Exercise mistakes that prevent weight loss

Many of us embark on a weight loss/fitness regime with the hopes of losing 10kgs in one month. But the truth is that a healthy body is earned through living a healthy lifestyle. N2 Fitness trainers, Heinrich Smith and Emile Solomons,agree that when you decide to invest time and effort into your health, the last thing you want is too see no results for your effort. The fitness duo put together eight common mistakes people tend to make that could slow the weight loss process:

1)      Training too long – Trying to squeeze in that extra 10 minutes of cardio is never a bad thing, but trying to do a 1hour 45min gym session everyday (especially in the beginning) is not going to suit your lifestyle. Make sure the length of your workout will suit you in the long run.

2)      Not changing your diet accordingly – Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand. Make sure you eat balanced healthy meals (good proteins, carbs and fats) avoiding saturated fats, high glycaemic carbs and poor quality proteins.

3)      Falling for the marketing trap – Foods that are marketed as being “healthy” is not always necessarily good for you. Generally speaking, avoid processed / packaged foods as they usually contain high quantities of sodium, additives and preservatives. They impact your body’s pH level negatively, making it harder to shake off excess weight due to  water retention. Try to eat your food as fresh as possible.

4)      Going on super low calorie diets – I’m sure you know of someone who lost loads of weight following some or other diet and then packing all the weight back on (and a little extra) once they’ve stopped the diet. To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit (consuming less calories than you are expending), but starving your body to drastic extents will force your body to start breaking down muscle. This slows down your metabolism and hence you pick up even more weight once you’ve stopped the diet. Follow an eating plan that you will be able to follow for an extended period to make it a lifestyle.

5)      Wasting time at gym – Taking long breaks in between exercise sets is the one factor affecting your progress as your heart rate drops down in this time. This slows down your calorie expenditure.  Keep your breaks shorts, keep the heart rate up and maximise your time.  You can catch up with an old friend over a cup of tea, not while you are exercising.

6)      Not changing your workout routine – We are all guilty of doing the exercises that we like the most, whether it’s the same abs exercise, cardio machine or aerobics class. But changing the structure of your workout routine is vital in losing weight. Our body’s muscles become conditioned to doing the same action/exercise over and over and therefore fewer calories are burnt. Even though you are doing “legs,” mixing it up with other leg machines that you always see, but never do, will make a vast difference in helping you progress. Make sure you mix up your gym program every two to three weeks.

7)      Not training outside your “comfort zone” – Many of us tend to stay well within what we know and feel comfortable doing. The body needs to be challenged to promote improvement and change. If you don’t know what your “comfort zones” are, train with a personal trainer for a few sessions. He/she would most likely push you a bit harder than when you train on your own. Challenge yourself and do those extra few repetitions or push through in those extra minutes.

8)      Using too much weight – Generally speaking, when you are looking to lose weight, you should be using lighter weights and go for higher repetitions ( 3kgs dumbbells and 20 – 25 reps) instead of using heavy weights and doing less repetitions (8kg dumbbells and 8 – 10 reps).