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Common mistakes when trying to change your body (part 2)

Did you catch Part One? If not, you can quickly catch up here at Common Mistakes PART 1.

1. You don’t plan for struggle.


It's easy to get down in the dumps, wanting to give up when we don't immediately start seeing change.

But you know, struggle is good. It's what I tell my clients when they are just starting out with me - expect struggle. I know this is kind of annoying to hear. It was to me at first. 

The Struggle Is Real. 

Why? Struggle shows you where the room for improvement is. That you're heading in the right direction - forward. Without struggle, we cannot get better and we cannot change. The learning experiences come from the slip-ups and challenges. Lean in. Embrace the struggle.

2. You cut calories low and don’t do enough resistance training.

When trying to lose weight you want a caloric deficit, but what happens is a person will cut their calories too low. What’s too low?

Generally speaking you do not want to eat below your BMR (basal metabolic rate). Your BMR is the amount of calories you need to live when at rest. How do you calculate this?

BMR calculation for men:

BMR = 66.5 + (13.75 x weight in kg) + (5.003 x height in cm) – (6.755 x age in years)

BMR calculation for women:

BMR = 655.1 + (9.563 x weight in kg) + (1.850 x height in cm) – (4.676 x age in years)

Generally speaking, anything under 1200 Calories is below your BMR. Once you go below the 1200 mark your body starts to go into a stress state. Your body cannot tell the difference between a diet and a famine. The body is a smart and efficient machine. If it feels like adequate food isn't coming in, the body will then hold onto fat stores to maintain itself.

Precision Nutrition also states here, that volunteers who went on a very low calorie diet after 10 weeks had less leptin, peptide YY and cholecystokinin (satiety hormones) and more ghrelin and gastric inhibitory polypeptide (hunger hormones). After a year, the volunteers’ hormones were still out of whack, ultimately causing them to feel hungrier. No surprise why most dieters regain the weight they lost, plus more.

Cutting calories too low will also affect your energy levels. Your workouts will suffer because you will not have the glycogen stores to go through an intense workout. You need to fuel your body to put it through an efficient workout where you can build muscle, losing body fat.

So keep calories above BMR and be sure to add in some form of resistance training 2 or 3 times a week.

3. You're filled with negative self-talk.

Self-compassion is a willingness to look at our own mistakes with kindness. It's about giving up self-judgment without justifying your actions. Sounds trivial maybe, but it's important.


Jill Coleman says that, self-compassion and holding yourself accountable are different. “This is why many of us feel like we cannot afford to practice self-compassion – we believe that somehow negative-talk spurs us into action. Like, without it, we’d just give up and give in. We think, ‘aren’t people who are harder on themselves the ones who ultimately succeed?’”

You can be self-compassionate, yet still accept responsibly for your outcomes.

If you aren’t giving yourself permission to make mistakes and have flaws, this will be a hindering factor in your journey.

I’ll ask you this, can you expect a positive external change in life, when what’s driving you internally is negativity?

4. You’re looking for problems, not solutions.

Change is hard. Weight loss is hard.

If you go into a weight loss journey expecting perfection, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Why do this to yourself? In the beginning you need to actually expect to struggle. Even when motivation and excitement are high – expect struggle. You can’t predict when it will occur – but it will occur.

It’s okay to complain and make excuses (sometimes we have to take these moments). But remember, we aren’t doing anything to improve our situation by doing this.

Complaining and improving are contradictory. You can never do both at the same time. With every moment, we have the CHOICE to complain or take action. It’s hard. We can always find something to complain about or justify why we shouldn't take the next step.

Jill Coleman once said to me, “There are two types of people: those looking for problems, and those looking for solutions. Which are you?”

Holy smokes! What a tough, blunt question, right? But it’s worth answering for yourself.

To quote Jill, “If I am complaining, I am not getting better.”

5. You’re setting the goal too big.

When you’re identifying your goal you want to lay out the potential struggles (holidays, work, scheduling, travel) and steps you need to take to overcome them.

Once you have your goal laid out, you need to state the importance of the goal.

Once you have the level of importance, you move onto how ready you are to achieve this goal. Are you willing to take action today, tomorrow or 2 weeks from now?

After importance and readiness, you must analyze your confidence in reaching the goal. Are you going to make the change necessary, in the time frame, to reach the goal?

Rate your confidence on a scale of 1 -10.  If you rate a 7 (or lower), you must change your goal until your confidence is an 8 (or higher).

Revive Wellness says if your confidence is a 7 or lower, the chance of you giving up within 2 weeks is too high.

There is no shame reevaluating your goal if it better sets you up for success.

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