Our goal isn’t just to talk about losing fat. Anyone can lose fat, fast. What’s more important is discussing how to lose fat permanently! And I say lose "fat" because some weight is good — we don’t encourage muscle loss, so focus on body fat and you’ll be golden. Just the other day I was on the phone with a writer for a popular fitness magazine. And the writer asked me what I thought were the top 5 fat loss mistakes that people make. He was surprised that there was barely a pause before I started rattling off the common problems I see with people who are trying to lose fat. And it’s not that I’m some incredibly brilliant genius, it’s just that after working with 1000’s of people over the years, it’s very clear where people are struggling when trying to lose belly fat.
- Portions are out of control! This image is a perfect example of portion distortion. Not that any of these are smart food options, but even if we went back to the smaller portions of each, we’d be headed in the right direction.So what can you do about it? When at home, don’t serve family style. You’ll eat more when serving out of a larger bowl or platter. Read food labels, too, so you can see that sometimes 1 bottle, or 1 bag of a product, is often 2, 3 or even 4 servings!
- Thinking all calories are created equal! A calorie isn’t a calorie. That might be in the face of science. Some say that all calories are equal, meaning as long as you cut calories, you’ll lose weight. Sure, but is your goal to lose fat or lose muscle? And don’t you want to fuel your body with all the nutrients you can? After all, slugging down a 250 calorie sugar laden soda is far from eating veggies and hummus, peanut butter and an apple for those same 250 calories. So a calorie isn’t a calorie — eat quality, don’t just focus on quantity!
- Outeating your exercise. Run 1 mile and you burn about 100 calories. Walk 1 mile and you burn about 100 calories. That means if you wanted to lose 1 lb/week through exercise only, you’d have to run or walk 5 miles every single day! That’s not realistic or a good use of your time. It’s much easier to eliminate those extra calories by replacing junk with high nutrient fuel or eliminating calories from soft drinks, for example. Exercise, yes, but you’ll get more bang for your weight loss buck by monitoring the foods you put in your body.
- Skipping breakfast as a way to "save" calories. Eat breakfast and you’ll weigh less. It’s as simple as that. Just eat the right types of foods — avoid sugary breakfast cereals and instead opt for fruit, raw nuts, yogurt, eggs and veggies, for example.
- Thinking exercise is your answer to losing fat. Exercise doesn’t work. Nutrition does. Sure, exercise needs to be a part of your fat loss routine, but even though you may exercise 1 hour/day, what happens the other 23 hours?
There you have it — the 5 most common fat loss mistakes! If you truly want to be permanently successful,avoid the mistakes above and you’ll be well on your way. Tomorrow we’ll be back with some fat fighting recipes!