10 Workout Mistakes That Jeopardise Your Weight Loss Plan
by Daily Vanity
In the battle against the bulge, everyone wants to drop fat fast and everyone knows that working out really helps to accelerate weight loss. However, I constantly hear complaints from both men and women about how weight loss “just isn’t happening” for them or that they find that they’re getting diminishing returns from their workouts.
Many years ago, when I was on the path to losing weight off my 107kg body, I also faced many of the problems that I hear coming from people I speak with today.
While exercise and diet were both responsible for getting me down to my current 68kg bodyweight, I learnt the hard way that it was the little things that really allowed me to keep up a consistent level of physical activity.
On top of a complete change in my nutritional intake, adjusting my lifestyle and fitness mindset towards the correction of the following 10 workout mistakes really helped me to start shedding weight safely and effectively.
1. Allowing distractions to derail workouts
If you’re the type of person that lives and breathes Social Media, know that your phone will be a KEY impediment towards maximising your workout. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve seen people bring their phones into the gym, crank out one set then get up to stare at their phones for the next five minutes.
Other harmful distractions include: chatting with friends during runs, checking out girls in the gym and trying to make work calls while on a run.
If you’re serious about weight loss, leave the phone in the locker and arrange for dinner with your friend. Take that 30 minutes out of your day and make it a point to remember that this time is for yourself. Cut out all distractions and focus on putting in maximum effort within that 30 to 45 minute workout.
2. Forgetting that Quantity is not Quality
What burns more calories during activity:
2 minutes of Intense Sprints daily or 30 minutes of jogging?
Researchers from Colorado State University found that short, intense sprint workouts burned 200 calories during 2.5 minutes of workout. What’s more, the International journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism published a study showing that a sustained, two-minute high intensity workout would boost metabolism over the next day.
Why is this information useful? Well, not all of us have the free time to go for an hour long workout. However, this doesn’t mean that exercise cannot happen when we’re busy. As long as you have two minutes, you can work out. Seriously, who doesn’t have two minutes in their day to workout?
3. Not watching your form
As much as workouts are about intensity and time, exercise is also about form. When I say form, I mean the shape and posture taken by the body and its different muscle groups during a particular exercise. For each and every exercise, there is a particular form to be taken by the body and it is vital that we remember to take that form during exercise.
Why? Well, two things can happen if you don’t look out for your form:
Firstly, you risk injury. An example would be when you perform squats. If you rush through multiple squats without keeping to proper posture, you could end up hurting your back. This injury will delay future workouts and derail your weight loss plan!
Secondly, you may be energy inefficient. A good example of poor form sapping precious energy away would be keeping poor running posture during uphill sprints. Conventional running may require that we keep our backs straight and arms pumping by our sides as we run. However, uphill sprints requires the person to bend forward slightly while sprinting up an incline in order to use gravity in an advantageous manner.
Keeping an upright posture during uphill sprints would actually cause gravity to work against the runner during an uphill sprint, causing him or her to perform less sprints for the same amount of energy expended.
4. Skipping meals
If you’re trying to lose weight, the last thing you should try doing is exercising and skipping meals at the same time.
The important thing to remember is that the body is a machine that depends on food to function. Every muscle group requires energy in order to function properly and you can only get it through proper nutrition.
If you push through a workout after skipping a meal, you’ll definitely see a decrease in performance during the workout. That means less energy expended than you would have if you were fully fuelled. However, that’s not the worst part. The most detrimental thing about skipping meals regularly is that your body’s metabolism will lower, so you’ll actually burn less calories over a 24-hour period than you would if you actually ate regularly.
5. Focusing on Cardio
I’m very guilty of this one, mainly because I do love the feeling of running.
I see plenty of people, especially ladies, walk into the gym and hit the treadmill for 30 minutes before leaving. I admit that cardio is a good way to get metabolism up and get those endorphins flowing, however, it really shouldn’t be the only thing anyone should be doing.
Many girls I speak to balk at the idea of even lifting light weights, worried that they would somehow “bulk up” and get too muscled. Truth is, if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you would have to develop fat-shredding lean muscle, which is the key to sustained fat loss and preventing future weight gain.
If you don’t go to the gym, fret not! Body weight exercises are just as effective in engaging muscles for growth. In fact, I would recommend that you do a mix of cardio followed by bodyweight exercises to maximise your workout. I love bodyweight exercises because they can be done anywhere.
You cannot get enough of those tips? We know! Find them at Daily Vanity and get a kickstart to a fitter you. Share your weight loss experience with us in the comments section below!