Last week we spoke about how you can have your carbohydrates and eat them to while training for fat loss. Given it is Spring time here in Australia, the weather is steadily warming up- this is often the sharp reminder we require to kick us into action as the prospect of being in a pair of swimmers is all of a sudden a very real possibility, as are the weddings, nights out in dresses and time spent in much less clothing.
Naturally, after a cold winter where you were more likely to be caught in line at the chocolate fountain at a Netflix marathon than in the gym- it is now time to start thinking about fat loss.
Don’t stress either, you haven’t left your run too late for a cracking summer body. Read onto make sure you aren't making these 5 fat loss mistakes that are stopping you from burning as much fat as is healthily possible coming into summer.
Fat Loss Mistake 1- You Aren’t Working Hard Enough
May as well address the uncomfortable one first and get it out of the way. Generally speaking it is very, very easy to stretch the rest breaks out, not push the weight up week in, week out or push yourself as hard as you should for unbelievable results.
How do I know? I’ve been there before. I have coasted along and I got mediocre results at best. It was disappointing but I had nobody to blame but myself.
If you are working with a coach this one shouldn’t be a problem as your trainer knows when you’re working and when you’re coasting. The point is if your training goal is burning fat that it is hard work and it should be really hard work. If great results were easy everyone would have them.
Fat Loss Mistake 2- You’re Working on a 5-2 Split
Perhaps not the most jaw dropping reason for not losing fat but a healthy lifestyle needs to be a lifestyle and that means weekends too.
Sadly weekend calories do count and no matter how hard you work during the week absolutely destroying burgers and 27 beers on a Saturday night will undo your hard work. Sure you will still see some progress but you will be short changing yourself big time with a massive calorie surplus not to mention the knock on effect it has for training and diet the following week.
We recommend working on an 80/20 rule generally but if you want big change (I mean HUGE change- like dropping 10+% body fat) it needs to be 95/5 with 95% of the time clean food sticking to the plan and 5% maximum (absolute maximum) of the time letting things slide.
5% of the time though is one meal- for optimal results it may be higher carbohydrate but of the good kind- rice, sweet potato, white potato.
Don’t be fooled, big body composition change takes sacrifice. It means sometimes you might not be eating the birthday cake, saying no to big nights out and junk food but if you want a before and after photo that will wow you and to get your health on track these sacrifices while hard at the time will be well worth it in the end.
Fat Loss Mistake 3- Following The Wrong Plan
With the rise of Instagram fitness “experts” it seems that simply having an Instagram account is enough of a qualification to start handing out fitness advice, workout programs and nutrition plans in a lot of instances.
Already you should be seeing some warning signs here. I know a lot of people who are shredded to the bone but have no idea how they got there. I also know people like this who sell programs online to hundreds if not thousands of unsuspecting customers looking for a quick fix.
Sure, some of them are probably good- but with this rise of the jacked Instagram user’s sales empire comes the rise of the phenomenon of working hard for the sake of working hard, with little to no plan in place.
Don’t get me wrong belting out thirty burpees, fifty jumping jacks and one hundred and twelve crunches will get your heart rate up and it will burn calories. Changing it around to a wildly different formula for the next day and again for the day after just doesn’t give the body time to adapt, build, grow and progress.
Hard work is an absolute essential to burning fat, period- however the hard work needs to follow a plan, a plan that allows for continued body composition and performance once the fat is burnt as being realistic you can’t be in a fat burning program forever.
Fat Loss Mistake 4- You Are Constantly in Stress Mode
Every year we are uncovering more and more about the human body, some are hacks to improve it and others are elements trying to break it down. With these advances we are learning more and more about the impact chronic stress has not only on our body composition but also our general health and wellbeing.
There is a great book titled “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers” by Robert Sapolski that talks about the only chronic stress a zebra experiences is when it is running from a lion. The lions only chronic stress is chasing the zebra down. After escaping, or eating the stress subsides to normal.
This fight or flight mode of our sympathetic nervous system is built for situations of extreme stress- somehow we have reprogrammed ourselves to be in this mode almost constantly for days, weeks and months on end and I’m sure it comes as no surprise that it has a big impact on our health.
When your cortisol levels are out of whack you will experience any of the following- loss of appetite, struggle to get to sleep and struggle to wake up, you will find you’re often sick, tired, lacking in energy and you will eventually look visibly unwell.
The answer is as simple as you would probably expect- slowwwwww down. Take some time out and relax. Implement a good sleep habit and try as best you can to avoid the stressful situations that you can avoid. Add some “me” time into your schedule- whether that is a massage, yoga, having fun with the family it doesn’t matter just enjoy yourself and the time you have.
Fat Loss Mistake 5- Honesty and Accountability
Sure this is a bit of a strange, but nearly eight years of helping people burn body fat as a coach has taught me many things, one common one being honesty and accountability are an absolute essential if you want success.
It doesn’t need to be to an external person, it can be to yourself- and this is where honesty comes to the party.
On far too many occasions I have had clients tell me time and time again that they aren’t eating high carbohydrate meals too often, or drinking too much alcohol and I am left wondering whether they were trying to convince me, or themselves that they were doing the right thing.
There is a little voice in all of our heads that can justify the extra serve of dessert, the deep fried foods or the entire block of chocolate far too easily- but that is what will stop you from succeeding.
As an individual I have never achieved better results than when I was held accountable by a group of people- it wasn’t that I needed their validation, rather that added accountability became the little voice I heard when a part of me was tempted to stray away from the plan.
By no means does this mean you need to post a photo of yourself in undies all across social media but definitely take some before and after photos, have a food journal that you show your coach- it doesn’t need to be super scientific. Your method of accountability just needs to be something you can consistently show that you are doing the work and as a result you will see consistent results, so long as you’re honest to yourself about it.
It is without a doubt that these are the five most common fat loss mistakes being made time and time again- have you experienced the same thing? Or have you got another thing that has held you back from success?
If you are after any more information or have any questions, feel free to get in touch through our contact page or in the comments section below.