Are you making common fat loss mistakes without even knowing it? It is unmotivating to see all your efforts be put to waste just because you are doing some of the most common fat loss mistakes. This is why I created a list of mistakes you should avoid when trying to shed off the extra fat.
Losing fat is not entirely the same as losing weight. Weight loss refers to decreasing your entire bodyweight. You can lose weight by a number of different factors such as losing fat and or losing muscle. However, when you say you want to lose fat, it means you want to get toned.
These are the 14 most common fat loss mistakes:
- Not Measuring Your Food Eating — Too Many or Too Few Calories
- Not Doing Strength Training
- Focusing on Your Scale Weight
- Going on Crash or Fad Diets
- Not Consuming Enough Protein
- Not Consuming Enough Soluble Fiber
- Overeating Simple Carbs
- Going Low-Carb
- Going for Low-Fat or Diet Alternatives
- Overeating Saturated Fat
- Overdoing Cardio
- Not Being Consistent
- Skipping Meals
- Doing The Same Workout and Not Trying To Get Stronger
Let’s discuss each fat loss mistake and how you can fix them!
1. Not Measuring Your Food Eating — Too Many or Too Few Calories
A caloric deficit is required if you want to lose weight, which means you have to burn more calories than you consume. However, if you eat too few calories, you may end up not losing weight at all.
Both overeating and undereating are not great for people who want to burn fat.
Eating too many calories can make you gain weight, especially if you are consuming foods that are high in sugar, processed, and unhealthy food. On the flipside, not eating enough calories can slow down your metabolism and reduce your muscle mass.
You may feel like you are eating the right amount for yourself, but as a matter of fact, the majority of us tend to underestimate what we eat.
Without proper measurement and food education, you may not be able to find out exactly how many calories you are consuming.
Educate yourself with the number of calories of the food you are taking in. Also, learn about the proper nutrition your body needs. Not all bodies are created equally, which means not all bodies require the same amount of calories and nutrients.
Prepping your meals in advance will significantly help you correct this mistake. You can either cook the meals in advance or you can prepare the uncooked food in separate containers before storing them in the freezer. Not only will meal prepping help you in your fat loss journey, but it can save you a tremendous amount of time.
2. Not Doing Strength Training
Doing resistance training is extremely essential during your fat loss journey. Studies have shown that strength training is one of the most effective strategies to burning fat, gaining muscle, and increasing your metabolic rate. Resistance training can also promote fat loss in the belly area.
You can integrate strength training with a cardio workout of your choice to get optimum results. There has been a study stating that the best strategy for weight loss is combining resistance training with aerobic training.
Create a workout plan that you can stick to. The first step should be deciding whether you want to workout at home or at the gym. Next is to decide what kind of strength training you want to do. Do you want to lift weights or do bodyweight workouts? Once you’ve decided the type of strength training your want, you can now list down the kinds of cardio workout you enjoy. You can alternate and switch up your workout so you won’t get bored.
Note: Continuously increase the intensity of your workouts every few weeks to avoid hitting a plateau.
3. Focusing on Your Scale Weight
If you focus too much on your scale weight, you may feel like you are not losing weight fast enough. The weight on the scale is influenced by several different factors, such as water retention and the food that is still in your system.
A person’s weight can fluctuate up to 5 lbs in a single day, based on how much food that person consumed that day.
If you are not losing any weight on the scale, your body may be holding on to water weight. There are several factors that could affect your scale weight.
If you’ve been working out, there is a possibility that you are losing fat and also gaining muscle. Muscle is denser than fat. Therefore, a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat.
Just check out some before and after pictures of people who’ve gone on a fitness journey to get lean. You will see that some did not lose any weight at all (or even gained weight) but look a lot slimmer and leaner.
Instead of using the scale as your basis, use a measuring tape instead and track your measurements! You can take weekly measurements just to make sure you are on track.
Additionally, take photos to see your progress! Take a picture of yourself from the front, both sides, and from the back. A great tip is to wear the same clothes for every progress photo you take. It is easier to see the differences when you are wearing the same clothes.
