I understand what you’re going through, and after years of research and hands-on experience transforming clients, I’ve learned some of the most common mistakes people make when trying to lose weight.
1. Placing no limit on the consumption of "healthy" foods
I get a lot of people telling me that even though they’re super healthy, they still struggle to lose weight. In fact, I once had someone look me dead in my eyes and utter the words “I should be losing weight; I even put zucchini in my oats”.
For some reason, it’s widely believed that calories don’t count when consumed from foods considered healthy. However, the notion that you can eat as much “healthy” food as you like and still lose weight is completely false.
Don’t get me wrong; I, like everyone else, wish there was a glitch in the matrix where gorging on tubs of peanut butter would allow me to have lean abs and buns of steel. But eating copious amounts of the crunchy delicacy would push both my calorie intake and weight gain through the roof. Same thing goes for dark chocolate, avocado, coconut oil, bulletproof coffee, or any other fad food that’s currently flooding your Instagram feed.
Any food consumed in excess can prevent you from losing weight. And what’s more, it’s also possible to eat your favourite foods in moderation and still lose as much weight as you desire.
2. Trying to out-train your diet
I know what you’re thinking, but this isn’t the same as saying “you can’t out-train a bad diet”. What people usually mean when they say that is something along the lines of “you can’t expect to eat doughnuts, crisps, and other tasty treats, yet still lose weight”. But in reality, that’s just not true. Remember, weight loss comes down to maintaining a calorie deficit over time, regardless of where those calories come from.
What I mean by “trying to out-train your diet”, is going balls to the wall every time you step foot in the gym. Most people do this because they falsely believe it enables them to eat whatever they like and still achieve their goal; they believe the amount of sweat produced in the gym directly correlates with the amount of weight lost on the scales.
We’ve all seen them; the ones doing hours of cardio alongside endless mountain climbers, burpees, and other pointless jumping exercises (and I’m not even talking about the CrossFitters).
But unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how much exercise you do if you’re eating too much food, because you’ll never lose weight if you’re eating more calories than you burn. That’s why I always recommend adopting a more calculated approach to both your exercise and nutrition; this way, you can stop any unnecessary suffering whilst achieving your goal.
3. Losing control on the weekend
You’ve just started a new diet, and this time you’re the most determined you’ve ever been. Monday to Thursday is epic; we’re talking salads, smoothies, and lean meats all over the place! But before you know it, Friday rolls around, and the willpower-whomping weekend rears its ugly head. You’ve done so well Monday-Thursday, so you think “how much harm could a couple of relaxed days possibly do?”.
Let me break it down. Let’s say it takes 2,000 calories to maintain an average lady’s weight. She’s currently dieting, so consumes 1,500 calories for 6 days of the week. However, on the 7th day, she goes on a night out with her friends, eats 2 courses at her favourite Italian restaurant, and drinks a bottle of wine and several cocktails. That’s easily 3,000 calories consumed in just one evening. Add another 1,000 for her post-booze pizza or kebab, and at least 1,200 for the food she had before her night out, and you’re looking at approximately 5,200 calories in just one day.
One night of "relaxing" has taken her daily calorie average over the 7 days to 2,000, which means she’s no longer in a calorie deficit and therefore no longer losing weight. If she did this on both Friday and Saturday, she would end up gaining around a pound of fat every single week. I know this makes nights out seem terrifying, but fear not, as I’ve put together a weekend survival guide to ensure you can enjoy a night on the town and still achieve your weight loss goal.
4. Believing in a magic bullet
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of fad products and diets surrounding the health and fitness industry. But Atkins, Paleo, low-carb, or any other “trendy” diet will never be better than the diet approach you can stick to for long enough to achieve your goal.
There are no secret tricks or foods that will give you the body of your dreams. It doesn’t matter if you add avocado to every meal, snort wheatgrass, or drink acai juice through your eyes.
Focus on maintaining a calorie deficit and progress within your training over time, as that’s the only way you’ll be able to look and feel how you’ve always wanted. Furthermore, if you adopt the right approach, you’ll see that it’s nowhere near as difficult as you once believed.
Hopefully, you’ll stop falling for these common fat loss blunders and start taking control of your health and fitness pursuit.
And remember, I'm here if you ever have any questions or require help achieving your goals.
Until next time, you can follow me on Instagram to keep an eye out for future blogs, healthy recipes, exercise tips, and much, much more!