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10 Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making on Your Weight Loss Journey

Mental Health & Self Love

January 31, 2020

I'm not an expert, a doctor, or a fitness coach. I'm just a normal person who is trying to lose some weight -- and I want to share my fitness journey with you. I've compiled the problems I had, and the mistakes I made and learned from. I hope that what I've discovered can reveal to you the things that can most hinder your progress.

1. Not starting small.

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So you wake up one morning and finally decide you're going to start working out. You walk up to the gym with the mindset that you're going to run 30 mins non stop on the treadmill...a very unrealistic goal for someone who hasn't worked out in years! You start running and in only 2 minutes you collapse on the floor and get discouraged, and you go home feeling sore and tired.

Many people forget to start small -- they jump right into heavy weight lifting and high-intensity workouts, oblivious of the damage and pressure it causes on their muscles and mentality. You do a high-intensity workout on the first day. On the second day you feel good, but on the third day, your muscles become weak and sore, and you feel like you can't even lift yourself again.

This is a situation known as DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness) and it happens a lot, especially to people that have just started working out. It often leads to discouragement as you use the soreness in your muscles as an excuse to take a break and, from there, you forget about the whole fitness journey.

2. Lack of motivation or a clear goal.

Why are you working out? To be healthier, stronger, and have more endurance? Do you want to get abs or to get that bikini body everyone's rambling about?

Whatever it is, you must have a reason for working out. Your goal should be clearly stated in your brain.

Every morning when you want to work out, picture yourself in that gorgeous bathing suit you bought for summer or those jeans that you've outgrown over the holidays or even just your favorite gown you want to fit into again.

3. Not wearing appropriate exercise gear.

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I cannot overemphasize this part. Wearing good and comfortable workout gear not only makes your workout easier, but it also keeps you motivated. You won't have to adjust your bra while running on the treadmill because they slip off or feel sore only after 100 jump ropes because your shoes are too tight. Always wear good workout gear.

4. Doing the same routine for a long time.

So you finally pulled it off. Two weeks into the workout and you're kicking off with consistency, you feel good about yourself not only because you've started to see results, but because you now feel better about yourself.

Then, suddenly, another week of workout and you lose motivation. It's so boring now, the workout is now way too easy and you just don't feel that burn in your body that tells you that those extra fats are really coming off. You stop seeing results and it's almost like the world has turned against you.

Well, the truth is, you need to change your routine, spice up things a little bit, do some extra reps and add some more difficult workouts. Technically, when you do something for a long time, your body gets used to it, your muscles adapt to the movement and your brain registers it as a normal thing such that it becomes so easy that you can now do it without thinking. You stop seeing results because your muscles are now stronger and you need something with a higher level of difficulty.

If you have been skipping 500 every day, it's time to increase it to 600 or 750, if you've been doing 100 crunches a day it's time to do 150, whatever it is, it's time to take the intensity a little higher.

5. Not doing enough reps.

This is relatable to the previous number in a way. HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. This is when you do a specific number of reps within a period, then take a break and repeat again.

Most people prefer HIIT workout to cardio because it's easier and builds up muscle faster. Knowing the concept of HIIT will help you not only to burn as many calories as you want, but also to enjoy the workout and not feel too sore afterward.

6. Doing the wrong workouts.

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Most people probably don't know this, but even if you've been working out for years, if you're doing the wrong workouts, you're going to get frustrated because you're probably not going to be seeing results.There are three basic body somatotypes: endomorph, mesomorph, and ectomorph and each of these body types requires different workouts to achieve maximum results.

For example, endomorphs, which are people with naturally big bodies, require interval training which consists of more reps and lower rest times, while ectomorphs are the exact opposite. There are so many blogs out there that can help you discover your body type by just answering a series of questions. Knowing your body type will help you know the right workouts to do to achieve better results.

7. Not resting.

Once in a week, three times in a month or so, it's important to take a day off from working out to let your muscles recover from all the exercising.

Not resting can lead to health problems such as fatigue, muscle pull, numbness, fracture, high BP and even serious bone issues. Take a break, your body needs it.

8. Starving yourself.

If you've been skipping breakfast, lunch or dinner or even both at times, STOP!!!! Eating disorders like búllemia and anorexia often start when one starts starving themselves for weight loss. Up to three out of every two hundred teenagers, especially girls, have these eating disorders.

People have the misconception that they can starve themselves to their desired weight. That's totally wrong! As much as calorie counting and eating healthily is required for weight loss, it is never a good thing to starve yourself. Maybe it will lead to short-term weight loss, but it will have serious side effects such as low metabolic rate, fatigue and malnutrition.

Instead of starving yourself, swap processed food, unhealthy sugar for whole healthy grains, and food high in vitamins, potassium, and calcium, such as fruits such as bananas and citric fruits. Eat vegetables such as celery, ginger, and carrots as that helps to reduce bloating and helps build up muscles.

9. Not counting calories (Eating unhealthy).

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So you take a 30-minute walk to the park and you feel so fulfilled, you decide to reward yourself with junk food...and after a month of this unhealthy habit, you go to weigh yourself and find out that you've gained more pounds instead of reducing them, and you become frustrated.

The concept of losing weight is to burn more calories than you consume. This can be achieved through a balanced diet by cutting out unnecessary sugar and all that stuff or just working out to burn extra calories. It can also be done by combining both workout and diet for maximum results.

Whichever way, it is important to know that working out goes with eating right. You don't necessarily have to completely shut out junk food or your favorite stuff because that'll just lead to cravings, leading to worse eating habits after you break the diet.

However, cutting down by half your intake of unhealthy food and switching to good food can go a long way in helping you achieve maximum results as soon as possible. You can start by eating candy or drinking soda from every day to once in two or three days, then gradually have those only twice a day till you finally cut the craving.

Remember this saying; an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Eat right!!.

10. Dehydration.

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And finally, last but not least on my list is dehydration. Water is life, and humans need water to survive, most importantly if you're trying to lose weight.

Water has so many health benefits. It helps in metabolism, which helps to lose weight, it nourishes the skin and gives it a smooth, softer, and brighter appearance. It also helps reduce bloating and helps stimulate the thyroid hormone that aids metabolism and also so that you don't eat more than you need.

Always have a bottle of water by your side. Carry water to the gym to drink after a workout as it will help to restore lost energy and keep you from being dehydrated.

Those were the 10 biggest fitness journey mistakes I have to share today. Remember to stay motivated and live life healthily. Thank you for reading. Follow my blog to keep updated with my recent posts and articles and you can also follow me on other social media.

Ikwuegbu Ihuoma
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Writer since Dec, 2019 · 23 published articles

A very creative Nigerian Christian teenager who is passionate about content and digital creation. She loves music, playing the piano, chess, puzzles and any other thing that challenges her intellectually. She also loves learning, meeting new people and taking on challenges. Be sure to read her blog!