4. Going on Crash or Fad Diets
One thing that can really mess you up is the quick-fix mindset. If you are looking to lose weight fast, you will be tempted to try crash diets. Crash diets do not work because they are unsustainable. You may lose weight in the beginning but fad diets can cause you to gain back all the weight you lost.
Crash diets are not only ineffective but they can also cause health problems. Most crash diets require you to consume an extremely low amount of calories, which can cause problems to your body.
Going on a fad or crash diet is not a good idea due to several factors:
- It usually requires a sudden shift in the type and amount of food you eat which makes it less sustainable in the long run.
- Deprivation can lead to binge eating and gaining fat.
Change your mindset and your approach. Don’t think that you are going on a diet, think of it as a lifestyle change. Your goal should be to get healthier and eat cleaner, to burn off the extra fat. Take one step at a time and slowly but surely eat cleaner.
Start by choosing healthier alternatives to your daily meals. If you are used to eating a lot of unhealthy food throughout your day, then start by eliminating one unhealthy meal at a time and swapping it for a healthier choice.
Also, choose healthy foods that you will actually enjoy. Do not force yourself to eat something that you despise. If you eat food that you don’t like just to burn off fat, you are more likely to give up on your “diet”.
5. Not Consuming Enough Protein
Protein is extremely essential to getting lean. If you want to shed fat and build lean muscles, then you have to make sure you are taking in enough protein for your body.
Consuming enough protein is important because it can help you speed up your metabolism and it can naturally suppress your appetite.
Also, protein will not only help you lose fat, but it can also aid in belly fat loss.
There has been a study that shows that participants who got 25% of their calories from protein lost more belly fat than people who are eating half that amount of protein.
If you want to increase the amount of protein you consume without worrying about eating too many calories, then try adding protein shakes to your diet. You can drink the shakes as is or you can add protein powders to your pancake mix, oatmeal, baked goodies and so on.
Protein shakes are great because they are low in calories and high in protein. Just ensure that you choose the best protein shake for you. There are many different kinds of protein powders out there. There are also vegan and vegetarian-friendly protein powders!
If you are worried about getting bulky, don’t! Women don’t have enough testosterone to get bulky like men.
6. Not Consuming Enough Soluble Fiber
It is important to make sure you are getting enough fiber for your body. Most importantly, make sure to take in enough soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps keep your gut bacteria healthy and aids in overall fat loss by being a natural appetite suppressant.
Not consuming enough fiber is a loss of opportunity for your fat loss transformation.
There are several soluble fiber rich foods that you can add to your diet. Foods that are rich in soluble fiber are oats, beans, apples, carrots, strawberries, whole grains, seeds, citrus fruits, and psyllium.
Switch your breakfast to oatmeal and whole grains. Prep overnight oats to save time. Then, if you like snacking throughout the day, make sure to eat fruits that are rich in soluble fiber.
7. Overeating Simple Carbs
There are two main types of carbohydrates: complex carbs and simple carbs.
The difference between complex and simple carbs is that complex carbs have longer chains of sugar, therefore, they are digested more slowly than simple carbs. This means that complex carbs are great for people who are looking to lose weight or fat.
Simple carbs are found in sugar, syrups, candies, sodas, baked goods, some cereals, fruit juice concentrate, and so on. Some simple carbohydrates are also found in nutritious foods such as some vegetables and some fruits, so you don’t have to avoid all foods that have simple carbs.
Overeating simple carbs will leave you feeling unsatisfied and more hungry.
Limit your sugar intake. Most of us are guilty of overindulging in sweets. Make sure to control the amount of sweets, pastries, candies, pizza, pasta, etc. throughout your day or throughout your week.
To control your weekly intake of simple carbs, try your best to manage your cheat meals or cheat days. So instead of eating pizza randomly throughout the week, try to schedule it during your cheat days. Without planning, you may not be able to track the amount of simple carbs you are consuming weekly.
8. Going Low-Carb
Not all carbs are the same. Some are great for weight loss and others aren’t so great. Some foods that have carbs, such as oatmeal and vegetables, are great for weight loss. These carbohydrates are great sources of fiber, so avoiding all carbs is not effective if you want to lose fat.
Choose the carbohydrates that you will be consuming. You can keep on eating carbs that are filled with soluble fiber and lessen the amount of simple carbs you eat.
