The most common mistakes people make that hinder their fat loss, and more importantly, what you should be doing instead
When it comes to fat loss, many people seem to think that endless cardio on the elliptical and a few ab exercises is the way to go. Well, it’s not. So what’s the secret? What enables a small percentage of people to achieve sub-10% body fat while others can’t get there despite years of training and “dieting”?
In this article you’ll learn:
1. Not eating enough protein
It is essential that you use the appropriate macros for cutting when trying to lose fat. One of the most important macronutrients to consider is protein. Adequate protein intake becomes vital during weight loss to help you feel full after a meal and preserve your muscle which keeps your metabolism high when losing fat.
You should stick to eating around 0.8g-1.0g/lb bodyweight of protein daily when trying to lose fat, and this should come from quality sources. Excellent sources of protein and vital amino acids include eggs, seafood (salmon, tuna, etc.), lean beef, chicken and Greek yogurt.
2. Doing the wrong type of cardio
Don’t get me wrong, low-intensity steady-state cardio has its place for fat loss, but if you really want to accelerate your fat loss then you need to incorporate high intensity interval training (HIIT). Don’t believe me? Look at the body’s of 100m sprinters, who perform mostly all of their training in a HIIT manner.
There are several reasons why HIIT workouts are superior to steady-state cardio when it comes to fat loss, but combining both is most effective. Adding in 1-3 HIIT sessions/week in the form of sprints or other exercises in addition to steady-state cardio (on separate days) will help you break through fat loss plateaus, especially when done in a fasted state.
3. Eating too much or too little
As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised as to how many people are unable to lose fat due to either eating too much or too little without even realizing it. Eating too much will prevent fat loss if energy intake exceeds energy expenditure from exercise (which we all probably know by now).
But you may be eating too much without realizing it. Teaspoons of oil, peanut butter, dressing, and sauces add up if you don’t account for them. An easy way to account for this is to use a calorie tracking app and see how your actual intake compares to how much you should be eating to lose fat.
On the other hand, eating too little will eventually lower your body’s metabolism and cause your fat loss to plateau. You may initially lose fat when you first begin dieting but this will come to a halt and adding hours of cardio won’t fix it. So trying to lose weight as quickly as possible and severely dropping your caloric intake won’t do you any good. Instead, gradually drop your intake to progressively lose fat.
4. Losing too much strength
You need to place a priority on maintaining your strength when cutting. The worst thing you can do is change your weightlifting routine to “high reps and low weight” when trying to lose fat. This will cause you to progressively lose hard-earned muscle that will lower your metabolism and bring your fat loss to a halt. So instead, try your best to maintain your strength (especially on compound lifts) as much as possible when trying to lose fat.