You are assiduously following a low calorie diet and sticking to your exercise regime, and yet the weight and shape you want to achieve seems a distant dream. Few things can get as frustrating as this.
You can stop this from happening to you if you are aware of some common mistakes that people make while trying to lose weight.
If you are not happy with your progress, something is definitely going wrong. Read on to see what it could possibly be.
...Illustrations: Uttam Ghosh
Are your goals reasonable?
The most frequent mistake that ardent dieters make is to set unrealistic goals. If you are not satisfied with the rate at which you are losing, reassess your expectations.
If you want to shed ten kilos in a couple of weeks, you are setting the stage for frustration. Not only is it unreasonable to expect such kind of weight loss, it is not possible to do so in a healthy way.
Aim to lose half to one kilo per week. Remember that when it comes to losing weight, the slow and steady win the race.
Is your body in starvation mode?
In order to lose weight real fast, you have started skipping meals and eating as little as you can.
If you answer yes to this, your body has in all likelihood gone into the "starvation mode", which is the physiological response to very low calorie intake.
In simple words, it means that your body feels that it needs to burn fewer calories because it is not getting much of them. The result is a reduced metabolic rate, which translates into you not losing weight in spite of eating too little.
Mostly, this is likely to happen if you take fewer than 1200 Calories a day. The solution is to keep your metabolic rate up by having five to six small meals a day.
Dehydration and portion control
Are you underestimating portion sizes?
Your diet chart says two medium size chapatis, a small bowl of rice, a serving of meat and you have every intention to follow it religiously. The problem is that your dietitian's and your understanding of a small bowl and medium size can differ considerably and your diet plan can go for a toss.
It is a good idea to ask for more clear reccommendations. Be careful with high calorie items such as nuts, which are good for health, but as little as ten grams of these can have almost sixty calories.
Are you dehydrated?
A seemingly small thing such as not drinking enough water can retard the rate at which you lose weight. The reason is that our body needs water to burn calories.
When you are dehydrated, your metabolism slows down, which effectively means fewer aclories burnt per day. Try to drink eight or more glasses of water everyday to keep your metabolic rate up.
Fat free does not mean calorie free
Are you too much into "low fat"?
Attractive "fat-free" labels can encourage you to buy (and consume) large portions of foods that are quite high in calories.
Fat free does not mean calorie free. Look carefully at nutrition label when buying fat-free stuff.
In fact, some dietitians suggest that having a small portion of the regular food is better than a large portion of the fat free version, because it makes you feel more satisfied.
Are you losing track of mindless bites?
Seemingly small bites, such as a cookie you picked with tea at the neighbour's or your child's leftover pastry can have more than twenty five calories.
Four to five such bites a day can easily go unnoticed and make you feel that you are failing to lose weight inspite of following your diet.
Avoid putting anything in your mouth mindlessly. Its not worth it, because you do not appreciate what you eat and you end up consuming calories that you just do not want.
Don't give up
You tend to give up after few slip ups?
Okay, so you have not been entirely sincere with your weight loss program. A vacation memorable for its rich meals, three weeks of not seeing the treadmill, and few ice-cream tubs polished off can leave you feeling guilty and defeated.
Thinking that you do not have the kind of determination that it takes to lose weight, you entirely give up on your diet plan and exercise. This is the biggest mistake that you can make.
Losing weight and keeping it off is a long term goal, which means that some slip ups along the road are to be expected.
What will determine your success is how soon you get back on track after deviating for a while. If you eat healthy and exercise on most days, you will become and stay fit, in spite of the occasional slip ups.