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What Are Some of Most Common Fat Loss Mistakes?
So many people want to lose weight for one reason or another, whether that be because they want to look good or just live a healthier lifestyle. But what are some of the most common fat loss mistakes, they include having unrealistic expectations, Not doing Cardio, relying too much on exercise, cutting calories too drastically, focusing on weight loss instead of fat loss, not getting enough protein, relying on fad diets or quick fixes, not tracking your progress, and underestimating the importance of sleep.
How Does Weight Loss Work
Whether your goal is weight loss or weight gain, both can be summarized in calories in and calories out. As if your goal is to lose weight eat less calories than you burn a day, if your goal is to gain weight eat more calories than you burn a day.
That’s it, that all there is to weight loss, being in a calorie deficit eating less then you burn a day. Though that is true there is so many different nuances that will make weight loss easier such as understanding macros, perfecting your sleep, and understanding how many calories you eat per day just to name a few.
What Are The Most Common Weight Loss Mistakes?
Mistake 1 – Having Unrealistic Expectations
Having unrealistic expectations is one of the most common weight loss mistakes out there, as so many people want to lose weight for a new year resolution looking to lose 20 kg, 30 kg, or even 40 kgs in months.
This is completely unrealistic and only ends in two different ways. Once they go on a very extreme crash diet nearly starving themselves, living in pain just to reach their weight loss goals. Skipping meals, eating too few calories, and yes this will work for a few weeks or months, but this often just ends in the person rebounding gaining all the weight they had before.
The other way this is going to end is that the people just give up, this extreme diet is too hard, too unrealistic, and will lead to them giving up and going back to eating just as they were before.
Mistake 2 – Not Doing Cardio
One huge mistake that so many people do is not doing cardio, and when I say cardio I don’t mean running or sprinting. Cardio can come in so many different forms that you can use to keep your cardio fresh and fun. This can mean you can swim, cycle, run, hike, skip rope, battle rope, and even just walk if you want to, all of these are valid forms of cardio that will help you in your weight loss efforts. The best part about this is that the cardio forms that I named above do not even scratch the surface of the many different forms of cardio.
Mistake 3 – Relying too much on exercise
On the other hand, some people rely too much on cardio and think they can eat whatever they want because o an hour of running every single day. Cardio should only be used to build your cardiovascular health and as a supplement to your weight loss journey.
An example would be that an hour of running for most people will burn about 800 calories, while your average pepperoni pizza will contain anywhere from 500-700 calories. You might think that is a lot, but realistically an average runner can only run for about 10-15 minutes a time before having to take a break, meaning in that hour you might only burn half of that, and that is why the saying you can’t outrun a bad diet is so true.
Mistake 4 – Cutting calories too drastically
Cutting your calorie intake too drastically is a mistake many people beginners make when trying to lose weight, as they think very simply that the fewer calories that they eat the better it is for them to lose weight.
But doing this will often have a largely negative effect, as you are not living a healthy lifestyle, and will not have enough energy to get through a normal day. Much less do cardio and get through an intense resistance training session, meaning ultimately this weight loss mistake will not help, but might hinder your fat loss journey.
Mistake 5 – Focusing on weight loss instead of fat loss
One large mistake that most people make is not knowing the difference between weight loss and fat loss. This mistake is closely tied to the one above (cutting calories too drastically) as weight loss can come in a few different forms, losing water weight, losing muscle mass, and wanting everybody want to lose fat.
One example is the keto diet, and partially it is as popular as it is, that people see instant success on the scale, but the reality is that the reduction in carbs means your body will hold less water instantly reducing your weight on the scale.
When it comes to cutting calorie intake too drastically will eventually start cutting into your muscle mass, but the problem is that most people think that the fewer calories they eat today, means only losing fat mass.
Mistake 6 – Not getting enough protein
Eating a lot of protein can help you lose weight for two different reasons, one is that it will help you build more muscle faster which will in turn increase your metabolism. The other is that eating more solid proteins such as steak, chicken, and fish will fill you up much faster preventing you from eating more calories.
Assuming you are weight lifting or any form of resistance training consistently with the right volume and intensity eating the recommended amount of protein (1 gram per pound of body weight to maximize muscle gain) will increase your muscle mass. So much so that it is said that roughly for each pound of muscle gain you would burn an extra 50 calories per day.
The side is that most people eating 1000 calories of carbs such as pasta, rice, and bread would be far easier to eat than 1000 calories of meat like steak or chicken. This in turn means that per meal you will feel more full on fewer calories helping you in losing fat.
If you are interested in learning more in depth about how much protein you should eat per day to maximise your gain you should read this article I wrote called Optimal Protein Intake for Athletes and Fitness Enthusiasts: The Ultimate Guide.
Mistake 7 – Relying on fad diets or quick fixes
Too many people rely on different types of fad diets and quick fixes such as the keto diet, low carb diets, if it fits your macros and intermittent fasting. Though all of these diets do work and can be very useful, most people think of it as temporary meaning once this diet period is over they will go back to normal eating and rebound all the weight they have lost.
