5 Common Fat Loss Mistakes
1. Very Low Calorie Diets
This is extremely popular within the health and fitness industry when fat/ weight loss is the goal. The problem with doing this is by going under your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) or RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) as some call it, you are having a negative impact on your metabolism.
RMR is how many calories you need to survive without any activity. This is a number you should never go under, trust me on this.
In the pursuit of fat loss the goal is to maintain as much muscle as possible whilst losing the fat. Going under your RMR, you compromise the bodies organs, muscles`, bones along with the growth of hair, skin and nails.
At complete rest your body uses up 50 calories per hour, at complete rest. You should start to get the picture why these low calorie diets don’t work and are actually harmful.
Along with this, your metabolism is being down regulated, meaning when you eventually go back to eating a more ‘sustainable’ amount of food, which will inevitably happen, your metabolism can’t cope and stores the excess calories as fat. Back to square one!!
2. Skip Meals
Relates to point 1, in the context of skipping meals equaling less calories eaten over the day so that must mean I’m losing body fat / weight. To reiterate, it doesn’t work like this.
Lets say my BMR or RMR, as some say, is 1200 calories.
From this we know that the body burns 50 calories an hour at complete rest.
This is not taking into consideration any movements that I do that day, let alone training.
Now, if I’m the average person who eats 3 meals a day, each meal will be 400 calories, adding up to my 1200 a day.
If a meal is missed, I’m down by 400 calories and below my BMR, which is something you should never do as point 1 explains.
Get it out of your head that skipping meals is a good idea, its not. Work on regulating meal times day to day, this will help massively with your fat loss goals.
Many people diet Monday to Friday, then reward themselves at the weekend for doing so well with their favourite foods.
As these foods have a higher hedonic rating you over eat them. For example, if your calorie goal per day is 1500, but then on Saturday and Sunday you eat double this on both days, 3000, your total weekly calorie intake is 13,500, when it should be 10,500. You’ve overeaten 3000 calories, and are being very inconsistent.
If you consistently stick to your calculated calorie goals, which is not lower than your BMR but lower than what would be considered as over eating, plus hit your macros your body can only change for the better.
The same applies to training. Hitting it hard, 7 days a week for 3 weeks as you’ve got a holiday approaching, then you get back from holiday and take it easy, once maybe twice a week. This is such a common way of thinking when it comes to achieving fat loss goals.
Its 3 weeks until your holiday again, and again you do the 7 days straight of training frantically getting ready for the beach.
If you just stuck to an easily manageable 4 sessions a week, which will not affect you so much mentally, emotionally, deprive you of rest and not effect your social life it would be a much more enjoyable process.
With this approach, you’d get much better results, just by starting 2 weeks earlier than your frantic last 3 weeks push.
I have a golden rule for all of my clients, never go 3 days in a row without training or exercising. Try it, you’ll be surprised at the change it makes.
4. Over eating foods as they are healthy
Whether a food is healthy or not, it's still calories consumed.
You may think you are being good by eating rice cakes. You have it in your head that they are healthy as they are sold in Wholefoods and you see the adverts on TV.
Say you may eat 7 in one sitting, which is 350 calories total, not including your topping of choice. Which in most cases will be double the 350 calories.
Think of your favourite biscuit, for me I like a chocolate chip cookie. A chocolate chip cookie contains 150 calories, I eat one.
Even though I’ve eaten something that isn’t classified as healthy, I’ve still consumed less calories overall, and taking away the psychological edge of dieting by eating one of my hedonic foods. I’m happier, getting leaner and now satisfied.
Be careful of overeating healthy foods, in most cases people don’t realise they are doing so.
When training for fat and weight loss. You have to create metabolic disturbance, this is done by keeping your heart rate high.
Many people rest too long, perform too many single joint movements, kid themselves they’re working hard enough, aren't realistic with weight choices and are too inconsistent.
Rest periods should be short, 45 seconds is what I’ve found to work well.
Basing the majority of your workouts around arm days, ab days, or using only machines is using single joint movements. Doing compound moves (squats, pull ups, deadlifts etc.) is using multiple joints thus burning more calories and causing more metabolic disturbance.
Compound exercises burn 11.5 calories per minute compared to only 6. 8 calories per minute for single joint movements.
Programme your training wisely. Is it optimal or adequate? It should always be optimal.