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Women's Top 3 Weight Loss Mistakes

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I see three weight loss mistakes that women make again and again. I have always stressed health and fitness before weight loss and beauty. It does you no good to look great if your body is a total wreck and unhealthy!

Dr. Duke Johnson, the author of “The Optimal Health Revolution,” and top researcher at Nutrilite, defines optimal health:

"Optimal Health is the best health you are capable of, given your past and your genetic heritage." Huh! I have heard him speak and talked with him in person. This is what he means:

When you seek optimal health, you will try to eat the right foods, take health-boosting supplements (such as fish oil), exercise regularly, get adequate rest and practice healthy lifestyle habits. Your goals should be much more than achieving weight loss.

Weight Loss Mistake #1 – You are focused too much on weight loss. Thanks to the steady barrage of weight loss infomercials, people buy in to the deception. These companies keep getting richer and people keep gaining weight! You never hear them encouraging you to check your body fat percentage.

When you begin your fitness program, focus on burning body fat and losing inches. You will then see your body lean out as you build muscle mass. Your body also shrinks because muscle takes up less space than fat. And guess what? Your metabolism will speed up and you will begin to lose weight and it will stay off (if you continue your program).

Weight Loss Mistake #2 – Your daily calorie intake is too much or too little. According to Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, 89 percent of us underestimate our calorie intake. For example, you are eating 2,300 calories when you think you are eating 1,700 calories. Since you must maintain a caloric deficit (burn more calories than you eat) to lose weight, you can see how this would be a problem.

I am seeing more and more women who eat too little. This could be the result of using some severe calorie restriction diet. Or, the calorie restriction could be self-imposed. Either way, severe calorie restriction will give you the opposite result you are seeking.

Too many 1,000 calorie days will cause your body to shift to survival mode because it thinks you are starving. Your body’s metabolism slows down and stores fat to survive.

The solution is to accurately calculate your daily calorie needs based on your metabolic rate, activity level and goals. A trainer can help you accurately estimate this amount.

Weight Loss Mistake #3 – You don’t build enough muscle mass for fear of getting too bulky. You would have to lift very heavy weights for a long time to get bulky. So, stop worrying and start strength training regularly.

Some of you go overboard on cardio exercise. Too many long, slow cardio sessions (like 60 minutes) will waste away your precious muscle mass. Interval cardio sessions work better to burn fat. And, they are much shorter. Twenty minute sessions will get the job done.

According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, short bursts of intense activity burns more calories and up to 36 percent more fat. Circuit weight training (including bodyweight exercises) will qualify as this type of intense exercise.

Make the needed adjustments to your exercise and nutrition program to improve your long-term health and fitness.

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES, CPT is a Certified Personal Trainer and former NCAA Division I athlete. Mark is the owner of My Fitness Hut, Her Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut and My Nutrition Hut. Mark’s Fat Blaster Athletic Training System has been proven to give his clients the fit, sculpted and athletic-type bodies they want. Visit Mark’s main site:

Your Fitness University http://yourfitnessuniversity.com

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EmpowHER Guest

I totally agree with Cazort's comment. I just read and have been eating as described in the new book "Cinch". It is exactly as she says, eating non processed, "non-dietic" whole and organic when possible has really made the difference for me. I have lost only 4 lbs, but have changed my body in inches. Having had thyroid cancer and being on a suppressed metabolism makes it harder to loose, but eating whole foods in the right combination 4 times a day has done it. I would recommend this book to everyone.

March 28, 2011 - 1:53pm

I want to add two more mistakes that I think are just too prevalent:

1. You don't eat enough fat. Some fats are essential, just like protein, for building your body's tissues. If you try to cut fat out of your diet, you can really damage your health, throwing your body out of balance and often increasing your cravings for food so it can be hard to control your total caloric intake.

2. You focus on calories but don't make the distinction between the quality of the foods you're eating, loading up on processed foods. Rather than counting calories it would be better to simply cut out processed foods from your diet. If you limit yourself to mostly eating whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, and natural meat, fish, and dairy, you're unlikely to eat too much. People become obese primarily because of the refined carbs (starch and sugar) in processed foods. Cut these foods out and it'll be much easier to maintain a healthy weight.

March 13, 2011 - 7:19am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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