1. There are two pitfalls which I see people fall into time and time again with their training routine. Firstly, many do too much steady state aerobic, and secondly, I see gym users doing the same routine over and over. The main problem with both of these mistakes is that the body adapts to what you do and if you are doing the same thing over and over it will fail to improve and your initial results will quickly plateau. Variety is the key ingredient to success. In addition to this, aerobic training increases oxidative stress which has shown to accelerate ageing. For FAT LOSS the best type of training is strength training or interval training. Train with weights intensely and you will get results quickly and continue to burn body fat. If you go into a gym and look at the cardio area in most health & fitness clubs you will see overweight individuals pounding away, the same faces, doing the same workout with the same goals they had in 2008…….to lose weight. Click on the link to read in more detail our previous article on strength training vs cardio training. One important thing to take on board is that if you train the same you will be the same, variety is the ingredient to success. If you go into a gym and look at the cardio area in most health & fitness clubs you will see overweight individuals pounding away, the same faces, doing the same workout with the same goals they had in 2008…….to lose weight.
Workouts are about working towards your goal and you have to train at a high intensity to get the results most people want. Results are not just handed to you on a plate, you have to earn them with hard work and a desire to achieve your goal. If your desire is strong enough then you will train at the correct intensity, and get the results you want.
2. Being too impatient – You didn’t wake up one morning and suddenly think ‘what the hell has happened to me!’ Generally people change gradually, and this is the same when you are being good. We often hear our clients say, ‘I’ve had a really healthy weekend, my body fat should be down’. Sadly, one weekend or even 2 weeks is not going to undo a lifetime or many years of poor nutritional choices. Give it at least 12 weeks to see life changing results; too many people give up after not seeing results instantly. If you can’t see yourself sticking to the plan consistently then don’t expect to see great results. Remember – the choices you make today, will affect how you look tomorrow.
3. Too many carbohydrates and sugar – We at Cre8 Fitness are not anti-carbohydrates as part of your diet, we say you can have as many carbohydrates as you like taking into account the 3 rules. Rule One – What type of carbohydrate are you consuming? Rule two – timing of carbohydrate intake. Rule Three – do you deserve carbohydrates?
Rule One – Always eat low GL (glycemic load) carbohydrates, the lower the GL the lower the risk of catapulting blood sugar levels sky high. The more level you maintain these throughout the day the better your food choices will be. The main thing to take into account also is that you should be eating only Paleo carbohydrates (green veg, some fruits, sweet potato). Please read our previous article looking at the glycemic load in a little more detail by clicking here.
Rule two – Timing of your nutrient intake is key, even eating the so called ‘right’ carbs at the wrong time can hinder your ability lose body fat. Even though fruit and sweet potato for example fall into the category of ‘good’ carbohydrates, it’s still important to take these foods on board when you are most insulin sensitive – you are most insulin sensitive directly after training. Most green veg have a score of 1-4 on the glycemic load chart so can generally be consumed throughout the day without having much effect on your blood sugar levels. Anything above 4 in our opinion should be more thought out and will depend on timing and your body composition levels which we talk about below.
Rule three – this really boils down to a few questions, how low is your body fat particularly looking at your insulin sites? (see our article on which sites are what). Also are you completely happy with your body shape right now? If you are entirely happy with your body and your body fat is very low then yes you potentially can have carbohydrates taking into account that not are carbohydrates effect the body in the same way. If you are not happy with your body fat and your body fat levels are higher than you want – then it’s simple you need to change what you are currently eating to change your body which means eating
4. Too many cheats – The rules of cheating are simple, first of all you go onto a boot camp diet where you cut out foods that contain high starch and high sugar. Then you have a cheat meal, first of all the cheat meal can be what you want. However the cheat meal is a cheat meal not a cheat day, and it must be the last meal of the day. This because if you have a cheat meal for lunch you will more than likely have some more bad food in the evening with your blood sugar levels going crazy. Then you repeat having a cheat meal every 5 days as this has been shown to help the body continue to lose body fat. You can fine tune your cheat meals as you go along as you may find certain side effects after some foods, bloating, aching joints etc. This can be caused by food intolerances from gluten or grains amongst others so make not and plan future cheat meals around and food intolerances.
