Mistakes for Fat & Weight Loss
When people decide to hit the gym, they have several goals in mind... to shape and tone up, slim down, bulk up, gain muscle etc... However, the most popular goal, motivation and aim is for 'Fat Loss'.
To lose weight, it requires a very dedicated routine. It may also involve some sacrifices and is very mentally as well as physically challenging. Results will not happen overnight - this is where most people get dis heartened. It is important to not lose hope!
The following article hopes to provide you with some tips and suggestions to keep you going, things to keep in consideration or awaken you to some factors that may be setting you back...
Not tracking progress happens to be a majority of peoples downfall when losing weight. One of the most important aspects of setting goals is to set ones which are measurable, realistic and achievable. Templates such as 'SMART' may assist you in creating these goals...
The more factors you can track, the more you can see whether your training and nutrition plans are working for you. Of course, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with too many goals, however, they will provide motivation and guidance to maintain progress. Here are some ideas of things you may track and will help when losing weight...
Too many people are concerned and focused as using 'weight scales' as their only form of measuring and recording progress.
Broaden your horizons! There are so many other measurement factors to consider. This will keep you motivated and let you physically or mentally see you if you are making progress.
Initially the scale can act as an indicator, especially for those with a larger body mass, however over time the more fit and muscular you become, the type of training you do... muscle may and probably will eventually weigh more than fat. This may mentally mess with your mind and leave you disheartened.. however this is then not an accurate measurement option when you get to this stage.
The following picture may make you realise, weight is not an accurate measure of fitness!
A picture speaks a thousand words. When tracking progress by pictures, we recommend to....
- Wear the same outfit
- Take the photo in same spot/location
- Ensure lighting is the same
- Consider angles
to ensure consistency. This way you will be able to physically examine and compare photos and see where changes are taking place. This will also bring a sense of excitement to see your progress!
By seeing imbalances it will help determine your next step such as restructuring your training or nutrition to reach your desired goals.
The way your usual clothes are fitting, whether they are tighter or looser, can be a great indication on how your progress is travelling! Some examples are as shown...
Fitness tests are an indication of fat loss, however, they are a great way to measure your cardio, strength, endurance or overall fitness. It is something to surprise yourself with and see how far you have come or how your goals and progress are coming along.
If you find are at plateau or losing fat or weight, your lack of fitness could be a contributing factor that is holding you back!
Cheating and Treating
Lets be honest, we probably do treat ourselves a little bit more often than we probably should. You may be unconsciously consuming more calories than you are actually burning off. This may leave you feeling puzzled as to why you are not losing weight.
Initially, many people are intimidated to start dieting. They think you need to sacrifice all foods you enjoy, taste great or those you classify as a 'treat' - this is incorrect! Dieting can be delicious and you can enjoy your 'treat' foods, just as long as you eat in moderation, know if you can afford it or know you have earned it.
To avoid binge eating or overeating we advise considering the following suggestions....
Follow the healthy plate guidelines...
- 1/2 a plate of vegetables
- 1/4 plate of carbohydrates
- A palm sized amount of protein
CaloriesIt is important to be aware of calories and the difference between low and high density energy foods. While portion control is important, sometimes the energy density of a food can skew how we see things. To understand this, consider the picture below...
Getting adequate protein intake is extremely important as it is the most important macronutrient. It particularly becomes important when wanting to lost fat and shredding some body weight. Higher protein intake will help and assist you tone up, gain and can be protective of any muscle loss.
Step Out From Your Comfort
The human body adapts extremely well to any stress that is placed on it. This can mean, if you continue to do the same exercises, repetitions, volume, weights, movements etc, your body will begin to adapt and prevent from further desired fat loss, muscle gain or increase in fitness levels. Push beyond your limits and challenge yourself to see further results!
Abs Are Made in the Kitchen
It is said that diet is made up of 70-80% and training is only 20-30% of overall results in reaching the physique you are after. However, we don't want you to think or mis encourage you that training is not an important factor to fat loss. This just means if you are not aware of how important diet is, or know how sensibly manage it, if your diet it out of whack, it will outweigh training, resulting in little or no results.
When shredding body fat percentage don't make rookie diet mistakes such as...
- Not eating enough, starving yourself or skipping meals
- Do not restrict foods! Skip the diet and just eat healthy! You could always try a IIFYM approach or use phone apps such as 'Myfitnesspal' to track you macronutrient, food and calorie intake. Restricting foods can have the reverse effect of binge eating and unintentionally develop food intolerances.
- Skip eating healthy fats! Healthy fats, keep you feeling fuller for longer, actually aid in weight loss. The body acquires fat through supplementation and diet as the body needs does not naturally produce it itself.
It is obvious we are living in a very fast paced world. It can be hard to find time for extra activities or do that gym session you planned to do during the day. However, remember balance is key to all success and living a happy life!
To aid in fat loss, exercising is a very important factor, not only physically but mentally as well. Take time throughout the day to exercise in any way you can... whether it be taking the stairs over the lift, getting up from the office chair and doing a lap of the office every few hours, parking further away and walking to your destination, riding a bike to work etc... try and be creative.
Just remember, its only up to you to make time, if you do choose to do an hour gym session, instructed cardio or weight class... 1 hour is only 4% of your day, put that in perspective. Even if this means sacrificing an hour of sleep or watching your favourite TV show, reflect on your goals and where you want to be and you will thank yourself in the end when you begin to see results.
Many people do not get enough, or overlook the importance of getting enough sleep.
When you sleep your body releases hormones which actually help stimulate protein synthesis, muscle growth and insulin. Coincidently, the deeper and longer your sleep, the more of these hormones will be secreted. Sleep helps with muscle repair, joint health, fat loss and even anti-ageing properties.
The less you sleep and more tired you become, will cause stress hormones to rise, which can increase fat storage within the body. When losing fat, it is important to get adequate sleep and get rest days (no training days). Rest days will ensure you continue to burn fat, recuperate and keep a healthy, functioning immune system.
You may like to read our latest articles regarding some sleep information...
By taking these topics and suggestions into consideration, we hope you will see results in your progress! We encourage you to keep a healthy physical and mental approach to dieting in order prevent relapses. This will also promote long term results and success in your goals.
Keep in mind, rome was not built in a day. Getting the perfect, desired physique takes effort, dedication, commitment and is not an easy process (physically or mentally). Don't be hard on yourself, perform one step at a time. Love what you do rather than endure it!
You may like to read our previous blog posts on information on dieting and supplementation that may assist you to reach your goals faster.
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