Are these common fat loss mistakes killing your progress?
Instead of trying the same failed approach over and over, scrap what you know and start doing what works. Delete the narrative in your head as to why you can’t succeed. Avoid these mistakes and you will be ahead of the game. The diet industry is good at filling your head with nonsense, it’s time to skip the BS.
MISTAKE 1: GOING TOO LOW ON CALORIES
Starving yourself and eating less and less until you binge on donuts is not a sound strategy. Going too low on calories usually results in poor mood, poor sleep, low energy, nutrient deficiencies – this is a HUGE motivation killer. Why makes things harder for yourself for no reason? Who wants to be on a diet that cleanses you of your will to live? Not me. No one is going to care that you lost weight if you become a terrible, irritable, moody human in the process. If you’ve failed at sticking with diets before, this may be the reason why.
Some seem to think suffering and starving is some sort of accomplishment. Instead of trying to eat as little calories as possible from day 1, try finding your maintenance first. Instead of being impatient, rushing things, then ending up quitting in frustration – eat more before you diet. This will be much more productive than eating less than a small guinea pig.
When was the last time you allowed yourself a TRUE diet break? One where you fuelled your body right? Track what you eat everyday and see how much you can eat without gaining weight. Track accurately. Do this for 1 – 2 weeks with daily weigh ins. Once you have your maintenance, reduce your calories by 200-400cals depending on how fast you want to lose. This means you aren’t going to plateau as fast or screw your body and mind up by trying to starve yourself on <1200cals. You’ll be surprised how much you can eat and still lose weight. Doing it this way makes consistent fat loss easier, while helping you avoid lean muscle loss from ultra low calories. You can always use this calculator as a starting point when figuring out your maintenance.
MISTAKE 2: CHANGING THE PLAN MORE OFTEN THAN YOUR UNDERWEAR
You change your plan before it has had a chance to start working. You didn’t gain the fat in a week or a month. It took some time. It took consistent bad habits. It is going to take consistent good habits to undo.
You ace your diet for 2-3 days, you check the scale – and nothing. But just because the scale hasn’t moved, doesn’t mean the diet is not working. The changes that are happening can take time to convert to scale change. So don’t allow the scale to dictate your diet plan. Most girls will freak out and quit when they don’t get instant results – falling off the wagon when the scale doesn’t move. Changing your plan too frequently based on short term feedback sets you up for failure. It won’t get you closer to your goal. Stick to the same plan, use a combo of scale weight + measurements + photos + how your clothes fit, to measure progress over 4-6weeks. If you stick to your plan long enough you are going to see results. Changing your diet and training excessively or freaking out about scale weight isn’t helping you achieve your goal bod.
MISTAKE 3: EATING TOO OFTEN
If you’ve heard that you need to eat more often, eat smaller more frequent meals to speed up your metabolism, eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like a pauper – or any variation of these meal timing myths – you have been LIED to and you should be pissed. It’s likely whoever told you this has no clue what they are talking about.
Eating more frequently will not rev up your metabolism. If you eat the same calories over 2 or 6 meals you will get the same result.
The truth is, you don’t need breakfast. Eating more often means you will be hungry more often everyday. If you choose 3-4 meal/snack times a day and stick to them, dieting will be easier and hunger more manageable. You have permission to skip breakfast, and instead eat 3 regular size meals and one protein based snack. This will not only equate to less hunger, but less time thinking about food.
This is just one form of intermittent fasting – a simple tool to make eating less easier and more enjoyable. The longer you stick to scheduled eating, the easier it will become. Eating within a schedule will help you cancel out mindless snacking. Choose a structure that fits your day and stick to it. You will always know when your next meal is coming – and will be less likely to forget to eat then accidentally end up in the Mcdonalds drive through!
You can eat human sized meals instead of eating like a mouse. This means meal time is satisfying and enjoyable. You can skip the feeling of deprivation and get on with your day.
MISTAKE 4: INTENSE CARDIO
While there is nothing wrong with cardio, most do it in a way that hurts their goals. I used to be the biggest sucker when it came to this mistake. I would try and eat no carbs while working out as hard as possible. Between crossfit and Muay Thai each day – I was running my body into the ground. I wasn’t training smart. I was training VERY DUMB. The unstructured and stress inducing crossfit, combined with the intense and exhausting muay thai was a great recipe for inducing my body’s stress response.
I had no energy for life and the scale wouldn’t budge.
Turns out your body doesn’t like it when you try to go extreme with exercise. I made the switch to strength training with 2min rest periods. I did proper weight training that wasn’t mixed in with cardio. Instead of trying to do things fast – I slowed down and focused on correct form and a controlled pace. You don’t need more – you need better.
As for cardio – I walked my dog at a leisurely pace. That’s it. You don’t need to train everyday or do hours of cardio per week to look good. Focus on getting strong on a few big lifts and walking more. You can get more done in your life if you aren’t working out all the time or chained to the stairmaster. Rethink your exercise program – don’t use it as a means to burn more calories. Use it to:
> build the body shape you want
> optimise insulin sensitivity
> attack weaknesses
> get strong so life feels easier
> promote healthy bone density
> boost mood & energy
> have fun
Yes, you should push yourself. But not every workout needs to be 110% effort until you are lying in a pool of sweat. Aim to get a little stronger each weak by tracking your workouts and getting stronger on the same exercises. Quit trying to do 9,678 exercises you saw some girl doing on instagram. The basics are best.
If you are doing lots of cardio because your diet sucks and you can’t lose weight – you are probably just driving up hunger and making it WAY harder to progress. Stop the cycle today and start training SMART.
MISTAKE 5: THINKING CALORIES DON’T COUNT
If someone tells you counting calories doesn’t work – they probably have never done it long enough or accurately enough to know. Every coach who helps reshape fitness models, bodybuilders and physique athletes will manipulate calories to get their result.
It’s science. Calories matter.
Whether you are eating healthy or unhealthy foods – the amount of calories is what will dictate your rate of fat loss. We know that you can diet on Mcdonalds and twinkies and still lose fat if calories are controlled. You may feel like shit from the lack of micronutrients and fibre – but you will be lighter. The key is making your eating habits and calorie intake support your goals. Eat consistent meals from filling whole food sources as much as possible. Get a balance of protein, carbs, fats and include fibre (checkout my calculator to figure out your needs http://www.dellfarrell.com/macro-calculator/). Stop thinking if you “just eat healthy” you will get to your goal -this is a very inefficient strategy that will only work for some people. Instead use a science back approach that cuts out the guesswork.
Calories count, but they aren’t all that counts. The macronutrients that make up you calorie intake will affect things too. Get a balance of all 3 within your calorie needs to avoid running into problems.
What you track you can improve. Doing the numbers will be the difference between average and amazing results. If you can’t be bothered – neither can most people – that’s why most people look terrible and year after year make zero progress. If you make this a priority you will be ahead of the rest.
Eat enough to live but less than your maintenance
Stick to the plan long enough for it to work
Schedule your meals
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Make 2018 Unforgettable
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