4 Dreaded Mistakes That Could Be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts

imagesCAZ833LAYou know that the enemy is Body Fat and even after hours of workout and a stringent diet, you just cannot shake the flab. If that sounds like your story, you are probably ‘What could I be doing wrong’? The stubbornness of body fat to go away has fueled a multi-billion dollar industry; the market that deals with weight loss earns a huge percentage every year across the globe. So do we really need some magic weight loss pills or can we fix this problem in a healthy way?

It is clearly evident to thousands of people aspiring to shed stubborn fat that unhealthy weight gain is the primary reason so many people are being diagnosed with Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart diseases and much more. And yet, no matter how hard they try, they cannot seem to lose as much weight as they want. Sure, if you are very overweight you might notice that you lost the first 5 kilos fast with a new diet and workout. But after those 5 kilos, the numbers resist to go down any further.

541338-28714-34Truth is; you are sabotaging your weight loss program with poor planning, poor coordination, poor tracking and poor tactics. You trust your cardio alone to do the trick, but is it really enough? Apparently not! According to Shawn Arent who is an associate professor of exercise science at Rutgers University, “While cardio burns more fat as a percentage of total calories burned, it burns far fewer calories than more intense exercise, meaning you burn less fat overall”. So, there is your first mistake!

Let’s talk of the 4 most common mistakes that we all are guilty of making, which are the real reasons our weight loss program has gone so off-track.

Problem 1# Workout for You Means a Long and Slow Cardio Session –

The biggest problem with over 50% of all people on a weight loss plan is that they buy a cardio equipment and spend hours on it. Whether it is stationary cycle, a treadmill or a simple stepper – just cardio alone cannot make you lose that stubborn fat. You will burn a lot more calories in total if you create an intense workout program. Cardio is great to turn up your heart rate and pulse and burn fat, but the number of calories you will burn while doing cardio at a slow steady pace for an hour is a lot lesser than what you will burn if you do a mix of high intensity workouts, where cardio is just a part.

Cardio is not enough. Add HIIT to your workout routine to see a real difference
Cardio is not enough. Add HIIT to your workout routine to see a real difference

The Solution: Do a mix of interval cardio training with strength training workouts for more efficient calorie burning. The best idea always is to follow a metabolic resistance training program. Here you will do supersets along with circuits of whole body intense exercises. You get a more effective workout that burns more calories and that too in lesser time.


Problem 2# No Planning or Tracking Routine –

You know that exercise will make you lose weight but you are not tracking or planning your diet. Many of us don’t really have a realistic idea of how compliant we are with our diet. You are good through the day – eating healthy and including small snacks between meals. But after dinner, you sit in front of the TV and manage to munch on a huge bowl of butter laden popcorn or you indulge in your sweet tooth and have that whole bar of chocolate. Don’t forget the small bites you take through the day – any colas had between meals, the biscuits that accompany evening tea or coffee and all those lattes from Costa are all adding to the bulge you are trying so hard to lose!

The same problem also happens at the gym – you start a workout program and then you stick to it. The key to losing weight consistently is to keep progressing. The same workouts made you lose the first 5 kilos, now add a few weights, spend more time on the treadmill and track your progress carefully.

Without a food journal and workout journal, how can you really track your progress?
Without a food journal and workout journal, how can you really track your progress?

The Solution: You need to have a food journal as well as a workout journal. Track every morsel that goes in to your mouth, so that at the end of the week you can review where you can make cuts or whether you need to add a few snacks or time your meals better. Same way, charting the number of minutes spent on cardio machines and keeping a track of the weights you lift help you increase those figures over time.


Problem 3# Working Out and Then Eating Out –

You are not spending extra 20 minutes at the gym so that you can order that large fries! Only because you are working out more doesn’t mean you get to eat more. You can eat to your heart’s content if the goal is weight maintenance. However, if the goal is weight loss, you need to also create a calorie deficit. This doesn’t mean you skip your pre-workout or post-workout nutrition; those are critical to the success of your fitness program. But it means you need to control your portion sizes and concentrate more on healthy foods. Don’t order in Chinese and Pizzas every day. And don’t be foolish enough to think that eating at salad bars will make you slim.

Working out and Eating out are a lethal combination, designed to make you fail at achieving your weight loss goals
Working out and Eating out are a lethal combination, designed to make you fail at achieving your weight loss goals

The Solution: Depend on healthy home cooked meals that have been carefully rationed. Keep a track of calories… yes; calorie counting is good if you don’t have control over temptations. If you do, then portion control might be enough for you.


Problem 4# Not Paying Attention to Post Workout Nutrition –

To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. But not eating after a workout is a HUGE mistake you will regret. Why, you may ask? While you exercise, your muscles are put under a lot of stress. The wear and tear experienced by your muscles is catered to after a workout, when the body goes in to a repair and recovery mode. This is when your body needs calories to repair the damage, and if it doesn’t find these calories from food, it breaks down muscles you worked so hard to build in order to generate fuel for the body. This window that occurs after a workout is critical for building lean muscle mass, and you need to boost your weight loss by eating a high protein and high carbohydrate snack that replenishes the much needed amino acids and the energy the body needs to use those amino acids during repair.

Pay special attention to Post workout Nutrition; its crucial to your weight loss success
Pay special attention to Post workout Nutrition; its crucial to your weight loss success

The Solution: Drink a post workout shake. This is also the right time to ingest simple sugars because your body craves energy and this energy comes faster from simple sugars and simple carbs. Eat protein so that your muscles stay intact because more muscles means more fat burned.


So you see, the problem is not un-fixable! While you are trying to lose that weight through hard work done at the gym and the kitchen, a little smart planning will help matters along just fine. And until we humans find that ‘Magic Pill’ that could melt away unwanted fat without lifting a single muscle (ah, just thinking that could ever be possible feels amazing, doesn’t it), making sure that you don’t make these 4 mistakes is your best shot at fighting stubborn fat.

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