With all the conflicting information out there from “experts”, it is very hard to know the correct way to get your weight or fat loss goals right. So many people make these very common mistakes without knowing and these could be hindering your results.
When we talk about weight loss, what is the first thing to pops into your head? If you are like most people, then you probably imagine a weight loss diet to be horrible green shakes or juices for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Or eating nothing but leafy greens, with dry unseasoned chicken…. This is enough to make anybody stop their weight and fat loss journey.
Everywhere you look there are “experts” claiming that their products are the best, all you need to do is eliminate macro nutrients and replace these with a supplement and boom you become lean in 28 days!! Now whilst some of these methods work SHORT TERM, they do little to your long term success and wellbeing. These diets cause you to drop water weight and depriving yourself of “bad food” is only setting yourself up for failure. These diets are NOT sustainable, and they often lead to weight gain when your will power fades.
So, what can you do to lose fat correctly, and not have to spend half your life yo-yo dieting and an eternity pounding away on a treadmill. Here are some of the misconceptions about fat loss and weight loss programs.
Marathon Cardio Sessions
You’re spending hours and hours on a treadmill, bike or cross trainer to burn fat! This can actually be detrimental to fat loss, especially if you’re already over worked and over stressed in your day to day life. Cortisol, a stress hormone, is elevated during long intense exercise, it is also elevated during times of stress. Cortisol causes your body to store extra body fat. Instead of performing long sessions of cardio, crank up the intensity and perform shorter, higher intensity intervals (HIIT). These can be anything from sled pushes, skipping, kettle bell swings etc. Keep it fresh and mix it up. A great place to start is 30 seconds hard, 90 seconds easier. This will help you burn fat, and also free up a lot more time for you to relax as well.
You Starve Yourself
The biggest mistake anyone on fat loss diet can do is starve themselves. Yes, you do need to be in a calorie defect and Yes calories count but starving yourself will not help with fat loss. The truth is you need to be in a slight calorie defect, so if you want to lose a pound this week then you need to reduce calories by 500 calories per day with a combination of diet and exercise, THAT’S IT. To give you an idea, 2 lattes will be around 500 calories, cut 2 of those out of your diet and replace with water and there you go.
By starving yourself you are only slowing down your metabolism, so your body responds by holding on to fat for energy, survival and your body starts eating away at muscle for fuel. This will give you the “skinny fat” look instead of the lean, sexy, fit look. Your diet should give you the energy you need to perform day to day activities, train hard and you should never feel hungry. If you do you need to re-examine it.
Lifting Weights for Spot Reduction
You CAN’T spot reduce!! Many believe in order to have a flat tummy you need to do endless sit ups and crunches, or to have toned arms you can do 100s or kickbacks and bicep curls – NO.
Fat loss is not site specific, which means you cannot lose weight or fat by just exercising that specific body part. Your body will not select the areas you lose fat from, it will draw from the whole body. Train the whole body, with big compound movements for best results. Exercises like pulldowns, squats, lunges, deadlifts, presses, pull ups, swings etc will give you better results in a shorter space of time because you are working bigger muscle groups, therefore burning much more calories. Your objective for fat loss is to build and maintain muscle mass as well, training the whole body with resistance training will change body composition, resulting in you dropping inches around the areas you want.
Fat loss is made out to be complicated and expensive. This is a load of rubbish, all it takes is a reasonable diet that is realistic and maintainable for you, a good weight training and cardio routine, proper recovery and consistency.
I know we live in a day and age where everyone wants everything yesterday, but for real fat and weight loss that is sustainable long term, take your time and get the basics right. Trust the process and give the body time to adapt to your diet and exercise.
For more help and support with any weight management program or if your weight and fat loss has ground to a halt, get in contact with us at Build a Body – firstname.lastname@example.org and take your training and diet to the next level the right way.