle changes that you can maintain.
You can’t go on a diet, make minor, superficial changes and then go back to your old habits once you’ve lost the weight, otherwise you’ll end up gaining the weight back. You need to make a conscious decision to eat healthy and exercise regularly, and realize that this is something you have to maintain for life, not just a few weeks or months. You need to really want it, work for it, and set out with the intention of changing your life for the better.
Mistake #2 – You can never indulge yourself
If you have the attitude that you can never indulge yourself, you’re setting yourself up for failure. People who feel deprived have a tendency to overindulge; this leads to feelings of guilt which will likely lead to the attitude that says, “Well, I’ve already gone this far, why not go the whole way?”
Almost everything is okay in moderation and treats are just that – treats. You have them once in awhile, not every day and maybe not even every week or month. If you indulge, or even overindulge, don’t feel guilty – make up for it in some other way, like by cutting calories somewhere else or working harder to burn the extra calories.
Also, try to plan your indulgences. For example, make up your mind that tonight you’re going to allow yourself a cookie, or this weekend you’re going to have a couple of margaritas when you go out with friends, or when you go out for dinner next week, you’re going to allow yourself dessert. When you plan for these indulgences, you can avoid the feelings of guilt because you’re making a conscious decision to do it and you’re in control.
Mistake #3 – Letting setbacks be your undoing
Setbacks are a natural part of the weight loss process. Whether these setbacks are big or small, they happen. Even people who are dedicated to leading a healthier lifestyle experience setbacks.
It’s how you deal with these setbacks that matters. If you let setbacks completely derail your success, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Accept setbacks for what they are, realize that they happen to everyone, and find ways to overcome them and move on.
Mistake #4 – Thinking you have to do it on your own
Weight loss is actually much easier when you have support. Find someone to talk to, share your experiences with, and share your successes and failures with. If you don’t like to exercise alone, see if a friend is willing to be your workout buddy.
You can create a schedule and exercise together regularly or however often works for you. You could join a gym together, go for walks, or take a class like aerobics, yoga, dance, or even boot camp. When you have encouragement and support from someone who’s going through the same thing, the motivation is likely to prevent you from giving up.
Mistake #5 – You don’t have time to exercise so you just don’t do it
Take a look at your schedule and see where there are openings, even small ones. Could you walk first thing in the morning before work, even if that means getting up a bit earlier? Could you head to the gym after work or go for a walk during your lunch break? If these options just aren’t possible, find ways to add exercise into your day whenever you can.
You don’t have to exercise all at one time – five minutes here, ten minutes there, it all adds up and it’s better than not trying at all. Find ways to jumpstart your metabolism and burn some extra calories by adding as much movement during the day as possible.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, park your car far away and walk, or instead of calling a co-worker to talk to them, get up and walk to their desk or office. At home, if you watch TV at night, stand up and walk on the spot or get up during the commercials and do something – move around, do some squats, push-ups or lunges.
Mistake #6 – You can’t afford a gym membership so you can’t work out
You don’t need to join a gym and pay expensive membership fees to work out. Walking is one of the best exercises around and it’s virtually free. You could also buy some inexpensive equipment like dumbbells, a fitness ball, a medicine ball, or resistance bands that you can use at home. If you can afford it and you have the room in your home, buy one or two larger pieces of equipment like a treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical machine, and consider them an investment. You’ll have them for years and can use them at your convenience in the comfort of your home.
These are just six of the common mistakes that people make when trying to get healthy. Losing weight and getting healthy isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the effort, and even the sacrifices that you sometimes have to make. Being aware of these mistakes will hopefully help you to avoid or overcome them.