Fat loss has become a trending topic with over 993 million links attached to these two words alone. The “health and fitness” industry has become so saturated over the past decade that most of its marketing revolves around false promises and quick weight loss tips that are more about fads and less about health and sustainability. With so much information available online it can be extremely overwhelming to find something that encourages sustainable habits and long-term success. In this article we will discuss the five biggest fat-loss mistakes people make that sabotage their ability to lose fat and keep it off.
Increasing protein is a crucial, yet overlooked component of fat loss. Oftentimes focussing on protein consumption alone will create a substantial shift in weight loss. Animal protein is extremely satiating which decreases the ability to over consume. Due to the satiety of protein, we see a natural shift in decreased carbohydrate consumption when higher levels of protein are consumed. Have you ever heard of someone overeating chicken and broccoli? A diet high in protein will also boost metabolism, reduce appetite, and increase weight-regulating hormones such as GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin while decreasing levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. (2)
High Fat, Low Carb
The keto diet is one of the fastest trending weight loss programs on the market right now. It’s premise is to get the body into a state of ketosis, which occurs when there is not enough glucose to use as energy. In order to get into a state where the body uses ketones as energy instead of glucose, there must be an extreme restriction of carbohydrates. What started as a medical intervention for those with epilepsy, has turned into a fat loss trend that may not be someone’s best choice for two reasons.
In the simplest of terms, calorie restriction is a crucial aspect of weight loss. Because the focus of the keto diet is to consume mostly fats, which are highest in calories, it can be easy to eat more calories than burned. There are 9 calories to every gram of fat compared to 4 calories per gram for protein and carbohydrates. Did you know that just 1 cup of salted almonds equals over 700 calories! Focusing on high fats and low carbs without a deeper understanding of the total calories consumed on a weekly basis can be a surefire way to slow or halt any progress in fat loss.
Consistency and sustainability over a long period of time is another determinant to successful fat loss. Unfortunately, the keto diet, or any other diet with extreme restrictions can be hard to adhere to for an extended period of time. This leads into the next most common mistake made during fat loss attempts.
Intensity Over Consistency
Weight loss programs that are too extreme become impossible to follow for an extended period of time. Intensity over consistency adopts an all-or-nothing mentality that starts strong but fades quickly. Most fat loss programs and traditional diets require a massive shift from one’s current nutritional and lifestyle habits. The 30 day challenges may prove successful in the short-term, but lead to yo-yo dieting and more weight gained versus lost in the long run.
This is why personalized nutrition protocols are the key to long-term success. Creating achievable habits will ensure that each person is moving towards their goal in a sustainable manner based on their current starting point, personal needs and abilities. The best piece of advice we can provide as it relates to reaching any goal is to take small actional steps that gradually move you in a positive direction.
This acronym, which stands for “if it fits your macros”, gained popularity 14 years ago when Anthony Collova created an automated macronutrient calculator on his website. Based on an individual's daily caloric expenditure, body weight and lean muscle mass, this calculator spits out the macronutrient requirements needed to reach a desired weight.
This sounds simple and foolproof but unfortunately there are several issues with this method of fat loss. The first being that many individuals overshoot their daily caloric expenditure and do not know their lean body mass. These numbers become guesswork which will interfere with an accurate calculation.
Second, humans are not machines and there are dozens of reasons why a computerized macronutrient calculator will not be accurate for each differing individual.
Without adequate nutritional support, an individual may remain in a caloric deficit too long. This leads to hormonal imbalances that create a host of health issues and make it more difficult to lose fat in the future.
Lastly, this style of “dieting” does not take food quality into consideration. Continuing to consume highly processed foods while staying within a caloric limit will make it difficult to feel satiated throughout the day. Being hungry is not comfortable, therefore by focusing on more nutrient dense foods while in a caloric deficit will not only support fat loss but ensure the individual is getting crucial vitamins and minerals.
When people track calories or focus on a specific diet to lose fat is it common to forget about liquid consumption. Coffee creamers, alcohol, morning juices, smoothies, sodas, sports drinks, etc. all have a substantial amount of calories that will play a part in body weight. Tracking liquids not only ensures a more accurate depiction of calories consumed but can create awareness of how big a role fluids play in weight loss.
Losing fat may seem simple but it’s not easy. Every individual has differing needs and abilities based on their lifestyle and habits that a one size fits all approach cannot fix. It’s time to stop giving into the media’s marketing scams and start creating sustainable habits that last. At Central Athlete, our professional coaches ditch the fads and use evidence based protocols that are personalized to each and every individual to ensure long-term success. If you are tired of yo-yo dieting with little success and are ready to take control of your weight and your health, click the link below to schedule a free strategy session to learn more!