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Weight loss
Marisa HeinzeMay 5, 2022

7 mistakes when losing weight: how to lose weight well

If you want to lose weight properly, you need a lot of discipline and stamina to achieve your goal. It all depends on the right mindset, because losing weight starts with the mind. All too often, mistakes creep in during the weight loss process that need to be avoided.
For losing weight permanently, you need to be patient, because losing weight too quickly is unhealthy and tends to harm the body. What is important and how can you proceed in order to be successful in the long run?

A word about crash diets

Crash diets promise high weight loss in a short time. Most of the time, this is a one-sided malnutrition that either focuses on one particular food, or the rules are so strict that none of it can be implemented in everyday life.
One-sided miracle diets have never led to success but provoke the so-called yo-yo effect. In no time at all, all the weight is back on, and the final weight is then usually higher than at the beginning of the diet: a clear mistake when losing weight.
That is why crash diets are not the right way to stay slim in the long term. To do so, you need to really rethink, because you can only lose weight properly if you question and change your previous lifestyle habits.

Why a healthy weight is important

Losing weight in a healthy way is worthwhile because obesity leads to secondary diseases. The risk of joint diseases, diabetes mellitus, heart attacks and strokes increase enormously. Therefore, it makes sense to eat a healthy diet that provides the body with all the nutrients it needs. With the right lifestyle, you increase your well-being, avoid mistakes when losing weight and become more agile.

What are typical weight loss mistakes?

What are the typical weight loss mistakes and how can you avoid them? Is it enough to simply eat less and do a little exercise? It's not quite as simple as that, because it also depends on the right diet if you want to lose weight healthily and long-term.

1) Eating too little

The calorie deficit is important at the beginning of the weight loss journey. If you eat fewer calories than you use, you will lose weight. However, eating less than a certain amount of calories can be counterproductive.
Suspecting starvation, your body switches to economy mode and burns fewer calories. Eating too little is therefore the first mistake in losing weight, because only with an active metabolism can you burn enough calories.
In addition, the body loses more muscle mass than necessary if in a great caloric deficit because muscle is broken down before fat. Muscle, however, burns most of the calories you consume.
So, keep your muscle mass and metabolism up by covering your basal metabolic rate of calories. The weight loss mistake of malnutrition can otherwise make you feel weak and tired.

2) Compensating for nutritional deficiencies with sport

Sport is important for healthy weight loss because it boosts the metabolism. However, it cannot compensate for dietary errors. If you continue to eat the way you have been, sport can do little to counteract that.
After a strenuous workout, I treat myself to something, after all, I have sweated a lot. However, the pizza after a workout ruins everything, because the calorie consumption during exercise is often underestimated.
Nevertheless, exercise should be an important component in your life and weight loss journey because it strengthens and maintains your muscle mass. Muscle will burn fat even when you're resting. That's why it's not enough to do only cardio training. The best way to get fit is to combine strength and endurance training.
Only with an adequate diet and the right amount of exercise can you lose weight in the long term, maintain your weight, and keep your muscle mass.

3) Too little exercise in everyday life

Aside from exercising, it is crucial to incorporate more movement into your daily routine, because if you have a sedentary office job, you hardly burn any calories. Going to the gym three times a week cannot fully compensate for a sedentary lifestyle.
You should move more overall. Park your car a little further away, use the stairs instead of the lift or cycle to work in the summer. These are sensible activities to increase your basal metabolic rate.
On non-workout days, you can also incorporate a walk. This helps to relieve stress, promotes good health and, incidentally, you can accumulate a few steps. Nowadays, most smartphones track your steps. Challenge yourself and try to get in 8,000-10,000 steps a day.

