6 Common Fat Loss Mistakes
As a personal trainer and nutrition coach for more than 25 years, I’ve experienced and seen a broad spectrum of fat loss tactics employed. Many of these methods of weight loss have ranged from a little less than ideal to downright strange. Here are six of the common mistakes I see folks make when first attempting to drop some bad weight.
Table of Contents:
- Treating Exercise Like It Is More Important Than Diet
- Making Healthy Eating Complicated
- Believing Clean Eating is Expensive
- Completely Cutting Out Carbohydrates
- Treating Nutrition Like A “One Size Fits All”
- Eating “Diet,” “Sugar-Free,” or “Fat-Free” Processed Foods
Treating Exercise Like It Is More Important Than Diet
Many people make the mistake of thinking if they run like crazy or spend hours at the gym using cardio equipment they will get a lean, ripped body. Unfortunately, while cardio does burn calories which can cause fat loss, it usually does not create bodies that are healthy on the inside. If nutrition is not adjusted to a balanced fueling system, we often find runners who are “skinny-fat” or soft, because they are still taking in too much carbohydrate. Eating a carbohydrate-dominated diet usually leads to excess intake and that spillage turns into body fat. In addition, excess cardio promotes the release of a hormone called cortisol, which can lead to poor utilization of blood sugar by the body. Moreover, prolonged and elevated levels of cortisol are known to contribute to the breakdown of proteins and muscle wasting. If this sounds like a scenario you would like to avoid, I recommend a focus on a balanced diet appropriate for your age, size, goals, and current needs, accompanied by a sound resistance training plan, like the ones I create at Transforming Strength, and complimented with smart conditioning in moderation.
Making Healthy Eating Complicated
There may be more written material focused on diet than any other topic. This sea of information coupled with new trendy diets popping up all the time has created a ton of misinformation. It is easy to see how this situation could seem complicated and cause frustration for those looking to change their eating habits. The first step I usually recommend is to focus on making dietary changes as simple as possible: Treat food as fuel and eat clean, whole foods. Avoid highly processed “foods” and food-like substances. Cut down your consumption of sugars (real and substitute) wherever possible. These are small but important steps everyone can take and they will make a noticeable difference in not only body fat, but energy levels, mood, and sleep, within a short period.
Read more proven weight loss tips here: https://transformingstrength.com/personal-training-tips/how-to-lose-body-fat-fast-with-10-simple-steps/
Believing Clean Eating is Expensive
I may have heard this one more than any other excuse for the avoidance of clean eating. When the average person adds up how much they spend on processed foods from a bag or box, including crackers, chips, cereals, cookies, and extra treats like specialty coffee and other beverages, and eating out, that amount can be staggering. When you cut out these big items and then hone in on the little things like coffee creamer, you will be amazed at the savings. Replace these food-like purchases with real, whole foods like eggs, chicken, tuna, burger, oats, rice, potatoes, quinoa, a host of vegetables, and WATER and your food budget will have simply reallocated itself towards options that fuel your body for better health. The hard truth of this mistake is that most folks don’t want to give up the convenience of processed food in exchange for the work of whole food cooking, but it usually has nothing to do with finances.
Completely Cutting Out Carbohydrates
Macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) are so named because they are known to be nutrients our bodies are built to process as their main source of fuel. While cutting out an entire macro-nutrient, like carbohydrates, which are our body’s first and primary source of energy, can force it to burn fat stores, it can also cause so much stress to the body that this option is not the most efficient option. Then why is this a fairly popular fat loss technique? The truth is because, for many, it is easy. It’s easier to simply cut out carbohydrates than learning to eat them as clean options in controlled amounts that fuel the body while still allowing it to burn up fat stores. The road to permanent fat loss keeps you happy, balanced, and fueled with clean carbs.
Treating Nutrition Like A “One Size Fits All”
Our bodies are unique, our needs diverse and our goals varied. This multitude of forks in the road means there probably aren’t two people who should be eating the exact same menu. Now, don’t get me wrong, some principles absolutely work, but the options for accomplishing those are only limited by your creativity or willingness to search resources like google. Plan on eating to fuel. Plan to eat clean. But most importantly, plan to eat balanced nutrients for YOUR needs.
Eating “Diet,” “Sugar-Free,” or “Fat-Free” Processed Foods
Products advertised as sugar and fat-free are quite often (almost always) misleading. These products are often confused as being healthy options that will promote a healthy lifestyle, but they do quite the opposite. With artificial sweeteners in the “sugar-free” options and fat-free options being loaded with more sugar than their higher fat content natural alternatives, these are choices that hinder progress and slow down the transition to treating REAL food as fuel. This also means anything labeled “diet,” from pills to supplements and foods to drinks, are all gimmicks that are designed to sell their products to people “trying” to lose weight and not the ones who are committed to building success from eating balanced whole food meals.
If you’ve made any of these fat loss mistakes, don’t worry, most of us have been there at some point… yes, even I was guilty of some of them a couple of decades ago. Stick around for more of my personal training tips and I will help get you on track.
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions. ~ Coach