6 Surprising Weight Loss Mistakes

6 fat loss mistakes the people of Bakewell and Wilmslow are making right now

On the face of it weight loss is incredibly simple: expend more energy than you consume.

Whilst this is true many people approach a calorie deficit in completely the wrong way.

Here are the 6 biggest mistakes I hear and see our members in Bakewell and Wilmslow make and ways to overcome them.

Mistake #1 Too Much Cardio Not Enough Weights

When the body is in a calorie deficit it will look for stored energy in your body; some from fat but also from muscle. Muscle is precious and incredibly hard to build and maintain so you don’t want it being burned away. You may experience weight loss through cardio training but if you're losing all your muscle by the time to reach you target body weight you won’t look athletic with muscle tone and shape aka you will unlikely have a desirable body shape. Instead you will have the same body you have right now just a little bit thinner - you often hear this 'look' being referred to as skinny fat. Weight training on the other-hand maintains muscle mass and gives you strength.  Not only will you look so much better as you lose body fat the more muscle you have the more efficient you will become at burning fat aka your metabolism will be high.
Side note: If you are in a calorie deficit whilst following a weight training programme you WILL NOT get bulky!

Mistake #2 HIIT Training All The Time

HIIT is awesome but not all the time. True hiit training is very stressful on the body; it increases cortisol and lactate acid which might effect your sleep, make you crave sugars, add to your overall stress load, increased your risk of injury and make you feel very tired. Instead mix up your hiit training with other training methods like weight training and low intensity cardio (keeping your heart rate below 180 - age) like walk or very easy jogging.

Mistake #3 Too Big A Calorie Deficit

I define a big calorie deficit as being in more than 10% below your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure). If your calories are too low your energy will plummet, your metabolism will slow down, your motivation will reduce, you will carve sugar like it's going out of fashion. The likelihood of maintaining this is incredibly unsustainable. So instead aim for 5-10% and come out of that deficit by bringing your calories up to maintenance once every 2 to 4 weeks for 1/2 days before dropping back into a 5-10% deficit.

Mistake #4 A Short Term Results Attitude

"If I don't see results in 2 weeks I quit!"

Okay so I don't hear many clients say it in quite so direct terms but not far off. Health and improving your aesthetics does not happen over night. Those that make it work take a long term view and approach it as such. They typically set goals over long term horizons; 3, 6, 12 month periods. It's a real shame when I see members upset after losing 4lbs in their first month. 4lbs should be celebrated! Not only is this rate of weight loss incredibly sustainable, will mean you're unlikely to be losing muscle, which is perfect and if you maintain a 4lbs loss every month over a 12 month time horizon that's a 3.5 stone loss, which is incredible! When it comes to setting aesthetic goals ALWAYS GO LONG!

Mistake #5 Eating Fake, Low Calorie Foods

Not every calorie is created equal. There are low calorie fake foods EVERYWHERE these days. Most fake foods are full of preservatives, sweeteners and generally devoid of nutritional value. These foods do not satisfy you compared to natural foods of the same calorific values. When you eat real, whole foods the signals in your body will be more accurate. For example if you consume natural foods and you’re hungry you can trust that feeling. If you eat real foods and you're tired you can trust that feeling, which allows you to make informed choices to adjust your plan. And further more your taste buds adapt very quickly. The more whole foods you eat the faster you will start appreciating and even craving whole foods, which is a game changer!

Mistake #6 Guessing Your Calorie Target

Many of the free calorie calculators you find on the Internet do not give you accurate information. Treat them instead as a starting point. Monitoring your progress and tracking your food is critical to make sure you’re heading in the right direction. I know tracking your food can be incredibly boring but it's such a powerful step to understanding if your calorie target/macronutrients are right. Measuring your body composition is super important but only if you then have the insight to make accurate adjustments to your nutrition to which a food diary will give you.

I hope some of those points have helped you understand why your physique might not be heading in the right direction. If you decide to make adjustments to your approach do not attempt to change everything at once. Small, seemingly simple adjustments to your approach can have a significant impact on your results. And remember consistency is king so whatever you change or add to your approach make sure it's something you can adhere to for a long enough time horizon (3, 6, 12 months) to experience transformational benefits.

Until next time,


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