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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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