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Watch Out for These 4 Weight Loss Mistakes You’re Probably Making

Watch Out for These 4 Weight Loss Mistakes You’re Probably Making

If you’re exercising or eating healthy and have little to show for it, you’re probably making one of these weight loss mistakes.

Here’s some advice for losing weight and keeping it off:

1. Stop Caving to Temptation

We live in a society that is built for your failure. With vending machines in schools, pastries at work, and fast-food restaurants on every corner, it isn’t easy to avoid temptation. It’s a lot harder to go to a sit-down restaurant and order a chicken salad than it is to go through a drive-thru and get a Big Mac. Additionally, you have to face pressure from friends, family, and co-workers.

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Here’s a scenario: You’re at a family gathering on a holiday, or in the break-room at work. Someone offers you something that you know you shouldn’t eat, so you politely decline it. Said person proceeds to berate you with questions like, “Why can’t you eat it? Are you on a diet now?” No matter what you say, they continue the interrogation, making you wish you could just disappear.

Sound familiar?

It’s amazing that packing a lunch of salad or black beans is considered weird, while eating processed horse meat is 100% socially acceptable. Unfortunately, there’s little you can do to change it, so you’ll need to swim against the current.

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Below are a few ways you can make good decisions in the face of temptation:

  • Eat a high fat/high protein breakfast before you go to work. If you have a full belly, that doughnut isn’t gonna look as appetizing.
  • Pack your lunch. If you’re faced with questions from annoying co-workers, eat it in your car or at the park, instead.
  • Keep a bag of almonds, walnuts, or cashews with you at all times. It’s a much better snack option than what you’ll find in a vending machine.

If friends or family pressure you, say something like this: “Look: I know I’m eating different foods than usual, but I’m doing this because my past decisions made me feel bloated and exhausted. I’m trying to make better decisions so I can have more energy, be more confident in my body, and have a longer life with my children. It’s not easy to stay motivated, so I’d really appreciate it if you support me in this.”

If a person can’t support you, despite your explanation, stop hanging out with them. Toxic people are unworthy of your time and friendship.

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2. Avoid “Supplementing” a Crappy Diet

According to Forbes, the supplements industry made $32 billion in 2012. Despite this industry’s financial growth, research by the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that most supplements literally do nothing to improve your health or well-being. In actuality, there are only a small number of supplements that are useful. Fish oil, Vitamin D, and whey protein are the only three supplements I recommend. If you have followed a fitness plan successfully for at least a month, consider those three options. Otherwise, develop healthy habits that will increase your bank account and decrease your waist-size.

3. Don’t Chain Yourself to the Elliptical

If you spend every moment of your gym visits on a treadmill or elliptical, you are a “cardio hamster.” Please don’t misread me: cardio does have benefits, including stress reduction, relief from depression, and increased life expectancy. This doesn’t mean you should chain yourself to an elliptical and deny yourself a more comprehensive and effective fitness routine. Lift weights at least twice per week, because resistance training increases your metabolic burn for 36 hours after a workout. In other words, weight lifting will help you burn calories for many hours after exercise, while cardio only burns calories during the act of exercise. Perform some yoga poses once or twice a week for improved motivation and a better night’s sleep.

Putting all of those extra health benefits aside for a moment, don’t you think doing the same workout over and over again gets boring, in a hurry? Mix up your routine to keep exercise fresh and exciting.

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“There is no time for cut-and-dried monotony. There is time for work. And time for love. That leaves no other time.” – Coco Chanel

If you’re convinced variety is for you, use this training template as inspiration for your workout planning:

  • Monday – Lift weights (lower body)
  • Tuesday – Jog, walk, cycle, or cardio of your choice
  • Wednesday – Go to a Yoga class or try one of these home yoga routines
  • Thursday – Lift weights (upper body)
  • Friday – Walk your dog, take a stroll at a park or downtown, or go on a hike
  • Saturday/Sunday – Rest and recover

4. Don’t Get Impatient with the Process

Fat loss doesn’t happen at the rate your mind demands, but rather at the rate your body allows. Practice patience, because your success counts on it.

“He that can have patience can have what he will.” – Benjamin Franklin

The biggest weight loss mistake of all is reading fitness articles on the Internet and failing to apply the content to your life. If you’re serious about improving your body, tell me in the comments how you’re going to take action today, not tomorrow or next week. Please share with your friends if you want them to avoid these mistakes, also.

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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