Health & Fitness

5 Mistakes You’re Making When it Comes to Weight Loss

showing bowls of ice cream to avoid late night snacking

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Losing weight is really hard, especially when we keep getting in our own way. I see people make so many mistakes when it comes to weight loss. I know because I’ve made them.

In this post, I’m going to discuss 5 mistakes I see people making when it comes to weight loss. And I’m also going to tell you how to fix those mistakes.

Weight Loss Mistake #1: You Give Up Too Soon

I see it all the time. Women start on their health journey, so excited for the possibilities. “This time is going to be different,” they say, “This time the weight will come off and stay off!”

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

In my experience, there are two main reasons women give up before they even really get started:

  1. Not seeing results fast enough.

2. Giving up when they’ve “fallen off the wagon” or veered just a little off course.

I get it. We all want to see our hard work pay off, and we want to see it right away. And it can be really discouraging when we don’t see the results we want.

But it takes time.

Both your body and your mind have to adjust to a new way of operating. When you make changes to your diet, your body needs time to detox from some of the unhealthy food it was used to for so long.

And when you start to incorporate exercise into your routine, your body will likely need some time to adjust to the change.

Just because you aren’t seeing the results right away doesn’t mean it isn’t working. The opposite is actually true.

Every time you make the choice to keep going in the pursuit of your new goals, you get stronger, both physically and mentally.

And just remember, mistakes will happen along the way. You will veer off course and skip a workout or eat something that you know isn’t good for you.

It’s okay. Really.

It doesn’t mean that you’ve completely screwed up or ruined everything. It means you’re human.

The fix:

If you get off track, show yourself grace. And then get back to crushing your goals. Whatever you do, don’t give up. Giving up won’t get you any closer to your goals.

Consistency is everything when it comes to achieving any goal, especially weight loss.

If you aren’t seeing the results you want, keep going.

Even when it feels like you’re the only one noticing your progress, keep going.

And when no one’s looking? Keep going.

I promise your hard work will pay off if you just. keep. going.

Weight Loss Mistake #2: Eating Late at Night

This is one of the most common weight loss mistakes I see women making…eating late at night. And I get it. This was one of my biggest downfalls when I was trying to lose weight.

There’s a lot of information out there about something called intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is just a fancy way to describe going long periods of time without eating. You basically extend your fast between your last meal of the day and your first meal the following day.

This can be a really effective way to lose weight, maintain weight, get more energy, decrease inflammation in the body and balance your blood sugar. Plus, you sleep a whole lot better.

I know that late night eating is one of the toughest things to change when you’re looking to lose weight. I mean, the late night cravings are for real.

But I honestly feel, in my heart of hearts, that if you can manage to stop eating after dinner you’ll see incredible results just from this alone.

as hard as it is to do, avoid late night snacking

The fix:

Ideally, you’ll want to stop eating a few hours before bedtime. I’m in bed by 9, so I usually eat my last meal around 6 (sometimes it’s 5:30…hello, early bird special) and then I won’t have anything until about 9:30-10:00 the following morning. So, that’s around a 15 hour fast (give or take).

I have read quite a bit on this topic, and it’s a pretty standard agreement across the board that when you stop eating at night is more important than how early you start eating the next day.

Some things that helped me from eating late at night: take a long walk right after dinner (this helps digestion and insulin sensitivity as well), drink a cup of tea, get ready for bed early (brush your teeth), implement a nighttime routine (reading, journal, meditation), switching up your post-dinner routine.

It’s also really important that you make sure you’re eating balanced meals. That means protein, carbs and healthy fats. And if you find yourself really hungry, I would take a look at how much fiber you’re getting throughout the day. Most people don’t get enough fiber, so I’d pay special attention to that. Fiber helps keeps you full, and that’s a good thing.

And remember, just like with anything else, there’s going to be a period of discomfort surrounding your new routine.

You’re creating a new habit, and that takes time. So be patient with yourself and let it suck for few nights…because it will suck. But just remember that the suck is temporary.

Weight Loss Mistake #3: Not Sleeping Enough

Sleep is crucial for so many reasons, one of which is weight loss. This is one of the most important things you can do to help shed some pounds.

When you don’t get enough sleep your hormones are disrupted. The two main hormones associated with sleep and weight loss are leptin and ghrelin.

Leptin is the hormone that signals being full and ghrelin is the hormone that signals being hungry.

When you’re sleep deprived, leptin is lowered and ghrelin is raised.

If you’ve ever had a sleepless night or two, you’ve likely experienced the effects of these disrupted hormones: you seem to be extra hungry, you have a hard time getting full and/or feeling satiated, you reach for more sugary foods than usual.

And if that weren’t enough, when you’re tired your decision making skills are inhibited as well. So, the chances of you getting your workout in is slim to none.

This is one of the first things I recommend my clients focus on. Lack of sleep is essentially the catalyst for a domino effect of unhealthy behaviors and habits.

getting enough sleep is crucial for successful weight loss

The fix:

Seriously, I would suggest mastering this before anything else. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night.

