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Cruising on the elliptical machine

Cruising on the elliptical machine
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Countless studies show that cardio alone won’t make the kilos melt away. “People don’t need to be doing cardio for an hour as their only workout,” says Erica Suter, MS, a certified strength and conditioning coach. That said, cardio isn’t all bad; in a survey of 700 people, a mixture of aerobic exercise and weightlifting was found to be the best exercise routine for weight loss. Suter recommends carving out two or three days a week for resistance training, with steady-state or high-intensity cardio workouts in between.

Here are 14 things that happen when you start a beginners weightlifting workout.

Eating less – but not healthier

Eating less – but not healthier
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Skipping meals or limiting yourself to tiny portions can backfire, stalling weight loss or causing you to put on kilos instead. “It may sound counterintuitive, but you need to eat to lose weight,” says Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD, owner of BZ Nutrition. In fact, you actually need to eat more – more healthy items like vegetables, fruit, lean protein and whole grains, that is.

So why are vegetables so good for you? Find out.

Expecting instant results

Expecting instant results
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Avoid getting discouraged if you don’t shed kilos right away, says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RDN. “Some will try to have you believe if you follow these three (five, eight, ten, whatever) ‘simple’ rules, that the weight will just fall off and you’ll be successful – no sweat, no problem,” she says. “That just isn’t true.” To slim down successfully, patience is key; a 2016 study found that long-term weight loss could take at least one year of dieting.

Learn 50 more weight-loss breakthroughs your doctor wishes you knew.

Sticking to the same workout

Sticking to the same workout
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If you zone out while jogging on the treadmill, you might not be getting the most bang for your buck (or booty!). “The exercise habits that backfire the most are the ones that do not progress people,” Suter says. When it comes to getting in shape, she says, “Progressing with either intensity or volume will go a long way.” If you follow a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) program, for example, try reducing the rest periods between intervals.

This 15-minute strength training routine works your whole body – seriously.

Eating too much protein – or not enough

Eating too much protein – or not enough
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Skimping on protein might tempt you to binge later, according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. When participants ate a high-protein diet, they consumed an average of 2405 fewer kilojoules per day than when they ate less protein. But don’t go overboard, either. “Protein is important, but if you have too much, the excess gets stored as fat,” Felicia Stoler, RD, told Health.com. “And high-protein shakes and bars tend to be sugary and fatty.” Women should eat 46 grams of protein per day, while men should aim for 56 grams, according to the CDC.

Here are 6 silent signs you could be eating too much protein.

Torturing yourself to shed kilos

Torturing yourself to shed kilos
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Many dieters take the phrase “No pain, no gain” a bit too literally, according to Zeitlin. The truth is, you won’t stick to a weight-loss plan that feels like punishment. “No torture treatment is going to be maintainable,” Zeitlin says. “The key to weight loss is to find a healthy plan for you that you can maintain so that the weight does not come back.” Focus on adopting small, healthy habits that feel doable for the long run, like riding your bike to work or drinking tea instead of sugary lattes.

Discover 11 weight loss tricks nutritionists want you to know.

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Exercising too much

Exercising too much
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When it comes to losing weight, exercise can hurt as much as it helps. “Too much exercise can lead to injury [and] burnout, and it can actually cause your body stress, which can hinder weight loss,” says Jennipher Walters, cofounder of Fit Bottomed Girls and author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet: 10-Minute Fixes to Get the Body You Want and a Life You’ll Love. Scheduling “rest” weeks into your workout regimen gives your muscles time to recover, helping you to slim down in the long run.

Beware these 7 exercise mistakes that make you look older.

Banning treats

Banning treats
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Go ahead and eat that chocolate cupcake at your friend’s birthday party. By allowing yourself to indulge here and there, you are actually doing your waistline a favour. “We naturally want what we can’t have,” Walters says. “Restriction creates stress in the body – and it causes your body to crave the very thing you’re trying to avoid.” Instead of depriving yourself of treats, Zeitlin suggests following the 80-20 plan: Healthy foods make up 80 percent of your diet, and you can still enjoy your favourite indulgences the other 20 percent of the time.

Here are 36 fast, easy ways to lose weight.

Not getting enough z’s

Not getting enough z’s
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In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, dieters who cut back on sleep felt hungrier and lost less weight than those who got a full night’s rest. Translation? “If your goal is to lose fat, skipping sleep is like poking sticks in your bicycle wheels,” says study director Plamen Penev, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. Try getting seven to nine hours of shut-eye every night.

Here’s how to fall back asleep after waking up in the middle of the night.

Ignoring your body’s hunger cues

Ignoring your body’s hunger cues
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Mindless snacking and eating your emotions are just two of the culprits that sabotage weight loss. But by snacking only when hunger strikes and putting the food away when you’re full, you can stop binge eating in its tracks. “When we shift to honouring ourselves and tuning in to how we feel, we are naturally more mindful and therefore consume foods that are better for us, in the right amounts for us,” according to Walters. This may take time to master, she says, but the results will be long-lasting.

How to avoid emotional eating due to coronavirus stress.

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