Most Common Mistakes That Stop Weight Loss

Picture of boy making a mistake. The most common mistakes that stop weight loss can be easily avoided.

One of the best ways to get faster results in any area of your life is by learning from other people’s mistakes so you don’t have to make those same mistakes yourself.

No matter what others did they still couldn’t see any results in the mirror.

No matter how much they worked out and dieted they couldn’t burn their stubborn fat away just because of some very common mistakes… ..mistakes like thinking that they had to do hours of cardio every week to be successful or count their calories and eat five to six small meals a day every day just to see somebody fat come off.

Learning from other’s mistakes will help you realize that doing both cardio and weight resistance combined with eating correctly will help you reduce body fat and minimize common mistakes that stop weight loss.

So before you go and waste your time making these same easy to correct mistakes read below and see what you can implement to help you lose body fat.

Mistake Number One in Weight Loss

1)Not Focusing on Adding Lean Muscle

First I want to start with a mistake that you don’t hear about too often and that’s not focusing enough on lean body mass.

So many people get caught up in doing whatever it takes to burn fat whether that be doing cardio every day of the week or decreasing calories to extremely low levels. If you find yourself continuously cutting calories & running farther and faster, yet the fat doesn’t seem to budge it may be a good idea to focus on increasing your lean body mass instead.

Picture of women doing chest press. Adding resistance training to your workout will help reduce body fat.

Not only can increased lean body mass increase your resting metabolism but more importantly it has an effect on many different hormones in your body. Hormones like leptin, ghrelin, Adiponectin, resistin, & insulin all communicate with your cells including your fat cells & they tell them when it’s time to release fat or store fat.

Your body composition has a lot to do with how these hormones function in your body. For that reason, if you’re only focusing on burning fat, but you’re not focused on building muscle please understand that you’re going to hit a wall. You need to increase lean body mass to support fat loss especially if you go from being sedentary for years to suddenly exercising.

Over the years of being sedentary, you may have lost a lot of muscle mass. In fact, it’s very normal for people to lose about a pound of muscle every two years after the age of 25.

This can create a situation where you might be working harder & eating cleaner than someone else that has a higher lean body mass yet you’re not getting nearly the amount of results that they are.

Focus on your lean body mass.

By increasing muscle over time it’ll make the entire process easier. If you’re not weight training make sure you start & focus on progressively increasing the weight you use over time.

Let’s move on to the next mistakes which is one of the biggest mistakes that people have made for a long time & continue to making today….. treating all calories equally.

Mistake Number Two in Weight Loss

2)Treating All Calories The Same

If you still believe that losing weight & especially burning body fat is all about just counting your calories taken in & subtracting the calories that come out from exercise then you’re not seeing the whole picture.

A calorie is not a calorie & just to prove that I think we can all agree that 100 calories of vegetables & 100 calories of ice cream are not the same thing & it won’t have the same effect on your body.

In regard to fat loss, one of the greatest factors that we have to consider is how much insulin is released based on the specific type of calories that you’re eating.

When a lot of insulin is released throughout the day not only does it prevent fat loss but it also encourages your body to store energy as body fat. The types of calories that spike insulin the most are under the category of carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars.

Now, this doesn’t mean that carbs are all bad nor does it mean that you can’t burn fat while eating even a high carb diet but once again when you compare the carbs from cake to the carbs from brown rice, or sweet potatoes, you get two different insulin level spikes.

Simple or processed sugars (think high fructose corn syrup) will spike your levels the highest and can be stored as fat.

People will try to fight this stored fat by consuming low-calorie drinks and heavily processed meals. Unfortunately, these “healthy” drinks and prepared meals can reduce the fat and replace them with sugars. It’s a very clever marketing tactic that is commonly used in the food industry.

Sugar isn’t the only thing that can elevate your insulin. Even if you’re eating the healthy carbs (quinoa, beans, brown rice, etc) your levels will still elevate but you won’t get the dramatic spikes caused by sugar.

These healthy carbs are typically loaded with fiber which will help regulate your levels. These fibers are great for making you feel full, which will help with over-indulging. When possible stick to these slow-digesting carbs as they will naturally decrease the amount of food you eat.

Protein can also spike your insulin levels, particularly dairy-based proteins. If you’re a big proponent of eating cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese, milk, and other dairy products and still struggling to lose weight, it might be in your best interest to cut back on your dairy intake. You might not need to eliminate it completely, but if you’re having in excess of 2-3 servings of dairy a day, try to reduce down to 1-2.

Watching your calorie intake is important, but being cognizant of what might spike your insulin, is also important. This leads me to the next point of eating a certain number of meals.

