4. Not being honest with yourself.
Okay, if I had a fiver for every time someone has asked me how they should be eating to lose their spare tyre and then followed it with the caveat “I have a good diet, I only eat fish and vegetables” then I’d have at least £500, probably more. Please, don’t tell me one thing, when your body tells me a different story. You’re not just lying to me, you are lying to yourself and until you start being honest with yourself then you are not going to shift that weight. If you don’t play by the rules then you won’t get the results. Once you pick a programme or a diet that ticks your boxes you MUST stick to it. Doing something 70% will not give you 100% of the results. So, it means you must be disciplined and honest with yourself about what you can achieve.
For example, I am a known fan of ‘low-carbohydrate diets’ but this can mean a lot of different things, there is a world of difference between the ketogenic diet and the protein power diet for example, even though both are ‘low-carb’. Here is a little rule for you, the more extreme the diet approach, the harder it is to follow and the easier it is to get completely wrong. An interesting study carried out at Stanford in the USA found that when put on a low-carb diet or a low-fat diet over the course of a year those who were ‘low-carb’ (following Atkins) tended to increase their carb intake, while those who were ‘low-fat/high carb’ (following the Ornish diet) tended to reduce their carbs. Interesting, how both groups found long-term reduction of an entire food group to be a challenge. As an aside, during that study, the Atkins group however maintained a higher healthy fat intake and were yet the only group (the study also compared Zone and LEARN national recommended diet) to see reductions in triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, with improvements in HDL levels and favourable changes in blood pressure. A stinging blow for all those dieticians out there who STILL insist on vilifying anyone who attempts to suggest that we should focus our efforts on reducing the refined carbohydrate intake of the population.
However, I digress from the original motto of this little story and in true Ronnie Corbett fashion will adjust my glasses, sit back, and continue. The real fact is that people often don’t want to hear that losing fat is hard work, a lot harder than gaining it was actually. When they are new to exercise they often are reluctant to push themselves out of their comfort zone, instead opting for dumbbells the weight of toothpicks (wouldn’t want to bulk up after all!!!) and fifteen minutes in the fat-burning zone (see more below). Listen folks, it is simple, if you want to get strong then you have to pick up something heavy, if you want to get fitter then you have to get that heart rate up well above it’s normal daily level, and if you want to lose bodyfat you have to put some serious effort into how you eat and how you train. Anyone who tells you any different is either a liar or a salesperson, or both.