When it comes to weight loss, there is a multitude of information out there right at your fingertips. The amount of information can be quite overwhelming and difficult to sift through to find the right plan for you, not to mention the validity of the program- will it work for you? Since summer is officially starting (NINE DAYS!), this hot weather has everyone wanting to head outdoors to explore, AND hit the pool or lake. You may end up trying to lose weight on your own, but by not doing the right thing, or maybe end up following the wrong type of plan.

The truth is, there are many ways to go about losing weight, but not all of these will give you positive results or help you keep the weight off in the future.

Skipping the weights.

A big mistake most people make when trying to lose fat is doing hours of cardio to burn extra calories. While cardio will burn some calories, it’s the weight resistance-type exercises that will yield greater benefits. It is important to increase or maintain your muscle mass, especially past the age of thirty as it will decline about 1% each year if not kept up. Since muscle is metabolically active, this means that an increased amount of it will increase your metabolism by burning more calories at rest, therefore aiding in weight loss. When in comparison to cardiovascular exercise such as running on a treadmill, which allows you to burn calories during that single session, muscle continues to burn calories even after you’ve completed the workout!

Not getting enough sleep.

Research has shown that those who slept five hours or less per night were more likely to have an increased BMI and fat mass. This is due to a number of reasons including hormones, increased cravings, and a slower metabolism. Lack of sleep causes an increased release of ghrelin (your hunger hormone) and a decrease in release of leptin from your fat cells (your satiety hormone), as well as cortisol and insulin release. Cortisol is one of your “fight or flight” hormones, while insulin regulates your blood sugar. Both can lead to an increase in fat cells, thus preventing fat loss. Research has also found that those who slept less than five hours per night had a decrease of muscle, causing a decrease in metabolism! Another important factor that lack of sleep has is the increase in cravings for high carbohydrate, sugar-y, and high fat foods.

Not paying attention to the TYPE of calorie.

A calorie deficit is needed to lose weight, but not  all calories are created equal! The type of calorie is also extremely important in how quickly, or whether or not you lose weight. We have three types of macronutrient that give us energy (calories): Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Your body is able to store both fats and carbohydrates, but it is not able to store protein. If you ate at a calorie deficit, but focused solely on foods that only contained carbohydrates such as rice cakes and fruit (minus vegetables- which are also all carbohydrates) and skipped out on the protein from leans meats your body would begin to lose muscle and we now know that  will result in a decreased metabolism. It is important to consume a certain ratio of these three macronutrients to lose weight effectively.

Fad diet after fad diet.

If you’ve tried every diet under the sun without success, why keep trying them? Have you ever stopped to think about why these diets have failed you? Any diet means that you are eliminating something from your daily diet, whether it be carbohydrates, fats, dairy, you name it. The hope is that the elimination of one of these, or a combination of these things, will result in a weight reduction… and quickly. Here is the problem with these diets: They are often not backed by scientific research, they assume that once you lose the weight you can return back to your old habits and never gain the weight back (Ha!), and they do not set you up for successful maintenance of that weight. Thus begins the yo-yo dieting and feelings of helplessness, leading you to turn to yet another fad diet.

Not drinking enough water.

Yes you read it correctly, drinking enough water can actually make your body retain water. This sounds counterintuitive, but when your body is dehydrated and doesn’t know when it will receive hydration, it will then hold onto water. That means that the scale will reflect this water retention!

We are here to help you navigate all of these common mistakes made when trying to lose weight and set you up for future success so that you ARE able to keep the weight off! Call us at (303) 321-0023 or schedule an appointment to discuss your weight loss!

Call (303) 321-0023 to schedule an appointment.

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