7 of the BIGGEST Reasons, Why I See People Not Making Progress!
(Backed up by evidence-based research of course)
These days, within in 2 seconds of opening your phone you can be exposed to some of the best physiques in the world!
This has led to a huge diet culture with everyone chasing a beach body they can be proud of!
What makes matters worse is the number of people screaming online about so many different approaches and to screw this up, even more, nearly every diet contradicts the next;
- High Fat Vs High Carb
- Vegan Vs Carnivore
- Clean eating Vs IIFYM’s
The truth is that pretty much any diet will work if it is applied correctly. Whether you eat carbs, meat, dairy, gluten, etc. doesn’t really matter much (unless you have an allergy). What really matters is whether you can sustain a calorie deficit.
Today, I am going to cover some of the most common mistakes I see and help you avoid making them too;
Starting Too Aggressively
Probably the most common mistake I see is people starting off too aggressively.
It is well known now that a calorie deficit results in fat loss. But, many will take this information and apply a “more is better” approach.
They will start their diet in a huge caloric deficit because they want to see results overnight. While this strategy makes sense on paper, it doesn’t really work well in practice.
The huge calorie deficit will lead to constant hunger, fatigue, and will likely make your day to day life hard to endure. This often leads to that famous saying of “I fell off the bandwagon”.
To make things worse, it actually sets you up to gain back more weight than you lost once you quit the diet.
Failing to Plan
Just as with anything in life, you need to prepare to be successful.
People often fail to plan for the week ahead, which makes adhering to their calories a lot more difficult. You might find yourself on a business trip staying in a hotel, or maybe you are busy with school/college work? In these cases, it makes total sense to try to plan ahead to make life as easy as possible on yourself.
A little bit of planning helps you stay on track and keeps adherence to your calories on point.
Expecting Linear Results
Although it seems logical that a consistent calorie deficit means consistent fat loss, this is not how it works.
Some weeks, you’ll lose a lot of weight only to lose nothing or even gain weight the next. These tough weeks are often met with extreme stress and anxiety. After all, weight gain means your calories need to go down?
As it turns out, our bodies are extremely complicated. You might be losing fat even though the scale refuses to move. 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.
Instead, keep consistent with what you’re doing and only make changes after there is no progress being made over a period of 2 weeks or more.
Being Too Focused on the Scale
It’s understandable that people get a little caught up in what the scale says. After all, it was the one and only metric of progress used by some of the biggest dieting companies in the world for years!
But as mentioned earlier, the body doesn’t lose weight in a linear fashion. Furthermore, some will actually find that their bodies look better despite not losing or even gaining weight.
This is especially true for beginner and some intermediates who can actually “recomp” a bit by gaining some muscle as they lose fat. Rather than seeing the results on the scale, these people will notice changes in the mirror or in the way their clothes fit.
In this case, you’ve actually made awesome progress despite the scale saying otherwise.
Too Much Restriction
Dieting and deprivation often go hand in hand.
Most feel that they’ll have to deny themselves all their favourite foods in order to lose some fat. However, while you may have to limit some of your favourite high-calorie foods, too much restriction can make for an unnecessarily hard time.
The truth is that you are better off allowing some small indulgences from time to time. This makes it much easier for you to adhere to your diet over time. It also helps to prevent any tendencies to binge eat the foods you’ve been restricting.
These binges can have serious consequences, not only to your waistline but to your mental health as well.
Think, have you ever said, “I’m really craving some chocolate right now!” This is more than likely because you tried to cut it out completely. You are much better off still allowing yourself some chocolate on a daily basis to prevent these cravings and binges from occurring!
Exercising Too Much
Similar to dieting too aggressively, exercising too much can be a bad idea.
You may lose weight more quickly at first, but it will likely catch up with you in the end. By starting off with too much exercise, you basically handicap yourself. When weight loss stalls, you usually have two choices: drop calories, or increase activity.
However, when exercise is already high, you’re only left with dropping calories. Eventually, you run out of real estate in terms of calorie intake and you find yourself stuck.
Additionally, doing too much exercise in a depleted state is a recipe for disaster. All of the stress and trauma you do while training just isn’t fully repaired when you diet.
Over time, this lack of recovery can lead to injuries. This will no doubt make you exercise less, which means you may actually start gaining weight despite continuing to diet hard.
Without a doubt probably the most common reason people never see fat loss progress!
I’m going to show you how a full week of dieting can be undone in one day with simple maths!
You’re in a 200 calorie deficit each day from Monday – Friday;
200 x 5 = 1000 calorie deficit accumulated by Saturday morning.
Then on Saturday, you eat as normal all day but that night you decide to have a few drinks.
Let’s say you have 4 glasses of wine (a glass is roughly 130 cals) then you decide to get a pizza (an average pizza is roughly 1200 cals)
4 Glasses x 130 cals + The pizza at 1200 cals = 1720 cals.
You over consumed by Saturday and remember your deficit after 5 days was only 1000 calories.
So, after dieting for 5 days, in one night you not only undid all of that dieting but you also put yourself in a calorie surplus which could lead to fat gain!
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 unravel all of your progress. As such, it is important to avoid the common mistakes that are mentioned above.