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3 Common Mistakes People Make When They Want to Lose Weight

You often hear people saying they want to "shift that weight/lose some pounds/get fit etc etc.." That's great you may think, they want to make a change, and maybe you want to do that too. However, here we look at 3 common mistakes people make when they try to launch into doing just that.

1. Number 1 - They instantly cut out lots of foods they would normally eat.

What happens is they think "ok I need to eat healthy, I'm going to cut out every piece of bad food and just live on kale and spinach". Firstly we need to get this "bad food/good food" phrase out of our heads. If we think something is "bad" it will draw us to it and our brain will get hung up wanting this forbidden thing. What we are looking for is a healthy balanced diet, which can still include the treats that you like, just not 3 donuts a day, every day etc.. as that isn't balanced.

The other reason this is a mistake is because it is unsustainable. If you cut out a ton of food instantly, sure you might find for a couple of days you feel great and "wow, I'm eating so well, I feel so good about myself" but give it a week and you're going to be thinking "I really miss crisps/chocolate/cake" and find you can't stop thinking about it and you'll find yourself back in the bottom of that multipack of Walkers. It is much better to make small adjustments to your eating habits. That way you are much more likely to stick to the change rather than these "all or nothing radical changes". Replace some of the foods you know aren't very nutritious for you one at a time or make sure your portion size is appropriate. Small, subtle changes over time are the best way to make a lifestyle change that will last.

2. Number 2 - They dive in head first with an intense work out plan.

"I'm going to hit the gym every day starting tomorrow/I'm going to get up at 5am every day and run 5 miles" etc etc, you get the idea, from zero to 60 in 24 hours. Much with point 1, you will feel boosted for a week, and sure for the odd person they may then keep this up, but for most people they will get bored of it and run out of steam after a week or two. Again, it's all about gradual change, firstly pick something you actually enjoy, don't go into this big running plan if you absolutely hate running as you'll just detest it and put yourself off exercising. Once you find a couple of types of exercise/workouts you like, add a couple in a week. As you start to get into the routine of doing those, then you can add in an extra workout session on another day and again gradually increase. Maybe for you, it's just walking to work instead of driving that you begin with. Make it sustainable and enjoyable! New habits take a while to form, so try not to change everything at once. Remember, it's not a case of working out for 3 months to lose weight and then stopping, keeping active is something we all need to do for the rest of our lives, and not just for weight loss but more importantly to keep healthy.

3. Number 3 - They think that a 20 minute work out twice a week will make a big change but don't think about how they spend the remaining hours of the day.

The work out is great, don't get me wrong, nothing wrong with a 20 minute work out if you managed to pack some good training in there. However if for the rest of that day you spend it sat at a desk/on a sofa, that's not really going to make a great deal of difference. What is important is making sure you keep moving the rest of the day. If you work from home, try and spend some of that time standing/pacing whilst you work and get up for regular walk around breaks. Get outside at lunchtime and go for a decent walk, the main thing is don't be sedentary. If you work in an office, take the stairs instead of the lift, go speak to your colleague in person instead of sending them an email. Keep moving!

These are just 3 common mistakes, I can already think of another 3 and then some. If you'd like more advice/tips then get in touch, send me a message or give me a call, I'd be happy to help.

The key thing is, whatever little you may be doing, that's still better than nothing, so just keep adding a little more into the mix and keep going, make it a permanent lifestyle change, not a "quick fix detox". Keep persevering and most of all have fun whilst you keep active.

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