Published By: Kylie Gilbert – Shape.com
Weight loss: You're doing it wrong. Harsh, we know. But if you're following the traditional "rules" of weight loss—think cutting out all carbs at once—you're probably unintentionally holding yourself back from reaching your goals.
Good news: Celebrity trainers are here to tell you that the answer to success is really way less painful. Some of the tips they give their A-list and Revenge Body clients? Weigh yourself less, eat more, and *don't* dramatically overhaul your eating or workout routine overnight.
Ahead, the top mistakes that are holding you back from lasting weight-loss success.
1. Weighing yourself every day.
"Stop weighing yourself every day, please!” says celebrity trainer and Flywheel instructor Lacey Stone. "Women's weight fluctuates daily with things like their cycle and stress. When you weigh yourself every day, you WILL get discouraged and get more stressed, which will lead to holding on to the weight—the exact opposite reason you stepped on the scale in the first place."
If you don't want to ditch the scale entirely (there are better non-scale ways to tell if you're losing weight!) try these four rules that will keep the scale from wrecking your self-esteem.
2. Not eating enough.
While you might have the urge to drastically cut back on calories to fast-track your weight loss, that might actually be the reason you aren't losing weight. "The number-one weight-loss mistake I see is women underfeeding themselves," says Ashley Borden, who has trained stars like Christina Aguilera and Mandy Moore.
"After I had my Revenge Body participants do their resting metabolic rate testing—an easy breathing test that calculates the number of calories you burn at rest—it changed everything! Both of my participants were UNDER-eating and that was a big reason for the initial slower weight loss." (Related: Exactly How to Cut Calories to Lose Weight Safely)
3. Making too many changes at once.
"The biggest mistake is trying to make too many changes too soon. Don't try to become a raw vegan and train for a marathon after having been sedentary and eating poorly most of your life," says Harley Pasternak, celebrity trainer and author of The Body Reset Diet. "The key is to make some small, simple changes and gradually add more, new habits over time so you don't burn out and drop off your plan."
He put his method into action on the show with his client Crysta, who lost 45 pounds by slowly overhauling her lifestyle. "Rather than having her start off at 14,000 steps a day, I had her start off at 10,000 and gradually increase her count. The same thing with her sleep. She used to go to sleep at 2 a.m., so I had her go to sleep 15 minutes earlier per night until she was going to sleep before midnight."
"Succeeding with these subtle changes over time boosted her confidence, which allowed us to slowly raise the bar and increase her step count, her sleep standards, and her diet." (Related: 4 Things I Learned from Trying Harley Pasternak's Body Reset Diet)
4. Looking for short-term diet fixes.
According to Simone De La Rue, creator of Body By Simone, the biggest mistake you can make is looking for short-term fixes in the form of the latest diet trends. "At some point, a diet ends, and where do you go then?"
Like Pasternak, De La Rue believes it's all about making small, gradual diet changes, rather than cutting out food groups overnight. "So, if you've grown up having two pieces of toast every day with breakfast, have one piece. If you have sugar with coffee, try to cut it out, or slowly decrease from one spoonful to half a spoonful, and then another half the next week, and so on."
"It's not rocket science. It's just small, realistic, achievable changes," she says. "I view it as challenging myself and testing my discipline."
5. Fearing weights.
"I believe the number-one thing that holds women back from achieving their weight-loss goals is the fear of resistance work and lifting weights," says Luke Milton, celebrity trainer and founder of Training Mate. "The fear of 'bulking up' stops so many women from building lean muscle, which helps stimulate the metabolism and turn the body into a calorie incinerator."
He's right: Torching body fat (especially in the stomach region) is just one of the many proven health benefits of lifting weights. Not convinced? See these 15 transformations that'll inspire you to start lifting weights.
6. Not being selfish enough.
"Women often put others before themselves. So be selfish, give to yourself first, and understand that when you're giving to yourself first, you are being a better mother, daughter, lover, wife, girlfriend, employee...a better human being," says Nicole Winhoffer, founder of the NW Method.
According to Winhoffer, that means carving out time in your schedule to work out, knowing when to say no, and "realizing what you need and how to take it." (Related: How to Make Time for Self-Care When You Have None)