Not Training Enough or Training Too Much
To truly lose body fat, you need to be training 4-5 days. Training 2-3 days is just not enough to see results. Your body is a powerful thing, it can easily adapt to short, limited cardio sessions. Instead, work on muscle building through weight lifting and adding in cardio on top of that.
Training too much can lead to the opposite problem. It can lead to burnout. Moderation is key to finding the right balance. You want to make sure that your diet and recovery time can handle the amount of training you’re doing. Make adjustments slowly to isolate what works for you.
Not Eating Properly
Protein keeps you fuller for longer periods of time. Not only does this help prevent overeating and snacking, but it can also help improve your metabolism so that your body is using the food you do eat more efficiently. Great options for protein include lean meat, yogurt, eggs, and whey protein supplements.
Calorie deficits do make a difference when it comes to losing weight, but you need to eat enough food to have the energy to work out and to metabolize your fat. Instead of making a massive difference in calories, cut out junk and candy and eat a balanced diet of protein, veggies, and healthy fats. Don’t be afraid to have a cheat meal every now and again to boost your metabolism and have a break from strict eating.
In addition to protein, carbs and fats can make or break a nutrition plan. Carbohydrates can fluctuate. On training days, increase your carbs to give you more energy, but decrease them on non-training days. Healthy fats are important for your metabolism and provide energy. They can help keep you fuller for longer periods of time. Healthy fats include avocado, nuts, and oils.
Not Training Properly
One thing many beginners don’t know is that the more muscle you have, the easier it is to burn fat. This means that building muscle is key to losing fat – the two aren’t mutually exclusive. So while you should include some cardio training, weight training is just as, if not more, important. Work on compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, rows, and bench presses.
Speaking of cardio, let’s talk about cardio training properly. Some cardio is important to your overall health – it improves heart health, can boost the metabolism, and increases circulation. But too much cardio can lead to a lack of muscle building, which can leave you feeling defeated. Instead, work on finding a balance between cardio and weight training.
Putting Too Much Faith in the Scale
There’s one thing you need to know about the scale: it measures weight, not fat. That means that everything in your body, from bones to muscle to fat all get measured. The scale doesn’t measure the ratio of fat to muscle in your body. Muscle is heavier than fat so you might actually see the scale go up instead of down at first and that’s okay.
Other things also affect the scale. Women will see increases in weight around their menstrual cycle. Track your weight on a monthly basis on the same week of your cycle so you can see true progress. Another thing that affects the scale is water weight brought on by salt and carbs. A cheat meal may increase your weight for a day or two, but then you’ll see it go down again.
Instead of looking solely into the scale, look at things on the whole. Look at how your body looks – are you more toned? Are your clothes fitting better? Gaining muscle can mean losing inches off your waist even when the scale is going up or staying the same. This way you’ll see more progress even if the scale doesn’t move.