When working with clients who’s primary goal is to lose body fat we often discover that its not through lack of trying but more so because they become confused with the vast amount of information that is available out there. This says that and that says this. Well it can all get a bit mind boggling but I want to share 3 common reasons I feel most people are not achieving the fat loss results they desire and what you can do to change that shizzle.
1) You Either Eat Too Much or Not Enough
A common mistake people make is they go all guns blazing, training loads, eating less and then boom they realise its not sustainable and they go on an epic binge and eat way too much. They then feel terrible for doing such a thing and repeat step one again and eat too little. Even if fat loss is a goal of yours you still need to eat “enough”. On paper it makes sense to increase calorie expenditure and consume less calories when aiming to be in a calorie deficit to burn body fat. However this can lead to the loss of lean muscle tissue which we need to perform well, move well and of course keep our metabolisms firing nicely, as well as our body going into panic mode and holding on to body. So if in too big of a deficit for too long we run the risk of potentially slowing down our metabolism, burning less calories at rest and holing onto the body fat we are trying to lose. Then you open the calorie flood gates and consume too many and our body is even less effective at dealing with them. Plus with the reduction of lean muscle tissue your gym performance will also suffer and that is no fun at all.
What to do: Ask yourself a simple question. Can I see myself doing this kind of eating a training regime in 12 months time? If the answer is no then its not for you. Instead don’t be so drastic, sure eat a bit less and move a bit more but remember you need to eat enough to still perform well , smile and still promote fat loss but not so much you don’t achieve your goals.
2) You Ignore Performance
This is a classic because so many pursue a fat loss goal without assessing progress of training. Instead they focus on simply doing more instead of actually getting better. Anything that burns calories will help you in your quest for less body fat but boy is it boring. The amount of clients I have seen who say oh my fat loss plateaued so I did 2 classes on a Tuesday and Thursday instead of 1 or I ran for an extra 10 minutes on the treadmill or I added an extra weights session to my weekly schedule. I then ask when was the last time they actually got good at something, when did they see some real progress in their performance? I am often met with a blank look. Keep a training log, assess performance and aim to get better in some way each week be it an extra rep, reducing rest a little, an extra set here and there or of course increase the weight you are lifting. When you start assessing and stop guessing you will get huge satisfaction in knowing you are getting stronger and the effort in the gym is paying off in more ways than one, you can also see where you are not progressing and this means you can do something about it instead of simply going through the motions. Plus when you start prioritising progress you can train harder, build more lean muscle and achieve more in a single session in the same amount of time. This means more calories burned, a faster metabolism and all round awesomeness. So are you assessing or are you guessing?
3) You Overthink EVERYTHING
Is this the best training to do for fat loss? I enjoy lifting weight buts this article says cardio is better for fat loss and that Facebook post says HIIT is the best way to lose body fat, should I eat a low carb and high fat diet or is a low fat diet best? I only have time to train 3 times a week but the trainer at the gym said 4 is best. ARRRRRRGGGHHH I have a headache just typing these examples but they are very real examples. For many they simply just need to do, don’t think too much, don’t talk too much and take a leaf out of Nikes book and Just do It. Map out a 4 week plan and get on with it. That may be 3 gym sessions, 3 square meals a day made up of mainly the good stuff and some daily walking. Don’t deviate, get on with it, if you are assessing along the way with both your training and nutrition then come the end of the month you will know what worked, what you like and don’t like and what needs changing.
In a nutshell:
Bit lost? No drama, I have simplified things below a little to give t=you a plan of action.
- Just eat 3 square meals a day with a portion of protein (a palmed size of chicken for example), a portion of carbs (a clenched fist of sweet/white potato or rice), a level tbsp of fats like olive oil for a salad or butter for your spud ad of course plenty of green vegetables and salad. Snack if you really need to but don’t go crazy on nuts or seeds.
- Do what you enjoy in the gym or wherever you train. That really is the main thing but just make sure you are progressing in some way. Remember more is not always better so don’t think you need to make session longer or do more sessions to progress. Only better is better so make each session better in some way, small progress is still progress. Don’t forget to buy a note book and write things down.
- Map out a realistic looking 4 week meal plan and training plan you honestly feel you can stick to, aim to walk for 30 minutes each day. THEN STICK TO IT. If you feel like you are lacking energy you my need to eat a little more, don’t go crazy just add a boiled egg in as a snack or add a little more potato at dinner time and see how you go.
For some recipe inspiration you can of course check out the recipe on www.fitterfood.com or if you really want to become a healthy, quick and tasty food making bad arse then treat yourself to either of our books The Paleo Primer or our latest book Fitter Food: A Second Helping.
If you’re looking for a bit more accountability and the odd kick up the bum then join the hundreds of Fitties who are getting epic results as part of our Fitter 365 membership site. The results achieved last month were nothing short of mind blowing and all whilst enjoying structured training and eating amazing food. Be sure to check it out here.
Hope you enjoyed this read and if you have any questions at all then please get in touch with us.