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17 Nov

The road to attaining health and fitness is one where both the journey and the destination carry equal weight – pun not intended.

How many people, on the eve of New Year’s Day every year, can you imagine vow to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle? And how many of those numbers end up failing within the first two months of the following year?

Losing weight, for whichever personal reasons an individual may have, can only prove beneficial if carried out the correct way. However, a few common mistakes occur quite frequently in the practices and regimens of those looking to shed a few pounds.

But worry not – this simple guide can help you cut out those harmful habits, and make all those hours in the gym really count.

Not giving yourself a cheat day

Many people make the mistake of following diets that do not leave room for cheat meals and cheat snacks.

Weight loss has a lot to do with psychology; allowing your body a single cheat snack, and single cheat meal per week provides that extra nudge or incentive you might need to finish that salad as you plan your cheat meal for the week.

This also speeds your metabolism, so that the body becomes accustomed to burning those calorie-laden foods. Faster metabolism equals faster weight loss!

Skipping meals

A very common mistake that most people make is starving themselves in a last-ditch attempt to drop those extra pounds. This is absolutely the last thing you should be doing, as it only leads to a slower metabolic rate, and increased fat storage of the body.

The body needs to be burning more calories than it is taking in. But what happens when the body stops taking calories, and only attempts to burn them?

The result is the body reacting by storing more fat. The body temperature lowers, your pulse may decrease, and the digestive system may stop working as rapidly as before.

So don’t skip those meals; consume a healthy level of calories, and then set about to burn a portion of them.

Loading on fruit juices

People tend to sate their growling stomachs by often reaching for a glass of juice. Though this provides a temporary reprieve and leads most to believe they have made a healthy decision, this is wrong.

Fruit juices are packed with sugar, and encourage the body to produce more insulin; this leads to the body craving even more food later than it did initially.

Replace juices with raw fruits and get the fiber – and always eat on an empty stomach, as opposed to treating fruit as dessert. Incorporating as much water or black coffee as possible into your daily diet will help burn those carbs away a lot quicker.

Not being patient

Striving to become healthier and fitter are all processes which take ample amounts of time. Setting an unreachable deadline for yourself only leads to more disappointment when you eventually step on that weighing scale and not see a marked difference (on a side note, experts agree that a weighing scale should never be a part of the weight-loss process, as it only sets your motivation back several notches).

Losing hope and becoming impatient when not seeing immediate results is a common error; give the process the time and effort it deserves, and reward yourself in due time when you reach your goals in the long run.

Remember, there is no quick or easy way to lose weight; there is only a healthy and effective way.