Nutritionist shares 5 weight-loss mistakes you may be making


The days are getting warmer, summer is already around the corner, and with it comes the pool and the beach. This is the time of the year when you may be wondering how best and fastest to lose the extra kilos gained during the winter.

So, before you follow another “trendy” diet or one presented in a beautiful and tempting marketing package, stop for a moment and remember that there are no magic solutions! 

Losing weight should be gradual, balanced, smart, and comfortable. It is important to remember that extreme diets, which are based on very few calories and often full of prohibitions and restrictions, may indeed bring quick results, but these results do not last long and may even harm your health. 

So, how do you lose weight? Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

It may sound a bit strange, but many people have trouble losing weight because they attach too much importance to the quality of their food. Of course, there is no intention here to encourage unhealthy eating, but in order to lose weight, we must be in a state of “caloric deficit,” that is, put less energy (calories) into the body compared to the amount of energy we spend during the day. 

Maybe you run too much? (credit: PR)

This creates a situation in which many people who are trying to lose weight completely avoid foods labeled as “forbidden,” such as chocolate, a slice of cake, or ice cream, even though eating something enjoyable like that would make the weight loss process more pleasant, and help with persistently over time. At the same time, it is always best to indulge in healthy food containing many calories in a small volume – tahini, avocado, olive oil, granola, and various nuts receive a more forgiving attitude. The main point is to avoid the difficulties in maintaining a caloric deficit over time.

Another common mistake is the idea that to lose weight, one must perform high-volume and high-intensity aerobic activity. First, the majority of the population finds it difficult to persist in this type of activity, so from the beginning, this choice will probably fail.

In addition, intense aerobic activity tends to increase post-workout hunger levels and the “feeling of compensation” (I deserve it because I did a hard workout). As a result, most people tend to eat more calories after the workout than burn during it. 

There is no debate that aerobic activity is important for health and improving cardiopulmonary endurance. Still, when trying to lose weight, it is better to choose an activity in which we can persist for a long time and which will have a reduced effect on our hunger levels. It is better to take up walking or running at a moderate pace in combination with a significant increase in movement and steps during the day: going up the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away, making phone calls while standing or walking, and you will get a significant cumulative effect on the daily calorie deficit.

In contrast to intense running training, the most recommended physical activity for weight loss is resistance training, with an emphasis on weight training. In a caloric deficit situation, as fat mass decreases, there is a risk of increased loss of muscle mass as well. Muscle mass is a very important factor from a functional point of view, and the importance of maintaining it increases with age.

Although weight training does not significantly contribute to daily caloric expenditure, it has a significant effect on preserving and even increasing muscle mass during weight loss. 

In addition to this training, maintaining a high-protein diet is recommended. Consuming 1.6 to 2 grams of protein daily for each kilogram of body weight will help maintain muscle mass and create a greater feeling of satiety throughout the day. It is preferable to eat mostly lean proteins: poultry, fish, low-fat dairy products, tofu, and eggs.

Additionally, ensure your sleeping hours: research increasingly shows the connection between getting enough sleep, weight control, and appetite levels during the day. Studies show that a lack of sleep leads to a decrease in satiety hormones and an increase in hunger hormones, which leads people to choose food denser in fat and calories. In addition, studies have shown that during a caloric deficit, lack of sleep hours may lead to a reduced decrease in fat mass and a more significant loss of muscle mass. Other interesting findings indicate that sometimes a boost of just one extra hour of sleep during the night is enough to reduce appetite and caloric intake significantly the next day.

For some reason, carbohydrates have become the great enemy of most people trying to lose weight, usually unjustly. Carbohydrates are essential for our bodies to produce energy, and quality carbohydrates from whole grains contribute to a prolonged feeling of satiety and contain dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, and vitamins. A wise combination of carbohydrates can help create meals with a large volume of food and few calories. 

For example: Just 100 grams of boiled bulgur wheat, potato, or buckwheat will contain only about 80 calories per serving. Wholemeal bread sandwiches can be an excellent and satisfying substitute for a meal without the effort of preparation and cooking. In addition, complete avoidance or a very large reduction in carbohydrate intake is very restrictive and is usually unsustainable for most of the population.

In conclusion, there are no magic solutions. A weight loss program will probably require you to persevere, make an effort, get out of your comfort zone, make some concessions, and change your habits. However, it is important to remember that the program should be tailored personally to you, your goals, your schedule, and your food preferences. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult with a professional.

The writer is a sports nutritionist at Medix Sports Medicine Center

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