You may be working extra hard in the martial arts gym, but at the same time, wondering to yourself why you see very little progress, if any. We all want to work to achieve our goals, but sometimes, we don’t realize there are some things we do in particular that sort of hold us back.
The worst enemies of any fitness program are mistakes. Because of our lack of understanding, sometimes we take one step forward and two steps back. The intention and effort could be there, but there are key mistakes we may be making that are preventing us from gaining any ground on our goals.
Everyone wants to be healthy, look great, and feel better about ourselves. But our actions, especially those we may not realize we are doing, have a profound impact on our overall well-being, and how effectively we can march towards our fitness goals.
The good thing is, we have a chance to identify these mistakes and eliminate them from our daily routines. We can course-correct the ship that runs our daily lives and accelerate faster towards achieving our goals if we can stop making these mistakes right now.
Today, Evolve Daily shares five fitness mistakes that are keeping you from seeing progress.
1) Underestimating Your Calorie Intake
Calories, specifically the amount we consume, play a major role in our weight loss goals. We’ve always been taught to be at a caloric deficit in order to burn excess fat and lose weight.
While this remains to be true, oftentimes, we don’t account for many of the calories we take in between meals. This leads to us grossly underestimating our calorie intake, which then leads to weight gain instead of weight loss. It’s a common mistake people make.
The way you can combat this is by properly recording your caloric intake, which means chronicling everything that goes into your body accurately.
Most of the time, people don’t account for a squirt of ketchup here, or a dollop of salad dressing there, or maybe even the amount of oil they use to cook food. These may be small in caloric value independently, but the little stuff adds up.
This leads to thinking you’re in a caloric deficit when you’re actually not, and explains why you’re not making any progress.
The use of a food scale is key to accurately measuring your calories. It’s tedious, but it will definitely help in the long run.
2) Excessive Cardio
People love to turn to cardio to lose weight and get lean, but too much of it is detrimental to your overall progress. Studies have shown that longer durations of cardio exercises impairs muscle growth. The key is to strike the right balance.
It’s easy for us to opt for the treadmill or the stationary bike, because they’re easy to do and don’t require too much willpower. They help you burn calories. But the elephant in the room is that you’re also burning muscle mass, and this won’t help you achieve the kind of results you want.
What you want is to develop lean muscle mass, while burning excess fat. Excessive cardio won’t get you there.
For the average person, 30 minutes of cardio daily should suffice. Any more than that, and you’ll start losing muscle mass before you lose fat.
Of course, any of these tips assume you are following a proper diet with the right balance of protein, carbs, and fiber.
3) Too Much of a Caloric Deficit
At the same time, it’s also a fitness crime to be too much into a caloric deficit. People tend to target massive caloric deficits in order to lose weight quicker. But this line of thinking is flawed, and too much of a caloric deficit is definitely not sustainable.
Having too much of a caloric deficit causes a spike in the production of Ghrelin, the hunger hormone. So you’ll be feeling hungry more often than not, and you’ll likely end up succumbing to one of those hunger pangs. It then becomes a battle of mental strength, which not everyone can handle.
The optimal caloric deficit lies between 20-25%. You can extend it further, but take note that the deeper you go, the greater the consequences, and the harder it is to grapple with the internal struggle.
Make it easier on yourself by keeping your caloric deficit in the optimal range. Go for long-term sustainability, over just losing weight quickly and then gaining it all back because you sabotaged your progress with a binge-eating session.
4) Having Too Many Cheat Days
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Posted by Evolve MMA on Saturday, August 26, 2017
Everyone loves cheat days, and while scientific studies do show that occasionally straying from your diet will help you in sticking to it consistently, and prevent you from going crazy, overindulging in cheat days will throw a monkey wrench in your plans.
Simply put, if you have too many cheat days, it will be detrimental to your progress.
Having an occasional cheat meal (not cheat day) is ideal. It won’t get in the way of you achieving your fitness goals. In fact, people should have cheat meals as a reward for working so hard. It also makes your diet as a whole more enjoyable.
The biggest problem people have with cheat days is cheating too frequently. Eating too much in a cheat meal is another obvious mistake, and one that you should try to avoid. Also, try your best to stay away from consuming alcohol, as it really sabotages your weight loss efforts.
The bottom line, don’t have a cheat meal unless you think you deserve it. If you haven’t put in the effort yet, you probably don’t. If you do deserve it, the general rule of thumb should be having a cheat meal only once a week, and you shouldn’t exceed 150% of your caloric intake for that day.
5) The Rock Diet
The Rock is a very popular guy, and most people envy having that sort of muscle mass and definition. To make matters worse, The Rock’s superstar diet is very well-known and highly publicized. He reportedly consumes over 5,000 calories a day, consisting of “the good stuff” like steak, eggs, fish, and vegetables.
Many people have tried to copy this diet and failed. The common misconception is that you can eat like The Rock and get results like him too.
Many people strive to hit this “bodybuilder’s diet” but fail to realize that it only works for a special group of people who are deeply entrenched in the science of bodybuilding.
For example, for the longest time, we’ve been incorrectly taught to consume six smaller meals throughout the day. If you’re not experienced in proper calorie documentation, then this is a huge problem, and you’re probably overeating by a large margin.
The Rock Diet is unsustainable and is more likely to make you fat.
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