I’m not going to sugar coat it: trying to lose fat sucks.
It’s hard work. It’s not a fun process. And it never happens as fast as you want.
No one wants to give up pizza, hot wings or cookies and replace them with leafy greens, mysterious vegetables and the same proteins over and over again.
But guess what?
We do know the formula for weight loss. We know that diet is key, that exercise is important and that other lifestyle things, like sleep and stress, matter too. And even though this formula seems simple, it’s still easy to make mistakes in your fat loss journey.
Mistakes that make you feel like you’re spinning your wheels of having dieting déjà vu week after week.
So if you’re frustrated with your lack of progress and ready to start seeing real results – make sure you aren’t making one of these 5 common fat loss mistakes.
Mistake 1: Training without a team.
When you decide to tackle fat loss head on, that means amping up your nutrition and finding a workout routine that works for you. Super, we know that.
But what most people don’t realize is that fat loss is nearly impossible to tackle alone.
Now this is confusing – you are the one doing the work, you are the one having to choose salads and you alone are going to reap the benefits. Sounds pretty solo, right?
But going into this without any support is the easiest way to set yourself up for failure.
Call it what you want -a team, a tribe or a support system – but you’ve gotta have one.
If you’re starting your fat loss mission alone, you’ve probably got a good amount of motivation. You write your own workouts, decide what to eat. But eventually that motivation trickles and fades. And then for the solo-adventurer, the temptation to quit becomes strong.
But when you have a team of people who are cheering you on, you’ve got their motivation to rely on when yours falls empty.
Find a workout partner. Join a running club. Enlist your family to make the healthy eating swap with you.
Get other people to help motivate, encourage and hold you accountable to your progress.
Mistake 2. Planning to be perfect.
I’m pretty sure superheroes don’t walk among us.
As perfect as we want to be when it comes to fat loss – we never will achieve absolute perfection. At some point, we all fall off the wagon.
You might miss a training day. You might have a few drinks or a slice of cheesecake. Heck, you might go ham and get wild on your birthday. At some point it happens. You’ll make a choice that doesn’t align perfectly with your fat loss goals.
And if you started your journey with no option but perfection – than this slip means total disaster. It means you ‘failed’ – not a good outlook to have when trying to climb back up on the wagon. And most of the time, that means you won’t be getting back on teh wagon at all. You failed, might as well be the end of it.
But if you start the process with a little forgiveness, knowing you will slip and fall – when those imperfect moments do happen, you can accept them for what they are and keep moving forward.
You aren’t superhuman. You can’t always be perfect. But you can keep making progress toward your goals even when you stumble.
Mistake 3. Working for the wrong goal.
If you want to lose fat, you need a program designed to lose fat.
But because there are far too many unqualified ‘experts’ out there – it can be hard to know the best path to your final destination.
I’ve known too many folks who want to shed fat but are confident they don’t ever have t pick up a weight to get there. Or people who want to slim down, but don’t think their diet really matters.
Before you start working, know that your path will lead you to your goal. For fat loss – that means strength training, high intensity, lots of veggies, high fat and low carbs.
Don’t waste your time on an easy or comfortable plan if it isn’t going to lead you anywhere. Enlist the help of a coach, a diet program or an expert with the credibility, experience and knowledge to actually guide you.
Mistake 4. Expecting instant results.
Too many people start their fat loss fight with tons of enthusiasm. They join a gym and pay 5 years upfront, throw out every morsel of food in their house that isn’t made of protein or fat, and buy all new training clothes and shoes to keep them on point in the gym.
But after a few weeks, the excitement fades, the restrictions become burdensome and the workouts become tiring. And they start cheating a little here and little there on the diet. Maybe skip a few workouts. Pretty soon, you’re back on the couch, eating a family sized pack of Oreos and fitting snugly into your fat pants.
The problem? You wanted to get fit and you wanted to get fit NOW. You weren’t ready for the lifestyle change and you weren’t ready for the long haul. If you want to shed fat, you have to prepare to be committed. To shift your eating where desserts and drinks really happen only on occasion. Where going to the gym is second nature. And the days you miss training, you start itching to get back.
Those life shifts don’t happen in just a few weeks. It takes months to shift your mindset.
You need to live the lifestyle of a person committed to a fitness goal. If you want fat loss to happen, sign up for the long road. And stay committed to it. When road bumps hit, refer back to Mistake 2, and keeping pressing forward in your training.
Mistake 5: You’re not being honest with yourself.
You can say it until you’re black and blue in the face that you want to get fit, you want to shed fat or you want to build muscle.
But just like the old sayin’ goes, actions speak louder than words.
Sure, you may want to get fit, but when Thursday, Friday and Saturday night hit, what you want more than to be fit is to go out and be social, to drink to eat and to be merry.
Actions are a reflection of your priorities.
If you aren’t ready for a lifestyle shift, don’t try to force it. Because you won’t stick with an unrealistic goal and you will only continue to your yo-yo dieting shenanigans.
Instead, pick a goal that you can really commit to. Maybe your goal right now is just to lose 5 pounds rather than 50. Maybe it’s to only eat 1 dessert per day instead of 5.
When you are honest with what you really want and are willing to work toward, your mind can shift and you can start seeing progress. As you hit those smaller and more obtainable goals, you might start to gain momentum toward a bigger goal. But you have to be ready for those goals. Don’t jump into a fight you can’t win too soon because it will only leave you with a big fat L on your record and bad taste in your mouth. And those don’t help when you are ready to jump back on that wagon the next time around with a bit more motivation.
So start small and stick to goals you are really willing to work for.
And if you’re not making these mistakes and still not seeing progress – let us know. We’ll be happy to help get you back on track for real and lasting fat loss.
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