Are you exercising multiple times a week, but not seeing the pay off?

Are you following a healthful diet, but not seeing any results?

Is your pant zipper crying out in pain??

Believe it or not, you may be making a few common weight loss mistakes. And no, eating four slices of chocolate cake to chase that pepperoni pizza is not what we would consider a weight loss “mistake” that silently holds you back!

Assuming that isn’t you, and no judgement if it IS you (unless of course it was the last piece of cake in MY fridge), you may want to keep reading the rest of this article.

There is an overwhelming amount of false information on weight loss paraded around the internet through self-proclaimed “fitness gurus.” This can be extremely confusing, and ultimately exhausting because the information can be quite contradictory.

While there are no “quick fixes” with weight loss, there are many ways to correctly lose the weight and keep it off for good. Let’s take a look at the six common weight loss mistakes that are secretly sabotaging your success and making you continue to pack on those unwanted pounds.

Weight Loss Mistake #1: You’re an Over Exerciser!

Yes, I said it! Over exercising can actually cause inflammation within the body creating hormonal imbalance and weight loss resistance. Say what??? Yes, pushing (punishing) your body past it’s healthy limit with high intensity training or exercise for a long period of time takes a toll on the adrenals leaving you feeling lightheaded, exhausted and achy after a workout. And fatter.

Over-exercising leads to abnormal levels of Cortisol – a key hormone that regulates weight, inflammation, sugar balance and metabolism. Cortisol is released in response to stress — and yes, vigorous exercise can be a major stressor on the body.

When your body is in constant fight or flight mode, it enters a state of “burn out.” If this happens and cortisol is not properly regulated, you will see weight loss resistance (mainly that stubborn lower belly fat), sleep issues, digestive issues, extreme fatigue and energy crashes throughout the day.

What Can You Do?

You need to gauge if the exercise you are doing is too much for you and your adrenals.

  • Are you tired within an hour after your workout? Or tired later that day in the afternoon?
  • Do you constantly feel achy or sore?
  • Is Advil and Motrin a daily survival technique?

The best way to avoid “burn out” is to:

  • Try short term/ high intensity workouts (20 mins) or if that’s still too much, consider a longer term/ low intensity workout such as a brisk jog or weight training with light weights.
  • Make sure you have rest days
  • Try to include restorative exercises instead like yoga, pilates, walking or swimming

Weight Loss Mistake #2: You mistake thirst for hunger

A study showed that 37% of people mistake thirst for hunger. Some of you may mistake vodka for water. They look strikingly similar! But to my point, symptoms of thirst can include headaches, nausea, dizziness, dry-eyes and feeling sluggish. Symptoms of hunger include an empty feeling in your stomach, rumbling stomach, dizziness, faintness, lack of concentration and irritability. When these two symptoms overlap, it can be difficult to say which side of the thirst/hunger spectrum you are on.

What Can You Do?

  • Stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Don’t wait until you are parched to grab a drink!
  • If you have to think hard to decide if you are hungry or not… you’re probably not.
  • Drink a tall glass of water, wait 15 minutes and see if you are still hungry or if that “hunger” was just a mirage.

Weight Loss Mistake #3: You make dinner your biggest meal

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a peasant and dinner like a pauper?” Classicism aside, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives your metabolism the kick start it needs to burn calories and fat throughout the day. If you are saving your largest meal for dinner time, then your body won’t be able to burn anything off while you are sleeping and winding down from the day.

If you wait until dinner time to “dig in,” you are putting your body into prime fat-storing mode. Studies show that people that eat past 6 PM compared to those that stop eating before 6 PM gain MORE weight, even if their total caloric intake is identical. Eating late at night stimulates the gene expressed in the hunter and gatherer days to store fat and calories when food was scarce. The point is this, late night massive eating increases your chances of overeating at your next meal and packing on the pounds.

What Can You Do?

  • Try to stick to three meals a day and one snack if needed.
  • Try to avoid late night dinner and make dinner your smallest meal of the day.
  • Eating every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism going is NOT A THING. Don’t do it. Really, just don’t.

Weight Loss Mistake #4: You always eat out for lunch

If your lunch break consists of running to a restaurant, local spot or fast food chain, then chances are you’re consuming more calories than you would be if you brought lunch from home. Restaurant options are filed with belly bloating, weight loss dream crushing sauces, dressings and sides. When you eat out, the portions are decided for you and who is going to pass up all the delicious starters and sides they offer. That’s right, no one.

What Can You Do?

  • Dedicate certain days out of the week to bringing lunch from home.
  • Cook extra dinner the night before, put it in a storage container (glass preferably) and bring it in to work the next day to enjoy your delicious creation, yet again!

Weight Loss Mistake #5: Overdoing the healthy foods

Who ever thought we could over do the healthy, organic foods? Well, turns out you can and this may be holding you back from losing the pounds you seemingly just can’t shed. You can easily over-do healthy foods. A diet consisting of protein, carbs, and healthy fats is packed with all the essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. However, if the macros do not match up to your weight, activity level and weight loss goals then this way of eating can actually equate to pounds.

What Can You Do?

  • Set aside portions so you don’t find yourself eating healthy foods in excess just to eat something “healthy”
  • Meal prepping is a useful tool to help with portion control. You can also speak with a health coach, like myself, to discuss your specific weight loss goals and find which macros (percent of protein, carbs and fats) you should be eating for your body type and unique plan.

Weight Loss Mistake #6: Cheat Days

You are always one meal away from getting back on track. An entire day dedicated to “cheating” just does not sound right to me! A cheat day can easily turn into a cheat month! It is much harder to get back on track after a day of sweets, carbs and salty snacks than it is to get back on track after one indulgent meal. The calories will add up over time and will slow weight loss progress as cheat days do not boost metabolism.

What Can You Do?

  • Look to maintain balance in your diet or cut back on the foods/ drinks you indulge in on a daily basis. For example, instead of having one day dedicated to chocolate and ice cream sundaes, switch to one square of dark chocolate three nights a week. This helps to create a healthy relationship with food, assuring that you are not restricted and can achieve your goals while incorporating some of your favorite foods.
  • If you are feeling deprived on a nutrition plan, it may not be a plan that you can keep going. Work with a health coach to inspire you to eat healthy AND delicious meals that don’t require cheat days.

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For more information about my wellness programs and my practice, check out my website Hey Look! You are already here…

Ready for the legal disclaimer? Information offered here is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. As with any health recommendations, please contact your doctor to be sure any changes you wish to consider are safe for you!