DIsclaimer: I am not a certified nutritionist or health professional. This article is based of my personal experiences and I do not take responsibilities for any actions taken at your own risk.
Sometimes I wish I had a time machine so I could go back and correct my lifestyle then because it was so obvious I knew nothing about nutrition and working out that I just did what people told me to do before doing my own research.
The number of diets I tried and overworking my body by working out twice a day should be considered illegal because there were absolutely no effects, but that’s not exactly true. I did gain extra weight, body-shamed myself constantly, a disastrous mental health state, and a nonexistent social life so all-around quite the experience I would say!
Now that I have suffered, improved, and taken notes allow me to share some fitness mistakes I made and some that you may be making now so that you’ll be saved earlier itself!
1) Cutting Out Carbs
If I had a dollar for everytime diet culture says ‘Carbs make you gain weight’ I’d be rich enough to buy all the pastas, breads and cookies in the world. Let me make this very clear:
‘Carbs do not make you gain weight. Carbs are a source of energy that power you throughout the day’
In this post I explain the two types of carbs and the ones that is considered ‘unhealthy’ but is a necessity to a balanced lifestyle. Simply put, carbs that come from apples, bananas and whole wheat breads are the best source of carbs because alongside having carbohydrates in them they also have vitamins, potassium and fiber in them which provoke gut health. The carbs that you should eat in moderation are such as white bread, cookies and pasta as they’re easily processed due to the zero amount of nutrients they hold which leave you wanting to eat more.
2) Not Knowing My Metabolic Type
Okay I learned this just a few weeks ago but I can see some results especially in my mood boosts! I found my metabolic type right here and it’s life changing. In a nutshell knowing your metabolic type makes you eat according to your metabolism and it’s called the ‘Metabolic Type Diet’. I know I’ve said diets don’t work but instead of a diet this is a lifestyle. You eat exactly what your body is more suited for instead of what it works slower on. Since i have a meso-endomorph body type, I gain muscle and fat easily but I also have a slower metabolism. So in order to speed my up my metabolism I need to have a minimally processed diet which means less processed foods, a complex carb cycle(on certain days I eat more carbs and on other days I don’t so my body uses up stored fats) and A LOT of protein as well as healthy fats.
3) Not Lifting Weights
One of the biggests myths I’ve ever heard is that ‘lifting weights makes you bulky’ and to the person that told me that…..no. You could be lifting weights for how many years you want and still not become ‘bulky’. The only way you can get bulky by lifting weights is if you pair it with a high-protein diet. Lifting weights on a normal 50% carbs, 25%protein and 25% fat diet will not make you gain muscle easily even if you wanted to. When you pair resistance workouts into your workout routines you burn fat easily and actually get more toned!
4) Doing Spot Reduction Workouts
Nowadays I get so frustrated when any ‘fitness influencer’ says that you can get abs in 2 weeks because you cannot and will not, and even if you do you can’t sustain them in the long run. Spot reduction is physically and biologically impossible. Paint this, if you have more fat accumulated all over your body, do you think doing a particular ab workout will get rid of the fat only in your abdominal area? No. The only way you can get visible abs and muscles wherever you wish is if you lower your body fat percentage. Some people don’t even work on their abs but have them because they have a lower body fat percentage.
5) Not Staying Active Throughout The Day
I used to have this mindset where I told myself ‘as long as you’re working out everyday you don’t need to do much throughout the day’ and boy was I wrong. I saw a lot of improvement once I also added in a goal to achieve 15,000 steps a day because not only did I feel energized throughout the day, I also didn’t let the food in my stomach sit around for a long time which can cause excessive belly fat, and since I was extremely body conscious I needed to make sure I was walking around for at least 30 minutes after I had my meals to digest it.
6) Doing Exercises That I Dreaded
Before I started committing to healthy and balanced lifestyle I always used to burden myself with excessive HIIT and cardio workouts which I dreaded because I thought those were the only ways to lose weight and lose fat. When in reality, I was constantly stressing myself out on working out I gained more weight because of hormone fluctuations.
Finding what works for you is so important, if you enjoy doing yoga or lifting weights then do exactly that. Forcing yourself to do workouts that don’t bring your joy will not only make you lose interest in working out at all but by then end of the workout you won’t even feel acheived that you did it.
7) Having the Wrong Mindset
Having the wrong mindset when working out is one of the biggest mistakes ever. As a woman I used to look at other women’s photos on Instagram and admire their small waist and toned arms and was always working out to get smaller and to achieve the ideal body type which was considered ‘feminine’ when I should’ve been working out to get MY ideal body type. Changing my mindset from ‘wanting to be smaller’ to ‘wanting to be stronger’ made me work harder and more conscious about the smallest things in my workouts and food.
Setting your fitness goals based off another person’s figure never works. Workout for YOUR ideal body type. Workout because it brings you joy and challenges you mentally. Workout so you’re able to have a long lasting healthy life.
8) Not Having Rest Days
I was working out 7 days a week for almost 2 months. My body never got a single day to chill back and rest for almost 60 days. Did I see any results? Of course not, I never gave my body the time to rest and heal for visible results. My workout routine now is so much more simpler;
3 days workout -1 day rest -2 days workout -1 day rest. My workout consists of boxing, pilates, HIIT, yoga and weightlifting. I usually have my workouts planned out for the next day but some days when i feel like my body needs rest and I’m not mentally motivated to do it I’ll just take another rest day! Listening to what your body can and can’t take is important to your workouts as well your wellbeing.
9) Skipping Warm Ups And Warm Downs
Warming up your muscles especially your glutes is the main component to a great workout. Getting your heart rate up before any exercise as simple as yoga can make it as beneficial as an hour long cardio session!