There are no secrets to effective fat loss right? Just exercise and eat clean. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. Often we find things are working great in the beginning and we start melting the pound off, then all of a sudden we get to a plateau and it becomes very hard to lose fat any further. The last few pounds are especially the hardest.
You may think you are doing everything you can and everything right, but these are some of the reason why you may not be seeing results.
You might be working out or hitting the gym two to three times per week but the fact is that this is not enough for some serious fat loss. You need to stop working out and start training. And you need to train on most days, taking a day or two off every week to recover. That means you should be following a program of strength training and cardio five to six times per week in order to blast fat effectively.
This seems contradictory to the point we made above. But it might be true. You might be doing too much cardio or putting in a lot of time with the weights or even overtraining each muscle group. Make sure your workouts are intense. You need to be effective and efficient. Let a muscle group recover before you hit it again. Focus on quality over quantity.
SUBOPTIMAL PROTEIN INTAKE
You might think you need a high protein diet only when you are gaining muscle. Wrong! Proteins keep you fuller longer, leaving you satisfied and less likely to binge on other unhealthy fatty foods which can hamper your weight loss goals. Try to take in protein from natural foods such as chicken, fish, eggs, turkey, lean meat and greek yogurt.
TOO MUCH STEADY STATE CARDIO
Cardio has a lot of benefits including lowering the risk of heart disease, improving your metabolism and aiding in blood circulation and should undoubtedly be including in any workout program. However, you are making a mistake if all you do for your workouts is go for long runs or long bike rides. Unless you are an endurance athlete, chances are you do not want to look like one. Compare the bodies of marathon runners and sprinters and you will know what we are talking about. The body gets used to too much steady state cardio and this will hinder your progress. Try a balanced program of strength training and HIIT cardio (High Intensity Interval Training) instead to attack the fat efficiently and get best results.
This is really the same point as we are making above. You might be doing too much cardio for fat loss and completely ignoring resistance training. The truth is that resistance training only helps you in your fat loss goals. The more muscle you gain, the more fat you lose. It’s as simple as that. Focus on compound exercises like bench press, deadlifts, pull ups and squats to gain maximum lean muscle and destroy fat cells. Don’t ignore any body parts. We are all guilty of skipping leg day sometimes but don’t make it a regular habit.
EATING TOO LESS
Starving is not a solution for fat loss. If you eat way too less your body goes into a state of shock and activates survival mode. This lowers your metabolism and instead of losing fat, your body starts storing it, reversing your fat loss plan. Make sure you eat the right amount of calories as per your body needs. Have a caloric deficiency of not more than 500 calories per day.
CHANGING DIET/WORKOUT PLANS TOO OFTEN
You might be doing injustice to yourself and your diet or workout plans if you switch too quickly from one to the other. You may think that the plans are not effective but sometimes you just have to give it some time. Pick a diet plan and stick to it for at least a couple of months. Same holds true for workout plans.
EXCLUDING FATS AND CARBS FROM DIET
Fats and carbs are important macronutrients and are needed by your body to perform daily functions. Eliminating them from your diet is not the solution to effective fat loss. You may hear a no carb or not fat diet plan fad from time to time, but do not pay attention. You need a balanced diet. Focus of eating healthy fats such as nuts, nut butters, avocados, fish oil etc. Also focus on eating healthy complex carbs such as brown rice, whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta etc.
NOT CYCLING CARBS
While you may be eating clean and consuming the same healthy foods every day for a long time, you are bound to hit a wall if this is the case. Not all calories are created equal. The body adapts to the same food being fed every day and halts your progress. Manipulate your calories by cycling carbs, eating high amounts on training days and low amounts on non training days. This will keep your body guessing and keep your fat loss going.
Related: Avoid These Mistakes in the Gym