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The most common mistakes made while losing weight

Every day, inside the office, I have contact with different types of people, who usually have a common desire: “lose weight.”

The slimming process is not simple but the equation is known:

Ingest less energy than it consumes, generating a calorie deficit, thus creating a favorable environment for fat burning and weight loss.

But the way this deficit is created and how each individual respond to it is something much more complex.

Therefore, the slimming process should be well planned and, as everything in life, should be consistent – that is what will dictate success or failure to achieve the goal.

In this article, I’m going to enumerate some of the major mistakes made by people during the weight loss process to help you realize what you may be doing wrong and what you should avoid doing.

5 most common mistakes committed during the weight loss process:

Exaggerated cut on the carbohydrates


In the history of nutrition, we always have a “villain of diets”.

In the past, fats were seen as harmful to health and weight loss, today, who carries this burden, are carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates, when consumed wildly, can enhance the accumulation of fat in our body, and this is something we want to avoid during weight loss.

However, cutting carbohydrates very suddenly and in large quantities may harm you as it can adversely affect your physical performance, body composition and health.

Symptoms such as weakness, mood swings, hormonal deregulation and a stagnation in weight are very common in cases where there is too large a cut of this macronutrient.

The truth is that when diet calories are the same, and the amount of protein is well calculated, low carb diets do not show more efficacy in weight loss, especially in the long run.

Especially when we speak in the practice of physical exercise (such as exercises of muscular endurance), carbohydrates play a fundamental role in our body so, reducing their consumption can be a good option for slimming, but eliminating them completely from the diet can be detrimental. According to the study “International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: nutrient timing”:

“Consuming carbohydrate solely or in combination with protein during resistance exercise increases muscle glycogen stores, ameliorates muscle damage, and facilitates greater acute and chronic training adaptations.”

It should be noted that carbohydrates are also responsible for facilitating the nutrient absorption process – so when their consumption is combined with protein consumption, they will promote their absorption (the protein appears here highlighted by the influence that it has on the construction and maintenance of lean mass).

As for carbohydrates, the trick is in making the best choices during this process: complex carbohydrates with lower glycemic indexes (there are exceptions, such as in post workout).

Skip meals and stop eating during the day

meal preparation

Often, people believe that, skipping meals and letting go of eating is synonymous of losing weight.

The truth is that for those who do not have this profile, this strategy can be detrimental, causing increased hunger, binge eating and caloric compensation in the next meal.

The most important in the process of weight loss are the quantities and the quality of food during the day, the number of meals is less relevant in the process, so it is important to respect your habits and the signs of your body.

Exaggerate in cardio exercise

running on the treadmill

It’s very common to see people who want to lose weight spend hours and hours on the treadmill.

Increasing cardio exercise can be a good strategy for increasing energy spending and positive adjustments for body fat burning.

The problem is that, along with fat loss, it is common to have lean mass loss, and excessive cardio exercise can speed up this process.

Keeping the lean mass is very important, both in the aesthetic sense, as it helps to prevent sagging and power the increase in muscle definition, as well for our good metabolic functioning.

Do not make workouts with weights

training with weights

This is a very common mistake in the weight loss process.

Avoiding weight training can be very damaging in terms of improving body composition.

As I said before, lean mass has a key role in the proper functioning of our metabolism (higher burning of fat), besides being important in the sense of aesthetics.

Exercise with weights, in addition to increasing energy spending, is the best form of preserving lean mass.

Like the fat, the muscle also weighs, mainly because it retains water, but we can say that this is the “good weight”.

Focus only on weight

weigh and measure

No doubt, in a weight loss process, focusing on weight alone can be the worst mistake you can make.

Losing fat is a concept that is very much associated with slimming.

It is very common in very strict diets, as in diets that cut carbohydrates, a sudden weight loss in the first week.

Most of this lost weight is represented by the loss of liquids, so it does not necessarily mean that the person has lost weight.

Back to normal routine may be enough to quickly recover the lost weight.

Also, another factor that can boost weight fluctuation is increased muscle mass.

In other words, if the weight loss process is combined with the practice of physical exercise, especially muscle resistance exercises, it is natural that the numbers on the scale do not fluctuate so quickly and that, on the other hand, there is a decrease in fat mass and increased muscle mass.

Therefore, in a slimming process, a thorough evaluation is important, taking into account the weight, lean mass and the circumferences (waist, abdominal, hip, arm and etc), only then can we know if the slimming process is occurring with quality.

In conclusion…

The weight loss process is complex, but it can become even more if you do not plan it well, if you do not avoid some situations like those mentioned before, and if you are unaware that the bodies can react all in different ways to similar stimuli.

Now that you know the main mistakes made in the process of weight loss, it’s time to change some habits, draw new goals and achieve success in achieving your goals.


The information included in this article concerns the authors opinion only.

About Fernando Gonçalves

Fernando Gonçalves
Fernando Gonçalves is a nutritionist specialised in sport nutrition. He always worked in the sport world as a nutritionist and muay thai instructor. He is currently the nutritional consultant for a Brazilian MMA team. His purpose is to promote healthy lifestyles, and to assist people and athletes to achieve their goals.

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