5. Not taking fish oil – Not taking enough fish oil also falls into this category. Remember you need 1g of fish oil per percentage of body fat, so your body fat will dictate how much fish oil you require. Taking 1-2 tablets per day is doing little or nothing for you. If you are 20% then you need to take 20 tablets per day, hence why we suggest liquid fish oil – it’s easier to get a higher dosage. Taking 20g of fish oil in the liquid form is only 4 tea spoons taken throughout the day. Fish oil should be one of your staple supplements, click here to find out the benefits of taking fish oil.
6. Not eating enough protein -A common problem we see in most peoples nutritional habits is a lack of protein. Set yourself a protein goal if you are not getting enough in, work towards the goal of having at least 2g (women) or 3.3g (men) of protein per kg of body weight per day. For every 100g in weight before cooked you are roughly getting 20 grams of protein, i.e a 300g steak will give you 60 grams of protein. The amount of quality protein in your diet is the single most important calorie that influences your metabolic rate, favourably influencing fat loss. Quality protein also helps you sustain muscle during fat loss, improve muscle building potential, improve immunity, improve antioxidant function, build HDL Cholesterol, and enhance insulin and leptin function – all of which contribute toward optimal fat loss efforts over time. Protein is made up of various amino acids. In terms of weight loss, scientists are finding that the most important amino acids are the branch chain amino acids, especially leucine. If you get your protein intake high enough, especially in proteins that are rich in leucine, a number of very interesting things happen that can activate a sluggish metabolism and result in weight loss and fat loss.
7. Not Sleeping Enough – Research has shown that after just one week of insufficient sleep, the body can no longer metabolize carbs efficiently. Blood sugar takes 40% longer to decrease after a high carb meal and insulin sensitivity decreases by 30%. We need 7-9 hours of sleep each night in order to have normal metabolic activity during the day. Depression is one condition that is twice as likely to occur when there are sleep difficulties. One correlation that we probably have all experienced is that our immune systems don’t function optimally when we haven’t had enough sleep and we become more susceptible to the bacteria and viruses in our environment. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is the hormone that affects our metabolic rate. TSH levels decline when we don’t get adequate sleep, therefore meaning we make less thyroid hormone and our metabolism slows down. Not good if your goal is fat loss! The combination of increased cortisol, decreased TSH and less sensitivity to insulin, makes us more prone to be in a catabolic state instead of anabolic i.e. instead of building lean body mass, we store fuel as fat, especially around the mid-section.
8. Variety in diet – One complaint we hear often regarding eating a Paelo diet is that some food is boring and repetitive, however before changing their diet most eat cereal for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch…..sound repetitive? I think so. Rotating food sources is key to continued fat loss. Over a life time research has shown that we often stick to the same food sources, eating wild meats and adding a different colour of vegetable to your grocery shopping is a great way of adding variety and adding valuable nutrients to your diet. If you eat chicken or beef daily, your body in time will build up food sensitivities to that food so rotating food sources daily is a great way to avoid this.
9. Not eating frequently or enough – You must aim to eat every 2-3 hours, and also make sure you eat until you feel full. As long as you are making the right choices with food, always eat when you are hungry. However you must distinguish between your mouth being a mouth and not a vacuum. Eating every 2 to 3 hours stimulates your metabolism for a short period of time. Therefore, the more often you eat, the more you will increase your metabolism. By eating every 2 to 3 hours, you are feeding your muscles, starving your fat and reassuring your body that you are not going starve. If you skip meals, you frighten your body into thinking that the next meal might not come, and it therefore begins storing fat.
10. Failing to plan ahead – Will power and desire are not always enough in achieving success when you change your lifestyle. Planning ahead is one way to ensure you stick to the plan. There will always be a time when it’s difficult to, going into that meeting, client lunches or going through a busy patch at work are common reasons why many fall off the wagon. Get some healthy snacks in stock when you get chance, have a pack of nuts in your bag that you can eat when things get busy. Applying great preparation will ensure you get great results.