The trick here is that you can choose any of these different diets but you have to ask yourself the question “is this diet something you can keep up for the rest of your life?”. If the answer to this question is not you should not do the diet, and instead, find something that you can sustain for the rest of your life.
Mistake 8 – Not tracking progress
Though this is not vital to losing weight in terms of long-term success tracking your progress can help whether that be the weight going up when strength training, looking at the scale you are down week by week, or your body fat going down in mirror pictures.
Tracking your progress and seeing your progress slowly go up and up can be very motivating for many different people. Another reason is that you can’t see your progress from week to week, it will feel as if you have not gained any progress, but if you go back 1 year you will see the changes.
Mistake 9 – Underestimating the importance of sleep
Sleep sleep sleep, no one gets enough sleep, and this is a problem because without good sleep not only does your overall health decrease, you will just have less energy day to day to bang out those exercise routines. Furthermore, with less energy, you will lower your energy used from NEAT(Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) which pretty much means your body will move fewer whether that means fidgeting or walking, and this is a problem as NEAT roughly accounts for 15 to 30 percent of calories burned per day.
Mistake 10 – Drinking Away Your Calories
Drinking liquid calories is one of the most common mistakes I see in the weight loss space, as you might think drinking one can of fruit juice, Sprite, or Pepsi won’t hurt but in doing so it can undo more than an hours worth of cardio in just a few minutes without filling you up. Furthermore the high sugar content is just unhealthy.
But I am not just saying drinking water is the solution, as though it is the most healthy lifestyle choice eating clean and drinking clean can be difficult. I suggest drinking things that are low in sugar such as Coke Zero, though this option is also not great in the health department can a day not kill you, just don’t go overboard.
Mistake 11 – Overestimating How Many Calories You Burn
So many people want use different apps and in build methods to determine how many calories you have burned. But the problem with that is most of the time it just is not accurate, at best it can be used as a rough guide line.
This is because these apps can not account for all the different factors such as genetics, forms, neat and so many more affecting how many calories you burn when doing cardio, weight lifting, or any activity.
Some Final Quick Tips
Though I recommend eating all kinds of protein, when trying to lose weight I recommend eating lean protein such as eggs, beef, and chicken.
Eat more whole foods and less processed food, by eating less processed foods and increasing the amount of low to no processed foods will just make it easer to lose weight.
Properly space out your food, because if you don’t a little something called ghrelin will hit, and when ghrelin hits hunger hits.
For packaged foods always reading the food labels, and read them carefully as many of them try to trick you saying per serving it is low in calories when no one just eats one serving, you are more likely to eat 3 or 4 servings in one sitting.
How Should You Train to Lose Weight
There are so many different great training methods of training when you are looking to lose fat, but out of all of them I recommend lifting weights. As personally not only does it feel like it make daily life easer, lifting anything easier.
But in the perspective of losing weight it will make it easier due to an increased metabolism. The last reason is that you will look good even at a higher body fat percentage, and you might find yourself having your dream body even when you have not reached your weight loss goal.
Why Fat Loss is a Common Goal
Why is fat loss a common goal, the problem is that there are no one or two universal reasons, some people just want to be more healthy, some people want to look good, bothers her just want to fit into the things they used to fit in.
I think you should ask yourself why do you want to lose weight, I think this is an extremely important question to ask yourself as too many people just do so many things that just won’t help them achieve their goal and will only leave themselves in pain hoping for more.
Fat Is Not The Enemy
One common misconception that I see generally in the health and fitness niche is that all fat is bad, but it is good to know the there are two types of fats, healthy fats and trans fats.
Trans fats are the bad ones, with two of the biggest negative effects being having a negative effect on your cholesterol levels, and increasing your risk of heart disease. The worse the thing about trans fats is that they come in the best foods and some of examples include cakes popcorn and burgers, and often these are the foods that make weight gain/ fat gain really easy.
On the other side of the spectrum is your healthy fats, which if eaten in moderation will lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, lower your blood pressure, and make your cholesterol good. Some food examples include nuts, certain fish, and avocados.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of healthy fats you can read this article by Healthline called The No BS guide to Healthy Fats
The Prevalence of Misinformation And Confusion Around Fat Loss
In this, article I, and out a few different pieces of information that are just not true or are taken out of context. But the fitness myths are not just these, there is so much more untrue information out there on the internet. Just remember if the tips that these people sound too good to be true, it probably is, there is no shortcut to weight loss it is a slow and steady grid, but it will all be worth it in the end.
Losing weight can be very difficult, and just to lose fat is even more difficult if you are making many of the super common mistakes. But it does have to be, if you avoid these common mistakes your weight and keep eating healthy your loss efforts will be slow, but much easier than before. Lastly I wish, you good luck in your weight loss journey.