Naija Fitfam - Weight Loss
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3 Common Weight Loss Mistakes to Avoid

Overall, find an exercise routine that excites and inspires you, spice it up with various twists. Keep your body guessing!

Three months into the lock-down, I’m sure we are all worried about our weight gain. I know I am! Having gained more than 5kg during this lock-down, weight loss is very essential for me right now. As I embark on my weight loss journey, I’ll like to share 3 mistakes we should all avoid during the weight loss journey.

  1. Working out once, then watching TV all day!

    I love to workout in the morning, so whether I decide to go to the gym, have a cardio session in my room or go for a jog, I’ll be done in 30 to 45 minutes. Does this mean I can lie in bed or watch TV for the next six hours?That session in the morning was good for burning calories but watching TV or lying in bed for the next six hours or more is certainly not good for weight loss.

    Most people make this mistake when trying to lose weight. According to Eric Bowling, a certified personal trainer in Los Angeles, “when trying to lose weight, your hour in the gym will only contribute so much to your daily energy expenditure; it’s what you do in the other 23 hours of your day that has a much bigger impact on your overall energy expenditure”.

    Monitoring your daily steps is a great way to make sure you don’t make the mistake. Walk around the house, stand up to get a glass of water in between movies. Try to involve in energy-sapping or movement-ensuring tasks during the day. Aim for at least 10,000 steps a day for weight loss.

  2. Too long duration and frequency of exercise

    When most of us start our weight loss journey, we think, “more would be better” or spending 3 hours in the gym everyday would make the fat burn faster. This is, however, very wrong as studies have shown that working out for long periods of time increase your cortisol levels leading to an increase in hunger. Feeling tired and low-energy makes most people (like me) crave sweets. And because you are working out for a long period of time, you feel you are at liberty to eat whatever you want. This leads to no change in weight or possibly a weight gain.

    Another side effect of this is that working out too long can actually cause your body to become catabolic (breaking down muscle tissue). When that happens, you stunt the recovery of your muscles and in turn become weaker from workout to workout. When trying to lose weight, It is important to find a balance and allow enough time for your body to recover. A good advise is to exercise for an hour or an hour and half 3 or 4 times a week.

    Naija Fitfam - Weight Loss

  3. Only doing one type of exercise

    This is a very common mistake. Most people, when trying to lose weight, stick to cardio or just a form of exercise. Focusing on cardio all the time won’t build the muscle mass needed to burn calories. You might also get tired easily by only doing cardio, and start to hate your workouts.

    According to California-based NASM-certified trainer Adam Padgett, “The more you can lift weights, the better, especially for weight loss,” He said that lifting weights builds healthy muscle mass on your frame, “which increases metabolic rate and develops a more ‘full’ looking physique. “He added that weight training actually makes losing weight easier to accomplish. Only doing one type of cardio is a common mistake, too. Our bodies acclimate to exercises and become more proficient when we do the same things. If we are only running for cardio, our body will use less energy if we always keep the same pace. If you like running, mix it up by changing intervals and the pace to start seeing changes in your body. Then you will plateau again, and will need to change it up again.

    While lifting weights boosts your metabolism, builds calorie-burning muscle, and can transform your body composition, a side of higher-intensity interval training is highly recommended. Incorporating short high-intensity cardio, weights, jogs and runs to your workout will go a long way in getting rid of those extra weights.

    Finally, it is important to find physical activities that you actually enjoy and look forward to. If you force yourself to do exercises you don’t enjoy, you will likely get bored and uninspired to workout consistently. Being healthy means being happy too! If you are unhappy with your workout, it can lead to more stress, and stress is not going to help you lose weight.

    Overall, find an exercise routine that excites and inspires you, spice it up with various twists. Keep your body guessing! Variety is the spice of life. Also, ensure you allow your body enough time to recover before you have another go at it. However, make conscious effort to move around during the no-workout period of the day. I hope you enjoy the weight loss journey.

Let’s connect on Instagram @naijafitfam.