Common Dieting Mistakes
There is so much information out in the internet at the moment about dieting methods, Lots of people arguing over which method is the best and people throwing studies out there left, right and center. Although we could join in on all of the above - we thought we'd attempt to be helpful and point out some universally common mistakes that are made when it comes to shredding for summer.
Starting too aggressively
Too much too soon is a common error most people make and most will assume the paradigm that, ‘more is better’ – which in theory sounds good but realistically it is not sustainable and long term you will cease to see results.
Stating too aggressively will mean that your body will be hit with massive shock. Excessive hunger, tiredness, irritability and other things that make living on low calories difficult. In contrast, if you were to gradually reduce the calorie intake adjusting to these symptoms would be much more bearable.
In addition to this by cutting things too quickly, there is a chance your body will create more fat cells and cause you to gain back more weight when the diet is done.
Expecting Linear Results
Just like with your training, you can’t expect to keep putting 2.5kgs on the bar every week. You’re eventually going to hit a wall (or die). Although it seems logical that a consistent calorie deficit means consistent fat loss, the pathway is often complicated. Some weeks, you’ll lose a bunch of weight only to lose nothing or even gain weight on others.
I will touch on this in the next point but the scale weight is not exactly an accurate measurement of progress. The reason is that there is a lot going on in your body
Water intake, glycogen depletion, sodium intake, hormonal balance, etc. can all cause dramatic swings in your bodyweight. The worst thing to do is to react to each of these swings by changing your diet. This will only cause stress and unwanted adaptations over time.
Being Too Focused on the Scale
This is effectively just to reiterate the last point. During a weight-loss phase there is a lot going on which can cause the numbers on the scale to fluctuate. It’s understandable that people get a little caught up in what the scale says. After all, it seems like a very objective measure of dieting success, but as mentioned earlier, the body doesn’t lose weight in a linear fashion.
Yes - cardio will help you loose weight but many people over utilise this tool. The best way I can explain this concept is that at the point you start your weight-loss journey. Everything is a base. Your body will adapt to the stresses you place on it but you need to leave room to ramp up intensity.
For example, let’s say at a baseline you do 15 minutes of cardio a day. Now, In order to burn more calories you’re going to have to do more than 15 minutes to create the deficit, so then let’s say you start doing 25 mins a day. Now slowly overtime, your body will again adjust to the new stimulus and you will need to add further stress, so then you would then again increase the time from 25 mins to 35, this pattern would continue on.
Now, if you were to immediately jump to doing an hour of cardio a day, where are you going to go to from there? You’d be on that stair master indefinitely. Your body would adapt to the hour and then you’d be stuck doing stupid amounts of cardio.
So just chill and take this one easy.
No Exit Strategy
In order to have lasting success with your diet, you have to figure out how to transition from fat loss to weight maintenance. The most effective way to do this would probably be via reverse dieting. This helps you to build your metabolism back up so that your calorie intake is more realistic for maintenance purposes. For some, reverse dieting might actually be more difficult than dieting itself, but staying strong and disciplined during this time will keep your weight in check and put you in a position to succeed for the long term.
Contrary to popular belief – reverse dieting is not to lose weight or to stay lean. More so ensure that your body returns to an optimal calorie intake and hopefully a new and higher BMR (due to body composition) without overshooting you calories and destroying your progress in the process.
We all know that losing fat means you’re going to have to pull back on your caloric intake. This often means restricting yourself at times or even increasing your activity levels in order to reach your goals. However, the strategies you choose to employ in your diet can make or break your success.
Overly aggressive or restrictive diets often result in poor adherence and outcomes. Similarly, being too reactive to your results or failing to plan ahead, can undo all of your progress. As such, it is important to avoid the common mistakes that we have discussed.
Dieting is obviously going to be an unpleasant experience at times, but by dieting smarter, you can make your life much easier and enjoy the fruits of your labour.