Weight loss programs can be extremely long and turbulent. Not everyone has the willpower to make all the sacrifices and lifestyle changes required to achieve their ideal weight.

But it isn’t impossible. With proper guidance and monitoring, it can be done successfully, and without the need to resort to crazy weight-loss diets or dangerous weight loss pills.

Of course, you shouldn’t expect to lose 20 pounds in just a couple of weeks. Your focus should always be on being consistent, sticking to your plan, and avoid making blatant mistakes that could jeopardize all the progress you have made in the meantime.

Here are some of the most common weight loss mistakes that you won’t commit from now on after reading this list!

1. Lack of planning

Planning your whole weight loss process carefully is a much needed first step. That includes outlining important changes in diet, physical activity, and lifestyle.

You will probably have to readjust the plan a few times. These adjustments may be to speed up the process or to slow it down due to some limitations you may feel. The important thing is to remain focused on the final goal and meticulously follow all the necessary steps to achieve it.

We recommend that you seek a doctor or a nutritionist before everything else. Those professionals will know how to assess your condition and help you build a realistic and tailored plan.

If possible, you should also talk to a personal trainer to help you with your workout plan. Most gyms offer this kind of service, so it might be a good idea to join one.

2. Not tracking your calorie intake

If you want to lose weight, you will have to burn more calories than you consume. In other words, there has to be a calorie deficit. Otherwise, it simply won’t happen. That’s why it is important to have a calorie-restricted diet and regular workout plan – and follow them religiously.

This way, you will be able to estimate how many calories you’re going to consume per day and how many you will burn. When you eat some snack that isn’t on your diet plan, please make sure to check its nutritional value to see how many calories it contains.

Don’t worry; your personal trainer will probably allow you to have a cheat meal. Just don’t use it as an excuse to eat an absurd amount of food.

Additional tips: a weight loss calculator will tell you exactly how many calories a day you should eat to achieve your weight goal in the timeframe you have established, considering your physical activity level.

It’s a very useful tool, so make sure you use it. Also, be careful not to decrease your calorie intake too much. It can slow down your metabolism and lead to muscle loss.

3. Not drinking enough water

By “not drinking enough water,” we mean “not drinking water exclusively.” Forget about fruit juice, alcoholic beverages, and soft drinks. They all contain high amounts of sugar and, therefore, way too many calories.

Drinking the daily recommended amount of water and quitting sugary drinks, smoothies, and alcohol will help you stay hydrated and reduce the number of calories ingested.

If you want to drink something more flavorsome than water, you should go for teas. There are many types of teas, with a variety of intensities and flavors, so you will find something that you like – and you can drink them both hot or cold, depending on your preference.

4. Wanting things to happen fast

There are no magical weight loss supplements, pills, diets, or workout plans that will make you lose weight fast. It takes time, so don’t obsess over the numbers you see on the scale.

However, there are specific diets that can get you to where you want to be slightly faster. Follow the diet recommended by your nutritionist.

These experts know exactly what the best foods for weight loss are, and better yet, they are capable of designing a weight loss diet that is properly customized and tailored to your lifestyle needs.

5. Only focusing on cardio workout

Cardio is the type of exercise that makes you burn more calories. That’s why it is such an important part of a weight loss program. But that doesn’t mean that you should only do cardio. In fact, that’s a critical mistake that many people who don’t consult a personal trainer end up making.

When you are doing everything you can to lose weight, it’s important to work actively to build muscle mass. For that purpose, resistance training or weightlifting is key.

These workouts can also boost your metabolic rate (which in turn increases the number of calories your body burns at rest) and promote fat loss, giving your body a much better shape.

6. Ignoring portion control

When it comes to your weight loss meal plan; what you eat is not the only thing that matters. You also need to be extremely careful with how much you eat. Portion control is something that everyone who is trying to lose weight should practice.

That doesn’t mean you have to use a kitchen scale to weigh exactly how many grams of each ingredient you are about to eat. But you must be careful not to eat too much.

7. Skipping breakfast

You might think that skipping breakfast is a great way to reduce your daily calorie intake. You are right; it is. But will it work for you specifically?

For some people, skipping breakfast can help them lose weight. It allows them to reserve calories for later in the day, to consume fewer calories (after all, they are skipping a meal), and probably has no effect whatsoever on their metabolism.

However, for some others, it can be a huge mistake. A few studies suggest that skipping breakfast can lead to nutrient and vitamin deficiencies. It can also make some people more prone to giving in to the temptations of highly caloric snacks in the middle of the morning, and to ruin portion control.