We’re all learning as we go, and fitness isn’t intuitive, so mistakes will be made. If you’re doing any of these terrible things, check yo’self before you wreck yo’self.
1. Not eating enough
Gone are the days when I would eat 1,200 calories and workout too much, but I can’t deny that they happened. Will you lose weight while eating very few calories and doing tons of cardio? Fa sho. Will you lose a lot of other things too, like your sanity? Most definitely. It’s not worth it. Fuel your body so it can do cool, strong, dope shit.
2. Treating all workouts the same
Hmmm, which is better for me: 45 minutes of high intensity cardio plus resistance and strength training at Soul Cycle, or 30 minutes of moderate cardio on the elliptical? Obviously the former. You can’t treat all workouts the same and expect to get or maintain results. Train with a purpose. Push yourself. Rest days are rest days but workout days are work. the. hell. out. days. Be honest with yourself when you know you aren’t doing what you’re capable of.
3. Adding back calories after a workout
I think most of us have tracked our calories at some point, whether on an app or in a journal. But if you added back in the calories you burned during your workout, you did it wrong. You don’t want to eat too little, by all means eat enough to sustain your workout, but don’t undo everything you worked for in the gym by eating an extra 200-400 calories.
4. Skipping meals
When I’d go out in college and eat pizza at 2 a.m. I would try desperately not to eat again until 2 p.m. because I read that you should have 10-12 hours between your dinner and breakfast. Don’t be me in college. Don’t skip meals. Feed your muscles every 3-4 hours regardless of your drunk food. Eat when you’re hungry. Do good, smart things.
5. Not recovering properly
If I could offer one piece of advice to you, it would be to take your recovery seriously. I’m still paying for my mistakes 5 years later and it’s depressing and expensive and time consuming. When you don’t stretch and foam roll and treat your body nicely, it will rebel and let you know who’s really running the show. If you work your muscles, reward your muscles. Treat them like good friends, because when they stop working and you can’t do the things you want to do, you will very much regret all the times you took them for granted. R.I.P. to my running career.
6. Being too strict
Orthorexia is a thing. Balance is a way better thing. I became obsessed with reading labels and would only buy specific items from the store because I had compared them to every other brand and found the “best” one. When the store was out of what I needed, I had no idea what to do or buy or eat. Fun fact: Just because light Progresso soups have like 150 calories doesn’t mean they are good for you. I wasn’t doing it right at all but I was obsessed with the way I was doing it. Eat real foods most of the time and processed (but delicious) foods some of the time. Carbs are not the enemy. Neither is fat. Neither is sugar or dairy or gluten. Trying to be perfect and not letting yourself enjoy the meals you eat is the real enemy.