Burning fat is hard for most people. With millions of articles and videos about weight loss on the internet, it is easy to get confused, overwhelmed and make mistakes. Here are ten mistakes to avoid when trying to slim down.
If your weight loss strategy relies only on workouts, you may find you are working your butt off at the gym and never have anything to show for it. The reason is simple. You are ignoring nutrition, the most important aspect of weight loss.
You need to combine your exercise program with a well-balanced calorie restricted diet that covers all your nutritional needs in the right proportion.
Weighing Yourself Frequently
If you are obsessed with the figures on the scale, you will have a hard time losing weight. There is more to your weight than the scale reveals, and you will be making a huge mistake if you allow those numbers to influence your fat loss efforts.
Your weight fluctuates at different times of the day and for women, different parts of their cycle as well. Rather than using the scale to measure your progress, use things such as mirrors, old photographs and how clothes fit on you to identify the small changes in your body - if you want to take your monitoring to the next level, it may be worth investing in some scales that measure your body fat percentage.
Doing the Wrong Workouts
Do you spend all your time at the gym on cardio workouts without touching weights? If you are trying to burn fat, you need to do more heavy lifting than cardio. Weight lifting increases muscle mass and boosts metabolism.
The more muscles you have, the harder your body has to work, this is because muscles are metabolically active tissue that burns calories even after workouts.
Despite the bad reputation fatty food has gained over the years, not all fat is bad. If you think you will make more progress by skipping fatty food, think again. Many of the food you consider fat-free also contain a high amount of sugar to improve palatability, and that makes their calorie content at par or higher to fat-rich food. Eating some fatty foods in moderation may even help you you stick to a diet long term by reducing your cravings .
Skimping on Protein
Protein is an excellent macronutrient that helps build new tissue and plays an essential role in immune function and other biochemical processes. Low intake of protein can hurt your fat burning ability as research shows that protein helps to improve satiety, boosts metabolic activity, reduces hunger, and lowers calorie intake. Protein can reduce the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin and raise the levels of the satiety hormone leptin.
Not taking Enough Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables should form a large part of your meals. If you are not eating the recommended minimum of 5 veggies daily, try to incorporate it into your diet now. Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients, are low calorie, filling and have a high fibre content which your gut needs to stay healthy.
Overestimating Your Weight Loss
When you start working out or dieting, you will record a high level of weight loss at first. However, your progress will taper out when your body has shed its excess stores of water and carbs. If you notice that your pace is now slow, don’t panic. Fine-tune your program and stay focused on the goal.
Not Getting Hydrated
If you are trying to lose fat, you need to stay hydrated always. Water helps to cool down the hunger pangs and ensures your metabolism is working in top gear. Additionally, water helps to maintain optimal homeostatic levels during workouts, preventing headaches and fatigue which can result from the loss of metabolites through sweat.
Cheating on Sleep
Sleep deprivation can throw your hunger-satiety hormone balance out of sync and also prevent adequate resting and rehabilitation of muscles. If you are not getting up to seven or nine hours of sleep each night, you might be sabotaging your fat loss progress.
Setting Unrealistic Goals
So, you want to have a supermodel’s body in three months? Get real! If you set unattainable fat loss goals, you are setting yourself up for failure. Rather than going ballistic about your targets, choose easy milestones that you can attain quickly and build your strengths gradually.