These are the most common and easy to do mistakes I have seen. They are not in priority order, they all are equally capable of destroying your lean-dream. So, straight to the point…
1.Having No Plan
This is the first and most common mistake I can say. You had your full of carbs dinner with friends on Saturday night or maybe you’ve just booked your holiday or you’ve been looking at fit bodies in Instagram for too long …whatever happened you tell yourself: ‘ OMG! I’m sooo starting a diet this Monday’. And that’s it, nothing further. And even though most likely you actually will start your diet on Monday I can tell you 98% now it will fail sooner or later, most likely by Wednesday.
It is absolutely essential to plan any project before starting it, so why would you think your body transformation is any different? Having no plan you end up in chaotic attempts to cut on some kind of food may be, and some gym sessions (but only if you feel like it) and yeah, you might lose few kg at the very beginning but that is IT and they will come back in not time.
So if you decided to change your body, become healthier and look better – take one of those notepads you never knew what to use for, and think of these few:
Goal – what is it? You must have a picture in your head of what you want to achieve. Maybe find something similar (picture) online and save it as motivation (just do not forget all bodies are different). But the goal must be clear! You may also want to divide it into 2 or 3 mini-goals if it’s some major change you are planning.
Time Limit – This must be realistic and be ready to be flexible but you must have a deadline which will motivate you but not discourage you ( fitness bikini competitor body from 150kg in a month – may not be the best idea)
Food Plan – This is a must have. Have you heard ‘Fail to prepare = prepare to fail’ about meal preps? Very true and good point on anything. To avoid mistakes at this stage- just make a list of foods you can eat, what kind of meals you can cook with it? Surf on Pinterest, inspire yourself! You should decide what kind of diet you want to go for – do you want to start with incorporating few new rules (drinking water, timing meals) the first week and cutting on sugar and then going more hardcore (no carb, high prot)? or maybe you want to take it seriously straight away and plan your meals for the whole week now? Thank about it.
Cheat meal plan – you do need a cheat meal plan, you do. Otherwise, you end up ‘being flexible’ during some dinner with friends and allowing yourself to eat whatever or ‘something small’ and then you will not even notice it – you are back to where you started. I prefer my cheat meal every second Sunday or every Sunday – but one meal in the first part of the day. I am not stuffing my face in pizza with ice cream topped with fries. Instead – think what do you really want and enjoy and have a good serving of it.
Treat plan – treat doesn’t mean sweets, treat means some non-food prize you give yourself when achieving your mini-goal. For example, you want to lose 20cm from your waist:
10 cm – concert you really want to go to
15 cm – facial/ massage
20 cm -well.. shopping for your new body 😉
Obviously, this is just an example.
2.Eating Not Enough
‘I only had one sandwich today’ – is bad! Yes, you will lose some weight of course just because you have less food in the stomach but that is not healthy and not good for any diet. Your body needs nutrition. 3 small meals and 2 healthy snacks – is a MUST!
In connection with the point above – time your meals! Too often I hear something like: ‘Well, I can have this small pasta/pizza/potato, I haven’t eaten anything all day anyways’ ogghhh..well, actually NO you cannot, in fact, it is most likely to make you put fat ON even MORE than if you ver actually eating normally.
If you want to see body changing you must eat regularly, you must boost your metabolism and you must keep an eye on your watch.
Plan your meals according to your day schedule with this quite simple rules: there must not be more than 3 hours and not less than 2 hours between meals. So my usual times for instance, if I eat 5 times a day (including 2 ‘snacks’) looks like:
7-00 – Breakfast
10-00 – Snack
13-00 – Lunch
15-30 or 16-00 – Snack
19-00 – Dinner
I also enjoy a cup of Detox tea before sleep. Of course, times can be different depending on meetings and workouts but the point is – this is not hard and it is essential!
If you are not used to eating regularly – you may feel not hungry at the beginning, and that is when you should push yourself! Eat a bit but eat! Your body will adjust quickly and you will notice how much better you feel.
4.Eating ‘Diet’ foods
This one deserves it’s all article or even a book, wish someone written about why Diet Coke is a killer of health and diet, as well as some fake ‘sugar-free’ sweets etc. …oh wait…
Obviously, there are 100 articles about this, thus it really makes me sad when people still nowadays drink diet soda and ‘trying to lose weight’. Not digging any further here.
Guys love counting calories consumed in McDonalds, and I had a girl telling me how she is on a ‘800 kcal diet’ – she had chocolate and alcohol, that’s it. As much as that meal plan sounds attractive to me, it is not exactly how it works. What you should care about are Carbs and Fats, remember, Carbs you don’t want in your diet – sugars! (Except when it is a real piece of fruit) and no bad Fat (good fat is avocado and fish when on a diet, you should not eat too many nuts even though they are good fats). Simple. If you eat chicken/fish and lots of green veggies and other nutritious healthy foods – you do not have to count calories at all. I recommend excluding or at least cutting on carbs like rice (even brown), lentils etc. Even though this is healthy food, if you want good results – no carbs.
6.Eating Untasty Food
I remember starting my first ‘low carb low fat high protein’ shredding diet. I would buy a whole chicken, bake it, and eat it like that…Dry, untasty. I had great results, yes, but I was miserable, struggling and I turned vegetarian after that. When I do the same diet now I am amused how easy it actually goes and how much I enjoy it. As said above – inspire yourself, put a bit of effort, check Pinterest, check Instagram – food took over social media nowadays, all those colourful pictures, easy recipes – you have no right to eat untasty.
My ‘favourite’ is when people make excuses even before starting anything. You make someone a diet plan and you hear ‘Oh no! I cannot live without sugar’ , ‘No, I need my bread’ or ‘Well you know I am not 20 year old any more’ – I mean it’s fine… just do not expect results, because yeah, you may get to your final goal even with some sugar or slice of bread and (shocking!) even after 30 (lol), that would only require careful planning, but you will never get anywhere with that attitude. I personally have zero tolerance for excuses and cut it very short and do not even start working with people like that.
If you are already on a diet and you are doing well 95% of the time but you reaaallyllyyy wanted something, do not make excuses! Accept that you made a DECISION to eat that cake/skip gym etc. and adjust accordingly your next day. Be true to yourself. The problem of ‘excuses’ is not an excuse itself, it is the PERSON and his or her attitude, do not be that person. If you woke up this morning – there is no excuse, there can be circumstances and you must work around them.
Most important, nothing will work without it. Drink water all the time, I checked it on myself so much, drink more..more..more.
Keep an eye on how your body reacts to certain foods and workouts and be flexible. Maybe something works better for you even though it doesn’t work on others. Or maybe you’ve noticed cellulite getting worse etc. Just check yourself out. And better – make a ‘Before’ picture and compare every few weeks.
10.Expecting Quick Results
Yes, life is unfair and if you are as ‘lucky’ as I am it probably takes you ten times more time to lose fat than to get it back but remember – Tiny impatience destroys a great plan. Keep calm and keep going. The result will break through and it will be great, keep excited about it and never stop!