Weight loss may require more than working out at the gym or eating differently. Research shows many people have misconceptions about how to lose weight.
While there isn’t a magic formula, it’s best to avoid these seven common mistakes:
1. Healthy foods – Often people think they can eat unlimited amounts of “healthy” foods. While many vegetables contain minimal calories, some foods, such as nuts, seeds and nut butters, should be eaten in moderation, because they contain an excessive amount of calories.
2. Beverages – When losing weight, it’s important to avoid drinking beverages high in calories and sugar, such as lattes and alcohol. Better beverage options include water, sugar-free tea, coffee and low-fat milk.
3. Balance – For optimum results, follow the 40/40/20 rule when trying to lose weight:
- 40 percent carbohydrates
- 40 percent protein
- 20 percent healthy fat
This ratio may not be best for everyone. Consult your doctor or nutritionist for assistance.
4. Protein – Many people don’t eat enough foods rich in protein. Research shows people who eat a high-protein diet are not as hungry and eat less during the day. Proteins also help lower cholesterol and blood sugar.
5. Weight lifting – Exercise experts recommend continually increasing the weight you lift. This helps create an extreme energy demand to help your body burn fat and lose weight.
6. Cardio – For most people, cardio workouts don’t provide the resistance training needed to burn fat. Instead of spending a lot of time on cardio machines, do a cardio workout with a few short rest periods.
7. Sleep and stress – People who are stressed and sleep-deprived often experience problems losing weight. Their bodies produce too much cortisol, a stress hormone, and become less sensitive to insulin, which makes it difficult to burn fat. Schedule time for at least 8 hours of sleep nightly and participate in relaxing activities to lower stress. Try doing yoga, taking a soothing bath, reading a book or watching a fun movie.