Many people think that they’re doing the right things when it comes to losing fat. Then they’re surprised when they don’t see the results that they’re looking for. I get it.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there and it’s easy to get led astray with exercise and nutrition info. And each of your friends, relatives, and work colleagues has a different theory about what diet or workout regime is going to work for you:
“Try Intermittent Fasting, dude, you’ll get lean SOOOOO fast!”
“Come to my Crossfit class…it’s so intense!”
“Wanna try SoulCycle? I hear it burns tons of calories.”
There’s no magical diet or trendy workout that’s the ONLY way to get lean.
Most things will work, if you stick to the plan, make some sacrifices, and push yourself a little (with both workouts and your nutrition). Still, if you’re on the road to lasting leanness, there are definitely some ideas that can hold you back.
Are you making any of these five fat-loss mistakes?
Yes, some cardio, about 20-30 minutes 2-3 times per week can be helpful for getting and staying lean.
And you should definitely be as active as possible throughout the day (even if it means just getting up from your desk every 30 minutes or so). But there’s a limit to the benefits that cardio can give you with fat loss.
Focus on building muscle with weight training to make your body a fat-burning machine all day long.
You’ll get stronger, develop a great shape, and feel more athletic too.
2) You Ignore Calories And Macros For The Latest Fad Diet
It may be tempting to go Paleo or Vegan, or do the Dukan Diet, 5:2, or the Alkaline Diet for a while, but unless you’re willing to devote yourself forever to the rigid rules of each of these diets then you probably won’t sustain your results.
I prefer a more lifestyle-oriented approach that helps you get your calories and macros in line, without too much effort. In fact, many of the above diets work because they restrict the foods you eat and you end up adjusting your calories and macros in a desirable way. Calories aren’t the whole story, but they do matter.
Finding an effective way of adjusting your calories (sometimes it’s not about reducing them further!) and modifying your macros to get adequate protein is the key to fat loss in the long term.
3) You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
Not sleeping enough can affect ALL your hormones, which means that your body may resist fat loss.
And let’s not forget that being tired means you put in less effort into your workouts (if you fit them in at all!), and you’ll find it harder to make the right food choices.
So look at sleep as an important pillar for fat loss.
4) You’re Not Eating Enough
It may seem counterintuitive, but if you’re aiming to improve your body composition (get leaner) you need to make sure you eat enough. If you eat too few calories for several weeks or months, your body will adapt to the lower calories. That results in a slower metabolism, which is the last thing that you want.
Keep your calories high enough to meet your needs (but not higher!) and make sure that you’re having good quality food with a variety of micro (vitamins & minerals) and macro (protein/fat/carbs/some minerals) nutrients. A balanced nutrition plan makes you feel better on a daily basis and gives you the strength to do the workouts you need and keep active throughout the day.
5) You Expect Too Much Too Soon
It’s reasonable to expect to lose about 1-2 pounds of weight each week. Let’s say that with excellent adherence to a well-designed exercise and nutrition plan you can expect to lose about 0.5 to 1% of body fat per week. And that’s if you’re doing well!
So don’t panic and change course too fast if you haven’t got the results you want yet. It takes time to get lean…it doesn’t mean that the plan isn’t working.
The main point here is that fat loss is a process that has many elements.
Making one little change will only make a small difference. Put your fat-loss plans together and you’ll be on your way to lasting leanness. By avoiding the common fat-loss mistakes you’ll finally be able to achieve that lean, athletic body you’ve been aiming for.