Exercise Mistakes Preventing You From Losing Weight

Losing weight is not easy, in fact, it might be one of the hardest things a woman can try to do. There are certainly many aspects of your weight that you can’t control, but one thing you can control is how much you exercise. Exercise is important for a healthy lifestyle in general, and an added benefit is that it can help to speed-up your fat loss. There is a right way and a wrong way to use exercise to your advantage, and this article is meant to steer you away from making common mistakes when it comes to exercise and your fitness goals.

Below lists the top exercise mistakes preventing you from losing weight:

Not moving enough throughout the day

Of all the above mistakes, the number one is not moving enough during the day. It is going to be much harder to lose weight (and keep it off) if you are not active throughout the entire day. Sitting and barely moving is not very hard right? Your body doesn’t think it is very hard either and so it is not going to burn many calories doing it.

Important note:

Movement throughout the day is in addition to a workout. Remember that a 30-60 minute scheduled workout is only a tiny moment in your 24-hour day or week. What matters most is what you are doing the rest of the 16 hours that you are not sleeping. Take advantage of the hours in your day, get up and walk to get water, go for a walk at lunch, walk after dinner. Becoming more mindful of your movements will result in better results. 

Doing the same workout every time

First of all, it’s great that you are working out, that’s awesome. Now just take it a step farther and mix up your workout. Changing your workout doesn’t even have to be big, examples of how you could change it include increasing resistance, increasing incline, choosing a different route, or trying a completely difference exercise. It doesn’t matter so much what you change, just change some aspect of your workout because your body adapts quickly to exercise and will start burning less calories doing the same workout. Examples of ways to mix it up include trying a fitness class at your gym, doing a shorter but faster run, or increasing the resistance on the elliptical.


You aren’t incorporating intervals of high intensity

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the best ways to lose fat, and lose fat fast! This is because not only does it cause you to burn calories during the exercise, but it also causes your body to continue to burn calories even after the exercise is done – up to 72 hours after! Plus, HIIT is muscle preserving and muscle building, and the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn at rest (more on this below). The greater the intensity, the greater the burn. A great way to monitor intensity is to monitor your heart rate.

You aren’t making muscle a priority

Many women do not incorporate enough muscle building or muscle maintaining exercise into their fitness routine. This may be because of a fear of bulking up, or just because you don’t know how to start a strength training program. Women should aim to get as much muscle as they can because the more muscle you have, the more metabolically active tissue you have (meaning the more calories you burn just by doing nothing). This does not mean you need to go an become an olympic lifter, you don’t even need to lift weights if you don’t want to. My favorite muscle toning and preserving exercises include HIIT running, yoga, and pilates – none of which require lifting weights.

Too much exercise

There is such a thing of too much exercise and over doing it. Too much exercise is a problem for a variety of reasons, including increasing stress hormone in the body, causing muscle breakdown, causing injury, and even causing raging hunger leading you to overeat. All of these factors will set back your fat loss goals, and make you feel pretty crummy too.

Main takeaways…

The above are the most common exercise mistakes that I’ve seen in practice, the good news is that all are reversible! The first step is just understanding what they are so that you can avoid making these mistakes in the future. This is a good time to check-in with your own exercise routine and think about ways you could improve it 🙂

About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy league trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in California with an expertise in women’s health and preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.

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