The 3 Biggest Weight Loss Mistakes

The countdown to bikini season has begun. But even if you’re busting your butt at the gym and following a nutrition plan down to the peas and carrots, you’ve got to get your head in the game in order to reach your fitness goals, says Rachel Cosgrove, trainer. “If you’re not in a success mindset, a positive mindset, then it’s going to be really hard to overcome that,” she says. So no more easy outs! Be your biggest champion by ditching these damaging habits:

Mistake No. 1: You use the word but

One of the biggest challenges many women face: ending negative thoughts and excuses. Any time you use the word but, you completely discount whatever comes before it. For example: “I am going to cook at home this week, but I don’t know if that will work because I have a really busy week.” Try substituting it for the word and. “I am going to cook at home this week, and I have a really busy week.” Now those two things can coexist. Other words that should be on your no-say list? Try, kinda, and sorta. “They’re a good indicator that your mind isn’t where it needs to be,” says Cosgrove. Stop using these words, and you’ll stop giving yourself an excuse and undermining your progress. Turn “I’ll try to get to the gym three times this week” into “I will get to the gym three times this week,” for example. Once you start to change your patterns, it’ll become easier to stay on track.

Mistake No. 2: You go it alone

“At our gym, everything is in a small group setting,” says Cosgrove. “We found that when we switched from doing private one-on-one training to a small group setting, our results went up.” That’s not totally shocking since social support is so key. A 1999 study done in Pennsylvania looked at the benefits of increased social support for weight loss and maintenance and determined that those who recruited friends had better results at the end of the four-month study. They were also more likely to maintain their weight loss for the long-term. “You need to have people you can brag to, or share that you did something good for yourself and they’re happy for you,” says Cosgrove. “Get those people involved in the changes you’re making—that can really help guarantee success.”

Mistake No. 3: You don’t keep tabs on your habits

Get a journal to log your daily nutrition, your thoughts, and your workouts. “As long as my clients are writing down what they’re eating and their workouts, they’re usually pretty on-task and getting great results,” says Cosgrove. “But as soon they stop keeping track and start to, basically, mentally check out, they get further and further from the plan and further and further from getting results.” Tracking your progress will keep you motivated and accountable.

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