Getting in your daily sweat session? Great! But are you sabotaging your efforts by relying too much on energy bars for fuel or not stretching properly? Make sure these four mistakes aren’t ruining yourweight loss goals.
1. Energy bar overload
Energy bars are really handy — especially if you’re logging serious miles or need a quick snack. They can also easily set off your weight loss goals. There are so many kinds of energy bars: meal replacement, snack, recovery, and protein bars, and they each have a different purpose.
“Some are not much different than candy bars, but they should have less sugar and less fat. You really have to look at the label. Energy bars are simply a portable way to deliver energy in the form of calories,” nutritionist Heidi Skolnik told ABC News.
Whether you’re subbing a bar for a meal or need a boost of energy, pay attention to what’s actually in the bars your eating. You don’t need a 400-calorie, sugar-laden recovery bar if you only burned 200 calories. Reading and understanding nutrition labels will help keep you on track.
You’re motivated, excited about hitting your weight goal, and ready to rock your workouts. Great, but don’t plan on completed a fitness regimen that’s catered to someone who has been active for years. Although extreme workouts look really fun, if they’re not designed for your current capabilities, you could be in for some serious hurt and disappointment.
As research has proven, “Overtraining syndrome is a disorder characterized by poor performance in competition, inability to maintain training loads, persistent fatigue, frequent illness, disturbed sleep and alterations in mood state.” You don’t have to be a hardcore athlete to experience overtraining syndrome; anyone who’s constantly pushing themselves beyond their physical capabilities is at risk.
To avoid overtraining, mix up your fitness routine, and let your trainer or instructor know if you’re new to the workout scene. When starting, limit your intense, limit-pushing workouts to once or twice a week, and always take a rest day to let your body recover.
3. Not stretching (or foam rolling) after your workout
Although warming up for your workout is important, save the stretching for the end. Researches have found that stretching before your worked out impairs your muscles and could put you at risk for a strain.
Stretching helps to reset your body to a natural position and posture. It also helps relieve soreness and stiffness.
In place of static stretching, try more dynamic moves to get warmed up: easy jogging, jumping jacks, or squats with no weights. These techniques allow your muscles to get warm and supple before you put them under stress.
4. Always doing the same thing
Spin class or running or “fill in the blank” can be the most fun workout you’ve ever experienced, but doing only that type of exercise will put your weight loss on hold. If you do the same old workout over and over, your body will quickly become conditioned to it and your results will dip.
Jillian Michaels‘s website says, “When it comes to fitness, it’s so easy to fall into a routine. You might get wrapped up in inline biking or hiking — and start doing just those types of workouts all the time. Trust me, that is a recipe for disaster. If you want to get stronger and continue to challenge your muscles, you’ll need to switch up your workouts.”
If you’re finding your workout easy or not getting as sweaty as you used to, it’s probably time to mix it up. Just because that mile run is doable now doesn’t mean you should keep running that same mile.
Add length, intensity, or some cross-training to really get your metabolism going. You should always aim to do it more, different, or a bit harder.