Weight loss puzzleIf you struggle with losing weight, you are not alone. Humans only have so much willpower, and some have more than others. This shouldn’t be a disheartening thing to hear, for each person is motivated by different factors, and everyone has their own unique story to tell when it comes to weight fluctuation. Losing weight is not simply a mental battle, however. There are many different physiques and body types out there, and you have to make the best of your given body. Metabolism can be increased and the stories of people losing hundreds of pounds will continue to pile up as long as the ability to gain weight exists. (Hint: the ability to gain weight will always be there!) So don’t let the idea that “I’m big-boned” get in the way of you feeling as if you can’t lose weight.

So if you struggle to lose weight, but you feel like you have motivation and determination to eat right and exercise, then why are the pounds not dropping like they should? You may be falling into the quicksand of weight loss mistakes. The power of the will is different for each exerciser, but a super-motivated individual could lose less weight than a slightly determined person. How? The latter could be taking the right steps to lose weight and the former could be making too many weight loss mistakes. It’s too common, but you can learn to avoid some of the most common weight loss mistakes and take charge of your fight against weight loss.

Here are some of the most common weight loss mistakes to avoid:

Starving Yourself. When you flat out don’t eat, your body and mind have a tough time controlling your appetite. Your brain runs on glucose, and you need it for healthy brain function. This doesn’t mean you should eat loads of sugar. Spread your meals throughout the day (and don’t skip breakfast!), so you get a good balance of calories. It will be easier to control your blodd-glucose levels, and the chances of binge eating will be way down. Also, eat slowly to ensure the hormones that tell the brain to stop eating have a chance to do their job.

Drinking Calories. The carbs and calories in alcohol are more staggering than you realize. You could be exercising like crazy, but when you drink too much, you are getting too many calories. Try not to drink your calories. The same is true of regular soda drinks. Look for low-card wines (if you must) and drink more water.

Eating In Front Of The TV. Where does your mind go when you watch TV? If you are watching something you enjoy, you are probably hooked on the storyline (or “reality”), so you will start eating mindlessly.

Checking The Scale Every Day. Weight fluctuates. You could have retained water or you could have too much salt in your system, etc. If you obsess over a number, you are going to get discouraged and possibly fall back into bad eating habits. As you gain muscle from exercise, you may actually gain a little weight or stay around the same. Focus on how your clothes fit and how you feel and look.

Eating What Your Friends Eat. Peer pressure can be tough, but it’s a common weight loss mistake to eat like they eat when you are with them and undo a lot of hard work.

Not Getting Enough Sleep. You can’t forget about your body’s basic needs. More rest means more energy and better food choices.

Not Training Hard Enough. A very important weight loss mistake comes from doing the same workouts at the same level for weeks and weeks. If you need direction, ask a personal trainer. You have to challenge yourself. You don’t have to run a marathon, but you your heart rate must get high enough to stress the body a little. Mix up your workouts with various kinds of exercise. Use interval settings on bikes and ellipticals, and try switching up heavy lifting days with lighter resistance days.

Eating Too Much. How can this be a weight loss mistake? You’d be surprised. Certain diets tell you to avoid carbs, but you can’t go binge eating on bacon and steak and think you are “on a diet”. Get a food journal. Write down everything you eat for a week. Don’t try to be sneaky or clever, just write it down. Review it after a week, or better yet, let a personal trainer look at it to give you an unbiased report. The results might shock you.