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The 15 most common mistakes to avoid when losing weight

The 15 most common mistakes to avoid when losing weight

ave you been religiously fasting and drinking apple and kale juice for 3 weeks, eating salads, avoiding refined sugars, and jogging 5 to 10 km every other day and still haven't achieved any success? No, of course, you don't do all that, but maybe you think you should do more of that to burn fat. To lose weight effectively and prove to your colleagues and yourself that you can stay (or even get) fit this year without going to the gym, you absolutely must avoid these 15 mistakes:

1 Drinking fruit juices

In general, many people eat healthy and not in too large quantities, but drink a lot of juices between meals and do not count it as a meal. For example, the freshly squeezed spinach-celery-pineapple juice or all kinds of sweetened drinks (think of the water with syrup in summer). Problem: The sugar in juice is much quicker for our bodies to digest than in fruit because juices contain literally no fiber, which slows digestion and leads to satiety. Apple juice with 100% fruit content contains a shocking amount of 100g of sugar per liter and zero fiber, while an apple contains half the sugar and 3-4g of fiber per 100g. If you drink a fruit juice, you supply your body with incredible amounts of sugar at McLaren speed, which increases insulin levels and in turn blocks fat burning and promotes fat storage.

2 Eating only apples and bananas

Similar to fruit juice, most fruits (berries, which tend to be low in sugar compared to, say, tropical fruits and apples) trigger a high insulin release. Less than with fruit juice, but still very significant. Fruits are healthy, but please always in controlled quantities. And if you do strength training and eat a low carb diet, you improve insulin sensitivity and can eat fruit again later without gaining weight. The quantity makes the difference. If you don't know how is your Insulin sensitivity, you can do a blood analysis.

3 Not eating enough fiber

Dietary fiber (vegetables, salads, sprouts, fruit, legumes and whole grains) performs a number of important functions in digestion and metabolism and builds the key foundation for healthy intestinal flora. Dietary fibers bind water and swell: they make us chew better, fill the stomach, provide an early feeling of satiety and also have a longer satiating effect. In addition, they prevent a rapid rise in blood sugar levels and thus also prevent hunger attacks. Foods rich in fiber can even help us lose fat as it inhibits enzymes that break down fat. As a result, less fat is absorbed and stored in your body.

4 Snacking between meals or not giving your body a break

Everything you eat triggers a slight insulin response. Even if it's just a few bites, this interrupts the fat burning process. This is because as soon as insulin is released, the hormone "glucagon", which is responsible for breaking down fatty acids, is inhibited. So we need food breaks. It is better to enjoy only the 2 to 3 main meals, drink only more water in between and do without the snack in between. This change alone could be the key success factor to many people who want to burn fat. By the way, "in-between snacks" also include the hip green juices, coffees with sugar or milk, salty nuts, low-fat raw cacao drinks, Oatmilk, matcha and lactose-free turmeric lattes. Sorry.

5 Not eating enough at your main meals

Many people think that they should only eat a little at lunch: A colorful salad, for example. But then they stay hungry and unconsciously snack on many small things in the afternoon, often something that contains sugar or fructose. For that same reason, many end up eating clearly more at dinner and in the final result they consume even more calories than if they had eaten properly at breakfast and luch. Are you one of those people? If you eat altogether too little, then you get into a hunger metabolism. In order to compensate for the missing calories from food, your body burns muscle mass and not fat (see also number 7 regarding calorie deficit).

6 Enjoying zero drinks

It sounds so nice: drinking sweet things without regret, without calorie counting. Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and others seem to make this possible. They are most often found in light or zero-calorie drinks. But studies show that artificial sweeteners promote insulin resistance and block a stomach enzyme that is important for preventing obesity. The impact of sweeteners on insulin metabolism may lie in their ability to bind to the same taste receptors that are activated by conventional sugar. In the mouth, this gives us the sweet taste. In the gut, these receptors influence the release of the so-called incretins, which control appetite regulation and increase insulin secretion in the pancreas. So it's like cheating on your body and making it think you give it sugar, but you don't, which can upset metabolism and mess up with your naturla eating behaviors.

7 Doubling up on foods sweetened with sweeteners

"Sweetened with sweetener" does not mean "calorie-free". If you eat double the portion of a dessert sweetened with stevia or xylitol, you also consume double the amount of calories. So anyone who believes that they can eat products sweetened with sweeteners without restraint because their insulin levels do not rise should not be surprised if they gain weight.

8 Aiming for caloric deficit and ignoring strength training

We humans usually think linearly. If we have a calorie deficit throughout the day, I lose fat. Right? In the short term, yes: the body releases fatty acid from its fat stores to keep blood sugar levels constant so that all the cells in our body have enough energy to function properly, precisely when we don't get enough energy from food. So far so good. Easy, I just need to eat less! Right? In the medium and long term, however, there can be opposite effects to a calorie deficit. Muscles are expensive, active tissue for the body. If I don't signal to my body that I still need my muscles (keyword: training stimulus), it even metabolizes muscles into energy with priority over fat. Very clever our body. It not only gets energy, but also consumes less afterwards. Less muscle, less basal metabolic rate. So an initial calorie deficit quickly turns into a balance or even a calorie surplus, even though I still eat the same amount. And please don't curse your body. It just did exactly what used to save its ... butt when food was scarce. Proteins rich foods and at least once a week a proper stimulus through strength training can help you keep the basal metabolic rate at a high level even with a calorie deficit. That's how you lose weight without the yo-yo effect.

