After that diatribe, the next mistake is pretty straightforward but all too common. Missing meals (more often than not breakfast is the common culprit) is a quick way to fail on any campaign to change your body. Those who miss breakfast tend to consume more calories throughout the rest of the day, and are also far more prone to reach for the sugary snacks to rapidly boost blood sugar levels. This is a fat loss disaster as it sends insulin levels sky high encouraging our body to keep the energy while it is available and keeping our fat cells in storage mode rather than usage. If you want to avoid this mistake, ensure you have protein at each meal, take small regular snacks through the day rather than large meals (which also cause chaos with our blood sugar levels) and make sure to eat something for breakfast. This is such a simple mistake, yet so common, we had to include it on our list.
Not doing enough, and what you do, not doing hard enough.
The third of our fat loss no-no’s is a symptom of our ‘more for less’ culture. In an effort to satiate this we are often surprised at some of the claims we see for workouts, supplements, and diets. However, through it all there is one truth – you have to do enough and what you do, you have to do hard enough. There are 168 hours in the week in which to mess up your efforts to improve your body composition so some of those hours have to be dedicated to getting results. Simply turning up at the gym isn’t enough.
We have a saying at Aegis that was a favourite quote of Vince Lombardi – “the only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary”. This couldn’t be more true when it comes to fat loss. Like any other skill, you only get out what you put in and it isn’t enough to just do an hour here and there a week and hope that the rest will look after itself, because it won’t. To get good at learning a language you need to speak it outside of the lessons, and to get good at fat loss that means you have to live it outside of training sessions. The studies back it up too, clearly showing that the strongest indicator of success in long-term weight loss is not what type, mode, or intensity of exercise you do (though of course these can make a difference to how much you lose and how fast) but actually how much activity you manage over the course of a week. Chances are if you can only find 30 minutes a week in your life to put your own health first then you might not see such great results. Getting leaner and healthier means taking time to learn how to shop and cook healthier and it also means taking time to increase your activity levels in your day to day life.
When it comes to time for training, you need to work hard. That doesn’t mean reading a magazine on the recumbent bike at the gym either – for the calories this burns you’d be better off dancing or playing some sport and not boring yourself to tears pedalling a bike that isn’t going anywhere. Fat loss training means sweating, pushing yourself, and trying to improve on your previous workout – one more set, more reps, more weight, faster sprints, shorter recovery intervals, less rest periods, whatever it takes to make improvements and keep the training a challenge. While the notion of getting more for less might sound appealing, it is not going to get you the results you want.