Now, when I say weight loss, I really mean fat loss. But, since most people still use the terms interchangeably/don't fully understand the difference, I went for the term I hear most often. If you're new here and don't yet understand, read this post here. These are the top 5 mistakes that I see when beginning to work with new online clients.
1. Dropping calories too much, too soon.
There are several problems with this. Firstly, dropping too quickly generally leads to lower adherence. The more uncomfortable you make yourself i.e. being hungry and having low energy, the more likely you are to break your deficit and overeat. Secondly, when you drop your calories too quickly, your metabolism will adapt to a lower energy intake. This means that your body burns fewer calories per activity, Instead of dropping your calories super low right off the bat, start by increasing your daily activity (calories burnt). Then when you can no longer do this, you can start looking at decreasing your food intake. Make sure that when you do start to implement a deficit however that you're not making yourself uncomfortable. Remember, on a sustainable fat loss journey you don't necessarily have to be hungry.
Similarly to the above, overexercising will cause you greater levels of fatigue, and then you'll be more likely to overeat. The more high intensity exercise you participate in, the more hungry you'll be and the more likely to break your deficit - this is why I tend to stick to LISS cardio (low-intensity steady-state cardio) and resistance training workouts when working with my clients. If you add too much activity too quickly, you'll also end up with so much soreness that you end up having to take twice as much time off to recover, not to mention the added risk of injury from not allowing your body sufficient time to recover. Ensure you add exercise into your routine progressively. Start off with walking, and one or two workouts per week, then when your body feels comfortable with this you can increase in line with what you enjoy. If you do want to add more activity in for example because you want to build muscle, make sure that your calories reflect this to ensure you have enough energy.
3. Setting too many goals too quickly.
This one is so common. You experience a boost of motivation, sit down to write a plan and end up with a full A4 page of goals that you want to achieve. You then proceed to take action on these goals but give up after just one week due to feeling stressed and overwhelmed. We've all been there. Instead, focus on one thing that you want to achieve every 1-2 weeks and break that goal down into 3 actionable steps. For example, if you want to lose weight, start with your activity. Your 3 actionable steps for the week could be increasing daily steps by standing up more throughout the day, completing 2-3 workouts and going for a workout first thing in the morning. Once you've managed to complete these 3 things consistently for 2-3 weeks, then you can move onto another goal.
4. Comparing your progress to other peoples progress.
It is so easy to look at other peoples lives and think that they have it so much better/easier, the same goes for fat loss. You have to remind yourself that 1. you're not that person, you don't know truly what they're going through and/or how they feel, and 2. everybody progresses at different rates. We are all individuals, meaning that we all have different requirements and rates of progression. Instead of comparing your progress to others around you, start comparing yourself to you, yesterday. Not you 5 years ago because honestly, a lot had changed in 5 years, you are not the same person you were back then and you certainly don't have the same lifestyle.
5. Focusing too much on scale weight to indicate progress.
I will say this as many times as I need to, scale weight is not a reliable indicator of your progress - you can read more about this here in my blog post from a few weeks ago. But essentially, relying on scale weight to tell you that you've done a good job is ludicrous. Instead, what you want to be focusing on is how you're feeling, how many inches you've lost physically and how you're looking in pictures now compared to last week/when you started your journey. How many of these mistakes have you made when embarking on a fat loss journey in the past? Do you have anymore to add to the list? Let me know in the comments down below! Always here,
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