I don't often like to talk about fat loss as it's not really my thing BUT after all I am a PT so here are some of the most common mistakes I see when people are on a fat loss journey.
1. DIETS + DIET MYTHS
Diets do not work. I could just leave it here but people continue to believe they do work so let me explain.
Anything that involves cutting out an entire food group in a restrictive way is not sustainable and creates a bad relationship with food . I'm not talking about being vegetarian/vegan/intolerances, I'm talking about things like no carb diets, the 5:2 diet, Atkins diet (is this even still a thing?), Cambridge diet and whatever other crazy diets are out there! Anything that revolves around numbers and restriction, classifies as a diet. If you want to lose fat then get out of the diet mindset! As long as you are in this restrictive mindset you will constantly be stuck in a vicious cycle and end up yo-yo dieting. Not only will this completely confuse your body and potentially result in the opposite to the desired effect, it will seriously affect your mental health and the relationship you have with yourself and food. Break the cycle and set yourself free from diet culture. You do not need to diet and be miserable to lose weight.
The biggest diet myth within the fitness industry (that sadly people still believe) is that carbs are the enemy. THIS IS FAKE NEWS. You need carbs. Please read this carefully: Carbs do NOT make you fat. Protein does NOT make you fat. Fats do NOT make you fat. No single food will make you fat. Eating too much on the other hand is what will result in fat gain.
As you ladies know, I am not one to talk about calories and numbers but if you are on a fat loss journey (in a healthy and sustainable way) then it does come down to energy in vs. energy out. If you consume more energy that you expend you will gain weight. Likewise, if you consume less energy than you expend you will lose weight. HOWEVER, that being said I would never advise any of my clients to stay in a dramatic calorie deficit for a prolonged period of time as this is not maintainable and not good for your emotional wellbeing. My top tip is to educate yourself on the quality of the food you are eating. Not all calories are created equally! For example, 100 calories of gin is not the same as 100 calories of vegetables. Just because they both have the same calorific value it doesn't mean they will have the same effect on your body. So although calorie intake does have a place I think knowledge and understanding of nutrition is crucial. Eat better, not less.
We've all heard the saying 'quality over quantity' right? Well this concept also applies to your training. Training more frequently and for longer is not necessarily better. For example, a 2 hour workout isn't necessarily better than a 45 minute workout. In fact, training excessively (for example, performing several HIIT workouts a week) is likely to do more harm than good as it puts you at an extreme risk of burnout and injuring yourself as it puts too much stress on your muscles, joints and adrenals. Train smart, not hard.
3. MIRACLE PRODUCTS
Detox teas, 'skinny teas', fat burner pills, carb binders, magical weight loss pills, appetite suppressors blah, blah, blah . Save your hard earned money and avoid these 'miracle products' like the plague! If it seems too good to be true, it probably is! If these miracle products worked do you not think everyone would be using them? These products do NOT work. They are a waste of your money and can be detrimental to your health in the long term. Do not buy them. Did you know your body actually has a natural, built in detoxifier? It's called your liver. You can assist your liver by ensuring you stay hydrated but you do not need specific (not to mention highly overpriced) detox pills/teas/other silly fad products. So stop searching for quick fixes and focus on what works: moving your body through exercise you enjoy and nourishing your body through nutrient dense whole foods.
4. SNEAKY MARKETING
Vegan, gluten free, high protein, low carb, low fat etc. etc.
We see this kind of labelling everywhere right? Gyms, 'Health' Cafe's, supermarkets and every other post on social media. This sneaky marketing makes us believe that because something has these buzz words on the packaging we assume it's good for us. But did you know that just because something is high protein/low carb/gluten free or whatever else it does NOT make it 'healthy'? Let's take a protein bar for example. I see so many people opting for these kind of snacks because they have '20g of protein' and your fave fitness gal has an affiliate link for them on Instagram, which must mean it's good for us, right? Wrong! In actual fact these protein bars are often just full of sugar and calories, they are highly processed and poor quality with an ingredients list as long as your arm made up of chemicals that you can't even pronounce. If you want to have protein snacks throughout the day then check what is actually in it and go for something with whole ingredients or even better make your own. Don't be tricked by sneaky 'health' marketing. (This goes for 'healthy' cereal bars too).
5. FOLLOWING TRENDS
Fitness is not a one size fits all kinda gig. Everyone is so different and our bodies are as individual as our personalities. That means that we will all react differently to different styles of training and of course we will all have different preferences. Just because your boyfriend is doing Crossfit that does not mean you should do Crossfit. Just because your best friend is doing Spinning, that does not mean you should do Spinning. Just because your favourite Instagram 'fitspo' is a powerlifter, it does not mean you should become a powerlifter. You should do whatever style of exercise works for you.