Losing weight: What not to do

Lisa Reed, special to wtop.com

WASHINGTON – When trying to lose weight, there are many things that you can do. You can increase your physical activity, make healthier food choices and cut out sugary beverages. However, there are also things you should not do to lose weight. Personal trainer Lisa Reed has some tips.

Stop restricting calories.

If your body does not have enough fuel to sustain certain levels of energy, you can actually stop losing weight. You should never go too low on calories and never skip meals.

Don’t overeat.

Being mindful of portion sizes is key to losing weight. Measuring food at home is a good trick. That way, when you eat a meal out at a restaurant, you will be more aware of an appropriate portion size.

Never go on a diet.

“Diet” means you are restricting. Change your attitude and turn it into a positive. It’s called healthy eating. It’s not about perfection; it’s about the small changes you can make each day. Of course you can have a treat once in awhile, but you should aim to eat healthy 80 percent of the time.

Stay away from fad diets. Fad diets undermine your health by:

  • Slowing your metabolism, leading to mental and physical weakness.
  • Zaping your energy and causing physical discomfort.
  • Depriving your body of essential vitamins and minerals.

Keep in mind that fad diets do not help to change eating habits, which is the only way to lose weight properly and keep it off.

Don’t just do cardio at the gym.

Cardio will get your heart rate up and will help you to burn calories, but strength training will make you stronger and leaner. Change it up. You can meet with a trainer, try boxing, boot camp or even attend a bare class. Ideally, you should strength train two-to-three times each week.

Don’t obsess about losing weight.

If you obsess, your body will release cortisol, a stress hormone that increases the appetite. Focus on how well you are doing and congratulate yourself on your accomplishments and goals. When you stop focusing on losing the weight, it will fall off.

Lisa Reed is a certified personal trainer in the D.C. area and owner of Lisa Reed Fitness. Read more about Lisa at www.lisareedfitness.com. Follow @lisareedfitness and @WTOPLiving on Twitter.