I am neither an expert, nor a doctor, nor a physical trainer. I’m just a normal person trying to lose weight – and I want to share my fitness journey with you. I compiled the problems I encountered, the mistakes I made and learned from. I hope what I’ve discovered can reveal to you the things that can hinder your progress the most.
1. Don’t start small.
So you wake up one morning and finally decide that you’re going to start working out. You head to the gym with the idea that you’re going to run 30 minutes non-stop on the treadmill…a very unrealistic goal for someone who hasn’t exercised in years! You start running and in just 2 minutes you’re collapsing on the ground and getting discouraged, and coming home feeling sore and tired.
Many people forget to start small – they jump straight into weightlifting and high intensity training, unaware of the damage and strain it causes on their muscles and mind. You do a high intensity workout on the first day. On the second day you feel fine, but on the third day your muscles become weak and sore, and you feel like you can’t even lift yourself.
This is a condition known as DOM (delayed onset muscle soreness) and it happens often, especially in people who have just started working out. This often leads to discouragement when you use the pain in your muscles as an excuse to take a break and from there you forget about the whole fitness journey.
2. Lack of motivation or a clear goal.
Why do you work? To be healthier, stronger and have more stamina? Do you want to have abs or have that bikini body that everyone is talking about? Either way, you need to have a reason to train. Your goal should be clearly stated in your brain.
Every morning when you want to work out, imagine yourself in that gorgeous bathing suit you bought for the summer or those jeans you outgrew on vacation or even just your favorite dress you want to get back into.
3. Not wearing proper exercise equipment.
I can’t stress this part too much. Wearing good, comfortable workout gear not only makes your workout easier, but also keeps you motivated. You won’t have to adjust your bra while running on the treadmill because they slip or hurt you only after 100 jump ropes because your shoes are too tight. Always wear good workout gear.
4. Do the same routine for a long time.
So you finally succeeded. Two weeks into training and you’re starting with consistency, you feel good about yourself not just because you’ve started to see results, but because you feel better about yourself.
Then suddenly another week of training and you lose motivation. It’s so boring now, the workout is now way too easy and you just don’t feel that burn in your body that tells you that those extra fats are really coming off. You stop seeing results and it’s almost like the world has turned against you.
Well, the truth is, you need to change up your routine, spice things up a bit, do a few extra reps, and add some tougher workouts. Technically, when you do something for a long time, your body gets used to it, your muscles adapt to the movement, and your brain registers it as a normal thing so it becomes so easy that you can now do it without thinking. You no longer see results because your muscles are now stronger and you need something with a higher level of difficulty.
If you’ve been skipping 500 every day, it’s time to up that to 600 or 750, if you’ve been doing 100 sit-ups a day, it’s time to do 150, either way, it’s time to increase the intensity a little.
5. Not doing enough reps.
This is related to the previous issue in a way. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It’s when you do a specific number of reps in a period, then pause and repeat again.
Most people prefer HIIT training over cardio because it’s easier and builds muscle faster. Knowing the concept of HIIT will not only help you burn as many calories as you want, but also enjoy the workout and not feel too sore afterwards.
6. Doing the wrong workouts.
Most people probably don’t know this, but even if you’ve been training for years, if you do the wrong workouts, you’re going to be frustrated because you’re probably not going to see results. There are three basic body somatotypes: endomorph, mesomorph, and ectomorph and each of these body types requires different workouts to achieve optimal results.
For example, endomorphs, who are people with naturally large bodies, require interval training that consists of more reps and shorter rest times, while ectomorphs are the exact opposite. There are many blogs that can help you find out your body type by simply answering a series of questions. Knowing your body type will help you know the right workouts to do for better results.
7. Not resting.
Once a week, about three times a month, it’s important to take a day off to allow your muscles to recover from all the exercise.
Not resting can lead to health issues such as fatigue, muscle pulling, numbness, fracture, high BP, and even serious bone problems. Take a break, your body needs it.
8. Starve yourself.
If you skipped breakfast, lunch or dinner or even both, STOP!!!! Eating disorders like bullemia and anorexia often start when you start starving yourself to lose weight. Up to three in two hundred teenagers, especially girls, suffer from these eating disorders.
People have the misconception that they can starve themselves to a desired weight. It is totally false! While counting calories and eating healthy are necessary for weight loss, starving yourself is never good. It may cause short-term weight loss, but it will have serious side effects such as low metabolic rate, fatigue, and malnutrition.
Instead of starving yourself, replace processed foods, unhealthy sugar with healthy whole grains, and foods high in vitamins, potassium, and calcium, like fruits like bananas and citrus fruits. Eat vegetables like celery, ginger, and carrots as this helps reduce bloating and helps build muscle.
9. Without counting calories (Eating unhealthy).
So you take a 30 minute walk to the park and you feel so fulfilled that you decide to reward yourself with junk food… and after a month of this unhealthy habit, you go to weigh yourself and find out you’ve won more pounds instead of reducing them, and you become frustrated.
The concept of weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume. This can be achieved through a balanced diet cutting out unnecessary sugar and all that or simply exercising to burn extra calories. It can also be done by combining both training and diet for maximum results.
Either way, it’s important to know that exercising goes hand-in-hand with good nutrition. You don’t necessarily need to completely exclude junk food or your favorite foods, as this will only cause cravings, leading to worse eating habits after breaking the diet. However, halving your intake of unhealthy foods and switching to good foods can help you get the most results as quickly as possible. You can start by eating candy or drinking soda every day up to once every two or three days, then gradually consuming them only twice a day until you finally reduce the craving.
Remember this saying; An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Eat well!!.
And last but not least on my list is dehydration. Water is life, and humans need water to survive, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
Water has so many health benefits. It helps with metabolism, which aids in weight loss, it nourishes the skin and makes it look smoother, softer and brighter. It also helps reduce bloating and helps boost thyroid hormone which aids metabolism and also so that you don’t eat more than you need. Always have a bottle of water by your side. Bring water to the gym to drink after a workout as this will help restore lost energy and prevent you from becoming dehydrated.
These are the 10 biggest fitness journey mistakes I have to share today. Remember to stay motivated and live healthy. Thanks for the reading. Follow my blog to keep up to date with my recent posts and articles and you can also follow me on other social networks.