I am no expert on nutrition, my study and my experience lies mostly in the fitness, strength and rehabilitation arena, but coming from a sports professional and being around athletes and people that want to change their body composition… I have some insights on what to do and what not to do. It is well known that to lose weight you need to have control of your energy expenditure and intake. Basically to lose weight you need to eat less calories than you expend. Of course it is not as simple as this, and the nutrients that you will eat will have a huge effect on how you end up looking, how healthy you are, and how effective your weight loss is, but in the end, if your calorie consumption is higher than what you burn, you won’t be losing those pounds.
These are the three biggest mistakes people make when trying to lose weight.
- Starvation: Starving to lose weight won’t help you in the short or long term. Your body is smarter than you and will go into starvation mode. You metabolism will drop, your body will try to preserve it’s most effective fuel (fat) and you will very quickly lose a lot of muscle mass. Don’t starve yourself if you want long term fat loss…because in the end once you start eating again your body will be ridiculously sensitive and you will put on more weight then you lost.
- Eating bad calories: Calories in need to be less than calories out, but not all calories are equal. You could eat 5 ice creams a day and still manage to lose weight, but I guarantee you won’t look very good. You will lose muscle, because for muscle to survive weight loss you need adequate nutrients and protein and you will get that skinny fat look. Pay attention to the kind of calories you put into your body, focus on fibre, vitamins, and getting enough protein in.
- Crap exercise choice: Many people want to lose weight and will start doing some long distance running. Silly. My best guess is not too many of you reading this post want to have the body of a marathon runner, more likely you want one of a long jumper or beach volleyball player. You want some muscle ‘tone’, you need to do strength training. Not only is strength training and interval work more effective in muscle gain and preservation, it also BURNS MORE CALORIES. Get your exercise choices right.
That’s my fat loss spiel for you.