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From Thick to Thin: And the Mistakes Within

Published:Thursday | October 13, 2016 | 4:15 PMKimberly Goodall
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In theory, weight loss seems simple enough - eating less and exercise. Right?

No. Anyone who has tried slimming down knows that losing weight is tricky and needs 100 per cent focus. It is easy for even the best-laid plans to run off course. With myriad reasons why diets fail, Flair decided to help you make sure yours doesn't by highlighting some of the major pitfalls we face on the road to health. Sometimes just being aware of how your diet can fail is all you need to avoid that fate.

According to fitness enthusiast and personal trainer at Express Fitness, Tricia Freeman, many people set out dieting with the best of intentions, until they hit the dreaded weight-loss plateau or encounter some other problems.

"In my experience over the years, I've seen people make a lot of mistakes on their weight-loss journey, but there are some pitfalls that are very common and should be avoided," Freeman noted.

Here are 10 major pitfalls of weight loss Freeman has shared with us.

Hunger woes

There are no two ways about it - dieting sucks. Running a daily calorie deficit in order to lose weight isn't fun. Feeling hungry and denying yourself food is never enjoyable. One approach worth looking into is meal prepping. Plan your meals and be creative with your recipes.

Giving up too quickly

Anything worth having is worth working for. This applies to your ideal weight goal. The trouble many face is giving up too quickly when they are met with resistance. Accept that falling off the wagon over the weekend is part of the process. Keep pushing forward to achieve your goal.

Weight gain

Most persons gain a few pounds and slack off or completely give up. According to Freeman, though it may come as a surprise to most, once you start dieting, you might experience a sudden weight gain as well. This happens because the metabolism slows down and this, in turn, helps in weight gain.

Deficiencies: Diet plans often remove certain important food products which are actually necessary for us in order to remain chemically balanced. My advice, don't be extreme with your diet, everything in moderation.

Exercise-enabled eating: A big diet pitfall is to motivate yourself to go to the gym and then give yourself carte-blanche to eat whatever you want afterwards. After all, you just put in a great workout, you ran, jumped, pushed, pressed, and sweat out of every pore. AVOID the mistake of thinking that the time you invest in the gym gives you a pass to slack off in other areas. Your diet is just as important as your exercise programme. It's the complete package.

Gradually losing focus: So you have made a pact with yourself - you are going to do this. This time around, it is different. But then a few weeks in what happens? You get tired and loose sight of the goal and why you started in the first place. Suddenly you stop counting calories and finding excuses to skip the gym, and there are justifications to eat that serving of fries. Be very cautious about this type of thinking. It is very easy to fall asleep at the wheel of your weight loss goals. Try to do whatever it takes to renew your focus on your weight loss goals each day. Set new goals to keep focused.

Bad information: There is so much bad weight loss information out there that some people are just doomed, no fault of their own. Let's cut to the core of what weight loss is all about once and for all: burning more calories than you take in. That's it! That's what weight loss boils down to.

Making short-term change: Some people think that making a pact with yourself to behave for a few weeks is sufficient to reach one's ideal weight loss goal. Then they are surprised, confused, and upset when they're right back where they started a month later. Weight loss requires a permanent lifestyle change. Until you realise this and accept this, you may be a hamster running in a wheel. You will basically use a lot of energy and never really get anywhere.

Setting unrealistic goals: In order to succeed, we must set ourselves up for success. Many people who want to lose weight want to lose it right away. That can be good motivation and also counter productive. Wanting to lose weight quickly is an unrealistic approach to success. You want to lose 50 pounds as fast as possible - that's great. But what happens when you realise it's going to take a lot longer than just a few weeks to achieve this? You get demotivated. Having realistic goals aren't fun. It's much more fun to have pie-in-the-sky goals like "I want to look good in a bikini in one week". This is why so many fad diets exist. Ultimately, this approach does not lead to success.

Doing it alone: Let's face it, we need a little help sometimes. As a trainer, I sometimes struggle through the same flux of motivation and feelings of unfulfilled fruitless efforts as the average gym goer. And it is for this reason that I capitalise on the tremendous benefits of working with a personal trainer.

Freeman advises persons seeking to lose weight to get a personal trainer. Personal training is not just for stars and athletes. Every single person can benefit from working with a trainer. They help you to develop your own personalised goals along with realistic and achievable goals. Trainers are educated on the most effective ways to help you to get to your fitness goals by developing routines that make sense for you.

They create fresh new perspectives and ideas on health, nutrition, and health information. You get solid consistent, non-judgemental support, proper technique and form, injury prevention, and help to maximise your workout time. "In a nutshell, think long-term, figure out your diet strategy, work on your fitness, do not expect to lose 10 pounds in a week, track your success and make it a lifestyle," Freeman encouraged.

For fitness advice and tips:

Tricia Freeman

Personal Trainer


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