3 Common Fat Loss Mistakes
You’ve likely heard me say it over and over again… “We’re all individuals, with individual needs so therefore our training, nutrition and lifestyle have to be individualised also in order to achieve optimal results.”
But even though that is the case, we also share many similarities. Especially when we look at the mistakes people are making when it comes to burning fat and getting lean.
And that’s what I’m going to cover today. 3 common mistakes I see people making when trying to lose weight and burn off their unwanted body fat.
Common Mistake No.1 – Too much emphasis on the training
Training is great and definitely needed if you want optimal results when trying to finally get lean forever but without enough emphasis on your nutritional intake you’re always going to see sub-optimal results.
Studies show that training combined with improved nutritional intake is far superior to training alone for producing fat loss results.
I think at some point we’ve all been guilty of this, including myself. The only difference was that I was looking to gain muscle instead of lose fat but the principle remains the same.
So OK, you now know you need to improve your nutritional habits along with your exercise but what changes need to be made?
To keep things simple I’ll just bullet point the key nutritional changes that tend to make the biggest differences:
- Increase your protein intake – Meats, Fish, Eggs, Diary (ideally Raw), Nuts, Seeds and Legumes
- Replace some of your starchy carbs (Grains, Root Veg, Fruits) with above ground Veg.
- Replace bad fats (Vegetable Oils – Sunflower, Canola, Safflower, Soy, etc..) with good fats (Coconut Oil, Butter, Organic Dripping, Goose Fat, Olive Oil)
- Eat smaller, more regular meals – (not always essential but often speeds up results)
- Increased water intake
Common Mistake No.2 – Too much focus on the end goal
Often people are so focused of the end goal that they forget about what needs to be done today.
For instance, your may have a goal to lose 40lbs (18kg) of body fat over the next year. now losing 40lbs of body fat is a pretty big goal to focus on.
A better way to do it would be to break the goal down and sets weekly or bi-weekly targets.
If you take the 40lbs and divide it by the 52 weeks of the year you only have to lose an average of 0.77lbs a week or roughly 1.5lbs a fortnight.
Already the task seems far more manageable and more easily achievable.
Now the only thing you have to do is decide what you’re going to change in your life in order to achieve this 1.5lbs a fortnight of fat loss.
This takes us back to the things I mentioned in Mistake No.1 – Change an aspect of your exercise, nutritional or lifestyle habits – and monitor the effects of this new habits to ensure it’s enough to get you the improvements you’re after.
Then the moment things significantly slow or stop (you stop losing body fat), you pick something else to change.
Common Mistake No.3 – Too much Cardio
More often than not, when new clients first come to see me for Body Transformation that are massively over-doing it with their Cardiovascular training – particularly ’Steady State’ Cardio training (Jogging, Cycling, the Cross-Trainer, Rower, etc…) and place very little emphasis on doing ‘Resistance Exercise’ such as Free Weights, Circuit Training or Body Weight Training.
Fortunately, things in the industry are starting to shift a little and more and more people are realising that too much emphasis on Cardiovascular training isn’t an effective approach when trying to achieve significant and/or sustained fat loss results.
But like most truths in this industry, they take a while to become mainstream.
You see, muscle is the most metabolically active tissue in the body so it goes without say that the more muscle you have or the more ‘tone’ that it has, the higher your metabolic rate will be.
This will in turn result in more calories being burned each day and will help to contribute to a healthier, leaner body.
Generally, the ideal training frequency to build yourself up to for fat loss and sculpting a healthy, lean body is 5 days a week. At least 3 of these 5 days should be Resistance based and then 1-2 days of Cardiovascular training with at least one of those days being the High Intensity Interval Training kind.
Studies show that your metabolic rate can remain increased for up to 72 hours AFTER Resistance Training whereas your your metabolic rate returns pretty much to normal very quickly after Cardiovascular training.
As well as increased fat loss, other advantages of Resistance Training include:
- Improved Joint Health and Stability
- Improved bone density
- Decreased risk of injury
- Improved sense of well-being
There are lots of others but I’ve written about those in previous posts… you can check them out here in my article Why you should be lifting weights regardless of your goal – There’s also a section to help reassure any of you ladies that may be worried that lifting weights will make you “bulky”.
So there you go, pretty simple really.
All you have to do to kickstart your fat loss right now and work towards finally being lean forever is:
- Increase your nutritional intake (basically replace the bad with the good).
- Break your goal down into manageable chunks.
- Add in some Resistance training of some sort
Now I’d like to hear form you guys (and girls of course). What challenges have you had in the past when trying to lose body fat and what changes did you have to make in order to get the fat loss ball rolling?
Thanks for reading.
Your friend in health & Performance,