You have been dieting, working out and following a fat loss program for a while to lose that ugly fat from your body and look aesthetic, slim or shredded. But no matter how hard you work your ass off in the gym, how much you sacrifice your favorite foods, you are just not getting any results. You are either not losing any weight or all you are losing is muscle(this sucks) and not the fat and hence you won’t see any definitions in your body. If this is you, then you are the right place. Below are the solutions to the common silly mistakes people do while following the fat loss program.
Not tracking calories.
You never know how much calories you are eating unless you track them for once. It happens to almost every one of us. We think we eat so little but once we track our calories perfectly, we realize that we have been a lot of calories.
It is not at all difficult to track calories. Fortunately, we have got a number of calorie-tracking apps like Myfitnesspal, Healthifyme, etc. These apps make it super easy to track calories.
My easy steps to track calories efficiently.
- Find the caloric intake you need daily to lose fat. Here’s the guide for that.
- Now, take any one day of the week. I personally prefer Monday. So on this day, I would refer my calorie tracking app every time I eat and I will try my best to eat just in my caloric limits.
- And now I would follow the same food intake for the rest of the week. So now I don’t have to refer to the app.
i.e I use the app only once a week and copy the food intake for the rest of the days. This makes super easy to track calories.
Ignoring the N.E.A.T.
The helpful study is done on the N.E.A.T by the NCBI.
N.E.A.T means non-exercise activity thermogenesis.
You may be working your ass off in the gym but what about the remaining day? Are you really active for the rest of the day? Most of the people don’t.
N.E.A.T is your activity throughout the day excluding your hours in the gym.
The workout is mandatory but N.E.A.T will give you the extra edge in the fat loss game. This will improve your metabolism throughout the day and hence burn more fat.
How to nail the N.E.A.T?
Simple decisions like mentioned below in the day can work:
- Using stairs instead of the lift.
- Walking or cycling instead of using a vehicle to travel a short distance.
- Doing some activity like swimming, dancing, etc. in the free time.
In short, always taking the non-comfort zone way. This will also keep you busy and hence away from the food.
Doing a lot of cardio.
Losing fat is super easy but what makes it difficult is maintaining the muscles while losing the fat. Maintaining muscles is the most difficult part while cutting fat. So your primary goal should be to retaining as much muscle as you can during the fat loss.
No doubt the cardio is the key to the fat loss and also doing a lot of cardio will make you lose a lot of weight in a short time but that weight isn’t all fat. If you do cardio in excess you’ll lose a little bit of fat and a lot of muscles.
And fewer muscles you have lesser will be your metabolism and a more hard time you will have to burn the fat.
So find the range of cardio you need in order to burn fat. I suggest doing 8 minutes of HIIT(a minute of sprint followed by a minute of a jog) after every weight training session.
Avoiding heavy weight training.
I see a lot of people in the gym who suddenly stop doing heavy weight training when they move from a bulk( gaining muscles ) to a cut(fat loss) program. This is the worst thing you can do to your body during fat loss.
You should keep training heavy and give your muscles a reason to stay.
Firstly you are eating calories below your maintenance to burn fat and now, if you don’t lift heavy your body will become a perfect environment to break down muscles and you will ultimately lose your hard-earned muscles.
During a fat loss program, lifting as heavy as you used to when you were on a bulk is definitely not possible because you consume lesser carbs than before and hence your body won’t have enough energy but you should always try your best to lift as heavy as you can during the cut to maintain the strength.
Maintaining strength while fat loss is a great indication that you are not losing any muscles.
Not eating enough proteins.
For the fat loss you start eating in a caloric deficit i.e you start eating less. Now when you start eating less you ultimately consume fewer proteins too. Muscles love proteins and if you eat less protein you will start losing muscles and as I mentioned earlier, your main focus should be on maintaining muscle and then on losing fat.
So do keep a track of your protein intake too. You should consume 1 gram protein per pound of your body weight daily i.e a person weighing 150 pounds should consume at least 150 grams of proteins daily.
Now you might feel it challenging to increase your proteins while keeping your intake calories in a deficit.
Don’t worry. Here’s a complete step by step guide for how to calculate your proteins, carbs, and fats for fat loss: DIET AND WORKOUT FOR FAT LOSS.
Cheat day mistakes.
There are different ways you can go wrong with the cheat day or cheat meal idea.
Doing the aggressive cheat day.
What’s the use if you created a 3500 calories deficit by dieting hard for 6 days and then you consume 5000 extra calories on your cheat day. In fact, this creates a 1500 caloric surplus and you will gain weight instead of losing weight.
I suggest you keep a cheat window of like 4-5 hours once a week. Eat 2 or 3 tasty food meals in this window for your cheat.
No cheat day mentality
Well, if you are really dedicated and if you think that you can survive the complete fat loss program without any cheat then that’s best.
But some people start with this mentality and then they start getting cravings and they eat a cheat meal, then they regret and out of frustration they cheat for the whole day and then they feel lost and they give up and they eat a lot of junk and end up getting fatter.
So I suggest treating your body with a delicious meal once a week or with a cheat day once in 2 weeks.
Treating your body with a cheat meal or cheat day will help you mentally by lessening the burden of the dieting and will also boost your metabolism.
To lose fat fast you can do refeed days rather than cheat days.
Refeed day means on a day you increase your calories up to your maintenance calories by increasing the carbs intake. Doing refeed day will bring back your pump and your muscles will look fuller. Also, it will make feel energetic and hence you’ll be able to lift heavy after a refeed day.
I suggest keeping refeed day before any larger muscle group workout like back or legs.
- Track your calories.
- Keep in mind that N.E.A.T is your teammate in this fat loss game and make decisions throughout the day accordingly.
- Do just enough and cardio. Do not punish your body. HIIT will work better than cardio. 10 mins of HIIT = 30 mins of steady-state cardio.
- Do not stop lifting heavy.
- Consume at least 1 gram protein per pound of your body weight daily.
- Don’t do more than one controlled cheat day in a week. To opt for the better path do refeed days instead of cheat days.