Whether you are just starting out, or have been working on losing weight for some time, avoid these common pitfalls:
1. Overestimating calorie expenditure
If you feel like a minute on the treadmill feels like an hour, you’re not alone. One of the most common mistakes people make is overestimating how much energy is spent working out. A study from 2010 showed that people overestimate energy expenditure during exercise by 3-4 folds. When asked to precisely compensate for exercise energy expenditure with food intake, the resulting energy intake was 2 -3 times greater than the measured energy expenditure of exercise.(1)
Cardio equipment that allows one's weight to be entered gives you a fairly accurate estimate of how many calories you are burning while using it. A total energy expenditure calculator can also be useful in making sure you are in a calorie deficit and continue being successful in your weight loss journey.
2. Underestimating calorie consumption
This goes hand in hand with overestimating calorie expenditure. Now that you know how to find information about your calorie expenditure, you need to make sure to continue consuming less energy than you burn. I think Cronometer is a good tool for tracking daily food intake. The United States Department of Agriculiture (USDA) offers a great weight loss planner to help you plan for a healthy weight loss rate. Their Supertracker offers a wide variety of tools to help you along the way.
3. Sneaky calories
Unregulated snacking throughout the day will add calories fast. Read the labels of packaged foods, paying special attention to the suggested serving size to avoid any surprises.
4. Using food as reward
Using food as a reward post-workout is not a good idea if you are trying to limit your calorie consumption. By shifting your perception of food as nutrition instead of reward, you are more likely to adhere to healthy dietary habits in the long run.