9 Underestimating the main lever for fat loss - your muscle - and relying solely on cardio (e.g. jogging)

Many people think I exercise to burn calories. So I run every day. Problem: With exercise, you only burn about 10-20% more calories than your basal metabolic rate would use anyway. So the display on the stepper, treadmill, bike & co. does not show the additional energy you have consumed, but the total including basal metabolic rate. Humans are evolutionarily extremely efficient in dealing with calories! Only cardio like jogging or cycling is not enough to signal the body that it needs a lot of muscles, our fat burning engine. Too much cardio without strength training can even additionally cause the body to break down muscle in order to do "cardio" more efficiently. And don't forget that exercise stimulates appetite. Studies show that even on average, we eat more calories in a day of exercise than we burn extra from the workout. So the effect of calorie consumption from exercise is usually overestimated, while the effect of higher basal metabolic rate thanks to more muscle mass is underestimated.

10 Always eating the same or relying on short-term diets

Monotonous diet reduces the diversity of intestinal flora. Many people go on different diets (the herb diet or the salad diet), but this leads to the fact that intestinal flora becomes very poor. Especially in the case of a strong caloric deficit, one promotes the bacteria that are more efficient in the production of energy. When you then start eating "normally" again, you gain weight, which is also known as the jo-jo effect (see also point 2. regarding fiber and point 8. regarding basal metabolic rate).

11 Choosing fat-free products

Those who do without fat usually (unconsciously) reach for more simple carbohydrates, which in turn promotes an increased insulin release. Fat-free foods such as yogurts usually contain a lot of sugar, e.g. Skyr from Migros (11g sugar). Therefore, always check the nutritional values of fat-free and "light" products.

12 Eating granola, but expecting the benefits of an oatmeal

Crunchy, nutty, sweet and often sold as healthy, granola is unfortunately often roasted in palm fat, heavily sugared or artificially sweetened. In most cases, dried fruits are added, which contain huge amounts of fructose. The nutritional values on the back scream sugar and fat. Supposedly healthy, but with high sugar and fat content, a 70g serving of granola contains 12.8g fat, 38.3g carbohydrates, of which 7.8g sugar, 7.8g protein. Paired with a classic organic whole milk (10g fat, 13g sugar and 9g protein) and a banana (about 100g 0.3g fat, 17g sugar, 1g protein) we end up with 23.1g fat, 37.8 sugar, 17.8 protein. A much better version would be 70g of oatmeal with almond milk and a berry mix and some raw nuts.

13 Using honey as a sweetener

It's a great substitute for sugar: Yes, because it's delicious and contains more nutrients. However, if you want to save calories: a clear no. And if you want to prevent a rise in blood sugar, it's a strickt "no". Honey contains just as many calories as normal household sugar and it also goes into the blood just as quickly, which in turn causes an insulin reaction. What distinguishes honey as a sweetener from "white" sugar is mainly its minerals and trace elements, flower pollen and enzymes, which are quite healthy in small quantities.

14 Eating processed foods

No time, no desire, no idea what to cook, so why not grabbing something frozen or "to go". Processed foods such as frozen pizzas, sandwiches, sausages, meat, dairy drinks (including proteins), packaged bread, chips, etc., are often not only more convenient, but also... cheaper. They often contain more calories, salt and sugar, and fat. And since they taste "fine" to our brains, we never have enough of them and tend to eat them very quickly. The gut thus does not have enough time to signal to the brain that you are full. This leads to the fact that the hunger hormone ghrelin decreases and decreases over time, the feeling of hunger sets in later and later and you eat more and more. Terrible but typical scenario on a busy day.

15 Suffering from Omega-3 deficiency

Many foods and processed products such as meat, sausages, dairy products, chicken eggs, cheese, cooking oils and margarine etc. contain many so-called omega-6 fatty acids and are at the top of the daily menu for most people. Accordingly, the omega-6 fatty acids are these days disproportionately represented compared to the so-called omega-3 fatty acids, which are found mainly in algae and fish. If this is the case, a pro-inflammatory effect is created, which favors the development of so-called silent inflammations. These silent inflammations are associated with all of today's civilization diseases and also weight problems. To restore the balance between omega-6 and omega-3, it makes sense to supplement omega-3 in the form of fish or algae oil. In particular, omega-3 has also been shown in studies to be effective for weight loss, as omega-3 makes our cells more insulin-sensitive, which in turn helps us lose weight. If you eat fish, make sure it comes from wild-caught fish, as it contains higher levels of omega-3 than fish from aquaculture. For sustainability reasons, we recommend going back to the original source of all omega-3s when it comes to supplementation: Algae or algae oil.

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