Stop Making These Top 10 Fat Loss Mistakes!Luke Coutinho
How to lose weight? What are the most effective tips for fat loss? We have DMs and queries that pour in from around the world like these. Not just us, these are perhaps some of the most trending health queries you will find on Google. Having consulted over 20,000 clients around the globe over the last nine years through our You Care Wellness Programs, I wanted to highlight the most common mistakes that I have observed when it comes to fat loss cases.
Let’s dive into these top 10 fat loss mistakes and how to avoid them.
#1 Focus on fat loss, not weight loss
I am a fan of perception because our mind decides right and wrong for us. You need to shift your focus. Aim to lose or burn fat, not weight. Why? Because you could be losing muscle mass, bone density, or just water and then feeling, “Hey, I am losing weight.” But you will have a bigger problem later. Weight loss alarms me, and fat loss inspires me. Demarcate between fat loss and weight loss. Choose fat loss.
#2 Stop starving yourself
Are you fasting or starving yourself? You need to know the difference because most people don’t. It is shocking but true. People are starving themselves in the name of fasting for fat loss. Let me give you a simple example: Suppose I have had a big meal today. I cannot say that I will fast for the next 24 hours. You think it may help you lose weight. But all it does is make you more deficient in micronutrients that your body needs to help you burn that excess fat and the rubbish that you ate. Do not starve. Starvation will slow down your metabolism and depress you because it creates the psychological effect of deprivation. Your survival depends on energy. When you cut its source out, it will pose a bigger problem.
People have turned the art of fasting into a fad. It needs to be done scientifically and smartly. Even fasting follows the circadian rhythm. Whether it is circadian rhythm fasting, dry or intermittent, try to maintain your timings. Don’t just start at 8 AM today, and then change your start time to 2 AM the next day just because it is a weekend. You need to be consistent with your timings. When you keep changing it you are confusing the biorhythms of your body.
#3 Do not deprive yourself of sleep
If you are sleep deprived, you will struggle to lose fat, no matter how clean your diet is or how much you work out. Because we lose fat while we sleep. If you are one of those people who say, “I don’t have enough time,” I challenge you. Sit with me, and I can tell you – you have the time. You are just not using it effectively. We work with billionaires and help them find the time.
You need to assess your time wasters and get rid of them. Keep your bedtime and wake-up time consistent. Keep that window uncompromised. Some people say, “I wish I had 26 hours in a day.” No, absolutely not. Because when you keep repeating that to yourself, you are rewiring your brain to believe it and sending messages to the universe of lack. The most successful people have 24 hours just like you do. It is all about prioritizing the whole concept. Focus on getting the deep and restorative sleep your body needs for fat loss. Find some common mistakes to avoid here. Adopt some powerful pre bedtime rituals (Know more here).
#4 Cardio isn’t enough. Build lean muscle.
A lot of people just do cardio thinking it will help fat loss. The science behind fat loss is building muscle. When I say this to people, they quickly say, “Luke, but I don’t want to lift weights at the gym and build big buff muscles.” I am talking about building buff muscle but lean muscle. You can build this with simple bodyweight exercises at home lunges, squats, push-ups, pull-ups, playing tennis, cricket, or a sport of your choice. The more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate. The higher your metabolic rate, the more you convert your body into a fat-burning machine. Learn 10 bodyweight exercises to build lean muscle here.
Unfortunately, most people have put themselves in boxes. If you say, “I ate my three meals, I worked out for an hour, and that’s it.” It will not work for you. Your one hour of workout is practically useless if you are going to be sedentary for the rest of the day and not training your metabolism. You need to build a metabolism that works for you even when you sleep or sit on a 15-hour flight for effective fat loss.
#5 Keep your workouts holistic
As you age, you want to have a more holistic workout. Along with building muscle, you also want mobility and flexibility. Why? So that you can get stronger and more muscle and ensure that you do not get stiff. You are only as young as your spine. In our line of work, we meet strong people with excellent physiques who struggle to touch their toes. You can predict how their life is going to be when they reach 45, 50, or 55 with less flexibility. To tackle this, ensure your exercise program is holistic. Lift heavy if you want, but ask yourself – Am I flexible? Do as much yoga as you want, but ask yourself – Am I building strength? Keep it diverse. This will help aid fat loss.
