At the turn of the new year, it’s not uncommon to set goals related to fitness and/or weight loss. For some it isn’t easy no matter how diligent the commitment. How often do we hear “I’m exercising but I’m just not seeing results?”
Here are four common exercise errors that could be stalling your weight-loss efforts:
Relying on exercise alone to take off pounds
Both regular physical activity and good eating habits play important roles in managing your weight. Initially, most weight loss is due to taking in fewer calories through food and drink. But staying physically active is crucial for keeping the pounds off.
The fix: Include both increased exercise and healthy diet changes in your weight-loss plan.
Taking a fitness gadget’s word for how many calories you’ve burned
Studies show that wearable fitness trackers and smart watches do a poor job of calculating how many calories are used during physical activity. That’s a problem if it deceives you into believing that you can eat more than you really should.
The fix: Get a second opinion about how many calories you’re burning with an online tool such as a calorie tracker. Consult your healthcare provider about an adequate amount of calories to consume.
Loading up on junk food after a workout
Research shows that the more active people are, the more likely they may be to stick with a healthy diet for losing weight. Yet there is a potential pitfall: Post-workout hunger may lead to poor food choices if you aren’t prepared.
The fix: Have a healthy, protein-packed snack on hand in case you’re hungry after exercising. Try raw veggies with hummus or almonds with low-fat cheese cubes.
Doing only cardio with no strength training
It’s true that cardio (aerobic) exercise plus a healthy diet helps you shed the pounds. But doing strength training is also critical, because it helps you maintain or build lean muscle tissue. Bottom line: The 2 types of exercise work together to reduce body fat.
The fix: Try strength-building activities at least two days per week. Examples include lifting weights, using resistance bands and doing body-weight exercises such as sit-ups and push-ups.
Managing your body weight is not easy. The Center for Health Promotion, uses a comprehensive, evidence-based approach combining the four pillars of obesity medicine: nutrition, physical activity, behavior and medication to help you reach your weight-loss goals. Learn more online.