We asked PT Lucy, from Lucy loves Fitness the most common mistakes she sees people make when trying to lose weight and how you can avoid them.
- Only eating 1,200 calories
“Eating under 1,200 calories a day is not recommended, since it is very hard to get enough nutrients like calcium, protein, and magnesium on a calorie level less than 1,200.”(1) Initially you’ll lose weight, but you’ll lose lean muscle mass as well as fat. Instead eat 4-5 smaller meals, include more protein, and add some resistance training to your program so you don’t lose lean mass. Losing lean mass will lower your metabolism and make regaining weight more likely.
- Only doing Cardio
Cardio is great for weight loss and cardiovascular health, yet I said ‘weight loss’ not ‘fat loss’ for a reason. If you do too much it becomes counterproductive because not only will you burn fat, you will also burn through muscle. In a results driven program you should include Cardio AND Resistance Training, whilst eating a consistently clean diet. Resistance Training will build lean muscle, so your body becomes much more efficient at burning calories – even when resting. The more muscle we have the more calories we burn each day going about our every day lives.
- Short-term thinking
Starting a new program with only a short-term goal means you’re likely to achieve that short-term goal because you’ll be going all guns blazing towards the finish line, but what next? You’ll go back to your previous lifestyle with less exercise, the old food creeping back in, inconsistency and before you know it you have rebounded. Seeing & feeling your hard work disappear week by week is heart breaking, and you could even end up comfort eating or drinking to deal with the disappointment. Does that sound familiar? You need long-term vision, coaching to change your mindset, your daily habits and a program which will give you results but is also sustainable. Play the long game with changes to your lifestyle, not just to look good in that bikini for a 1 week holiday.
- Weighing in too regularly
We’ve all been conditioned to get on the scales to measure our happiness, I mean, progress. How often are you stepping on there? Every week, every day? I would say once a week is more than enough, I actually encourage my Client’s to only take their measurements every fortnight.
- Only using 1 form of measurement (weight)
Instead of only using weight to reinforce that your new weight loss regime is working, you should look at the bigger picture. Think about what you enjoyed in the past week about your new lifestyle, what were your ‘wins’, how did you feel, what new joy did you discover – that new green smoothie was delicious right?
Take girth measurements, progress pictures, note how those old jeans are fitting now and what about that compliment from your colleague who noticed you have lost weight? There are so many ways to track your progress, so please don’t stress about that number.
Lucy is a fully qualified Personal Trainer living in Sydney, fitness has always been a huge part of her life and she’s tried most sports – dancing, swimming, surfing, rock climbing, pole dancing and triathlons though as she entered her thirties she noticed how what she was doing before wasn’t getting the same results so she got into Bodybuilding. This taught her so much about discipline, mental strength, changing body composition through resistance training and nutrition.
Lucy has competed in 2 seasons of Natural Bikini Competitions in Australia, and has gone through a strict preparation process twice to get ready for stage. Her focus now is on helping women to learn how to change their lifestyle for the long term, through making better nutrition decisions and implementing results driven exercise into their weekly routine.