If you are feeling stuck in a rut or displeased with your dieting attempts, there’s a good chance you are making one or more of the following weight loss mistakes.
Mistake 1: Not being in a calorie deficit
No matter how “clean” you eat and how much you exercise, you’ll never lose weight if you’re not in a calorie deficit.
It works like this:
If you consume more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight If you consume fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight
That’s a scientific fact. Case in point: Mark Haub, professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, ate Twinkies, Oreos, Doritos and protein shakes for two months while maintaining a moderate daily calorie deficit.
He lost 27 pounds in two months by eating junk food… just because he was in a calorie deficit. Now, we don’t advice you follow such a diet because that’s terrible for your health, but it proves my point.
Mistake 2: Adapting a too severe calorie deficit
If an energy deficit of 300 calories a day will get you lean, a 900 calorie deficit should slim you down three times as fast, right?
A severe calorie deficit will not lead to superior fat loss but actually hurts your progress for four reasons:
It slows down your metabolism, which means you’ll burn fewer calories a day. This sets you up for regaining all the lost pounds once you go off the diet
Severe dieting causes excessive muscle loss, which hampers metabolism
Your cravings go haywire, which makes you more likely to cheat on your diet plan or even toss it out the window
It wreaks havoc on your hormonal health. For example, it spikes the “stress hormone” cortisol, which stimulates muscle wasting and reduces fat burning
That’s why low-calorie diets are doomed to fail. While you may lose some weight during the first few days, you’ll regain the lost pounds once your willpower runs out. Plus, you’ll likely gain some weight on top of it.
Mistake 3: Thinking all calories are created equal
As mentioned, being in a calorie deficit is key to losing weight. But this doesn’t mean all calories are created equal!
You see, most of us strive to improve our appearance. And to do this, it’s not about weight loss but instead about fat loss.
To lose fat, it’s essential to consider which energy sources you use for your calories.
For example, if you don’t consume enough protein, much of the weight you’ll lose will be muscle tissue.
But, on the other hand, if you make sure you consume enough protein, you’ll maintain your muscle mass, and a significant share of your weight loss comes from actual body fat.
Besides, consuming the right foods is also essential for diet adherence. Simply put, certain foods are more satiating than others, and if you eat such filling foods, it’s easier to stay on track with your diet.
That’s why you want to have a diet with an optimised food selection – a selection based on your own personal situation and goals.
Mistake 4: Following an unrealistic, overly restrictive diet
Willpower is like a battery – you only have so much of it until it runs out. And that’s why restrictive diets tend to fail in the long-run.
Eventually, they deplete your willpower, which results in binging and makes you lose all your progress.
I’ve seen it countless times before… a guy or gal who is dedicated to losing weight and getting healthy. He or she starts a diet that only allows foods like tilapia, asparagus, and chicken.
While the results are good in the beginning and the dieter loyally brings their Tupperware boxes with “healthy” meals wherever he or she goes, it only lasts a short time before their willpower – and therefore their diet – goes down the gutter.
The solution? Create a custom meal plan – keeping in mind these common fat loss blunders, so you can enhance your health and figure in the fastest and most doable manner.
Meals should have calorie and macronutrient content tailored to your specific situation and goals.
The nutrition plan should have variety to ensure you’ll get a wide range of nutrients and ensure you’ll stick to your diet.
Meals should be based on your food preferences to make your diet enjoyable and help you stay on track with your plan.
Plan a shopping list each week that details every needed ingredient you’ll need the upcoming seven days.
By C. Taylor,
Christ & Co.