When trying to shed pounds, people do crazy things, like cutting massive amounts of calories, yo-yo dieting, and stressing themselves out until they lose sleep. Then, upon hitting the fat-loss plateau, they struggle to come to terms with their own actions and choices. If this sounds familiar, then you might also be committing one of the 7 deadly fat-loss sins. To help you rise above your fat-loss struggles, here are the 7 common mistakes that could be preventing you from getting the results you want, as well as ways to fix those mistakes:
1. Lacking Consistency
Too many calories. Too many calories. Restricting and then shouting YOLO on the weekends. Does that sound familiar? If it does, it’s time for a rude awakening: You’re massacring your own weight loss and muscle building efforts. The human body has something called “Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE),” which is how many calories you typically burn throughout the day. Most diet plans bring your daily caloric intake below the TDEE and require consistency to create an ongoing deficit.
For example, if you have a daily TDEE of 2500 calories, then you might choose to eat 2200 calories a day, 7 days a week (or 15,400 weekly calories). This is a reasonable decrease, allowing you to stay fueled and consistent.
But what happens if you dip too low, to around 2000 calories? You might do great for those first 4-5 days, but then you decide to have a cheat meal and devour a whopping 4,500 calories on Saturday and then slip-up with 3,500 calories on Sunday? Right there, you consumed over 18,500 calories that week.
2. Binge Eating
There’s a biological reason, called the fat set point (or set point weight), that explains why people who restrict or yo-yo diet tend to binge eat. Deprivation makes the body greedy, and when you restrict beyond a healthy point, the instant you binge, your body will want to retain all of that, because it feels like it needs to prepare for another bout of starvation. Doing this makes a violent cycle, especially in the fat cells, which tend to propagate whenever you binge, resulting in increased body fat.
3. Poor Nutrition
Even if you are eating 3 meals a day and knocking back a protein shake, could you tell me what the quality of those meals are? What’s the quality of the protein you’re eating? How much fat are you consuming? You can’t expect to eat fast food every day and have the same results as someone who cooks a wholesome meal, despite taking in the same amount of calories.
Understandably, many people are busy. You might have to resort to fast food once in a while. But it shouldn’t become a daily habit. Think about loading your plate with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains instead of empty calories and simple carbohydrates. This not only ensures you get the best macronutrients but that you’re taking in vitamins and minerals too. If you want to ensure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals to support your body and boost your immune system to protect against free radicals, try Gaspari Nutrition’s Anavite, a powerful multi-vitamin with a full spectrum of micronutrients to keep you feeling strong.
It’s amazing how easy it is to vegetate in front of a screen. All that time you spend lounging around is wrecking your Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). In other words, the longer you sit, the slower your metabolism gets. Even if you burn 700 calories in the gym, if you go right home to lay on the couch for the next 5 hours, you’re ruining the residual effects of that workout.
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In short, sit less, move more.
5. Hokey Diets and Fads
One thing I personally have a problem with is diet teas, detoxes, strict carb cutting and other hokey diets that people swear by. Don’t listen to that nonsense. Nutritional science and exercise science has proven time and again that you need a caloric deficit and a controlled diet if you want to lose weight. No amount of cayenne lemon water is going to change that. Further, crash diets, detoxes, diet teas, and strict diets all wreak havoc on your body, your digestive system, and your metabolism—for the same reason the body wants to binge eat after restricting for too long.
6. Protein Problems
Record what you consume for 3-4 days then go through and find out how much protein you are consuming. With a healthy diet, only 30-40% of your calories come from protein, with those who are working vigorously 6 days a week hitting 45% protein. If you’re eating too much protein, you need to shave off some grams. It doesn’t matter if you’re eating protein, carbs, or fat—too much of one macronutrient means it will be converted to fat.
If you’re struggling to meet protein needs, you should try out some of the superior whey proteins formulated by Gaspari Nutrition. There is a full line of whey proteins for bodybuilders, hard gainers, and even recreational athletes. The ingredients are high-quality, and there’s no fillers or amino-spiking involved.
7. Sleep Deprivation
You’ve probably heard it before, but stress really does make you fat. Namely, stress caused by sleep deprivation. Most people need to get 7-8 hours of restorative sleep a night. Therefore, if you’re stressed out, looking into blue light before bed, or binge eating before you hit the sack because your worried about something, you’re reversing your weight loss efforts as you toss and turn.
In order to fight the fat-building hormone cortisol, you should limit caffeine, cut down on phone and PC usage before bed, and pop a supplement like Gaspari Nutrition’s ZM-Complex, which can help you get to sleep faster and doze more soundly. The better you sleep, the less stressed you will feel—and your muscles will recover faster too.
Losing fat is more than dieting or working out. In fact, without a balanced, nutrient-rich diet and enough daily activity throughout the day, you’re going to find yourself struggling to lose even a few pounds. Avoid the 7 mistakes listed above by taking care of your overall health and wellness, and find balance within your lifestyle so you can eat right, go hard in the gym, and sleep well at night. Do that, and the fat will start to melt away.
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