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Not losing weight? Avoid these 5 mistakes

June 23, 2021 12:38 IST
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Mukul Nagpaul explains why any diet you hate is guaranteed to fail, no matter how much weight you lose.

Not losing weight? Avoid these mistakes

Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Andres Ayrton/

Losing weight can be a difficult task.

You may believe you're doing everything correctly, but you're still not seeing results.

While you're not alone in your disappointment, there are a few typical weight-loss blunders that can be avoided so that you dramatically boost your chances of success.

1. Falling into the weight loss trap

One guaranteed way to fail is to look for a 'short cut' weight loss method or diet.

You know what I mean: the type of programme that promises 'a fast, effortless way to reduce weight'.

In my experience, none of these diets or pills actually work. And the medical evidence is quite clear: the maximum rate of sustainable fat loss is between one to two pounds per week, perhaps a little more, if you are obese.

Besides, if a brilliant scientist did manage to concoct a formula for rapid effortless weight reduction, he would be more famous than Einstein overnight. He certainly wouldn't be peddling his programme in 30-second TV infomercials or mail-order advertisements.

So, for the sake of your sanity as well as your financial and physical health, don't waste time on weight loss methods that make extravagant claims.

If you don't believe this, think of any of your overweight friends who favour the short-term 'lose 20 pounds in two weeks' type of approach and ask yourself why they are still overweight.

2. Thinking just about weight loss and not about healthy eating

In my experience, one of the most effective weight loss strategies is to focus on healthy eating.

I'm not saying you shouldn't use your weighing scales; just don't measure progress exclusively by what the scales say.

Be aware that it's just as important to enjoy your food and feel good about your change of eating habits.

Any diet you hate is guaranteed to fail, no matter how much weight you lose, because as soon as you achieve your goal, you will revert to your old eating habits and regain every pound lost.

3. Not sleeping properly

You probably didn't know it, but one of the best times to lose weight is while you sleep.

That's because the human body is designed by nature to repair itself while we are asleep. Our bodies use sleep to repair and strengthen our muscles, joints and other parts that get tired and damaged through use and exertion during our waking hours.

This restorative process uses energy to rebuild lean muscle mass and other body tissue. If the rebuilding process is running smoothly and efficiently, that energy comes from places in our body where energy is stored -- from fat.

In other words, the body rebuilds tissue, organs, bone and lean muscle by burning fat.

Several things about this process are worth noting. They have an important bearing on how efficiently it works.

4. Starving yourself

Starving just doesn’t work. It goes against nature to think that you can starve yourself and lose weight.

Of course, there are exceptions when people just don’t take in anywhere near enough food to sustain themselves and we all have seen the effects of this kind of dieting! So, we know that starvation diets don’t work and you don’t want to spend two hours a day in the gym.

How do we lose weight then?

Well, the good news is you do not have to go hungry to lose weight. Nor do you need excessive amounts of exercise.

The truth is, eating regular nutritional meals and allowing your body to fill itself to satisfaction is the key to reaching and maintaining a healthy, slim body.

By not allowing yourself to go hungry, you will in fact avoid overeating -- which is the very thing that usually happens when you break a starvation diet.

5. Exercise on an empty stomach to burn more fat

Effective weight loss is the total amount of calories burned during the day, not how or why they were burned.

It doesn't matter if it is night or morning; exercising early in the day has no advantage to exercising later in the day.

Studies show that increased metabolism induced by anaerobic exercise is actually less after a large meal. This means that more energy is being used for digestion than what is being used to repair muscle.

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