1: You haven’t made a plan
Without designing an exercise and nutritional plan, you are going to struggle to effectively reduce body fat. I often witness people who have initial motivation but this does not last long without a clear plan that sets everything down.
Setting out your goals that are specific to you is key to this. This can be tricky if have not conducted before. Getting help from a professional, but I would recommend you check their qualifications and experience. A personal training qualification only provides a small amount of training in nutrition and coaching.
2: You are confused what to eat
Our choice of food is massive but often people get stuck in what they can eat. This can be particularly difficult if you have a restricted diet.
This is why certain big brand slimming clubs who sell their own products are so appealing to some. These processed foods take away the thought processes of choosing what to eat because the choice is very limited.
Do I think they are a good idea? No, not really. The problem comes because people are not in control of preparing the food they consume. This will often limit chances of making long-term changes to their diet because they are simply not really in control of the food they eat.
Having a varied diet made up as many nutrients as possible is a message that is often dished out by G.P’s, Personal trainers and other health professionals. But what does it actually mean? To make it simple, make sure that you are not replicating the same meals every meal or day.
3: You’re not tracking your food
Not tracking what you eat if you want to lose body fat is a massive mistake. People often think if they eat healthy food, they can eat as much as they want but this is not the case.
Tracking your calories through an app like ‘MyFitnessPal’ or ‘Lifesum’ is a great way to check if you are eating too much or in some cases too little. Calculating your BMR (basal metabolic rate) is a great idea. This is a measurement of the number of calories needed to perform your body’s most basic (basal) functions, like breathing, circulation and cell production.
TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) how many Cals you need on a daily basis to function in relation to the amount of activity you conduct, is also really important. Guessing if you are eating the right amount is very difficult.
4: You’re expectations are too high
Losing body fat is a marathon, not a race. People often think their fat loss journey is going to be a linear path. There will be ups and downs. Some people think that if they follow a plan for a few days fat will drop off. It can take a while and sometimes the process can affect energy levels, hunger can significantly increase initially but this will pass.
5: You give up too easy
“I tried that and did not work” is what I often hear when I speak to people. They have only tried a plan for a few days or maybe a week or two. Recommend weight loss is around 1/2lbs per week. So at this rate, you’re looking to lose 4/8lbs a month which is great work.
But some weeks the weight does not shift as fast as others. Then people become frustrated and want to pack in their original plan and try something else. I would recommend sticking with a plan for at least 2-3 months. If you are not receiving the results you expected then can review progress and see what can be changed.
For example; if you try and lose too much body fat too fast and over restrict calories. then this can lead you to feel wiped out and low in energy. It also can stop you from training and will impinge on the overall outcome.
A better idea is to listen to your body and stick to a good plan and think of long-term goals.
There is a great saying that has followed me all the way through my 18 years of coaching people achieve their goals.
“Get used to being comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
In essence, when you want to achieve some form of fat loss, except that it is going to be hard and uncomfortable at times, but that it does get easier.
There are times when your body gets a bit cross with you for losing its precious source of energy reserves, Fat! Your body will thank you in the long run but at times it will adjust and energy may dip and hunger may increase.
6: You don’t have treats
Research shows that if you sustain from certain foods for a long period can increase cravings and also inhibit your chances of achieving your goals. Trying to have a so-called perfect diet is not only unsustainable but also can affect your relationship with food.
There is a term called ” Orthorexia” which basically means that people become fixated on only eating healthy food. This can affect social occasions, family meals and even relationships.
Having an 80%-20% rule is much more realistic. The 80-20 principle simply means that 80% of what you each and drink is from good whole sources of food including unprocessed meat and fish, dairy products, fruit & veg, seeds, nuts, pulses and other unprocessed food.
The 20% include treats and unprocessed foods, also include alcohol. This may seem like a lot and can be slightly altered in relation to specific goals. For instance, if people wanted to lose body fat/weight in a short period of time. Then this figure would be smaller.
7: You don’t weight train
When you put stress on your muscles through training. For example Kettlebell training, bodyweight training or other forms of weight training you have less chance of losing this muscle when you are restricting your calories. You stimulate these muscles through this type of training and your body has less chance of using muscle as an energy source when you restrict calories.
Your body does not prefer this type of energy source, it prefers carbs. If you restrict your calories your body will draw on fat as an energy source which is what you are trying to achieve.
Weight training also changes metabolic rate, so your body is working hard to service that muscle when you rest. This takes more energy and therefore burns more calories.
8: You become too overwhelmed
I will let you know a little secret.. the ‘weight loss’ business is worth billions and people get very rich trying to push their product, a piece of equipment or program.
These categories often fall into two areas:
1) too simple
2) too Complicated
1) The two simple camp is usually a person or company trying to push their piece of equipment or product. These pieces of equipment pop up all the time and have done so
for decades. They promise a lot with little effort put in. Stating that so many mins a day on a rocking abs machine are going to build flat tummy and produce ripped six pack.
But believe me, if it was that easy most people would have them. There is usually some wording around following calorie controlled diet, which is actually the key but most people don’t know what that means.
2) Too complicated would include very prescriptive plans that dissect your Macros which is massively excessive. Also heavily restricting diets that only include exotic, hard to get hold of products. If you struggle to get hold of them then everything falls down.
9) You stop when you fall off the wagon
I have lost count through all my years of coaching people, how many times people lose a bit of motivation because they have had a stressful period, are busy at work, periods of family gatherings i.e Christmas, birthdays etc. They have a few bad days and they beat themselves up and throw in the towel.
Trying to have a fully perfect diet and exercise plan with no room for manoeuvre may seem like a good plan for success, but if life takes over as it does sometimes then the whole system can take a tumble.
What I recommend to my clients is to have a plan, but also have a backup plan and just in case a backup plan for the original plan.
For example, if you plan to conduct 3 sessions of exercise in the week on certain days, and you have to work extra hours or have an ill child to look after, then this session can be moved to another day. Be flexible.
If you have a disruptive week, then train more the following week.
Trying to plan so everything is perfect is not recommended.
If life gets in the way, try not to get too frustrated and move things around.
10) You do too much cardio.
I often see people in the gym in their so-called fat burning zone. This is waste of time in relation to an effective way to lose body fat. Shorter harder paced forms of training can be far more effective. Sprinting, rowing, skipping, swimming all at high intensity is a great way to compliment weight based training. That will both really help reduce body fat.
Also, forms of training using weights is also a great form of cardio. Circuit Training, Metabolic Conditioning and HITT Training are all great.
If you would like support to reduce body fat?
BFT provides group and individual support to help people reduce body fat, improve health and energy levels. For athletes and the general public. Just give Gavin and email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see what we can do to help.