We all want to keep fit and stay healthy and sometimes that can be hard but many of us hit the gym to help shed unwanted pounds or shape up a little and yet, despite this, we still don't seem to be doing as well as we should.
Here we take a look at a few common mistakes that a lot of us are making and explain why these are holding us back.
1. Sports Drinks
You know the ones, you see them being squirted down the throats of superstar athletes during competitions and games, and the marketing hype suggests we should all be doing the same. Thing is, they are so sugary that some are even 2/3rds just sugar.
Unless you are a top athlete, you do not need this and even they, they only have them during the height of competition. They provide unnecessary calories and can hinder your progress significantly. Just stick to water, it's all you need.
2. Use of Supplements
If you have specific dietary requirements or a medical condition, supplements can be helpful but otherwise, there is no substitute for the nutrition you receive from healthy and wholesome food.
Many feel that synthetic vitamins can replace or aid with an unhealthy meal but it is just not the same. Focus on eating healthily, exercising well and getting enough sleep and the vitamins and minerals will take care of themselves.
3. Low-fat foods
Often marketed as a great way of losing weight and keeping it off, 'low-fat' and 'diet' foods are often chock full of sugar instead which can rather exacerbate weight gain rather than go any way towards stopping it.
It is also now widely agreed upon in the scientific community that you need fats to help keep you feeling fuller whilst low-fat foods will leave you hungrier and thus more likely to eat more.
4. The Post Workout Meal
Don't get us wrong, you still need to eat but so, so many people overestimate how many calories they've burned and have a slap up meal afterward or feel that going to gym earns them a little 'treat' which is completely counter-intuitive and unproductive.
It's good to get refueled but eat healthily and don't increase your intake if you are trying to lose weight. Simple really.
5. Pay Less Heed To Weight
It's a tough one to do when working out because, if your goal is to lose weight, then you want to monitor how you are doing by constantly checking the scales but, at some point, you will start to build muscle, which weighs more than fat.
Also, weight fluctuates throughout the day depending on when you last ate, how much you've drunk and hormonal variations etc. Focus on your changing body shape and getting healthier and not the number on the scales.
6. Avoiding Protein
Protein helps you bulk up and so many avoid protein-rich foods after working out but what they don't realize is that protein helps build and maintain your muscles which you've just been breaking down during your exercise.
Those lifting weights and trying to add mass often go the other way and use protein shakes and bars often had added sugar and other unnecessary ingredients.
7. Skipping Meals
Skipping meals after a workout means that your body doesn't reap the benefits of a post workout meal where your body makes the most of the nutrients put in it.
It also means that you aren't providing it with the fuel needed to help it recover as well as making yourself hungrier and thus more susceptible to snacking.