The path to a healthier body is not always a clear one, and often it’s because there are so many distractions along the way. When you break things down to pure science however, it’s not all that difficult to figure out what you need to do to lose weight. But of course when you factor in real life and actual implementation, the situation gets a lot cloudier. And of course there is always the challenge of resisting the temptation of taking shortcuts or trying to lose weight quickly without doing any work. It’s easy to lose perspective on your ultimate goals while pursuing the type of body you want. Unfortunately, many people make missteps along the way – but to help you stay on track, here is a list of some of the biggest mistakes you should avoid.

Trying to lose weight too fast – this is something that many people commonly do especially when they start off with a lot of motivation. It’s important to remember that your weight loss program should be a marathon -not a sprint. Try to think about where you want to be several months from now rather than trying to drop off as much weight as possible within two weeks. Chances are your body won’t be able to handle dramatic weight loss anyways so it’s far better to take a gradual approach.

Trying to do everything on your own – whether it’s pride or simply not thinking about asking for help, far too many people try to lose weight in isolation. This can be a big mistake because having a supportive group of people around you can be just the thing you need to keep you on track. Better yet, find somebody who was also interested in living a healthier lifestyle and you can do things together. It will be a lot easier to stick with exercise goals and better eating when you have somebody helping you out.

Not having an overall plan – a lot of people take a “New Year’s resolution” type of approach to losing weight. In other words, they make a commitment to themselves that they want to drop a few pounds and then spend the next few weeks going on a day-to-day basis. They might eat healthier and exercise a bit more for a couple of weeks, but there is no general plan in place that helps to guide them. Just like anything else that might be complicated, it’s important to go in with a strategy.

Only focusing on food – food is definitely something you’re going to have to look at when it comes to coming up with a new meal plan, especially when it comes to caloric intake. But if all you ever do is adjust your diet, then you’re missing out on the other key component to healthy fast weight loss. It’s essential that you find a way to stay active and in the very beginning, it doesn’t really matter what form it takes. Go for a walk, take a stroll with the dog, or play with the kids. Just get out there and start moving while looking for ways to ramp up the intensity for the future.

Not having any fun – if you make your life so regimented that you dread every meal or each time you have to exercise, there’s no way you’re going to be able to maintain this pace. You have to add an element of enjoy ability to your weight loss program in order to make it successful. Sometimes the answer is adding variety so that you get to eat different types of things and exercise in different ways. Also remember to give yourself a break from time to time and simply enjoy life because not everything should be about losing weight.