lose weightWe all know the feeling of getting on the scale and freaking out, or just not liking the number in general. Maybe you let yourself go this holiday season; maybe you let yourself go every holiday season; maybe it’s been a stressful few months; maybe you’ve never had the healthiest diet and you surely don’t like to exercise. But when the scale jumps up ten pounds or more, suddenly, you freak. This is when most people decide it’s time to do anything possible to lose the weight, and this is when things go downhill. Let’s talk about the worst ways to lose weight and why you should steer clear of them.

Restricting Too Many Calories

When people want to lose weight quickly, they tend to stop eating, or at least skip one meal a day. You may lose weight from this, but your damaging your body without knowing you are. For example, your muscle shrinks when you lose weight, and the less you eat, the more muscle that you’ll burn off. When you lose muscle, you go back to “skinny fat,” your metabolism slows down, your bone health decreases, and you have little to no energy while still battling intense food cravings. It’s better to maintain a moderate caloric restriction of about 20%, so you can lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week without sacrificing your health and muscle.

Staying In A Deficit For Too Long

It’s recommended to stay in a caloric deficit for about 10-12 weeks the most. If you start to restrict yourself longer than the 12 weeks, your metabolism slows down and you lose even more muscle. Remember when we mentioned your low levels of energy earlier? If you feel like you have no energy and have been in a weight loss mode for a while, then this could be your reason. We like to recommend a cycle: diet for 10-12 weeks, then increase your calories to your maintenance level for 2-3 weeks. You can figure this out by going to If It Fits Your Macros and typing in your information as accurately as possible.

Not Getting Enough Protein

For some reason, people are scared of protein, and we’re not sure why because we love our meat! Did you realize meat isn’t the only food with protein in it? If you aren’t a big meat eater, we get that. But there are so many other foods to choose from that will give you the proper nutrition you need, such as protein powders, protein bars, yogurt, eggs, more favorites on this list. High-protein diets are more effective at reducing body fat, preserving lean mass, and helping you avoid hunger pangs and cravings than any other type of diet.

Not Adding Resistance Training To Your Workouts

Adding some resistance training while dieting to lose weight preserves, and builds, lean mass. This is why it should be part of every weight loss regimen, even if you’re not concerned with building muscle. And we promise, ladies, it won’t make you bulky. You want to minimally retain the muscle you have while you lose fat, and resistance training plus a mild caloric deficit and a high-protein diet accomplishes this. It also boosts up your metabolism so you can eat more because your body is burning fat all day long, not just while you’re on a cardio machine. Don’t think you can do this alone? Get a personal trainer on your side.

Completing Too Much Cardio In Your Workouts

This could be the biggest problem we see. Many people believe the more cardio they do, the more weight they lose. Yes, cardio is great to help burn calories and fat, and yes, doing more results in more fat loss, but let’s look at a couple of reasons this isn’t healthy overall. Because your body is already under stress due to the caloric deficit, it’s easier to overtrain when you’re dieting to lose weight. Overtraining can be experienced in several ways: “burnout,” general fatigue, depression, or decreased immunity. You can experience excessive metabolic slowdown, which persists long after weight loss is stopped. The reductions in your metabolic rate are one of the reasons it’s tough to maintain your new weight, because your metabolism has slowed down, and you can no longer eat as much as before you were dieting without gaining weight. While cardio is effective for weight loss success, doing a lot of long-duration, steady-state cardio is not the best way of going about it. We like to focus on high-intensity interval training, which makes users perform shorter, higher-intensity exercise. It’s not only effective, but it helps you preserve muscle mass.

Whether you’re new to working out and eating healthy regularly or an old pro, Balance Fitness is here to help you ensure that you have the best setup possible. We design and work with everything from small private home gyms to large fitness facilities, with quality equipment that’s top of the line. Learn more by giving us a call! You can reach us by phone at (650) 348-1259 for San Mateo, (408) 244-3010 for Santa Clara, or contact us online at any time.