If you’ve ever tried working out on your own to lose fat, you’ve probably found that it’s not quite as simple as it seems. Here are 5 mistakes that tons of people make that hinder fat loss.
Maybe you’ll find a few that you too are making. The key is to be really honest with yourself. That way you can make changes where you fall short, and pat yourself on the back where you’re doing great 😉
Mistake #1: Consistency.
This is the most popular mistake out there: not sticking with it. Given everything that goes on in our lives on a day-to-day basis, it’s so easy to get off track.
But remember – things in life that take work and effort are often the most rewarding.
If you can work through those times you really don’t feel like working out – imagine how much easier it’ll be to get going when you’re actually in the mood.
Tip: Just show up. Do whatever it takes to get yourself to the gym or to kickboxing class. Tell yourself, “I’ll take it easy today.” Or… “I’ll just do a short workout today,” if that’s what it takes.
Once you get there, you’ll be surprised by how good it feels, and you’ll do better / more than you thought.
Just remember: Fat Loss = Time + Effort. And often most of the effort comes with putting in the time.
Mistake #2: Volume.
Another biggie is volume: exercising too much, or not enough. This is a hard one, as there’s no “set in stone” answer to it.
It depends on you and your body. Some people get into a sort of “obsessive” craze with fitness, and work themselves way too much. The thing is… they run into frustration when their bodies don’t change.
Rest is KEY to success. Volume is a tightrope walk. You have to know when to take a day off… and when to chill out for a few seconds during your workout. On the other hand, if you’re not even breaking a sweat–or you’re only working out for 10 minutes here and there–it’s probably time to step things up.
Listen to your body. Forget about everyone around you. That guy going crazy on the treadmill might be killing his muscles. Don’t push yourself to go longer than you can just because he is.
But don’t cut yourself short either. Find your middle-ground, and work it.
Mistake #3: Intensity.
This is another tricky one, as there’s no clear-cut answer to it either. Intensity is how hard you work out. It’s how much energy and “umph” you put into it.
I recommend the same thing for intensity as I do for volume: Push yourself to the point where you’re worn out. Then push yourself just a little bit further. Because every time you go harder and faster than you thought you could, 2 things happen:
- 1. It’s a major accomplishment, and it’s empowering.
- 2. You’ve just expanded your limits. And the body of your dreams has limits that your current body doesn’t. So every time you push those limits, you’re getting closer to your goals.
Is it time to step things up? Or have you been pushing yourself too hard, thinking the harder you go, the faster the results come?
The truth is, over-intensity doesn’t lead to faster results. Often it leads to injuries… and even getting sick.
And a big part of getting lean and toned happens when your body rests. That’s when your body repairs itself, and rebuilds itself based on your exercise & diet.
On the other hand, under-intensity leads to zero results. So just like with volume: Listen to your body.
Mistake #4: Substance.
Next is substance, AKA choosing the RIGHT exercises. Fast fat loss requires a mixture of cardio (like running)… resistance (exercises with weights)… and periods of rest.
Cardio is important for building cardiovascular health (heart health). It also keeps your muscles limber and flexible, and gets your metabolism really pumpin’ which burns a lot of calories.
Weights give you muscle. Having muscle on your body naturally burns fat throughout the day. More muscle = more metabolism = more fat loss.
Lots of guys make the mistakes of focusing only on weights. Lots of women make the mistake of just “hitting the treadmill”. Everyone needs both. And ladies, don’t worry: weights won’t get you bulky.
Bulking up takes massive calorie & protein intake, plus a very specific regimen with weights. Doing some light lifting is not going to make you look like Schwarzenegger!
Mistake #5: Motivation.
And finally, motivation. Most people start their fat loss program off with a big boost of it, and taper off as that initial excitement dwindles down. They just run that excitement into the ground, and once it ends… it ends.
The thing is you have to constantly remind yourself of why you want to lose weight. Motivation is like hygiene: if you don’t take care of it, it goes away.
Find what really gets you moving… Usually people are driven by either reminders of pain, or pleasure. Figure out what works for your personality, and go for it.
- – Reminders of pain might work for you if you get motivated by seeing pictures of yourself when you were at your highest weight.
- – Reminders of pleasure might work for you if seeing pictures of people looking hot in bikinis gets you eager to eat right and work out.
Or maybe it’s both.
Create a “vision board” full of pictures, articles, etc. that remind you of your mission. Hang up a list of your goals all over your house, car and office. Because that’s what it boils down to: keeping focused on your goal, and staying in touch with why you want to achieve that goal.
And don’t forget to leave a comment below!
Maybe you’ve made some mistakes yourself… Or
maybe you have some great advice on how to get over them.
Leave a comment below and let us know.