#6 Stop adopting extremes
Stop hopping on fads or adopting an extreme lifestyle. You cannot punish your body by saying you will not eat any sugar or your favorite baked goodies. It’s not necessary. I’ll tell you why. Some of our fittest and happiest clients are in their 90s, 80s, 70s, and 60s. There is one commonality among them. It is that they live in balance and do not adopt extremes. They will have a dessert but also keep their other fundamentals in place. They will not consistently or greedily indulge in desserts day after day.
I have a 96-year-old patient, an Indian army veteran. She has two pegs of whiskey every day, even at 96. And she is healthier than most people I know in their 20s because she has kept the fundamentals in place.
#7 Fat loss cannot come at the cost of your happiness
Most people today try to get fit at the cost of their happiness. They have become so obsessed with it, that they stop caring about how it affects their emotional and mental health. The first ingredient to fat loss or even recovery from any condition is to have a happy mind. When you are happy, you send a message to your body that everything is okay. You then enter a state of homeostasis. Homeostasis is your body’s intelligence that fixes, repairs, and helps you lose that extra or stubborn fat. But when you are in a perpetual state of disharmony where you feel deprived and sad, despite eating right, sleeping right, or working out, you will not be in homeostasis. When there’s disharmony, it affects your biorhythm. You cannot punish the fat off of your body with more exercise.
#8 Stop overtraining
If you overtrain, you will put on more weight because what you are doing is creating a hormonal imbalance. Sometimes soreness is good. For instance, the DORM effect which stands for delayed onset muscle soreness. You may experience this when you go to the gym after five days or a long gap. What does overtraining mean? If you are working out intensely, wake up fatigued with the same muscles hurting, experience energy slumps, keep getting injured, and have sprains. The intention behind your workouts should be to make you stronger, not to get more injured. Either your nutrition is not aligned, or you are not prioritizing recovery. Your muscles can only grow stronger in a state of recovery. The more flexible the muscle, the more you can train it. It is why your warm-ups and cooldowns are so important.
For bodybuilders, the warm-up is 30 minutes and the cooldown could be an hour. Look at legendary footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. After every game, he goes to recover. It is what allows him to be stronger the next day. The level of discipline is fabulous. So, don’t overtrain. Make rest and recovery a part of your exercise regimen.
#9 Stop using social media advice for fat loss
I am not against social media. It is a boon, but it can also be a massive curse. A lot of times, it is not social media that is the problem. It is the person using it. You may be following 100 nutritionists or doctors, but how do they influence your decision-making? You are a bio-individual, and your needs will not match someone else’. Are you so dependent on these nutritionists, doctors, or influencers that you have to wake up every morning and look it up to know how to handle every life decision? Reaching that point shows how disconnected and out of control you are. As human beings, we will always have the responsibility of empowering ourselves. There’s always something to take away from everyone, but the moment we hand over the remote control of our emotions and logic to social media, we become puppets.
Stop following social media advice to lose fat.
Ask yourself this:
Am I disciplined?
Am I consistent with the basics?
If yes, you can maybe look for some more complications. You may want to follow accounts that probably motivate you and inspire you. But if you are not doing your basics right, you don’t need more nutrition advice or exercise. Get the fundamentals in place first.
#10 Don’t be miserable. Are you building happiness?
I understand you may want to attain a certain physique and feel good about it, but as you aim towards building that body, ask yourself every day – Am I building happiness too? Because I’ll tell you I have some of the thinnest people with the most exquisite physiques who are depressed. What’s the point of a great body? Do you want to be just an eye candy, but go home and feel miserable and depressed? My point is – yes, lose that weight but also build happiness. If you have told yourself – I will be happy when I lose weight, you have put a condition. You are always going to be miserable.
Three golden words for you to move to action
Meditation, mindfulness, and reflection – I give you a choice of these three tools because they are powerful and beautiful. If you cannot meditate, start with deep reflection. Cultivate and practice mindfulness in all that you do. Wherever you are, sit at the end of your day and run through everything that happened. Reflect on it. It may include both good and not-so-good things that happened. Write them down if you must. Gently move your focus from what did not go well to what made you smile. This simple practice will help you embrace gratitude too.
ALSO WATCH: Want To Lose Fat? Avoid These Top 10 Mistakes! – Health 101 With @BeerBiceps
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