Still, while certain aspects of the journey may be different, there are a few core principles that must be adhered to if you want to achieve weight loss, namely utilizing a calorie deficit, training hard, and getting enough sleep.
As simple as that may sound on paper, many individuals still have difficulty following their plan due to a number of mental hurdles.
Here are 5 weight loss traps to avoid as you embark on your weight loss journey.
5 Weight Loss Traps to Avoid for Diet Success
#1 Not Having a Clear Plan of Attack
The old saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail,” and it holds true in countless aspects of life, including weight loss.
Simply saying, “I want to lose weight” isn’t good enough.
You need to be more specific, direct, and methodical with your approach to weight loss.
For instance, write down exactly how much weight you want to lose and when you would like to attain your goal.
Once you have these two endpoints, you can then start backward designing your diet and exercise plan to help you achieve those goals.
Building your fat loss diet first begins with understanding how many calories you need to maintain your current body weight, and then subtracting 10-15% of those calories, which gives you the calorie deficit you need to foster fat loss.
With that daily calorie limit set, you next need to figure out your macros, and from there it’s a matter of designing a meal plan using the foods you enjoy eating that also allow you to hit your macro and calorie targets for the day.
If you’re someone who tends to skip the gym, start scheduling your workouts on your weekly/daily calendar so you know exactly what workout you’re doing and when you’re doing it. Pack your gym clothes and pre workout in your gym bag the night before so you don’t have to think when you wake up in the morning
Taking this targeted, methodical approach to fat loss will help stack the deck in your favor from the get-go, helping you build momentum and sustain it throughout your transformation challenge.
#2 Expecting Failure
This mental obstacle is something we’ve all encountered a time or two before in life, be in regarding weight loss, athletic performance, financial matters, etc.
Expecting failure is born out of a feeling of insecurity and/or unworthiness.
It also doesn’t help that the research pertaining to individuals who lose weight and then are able to keep it off for longer than 6-12 months isn’t too favorable, meaning that many people can lose weight, but they don’t keep it off for very long after they stop their diet.
But, here’s the thing -- you are not those people.
You can make the choice and take the actions necessary to prevent fat regain after your diet or transformation challenge.
Don’t fear failure.
Entering a transformation challenge isn’t about success or failure. It’s about taking steps to improve your lifestyle habits to create long-lasting change that improves your mental and physical health and well-being.
A wonderful by-product of that is weight loss, but you’ll also gain confidence and strength as well as improve your metabolic health.
#3 Having a Negative Outlook
Building off of the previous point, in addition to many people fearing failure when they start a diet, they also tend to focus on the negative aspects of dieting, which makes everything feel more taxing.
Eating “healthy” is boring and restrictive. Exercising is a “punishment.” Etc. Etc.
Adopting this negative attitude towards everything will make every facet of your weight loss journey seem that more demanding and unsavory. The end result is that you’ll end up abandoning your diet and exercise plan, go back to your old habits, and find yourself in the exact same place months or years from now -- hopping on and off the dieting bandwagon.
Try to embrace the positive aspects of what you’re doing during your transformation challenge.
Each meal is an opportunity to nourish your mind and body with delicious food. Each workout is a chance to gain strength, improve your athleticism, and burn fat. This subtle shift can make a tremendous impact on how you handle the coming weeks as well as your results!
#4 Not Being Patient
We live in an instant gratification society.
When we want things, we don’t want them now. We already expect to have acquired them.
Think about it. When’s the last time you actually waited for something?
Groceries are delivered to your doorstep. New movies are available for immediate streaming. Etc.
Unfortunately, weight loss isn’t an instant gratification process.
It took weeks and months of overeating and little-to-no exercise to get out of shape. And, guess what? It’s going to take several weeks (perhaps a couple months) to get back into shape too.
But, that’s OK.
This gives you time to learn your body -- which foods keep you feeling full and energized, which workouts get you motivated to train your hardest, which flavor of protein powder do you like best, and so on.
Plus, there’s other ways to track progress during your weight loss journey aside from the number on the scale. You can take progress photos, tape measurements, and see how your clothes are fitting. Tracking these changes (in addition to body weight) gives you multiple fronts by which you can gauge progress.
Just remember, to trust the process and be patient.
#5 Going Too Hard, Too Fast
If you’re like most people, whenever you start a new endeavor in life you jump into full steam ahead.
And, on the surface, this makes sense. You’re excited, motivation is high, and you’re ready to get to work.
However, this can also lead you to bite off more than you can chew, leading to feelings of being overwhelmed, which can ruin motivation.
Case in point, when dieting, many individuals choose to drastically slash calories, remove entire macronutrients (i.e. carbs) from their diet, and adopt an excessive exercise regimen that simply can’t be sustained.
Then, when they accidentally do something not on plan, they have a freak out moment, throw their hands up, and give up completely.
Hint: don’t do this.
Weight loss requires patience (as we said before). It’s about building healthy, sustainable habits that you can keep doing for years and years to come.
Do you really think you can go for the next 6 months or year without having carbohydrates? Do you really think you can keep up training twice a day, seven days a week for the next 6 months (or even 1 month)?!
Sustainable, lasting weight loss is about making subtle changes over the course of weeks. These small, subtle changes will build on themselves (as will your motivation and success) so that when you look back over the course of time, you’ll see some rather dramatic results!
And, remember, you’re not in this alone.
We all have times when motivation and drive is lacking. That’s OK!
Reach out to friends, family, and/or loved ones as well as the other participants in our transformation challenge. Every participant in our challenges gets FREE access to our private Facebook group for updates, motivation and support from team 1UP and other participants.