Mistake Number 3 in Weight Loss

3)Eating a Predetermined Number of Meals

Some people believe that eating a certain number of meals is the way to lose weight. In the past “eating 3 square meals a day” was the gospel. Over time this turned into “consume 5-6 small meals throughout the day.”

While spreading out your meals can help some people, I want to point something out that is very important. Some people can easily eat just breakfast, lunch and dinner. They don’t need to snack, or they don’t get hungry between meals. And this is fine.

If you’re eating 5-6 meals a day just because you hear this is the way to lose weight, you might be over-consuming.

Others (like myself) tend to eat 5-6 meals a day, but I’m also a very active person. Don’t eat a certain number of meals, especially if you’re not even hungry, just because you’re trying to hit a certain number of meals per day. This will lead to over-eating and consuming additional calories that might be stored as fat.

On the flip side of eating too many meals, fasting is something else I want to discuss. Technology these days has been able to show the numerous benefits of fasting. I’m talking about the benefits all the way down to the cellular level.

This isn’t particularly shocking but fasting is one of the quickest ways to lose body fat. When you deplete your body of food, it lowers your insulin levels more than any other type of dieting approach. When your body has no more insulin to use as energy, your body turns to stored body fat as the main source of energy. And this is exactly what you want.

And, I can hear the naysayers already. I’m not saying to starve yourself and I’m not saying to stop eating. I’m saying to switch WHEN you eat. And I’ll admit, at first it can be difficult, and it takes a certain amount of discipline. But if you eat a large meal at the end of the day with 2000 calories, or if you eat 4 meals with 500 calories, you’ll still be eating the same amount of calories. The only difference is when you consume them. And the research shows that this difference can be the difference between burning body fat, or burning food.

A side benefit of this is the time saved on cooking and eating. If you eat one meal a day at the end of the day, your breakfast and lunchtime is now free time.

Again, I know that fasting isn’t for everybody, but it can be a very effective method for reducing body fat. I personally choose to do a 16:8 fasting technique that I really enjoy.

Mistake Number 4 in Weight Loss

4)Excessive Cardio to Burn Fat

Another myth is, you need to be on a treadmill for hours a day, or do excessive amounts of cardio to burn fat.

Endless line of treadmills. Doing excessive amounts of cardio may not burn fat the way you hoped it would.

If you love to do cardio exercise, this might not seem like a deterrent, but for others, doing hours and hours of cardio is not appealing.

If you find yourself going to the gym doing something you hate, the chances of you giving up skyrocket. There are more effective ways to burn calories.

One of the best ways to burn calories is to do High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. HIIT is a form of training where you alternate short high-intensity movements followed by a longer recovery period. An example might be a sprint for 1 minute followed by a 2-minute slow jog or walk. You would repeat the interval for about 30 minutes.

HIIT exercise is a great way to avoid the slow steady cardio that people don’t like and replace it with a variation of cardio. You can even do a combination of lower or upper body weight resistance combined with a slow jog on a treadmill. This will make your heart work harder, burning more calories.

Some people put a spin on this by doing opposing muscle training. For example, you could do a chest press followed by a back workout. Or a quadriceps exercise followed by a hamstring exercise.

HIIT is a very convenient workout because it allows you to tailor your workouts to your satisfaction. The end goal here is to get your heart ramping up and down, compared to a steady beat like an hour cardio session on a treadmill might provide.

Mistake Number 5 in Weight Loss

5)Relying on Weight Loss Supplements

The final mistake or myth is falling for magic potions, pills or creams being marketed.

There really is no shortcut to burning fat.

Fat loss supplements typically contain caffeine (which can be good for amping up your exercise) but you need to beware of consuming pills that have extreme levels of caffeine, that could be dangerous.

Additionally, the supplements are meant to be taking in conjunction with working out. They do no good if you take them without exercising.

Any pills that claim you can eat whatever you want and the pills will wash away the fat are just plain bogus.

Trust me if there was a pill that could replace a full-body workout, it would sell for millions and it would cure the world of obesity amongst a wide variety of health-related illnesses.

I suggest you avoid any fat burning supplements because ultimately it will most likely just burn a hole in your pocket.

As you progress with your workouts, you may find pre-workouts or other supplements that can push your workouts to new heights, but this usually takes years of exercise and really getting to know how your body reacts.

Conclusion of Common Mistakes in Weight Loss

Ladies, the road to weight loss isn’t all bad, but it’s not all roses either. If it was easy everybody would be running 5-minute miles and looking like they’re on the next issue of a health magazine. It will take dedication, internal motivation, and a lot of discipline. But it can be so worth it.

The only person responsible for your success or failure will be you. So own it.

The most common mistakes that stop weight loss are easy to overcome so get out there and put in the work, skip the pizza, and be proud of your results.

What mistakes were you making when you started your weight loss journey? Leave a comment below.

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