Stick to eating whole grains, vegetables, fruits and cut out the sugar, sweets, and sodas.
9. Going for Low-Fat or Diet Alternatives
When choosing certain foods such as yogurt, you may feel like getting the low-fat version. But these aren’t always the best choices for fat loss or weight loss. Some of the low-fat “diet” products are filled with sugar to compensate for the taste, which makes these foods create the opposite effect.
Instead of going for low-fat diet foods, just choose foods that are nutritious and minimally processed. So instead of getting the fat-free yogurt, why not try greek yogurt and top it off with fruits and nuts.
As with milk, instead of getting the low-fat cow’s milk, just try other milk alternatives such as almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, and macadamia milk.
10. Overeating Saturated Fat
Eating heavy amounts of saturated fat will come with a lot of health issues. Apart from the health risks involved, saturated fat is bad for both weight loss and fat loss.
Saturated fat is high in calories. All fats contain 9 calories per gram. If you overindulge in high-calorie foods, you will eventually gain weight and/or fat.
Limit the amount of saturated fat you eat. When eating meat such as steak, get a leaner cut. Additionally, avoid eating too much fast food and processed food since they are high in saturated fat. Opt for a cleaner alternative.
If you want burgers, instead of going to a fast food joint, why not order from a healthy restaurant or better yet make one yourself so you can stay on top of the food that is going into your body.
11. Overdoing Cardio
Cardio is great for fat loss, however, excessive cardio can give you the reverse effect. Experts say that too much cardio can impact your metabolism and make you gain weight in the long run.
Doing an excessive amount of cardio can overtire your muscles. If you are not fueling your body and you overdo your cardio, instead of your body burning fat it will burn off your muscles. This can cause you to look skinny-fat instead of looking lean.
Rather than doing long-winded moderate cardio, you should try quick intense cardio such as HIIT. High-intensity interval training is excellent for burning fat without having to spend hours doing cardio. Because of its intensity, it can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
12. Not Being Consistent
One of the most common fat loss mistakes is not being consistent. Consistency is key to achieving any goal in life, especially for fitness. You will not be able to achieve your fitness goals if you do not have the discipline to be consistent with working out and eating right.
When you come to think of it losing weight is simple, you need to eat clean and work out. But it is not as easy as it seems because not only is it a physical battle, it is also a mental challenge. You need to constantly remind yourself why you are doing this in the first place.
Create a clear schedule of your workout days and your cheat days. Plan out the meals you will be eating throughout the week to avoid ordering out or grabbing any junk you can find in your pantry.
The best way to stay consistent is to plan and get organized. Get yourself a fitness journal where you can track your progress and plan out your workout routines!
13. Skipping Meals
When you are trying to lose weight or to lose fat you may be tempted to skip meals. Why wouldn’t you be tempted? They say the fewer calories you consume the more you will lose, right? Well, not really. Skipping meals is not a great idea due to several reasons.
First, your body needs fuel in order to function. If you don’t provide proper nutrition to your body, it will not function at its best.
Also, skipping meals can lead to binge eating which will be a bigger problem and can cause you to gain more weight in the long run.
Do not skip meals, instead, you can try prepping your meals in advance. Usually, we forget to eat when we are busy, so make sure to prepare your food the night before or the weekend before and set aside healthy snacks when you are out and about.
14. Doing The Same Workout and Not Trying To Get Stronger
One of the most important things when it comes to fitness is to continuously challenge yourself. By doing the same routine, you will reach a plateau and not see any more progress. Doing the same exercise over and over will cause you to stop seeing results.
Once you do an exercise several times, your muscles will get used to the workout. The next time you do that same workout, it will no longer be hard for your muscles.
Do not do the same workout for weeks and months. Try switching up your routine every 3 weeks or whenever you feel that your routine is getting easier.
You can keep track of your progress in your fitness journal. Write down how many sets and reps you do for each workout session you do.
In conclusion, keep in mind the fat loss mistakes you are guilty of and do your best to correct each mistake. By being aware of your fat loss errors and by actively trying to correct them will bring you closer to the lean body you are striving for!