8 Weight Loss Mistakes I’ve Made
You know how the cycle works.
- You get fed up with being fat, jump on the scale, and make sure no ones looking.
- Gorge yourself on a “last supper“
- Wobble into a gym and run on the treadmill for 5 minutes. You register on the Richter Scale.
- The next morning you’re in pain. Eat 1/2 a rice cake—shoot some wheat grass. Head to work.
- Worst day ever.
- Return to gym. Walk on treadmill. Go home. Eye Oreos. Burn the bag in your fireplace. Celebrate by pounding a Coke Zero.
- The next morning, you weigh 3 lbs less. Now you make a choice: 1) eat a burrito or 2) repeat plan from yesterday
- You choose the rice cake—REPEAT
- Late at night, you awake in a cold sweat. Against your better judgement, you text Pizza Hut. “Just one slice” you say.
- The whole pizza.
- Scale goes in the fireplace
I’ve said it before. I’ve failed several diets over the years.
Years of trial + error have revealed many mistakes
1. Skipping Breakfast
Skipping or having a small breakfast means less calories right?
Lesson learned: 300-600 calorie breakfast rich with protein works for me.
2. Over/underestimating Calories
It’s a rude awakening learning that your favorite meal breaks 1000 calories easily.
Even more frustrating is finding that your calorie budget was wrong when you step on the scale expecting a loss…
3. Wrong motives
The more vague or temporary the goal the more likely I’ve abandoned it when I stopped caring.
- what happens after beach season?
- or after you get the guy/girl?
- or after you get your first compliment?
The better I can explain the “why” of getting healthy, the better my chances.
Lesson learned: Question everything. Especially your own motives.
4. Under/Over-tracking results
I used to think that the scale readout was the only important number.
If scale readout doesn’t change, consider:
- Did you gain muscle?
- Are you losing inches?
- Are you sleeping better?
- Are you more friendly/patient?
- Do you have more energy?
Lesson learned: The more “wins” you anticipate/celebrate, the more encouraging the journey is.
5. Poor exercise form/Over-exertion
I should know better—but I’m constantly making this mistake.
A couple days ago I hit the gym in the morning for 30 min, walked my dog for 30 min after work, then did a kettlebell workout.
Surprisingly, the only thing that hurts is my foot—but it hurt enough to make me second guess today’s workout.
Same goes for form especially in weight-lifting. While not knowing the proper exercise should never be an excuse for not learning—you should learn the proper form or risk injury.
Lesson learned: A few hundred calories burned from over-exertion isn’t worth the resulting injury—Rome wasn’t built in a day.
6. Forbidden foods
There’s a lot of good vibes on these world wide internets that basically sounds like this: when it comes to dieting, do what works for you!
So you want to go no-carb? Cool. Want to shun all sugars? Sweet.
Not me. I don’t want to feel like I’m missing out— I want to feel like I’m taking care of myself. That’s what works for me.
Anytime I made a food forbidden, I obsessed and eventually binged on it.
Lesson learned: It doesn’t have to be feast or famine—moderation is the thiiird way.
7. Forgetting to Build Muscle
or regret it
Lesson learned: Building muscle helps me lose fat and keep it off. I go simple with kettlebells and benchpress for now.
8. (In)Frequent Weigh-ins
I tried the monthly weigh-in—-I didn’t lose any weight.
I tried the daily weigh-in—I got discouraged by fluctuations and quit.
Lesson learned: Weekly weigh-ins work right for me.
What lessons have you learned?