Losing weight or getting in shape is a life goal of many, but few people actually succeed at it. Many people lose the extra pounds initially, but they are unable to maintain steadiness in the long term. A common fitness advice is to “buckle up” or “just work harder” or “have more willpower”. However, there can be many other reasons you are lagging behind in your fitness goals, such as misconceptions and misinformation about diet and exercise. Here are four common mistakes beginners often make in their journey to become fit:
1. Always choosing the low fat option – How often do you go for the low fat yoghurt or the low fat or low fat milk in the supermarket? Low fat products may seem like a smart and healthy choice, but science says otherwise. A 2013 research found that it was in fact carbohydrates that were “associated with higher risk of total mortality, whereas total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality”.
Low fat products are mostly made by replacing the fat content with refined sugars and carbohydrates, which are worse for you. In fact, fat consumption keeps you full for longer, thereby reducing your appetite and ensuring you do not overeat.
2. Not using the right technique in the gym – Many beginners go to the gym and start doing heavy weightlifting without learning the proper technique. Tareq Ahmed, a personal trainer at Gladiator Gym in Al Karama, said, “A big mistake made by new guys who come to the gym is that they want to achieve too much in too little time. They ignore proper technique because they want to get a six-pack as soon as possible”. Tareq adds that he instead advises his clients to “take it slow, because they won’t see any progress by using the wrong techniques, and are also highly likely to injure themselves.”
3. Underestimating how much you eat – You will be surprised how often we are wrong about how much we eat. Did you know that a 6-inch bun from Subway is more than 200 calories? To put this value into perspective, it takes a 155-pound person 30 minutes of walking to burn 200 calories. Many people who have successfully lost weight attribute their success to realizing how much they were actually eating every day.
4. Overthinking it – The Nike slogan, “just do it”, holds a much deeper truth than first meets the eye. According to Ahmed, he always gets “clients who do the extreme opposite; they want to learn the perfect technique of doing various exercises.” The result, Ahmed adds, is “that they end up spending all their time watching YouTube videos and reading books about the exercises instead of actually doing them in real life.”
Learning a lot of theory without physically practicing the routines is a form of avoidance because it gives you a false sense of accomplishment. You feel as though you are preparing yourself for the gym, but the truth is none of it is useful unless you actually go and work out.
Infographic by Pushkar Sinha – Graphic credits: freepik.com, pixabay.com