How do I know you are making these fat loss mistakes? Because I did! Here are some great tips for getting past these hurdles on your way to a lean, sexy body.
YOU ARE TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH TOO SOON
Trying to go from Sedentary Slob to Super Dieter on a Monday morning? Not so smart. It is a surefire way to be back to the Twinkies by mid-day Wednesday. You can't expect to undo years worth of damage overnight.
If you typically eat "three square meals" a day, start out by adding a snack - either in the morning or the afternoon, then work your way to six small meals every 2-3 hours. This approach to fat loss is called kaizen, a Japanese philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life. Making a small change once a day or once a week leads to a constant state of improvement.
YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE QUICK FIX
I was convinced I had a Loch Ness Monster in my colon and that was making me fat! But the colon cleanser I purchased only left me with a very sore butt, some leafy-looking things in the toilet and not a single pound lost.
Now I was convinced that I needed a deluxe fat burner - one that would melt away the fat while I sat on my butt doing nothing!
After thousands of dollars and lots of false hope, I realized that the only way I was going to achieve the lean body that I desired was to come up with a solid nutrition and exercise plan, and to add supplements that were backed by solid science.
YOU ARE LETTING OTHERS KNOCK YOU OFF-TRACK
My family is full of enablers - they mean well, but they were not sensitive to the fact that I was trying to stay on track with my fat loss efforts. "C'mon a little bit won't hurt you" or "you can start again tomorrow" was all it took to convince me that they were right. Within 30 minutes I had eaten myself stupid and undone all of the positive progress that I had spent the past week achieving.
Let those around you know how important your fat loss efforts are and what it means to both you, and them, that you stay on track.
YOU ARE NOT GETTING BACK "ON THE WAGON" IMMEDIATELY AFTER FALLING OFF
I would usually fall off my diet toward the end of any given week. It was at that point that I rationalized that, since I was "off the wagon" I would wait until Monday to get started again!
This probably won't come as a big shock, but science now has proven that weekends can wreak havoc on your waistline. That was the conclusion of Washington University researchers, who found that even people on strict diet and exercise programs lose weight more slowly than expected because they eat more on weekends.
The verdict: People don't need a holiday to eat more; they tend to do it every weekend because human lifestyle patterns can be very different.
There were two key takeaways for me from this:
1.The best time to get back "on the wagon" was at your next meal - do not wait until you've done more damage.
2. Do not let the weekends be different than any other day - stick with your plan whether it is a Saturday or a Wednesday
YOU ARE TRYING TO BE PERFECT EVERY DAY
Life is not perfect - and your diet plan shouldn't be either. You can't expect yourself to follow your program to the letter every second of every day until you reach your goal. If you do, you are setting yourself up for failure. That is why you need to apply the 90/10 rule to your nutrition and exercise.
The 90/10 rule is very simple - if you are on your program 90% of the time, then you will not be hurt by the 10% of the time you are not. Your weight loss diet should have a minimum of 5 meals per day, with 6 meals as your goal. Following the 90/10 rule with 6 meals a day (or 42 meals a week) means that you have 4 meals a week where you can go off your program without halting progress, as long as those meals are reasonable.
Same rules apply to exercise. Let's say your schedule permits you to work out 4 days per week. So in a month, you have 16 workouts - and following the 90/10 rule, you can miss 1 or 2 workouts without derailing yourself. However, you should save your "skips" for times when you really need to skip - like a poor night's sleep, illness, or hectic travel schedule.
YOU ARE NOT SETTING REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
It took you your entire life to get to this point, and you expect to reverse all of the damage in 3 weeks? That is what a lot of diet products would like you to believe.
You absolutely MUST set goals, but they MUST be realistic. What is realistic? 1-2 pounds of fat per week is a good expectation. The more you have to lose, the higher you can set your expectation. But if you are approaching double-digits with your expectations, you will ultimately fail.
Matt is a fat loss expert and author of The Burrito Diet , his personal diet plan that helped him lose 80 pounds in only 8 months and maintain his 10% body fat level for over 3 years. Matt overcame his life-long struggle with his weight by harnessing the power of the burrito - find out more about his amazing story at http://burritodiet.com
There are a million diet plans on the market today. You can increase your chance of picking a suitable plan if you look for these five commandments of successful weight loss.
Satiety is feeling full, gratified. Most diet programs leave people feeling hungry - which has a host of other effects. When you feel hungry, you are more likely to binge the next time you eat. Hunger can also lead to depression, anger, and headaches.
A diet can tackle satiety in several ways – like eating every 3-4 hours. This is a component of most diet plans available today for a very good reason - eating smaller, more frequent meals has been proven to help burn fat and keep your metabolism revved up.
For fat loss to occur, you must burn more calories than you take in. There are several components to creating a calorie "deficit", and using them all together will be the most effective. Plus, you won't be starving yourself like you usually do when you diet. Achieving satiety while also creating a calorie deficit is a challenge, but not impossible.
How do you create this calorie deficit? It is a combination of watching your intake along with the right types of exercise, which burn calories during and after activity, as long as 36 hours after completion!
Besides eating every 3-4 hours, your diet needs to be rich in 4 components known to make you feel "fuller" but also contribute to fat burning - protein, fats, fiber and water.
One of the most difficult aspects of any fat loss program is getting your portion sizes under control. In order to achieve fat loss you need to create a calorie deficit, and one of the ways to do that is through portion control - but how do you do this while not feeling hungry?
Consuming a lean protein along with healthy fats and fiber at each meal, and eating each meal 3-4 hours apart BEFORE you have a chance to feel hungry again, will cover the satiety aspect. You will also notice that you will feel fuller with less food, so you will be controlling your portions without really focusing on it.
You must include fiber-rich foods in your diet (beans, peas, apples, grapefruit). A major advantage of fiber is the effect on weight control. Studies have shown that the majority of seriously overweight people have diets low in fiber. Since fiber-rich foods are filling and usually low in fat, you'll feel more satisfied with less food and lose weight more easily.
It is recommended that between 20 and 30 grams of fiber be consumed daily and at least eight glasses of water to aid the movement of food through the digestive tract.
Dehydration inhibits fat loss. Most people don't get enough water on a daily basis, never mind for training / fat loss. When you don't have enough water, your bowels will also slow down.
Here are a few suggestions to getting water into your program:
1. Never let yourself get thirsty - drink enough that you don't feel parched.
2. If you are exercising, drink 1 ounce of water for every ounce of body weight lost while exercising. So if you weigh one pound less after exercising, you should drink 16 ounces of water.
3. If you are a goal-oriented person, get a half-gallon jug of water and carry it around with you - your goal is to finish it by the end of the day.