So you’ve probably decided to shed some body fat, and maybe even started working out and dieting. While it’s great that you’ve decided to take action and work towards getting into the greatest shape of your life, there are some common fat loss mistakes which you might want to ensure that you’re not making!
Want to make sure you’re on the right track? Today, Evolve Daily reveals 8 Common Fat Loss Mistakes:
1) Eating too little
This one might come as a surprise, but you need to eat to lose fat! This is because if you starve yourself to save calories, your metabolism would get messed up. Hence, you’ll end up craving junk food later in the day, and the worst part is that there’s a high chance you’ll end up overeating.
If your food portions are too small, you might end up snacking excessively in between meals, which would not help with shedding fat. What’s more, you might end up getting a nutritional deficiency when you give up entire food groups.
Tip: Instead of eliminating all fats, opt for good fats such as salmon and avocado; or focus on whole grains instead of cutting out all carbs.
2) Overeating low-fat food
It is crucial to have everything in moderation – including low-fat food. This is because they seem (but aren’t really) healthy, thanks to their lower calorie count. Most of the time, these low-fat foods contain extra sugar, sodium or additives, so as to make up for any ingredients that have been removed.
Unfortunately, you’d think it’s alright to consume bigger portions of these low-fat foods because they taste “lighter” and contain less calories and fat. However, a study has shown that “diet” foods might cause us to eat more in the long run, due the fact that we don’t feel as satisfied when we consume them.
Tip: Choose real food over processed “diet” food to stay full for a longer time.
3) Focusing too much on cardio when you work out
This is one of the most common mistakes people make when they start exercising to lose fat. You might think that cardio is the way to go if you want to burn fat, but did you know that strength training is the secret to speeding up your metabolism?
The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate would be. That means you’ll burn calories even when you aren’t working out!
If strength training isn’t your thing as of now (although we believe it should be, at some point!), then why not shock your muscles by trying something new, instead of your usual runs? It doesn’t matter whether it’s boxing or yoga – your body will reap the benefits and encourage muscle growth.
Tip: Incorporate some of these strength training exercises into your workouts.
4) Rewarding yourself with a big meal after a workout
After hitting the gym, you’d probably feel like you earned yourself the right to eat whatever you want. But did you know this could be preventing you from shedding fat? Think about it. When you wolf down a few slices of pepperoni pizza and ice cream after your workout, you’re eating those calories you worked so hard to burn at the gym!
Instead of using workouts to make up for your unhealthy meals, you should focus on exercising to complement a healthier diet – if you really want to lose fat.
Tip: Pack a healthy post-workout snack or prepare a shake in advance, so that you can consume it straight after your workout.
5) Expecting overnight results
Because fat burning is a process which takes time, you wouldn’t get your dream body after just one or two weeks of dieting. So it’s best to not have unrealistic expectations, or you’d end up feeling disappointed and might give up altogether.
Also, don’t go too crazy with diet changes at the start or attempt to change everything, because you might struggle to keep up with dramatic changes, such as having salads for every meal. Instead, make small tweaks to your diet and monitor your progress!
Tip: Instead of focusing on your desired outcome, work towards short-term goals and celebrate your progress – even if it’s something as simple as drinking 8 glasses of water throughout the day.
6) Drinking your calories
If you wish to accelerate the fat melting process, then you should ditch sugary drinks! This is because sugar contributes to your belly fat while damaging your health.
Instead of soda or other canned drinks, why not opt for plain water instead? It not only keeps you hydrated, but also contributes to weight loss, as it fills you up faster and prevents you from overeating.
Tip: Rev up your metabolism by drinking iced water rather than room temperature water. Did you know that a 16-ounce glass of cold water can burn up to 17.5 calories?
7) Sleeping too little
Although there are many things that can keep you up late at night, you should prioritize quality sleep if you intend to shed body fat. If you don’t catch enough ZZZ’s, you’ll end up craving (and eating!) junk food. This is because your metabolism will slow down in order to conserve energy. Hence, this produces cortisol, which is a hormone that increases appetite.
What’s more, being awake more hours in the day means you’ll have more time to snack or binge. After all, your tired body would think it needs more energy, and keep asking for more food.
Tip: Switch off all electronic devices an hour before you head to bed, so that your mind has enough time to relax and you can easily go to dreamland.
8) Dieting without a plan
If you don’t establish a proper plan for your meals, you would find it difficult to stay on track and as a result, you might lose motivation along the way. Plan, buy, and prepare your meals for the week in advance, so that you’ll be less likely to succumb to (unhealthy) temptation while you’re out and unsure what to have for lunch.
Remember to take serving sizes into consideration during your planning so as to avoid overeating.
Tip: Keep a food journal or use a mobile app to plan your meals and log what you eat – so that it’s easier to keep track on your progress.
Now that you know what to look out for and avoid, make sure you don’t make these mistakes, and you’ll definitely get into the best shape of your life!