4) Not sleeping enough

Insufficient sleep is another weight loss mistake. Sleep is important for losing weight properly because it gives your body enough time to regenerate and release the necessary hormones. When you lack sleep, your body produces the stress hormone cortisol, which causes muscles to be used as a quick source of energy. This then leads to muscle loss.
These tips will lead to a better night's sleep:
  • A glass of red wine stimulates sleep, but it should not be more than that because too much alcohol causes restless sleep and hinders fat burning.
  • Sweets in the evening cause insulin levels to skyrocket, so it is better to avoid them.
  • It is best to eat your last meal three to four hours before going to bed so that it does not weigh you down.
  • Always make sure your bedroom is dark, as this stimulates the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

5) Give up fast food

Hamburgers, French fries, and pizza contain a lot of saturated fatty acids, a high proportion of salt and make you fat. Weight gain is pre-programmed. In addition, fast food is very high in calories and low in vitamins and minerals – it hardly contributes to a healthy diet. Avoid this mistake when losing weight and eat fresh foods that provide your body with sufficient nutrients and contribute to your health.

6) Avoid light products and eat fruit only in solid form

Cola, lemonade, and fruit juices contain a lot of sugar. That's why many of us resort to the light versions of these drinks. Those, however, contain sweeteners that make the body think it is getting sugar. When it doesn't get any, the result is a grieving for sweets.
Fruit juices with 100 % fruit content contain a lot of calories and fructose, so it is best to eat fruit only in solid form, as this keeps most of the vitamins and fibre in optimal composition.
If you don't want to give it up completely, you can mix it with water. It's better to have an apple spritzer than apple juice. A spritzer quenches your thirst better than pure juice and does not contain as many calories. In return, you naturally supply your body with the minerals it needs after exercise.

7) Too much alcohol as a weight loss mistake

Alcohol and fitness do not go together. If you drink a lot of alcohol, you risk your fitness, because alcohol delays regeneration after a workout. It is preferrable to avoid alcohol, to not have our athletic performance suffer.
Like the drinks listed above, alcohol also contains many empty calories that are directly converted into sugar and stored as fat when not used. This also includes beer after the workout because it promotes the formation of dangerous belly fat.
Try non-alcoholic beer instead: that way you don't have to give up your beer completely. In addition, there are now many isotonic, alcohol-free beers that actually promote the regeneration of the electrolyte balance after a workout.

Additional tips!

Now that we know the most common weight loss mistakes, we'd like to give you some helpful tips that can support you on your journey to a healthy weight. So what else can you do to lose weight properly and for the long term?
  • Set clear goals
Losing weight and getting fit does not happen overnight, so goals should be set accordingly. Small milestones are better than a big, vague goal. Unrealistic goals that are not achievable are of no use to us and can even be demotivating. A goal must be achievable and easy to measure. Try to formulate a goal that is realistic for you and set a timetable for the individual stages.
  • Eat more protein and fibre
Should I eat only raw foods to lose weight? No, because your body needs a lot of nutrients to function properly. We also want to avoid the dreaded food cravings as much as possible. This only works with a balanced diet. That's why protein and fibre absolutely belong in your diet. Protein is essential for building muscle, while fibre aids digestion and fills you up. This means that blood sugar only rises slowly. The body needs a lot of energy to break down proteins into their components. That's why it makes sense to eat a diet rich in protein.
  • Drink more water
Healthy weight loss goes hand in hand with healthy fluid consumption. After all, 70% of our body is made up of water. Although it is not a miracle cure for higher calorie consumption, it does have positive effects on the body's fluid balance. It is good for digestion, the heart and brain health. If you're going to exercise more and work up a sweat, the extra portion of fluid is even more necessary.
Often, we also confuse thirst with hunger. You should be drinking water even before you feel thirsty. Once we feel thirsty, the body is usually dehydrated already. Try drinking a glass of water before every meal, too. A glass of warm water in the morning can rehydrate your body after a good night's sleep, prepare your stomach for digestion and help reduce cravings.
Again, don't overdo it, as drinking too much water will decrease the concentration of important electrolytes in your body. A good guideline is two to three litres of water a day.

Conclusion: mistakes when losing weight

Often it is only small mistakes that prevent us from losing weight. In any case, it is important to eat a healthy, balanced diet that covers your basal metabolic rate. In addition, you should do strength and endurance training 2-3 times a week, move as much as possible in everyday life and drink enough water. Try to avoid the typical mistakes such as crash diets, light products, fast food and alcohol, then you will be successful in your weight loss journey.