1) With all the information out there, you get confused and never know how to get started or how to progress once you have started.
There are so many diets and fads that hit the Internet every month (if not more often). Between low carb diets, to juice cleanses, it is very easy to give up before you’ve even started.
Whilst they're not always simple to apply, the principles of weight loss are simple: eat fewer calories than you expend on a daily basis (thus creating a calorie deficit). What is as important as creating a calorie deficit is having a way to diet that you can adhere to long-term.
If you love eating carbs, then following a low carb diet may be something you will struggle to stick to.
Here's a tip on how to avoid this problem:
Stop trying every new diet that surfaces on the internet! Find a plan, or get yourself a plan, that helps you create a calorie deficit day after day. This will help you to develop the habits you need to lose weight, and if you stay consistent for more than a few weeks at a time, you will see the weight loss you want.
2) You are eating more than you realize
More often than not we are eating more than we think: either around maintenance or a surplus. Quite simply if you were actually eating in a calorie deficit your weight would not be increasing or staying the same but going down.
How do we eat more than we realize?
- Cooking methods (oils/sauces)
- Calories we drink (alcohol/sodas /Milk or sugar in our coffee and tea)
- Finishing your kids' dinner
- The food we taste as we cook
- The food we pick at throughout the day ( maybe a square of chocolate here and there. Breaking off a piece of that fresh bread you bought as you tidy your shopping away )
- The food people offer us to try without realizing
As you can see there are a lot of ways that extra calories start to sneak into our day and before we know it we can be hundreds above what we think we are eating.
Tip to avoid this problem: Keep a food diary of everything you eat as you eat it. Make sure you write everything down as you go along as if you leave it until the end of the day chances are you will forget those little things that snuck in.
Another method is to track your food: however, this certainly takes experience and practice to do so accurately.
3) You are moving less than you realize
Our bodies always like to try and preserve as much energy as possible. We have also gotten a lot more dependent on driving everywhere rather than walking. As a result, we spend a lot more time sitting around. Weight loss happens when you are in a calorie deficit, which can mean either reducing your calories or increasing your energy expenditure by moving more throughout the day.
Tip on how to avoid this problem: get yourself a pedometer from Amazon, or use your smartphone or use your activity monitor. First, take an average of your steps over the course of a week. If you average 3000 steps a day simply increase your step goal to 4000-5000. Over the course of this week, this can be anything from 7000-14000 extras steps.
If you work in an office set a timer every hour to get up for 5 minutes to walk around or use your lunch break or whenever you have some spare time to go on little walks. Over the course of the day/ week, your steps will rack up rather significantly
4) You are trying too hard to be “good” which leads to a few days a week where you counterbalance the “good” days
We have all been through the I need to be super good and eat “clean” foods and must avoid all “bad foods” which we can d for several days. However, by banning or restricting certain foods it can lead to bigger binges. Who has been told they can’t have something and as a result, they want it more? I think this is something we have all experienced at some point. If you are aware of how many calories you are consuming and the caloric value of food then you can be more flexible with your food choices and fit in foods you love whilst still losing weight.
Tip to avoid this: There are no bad foods or foods that are off limits. The best way to incorporate some of your favourite foods in moderation is to figure out how many calories you can eat in a day and then keep 20% of your calories for the day for these treat foods.
5) You are weekday dieter.
You are very good and being very good Monday through Friday. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t have days off nor does energy balance. It is very easy to eat and/or drink yourself out of the deficit that you have created for yourself al week.
Tips to avoid this: If you want to be able to diet Monday through Sunday then you probably want to look into flexible dieting. This will allow room for drinks and more indulgent foods without setting back your efforts.
If you know your weekend is going to be more indulgent, than look at your weekly calories instead of your daily calories. Approximate the calories you think you will consume, and then create a bigger deficit during the week whether it be through nutrition or more energy expenditure.
6) You don’t have anyone or anything keeping you accountable
You get up super motivated on a Monday but you have no one to keep you accountable so by the time you get to Thursday you have pretty much given up. Sometimes its hard to share your weight loss journey with someone but this might be just what you need to keep you going week after week and month after month.
Tip to avoid this: Tell your partner, best friend, or a colleague about your goal or even post it on Facebook or Instagram. Once you’ve shared it with people you will feel more inclined to keep going. If you don’t feel like those around you will push you enough then hire a coach for complete accountability plus professional expertise.