Ben Carpenter, Personal Fitness Trainer
Following my last post about mistakes that can ruin your chances of getting your perfect body here is one which is more specialised. Here are some mistakes specifically aimed at fat loss i.e., ignoring them will slow your chances of getting yourself that toned stomach or shatter them completely.
1) You cut calories. Once considered necessary for burning fat this backdated method is only useful for temporary changes. Cutting calories can only be a temporary method and you increase your chances of having a weight rebound. Your body is not designed to thrive on a deficit. Skipping meals is not an optimal solution either.
2) You use the same nutrition plan that lean people use. The plan that you can use once you are lean and the plan that get you there are not the same. Someone who is below 10% body fat is more likely to lose muscle tissue and can afford more treat meals than someone who is 20%. Get lean first, treat yourself later.
3) You follow the low fat fad. Fat is crucial for cellular and hormonal health to name just two benefits. Some people function better on low fat diets but this is estimated to be no more than 25% of the population. Keep in mind that many of the people on the low fat craze are thin, not lean. A size 6 doesn’t automatically make you lean and many people who have put themselves through this notice dramatic reductions in weight while still having problem areas of body fat.
4) You rely on thermogenic fat burners. Thermogenic fat burners are those that speed up your metabolic rate (usually through a CNS stimulant like ephedrine, guarana or caffeine). While there can be a place for this type of product I have had clients and colleagues whose fat loss has stalled while they were using this type of product and resumed once they have stopped it. In my opinion the increase in metabolic rate should be through exercise as much as possible.
5) You still use steady state cardio. I pull this one out a lot. For most people the thought of losing a few pounds makes you immediately think of running or cycling. To use a very common example, a typical marathon runner has higher levels of body fat than a sprinter. Although they are of a smaller frame the sprinter will be much more defined. If you want more muscle definition you need to be focusing on intense work. Anything you can do for 30 minutes has to be a lower intensity as you physically cannot sprint for that long.