The Three Biggest Mistakes Overweight Americans Make with Weight Loss

Service member weighing themselves.

Do you know the three biggest mistakes overweight Americans make with physical fitness and weight loss that kill their results?

If you want to get fit and lose weight at the same time and avoid the physical fitness and weight loss mistakes that stop most people dead in their tracks, read this immediately:

Mistake #1: Nutrition and Fitness Combination:  People will start exercising but neglect their nutrition.

After a certain age, you can no longer "eat like you were in high school." After 20 typically, you stop growing and no longer need those extra calories, so learn to eat for an older metabolism as soon as you can.  For a while, adding extra physical activity will suffice, but soon you will find that diet is just as important as exercise to losing weight. Obviously this is not ground-breaking information, but many people fail in weight loss attempts by not eating right while they exercise. One without the other means failure, especially as we age.

Instead of thinking you can out-work your diet, understand that the fitness is more for you to build a foundation on which you can become more active. Becoming more active can open up your world to exciting and new things like travel, outdoor exploring, and even racing (run, swim, bike, obstacle course, etc). The diet helps build your energy and make you feel good while enabling you to work out and stay active. The two go hand-in-hand with how you look and feel.  Here are some Lean Down meal options.

Mistake #2 – This is the opposite of mistake number 1. People will choose not to exercise and reduce calories too heavily, thus losing muscle and fat and feeling horrible.

Reducing calories is not that answer, eating healthful calories is. Drop the sugar and lose weight.  Reduce sugar consumption (sweets, sodas, even white breads and pastas). Add more water and lose weight (and feel better too).  Many Americans do not drink enough water in a day. By simply adding water to your world and reducing sugar drinks (soda, sweet anything), you can lose 20-25 pounds relatively quickly.

Here's some ball-park guidance on water consumption: 

50% of your body weight in pounds is how many ounces of water a day you need to drink.  If you are extremely overweight, limit your water consumption to 100-120oz a day.

Mistake #3: People think they need to join a gym to get fit.

While it is true that you can have more options for resistance training and non-impact cardio machines with a gym membership, too many will begin their fitness and weight loss journey by jumping into a weight lifting circuit on multiple machines for the first time and then wonder why their entire body hurts for the next 2-3 days. 

Exercise fads come and go, but the basics stay the same and will work with daily persistence.  For instance, this free 45 Day Plan is an in home workout plan that uses calisthenics and some basic movements with dumbbells followed by your choice of cardio. All you really need is to walk when you first start your program.  Don't jump into running if you have not run in many months and especially years. This free plan will build a solid foundation of basic fitness for you.  It has helped many get fit and lose some weight at the same time with the Lean Down Plan. The goal is to make fitness a habit so you can build upon it and feel comfortable joining a gym if you are so inclined. Remember – fitness is a long journey, not a destination. Pace yourself for the rest of your life.

So, if you are overweight and want to lose the weight, you need to become better at running, lifting, and fitness tests without joining a gym, then try the FREE 45 Day plan. It will help you get started on your weight loss journey and even help build a foundation of fitness so you can do whatever you want physically!

Stew Smith works as a presenter / editorial board with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  There are also over 800 articles on Fitness Forum focusing on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

Latest Fitness Books: Navy SEAL Weight Training and Tactical Fitness

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