I know it’s hard, especially if you have small children, but getting enough sleep is an absolute game changer when it comes to your health.

Implementing a night time routine can be really effective, if you don’t already have one. And if you do, consider revamping it.

I try to be in bed around an hour before lights out. This gives me the opportunity to meditate, journal or read. If at all possible, I avoid the use of any technology during this time.

I would also recommend taking a magnesium supplement at night. If you want my recommendation, please email me and I’m happy to share the one I use and absolutely love. But do your research and find one that works for you.

Weight Loss Mistake #4: Doing Too Much at Once

Setting a weight loss goal can be really exciting. Just thinking about the possibility of finally achieving success is exhilarating.

I get it. I’ve been there. Many times.

This excitement can often drive us to be super ambitious with our goals and attempt to do it all at once.

“This time is going to be different. This time I’m going to stick to my goals and stay on track. I’m done being fat.” These are the exact words I would say to myself over and over.

So, I would go all in. Do it all at once. Throw out all the “bad” food, start working out every single day, weigh myself constantly, basically obsess over my weight loss goal.

And then after about two weeks, I’d give up. On all of it.

And I’d hate myself for it.

A few weeks later I’d repeat the cycle. Over and over this cycle would continue.

Can you relate?

There’s nothing wrong with being excited and wanting to do it all. But realistically, you can’t do it all at once and see success. No one can.

It’s likely that you’ve spent years fine tuning these unhealthy habits around food and exercise. And that means that creating new and healthy habits is going to take longer than a few weeks.

Once I understood this, my life changed. Once I understood that my success was pretty much inevitable when I took small steps, I stopped being so hard on myself.

The fix:

What I want you to remember from this blog post is so simple but so life changing. If you take nothing else away from what you’ve read here today, remember this: Small steps equal big results.

If you’re looking for a quick fix, you may find it. But I will guarantee that it won’t be permanent. You will be right back where you started.

So, think about one small step you can take today that will get you closer to your weight loss goal. Just one small step in the right direction is all you need to focus on.

And when you’ve mastered that, take another small step. Eventually, all these small steps are going to add up and you’re going to crush your goal.

Weight Loss Mistake #5: You Aren’t Set Up for Success

People tend to overlook this step when it comes to weight loss, or any goal really. It’s one of the more underrated weight loss mistakes people make. If you don’t change your environment, achieving success will be really hard.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say you have a weight loss goal to lose 10 pounds in 2 months. That’s a totally doable, realistic goal.

In order to reach this goal, you want to eat out less and cook more meals at home (this is a great strategy, by the way).

If you don’t take the time to organize your fridge and pantry, stocking both with some healthy choices (already washed & prepped), then the chances of you sticking to your “cook more meals at home” strategy isn’t very likely. You’ll be going out to eat within 48 hours…I know this from experience.

a well organized kitchen can help set you up for weight loss success

The fix:

I’m not a huge meal prepper. Not because it doesn’t work for me, it absolutely does, and I’m always grateful when I’ve taken the time to do it. I just don’t always take the time to prep for the whole week.

But I always have a at least a few things done. Find what works for you and stick to it. Here are a few things I like to focus on (at the very least):

a big batch of steel cut oats for breakfast

fresh fruit washed and ready to be eaten

a soup or curry that will give me 3-4 meals (lunch or dinner)

protein bars

If there’s anything in your kitchen that you would consider to be your kryptonite (mine is any kind of fun popcorn or chex mix), get rid of it.

I highly recommend that you start enjoying your treats outside of the house. Because let’s face it, if that stuff is readily available you’re going to eat it. You aren’t strong enough to stay away. No one is.

So, do yourself a favor and create a kitchen that encourages you to stick to your goals. Create an environment that already feels like success.

Conclusion

Although this isn’t an exhaustive list of mistakes I see people make when it comes to weight loss, these are definitely some of the most common.

I know for me and my weight loss journey, once I “fixed” these mistakes I found success. And it was a whole lot easier to achieve.

The most important takeaway I want you to have is this: Small steps equal big results. I honestly can’t say it enough.

Take what you’ve learned in this post and create a plan for yourself that is built around small steps.

If you need help with this, please reach out. Ask questions.

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I’m Jessica! Just another health coach promising that I’m the one you need to find yourself to health… except, not really. I can’t promise anything but I will tell you one thing — you made it here for a reason and you owe it to yourself to determine whether or not a coaching experience is what you need to get back to a feel-good place for you. This site is your place to decide. I, of course, hope to hear from you and would LOVE to get the chance to potentially work with you!

Hey, you! It’s about time you found yourself here.

Once Diet-Obsessed Amateur Turned Empowering Health and Mindset Coach

Hi! I’m Jessica.

TRAVEL OBSESSED, ENNEAGRAM 6W7, NO-NONSENSE INTOLERANT, PLANT-BASED PREFERRED.

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