7 Things To Avoid When Cutting Body Fat
Posted on 5th June 2020 at 17:55
Over the course of this article, I know full well you will be able to resonate with at least 1 of these mistakes. I know because I’ve done them myself! Whether you’re male or female, looking to shape up before summer, get some abs, or just generally feel good, you will have tried doing one of these.
Let me set some things straight. Firstly, there is no right or wrong way to lose fat, apart from eat less, move more. There are obviously more efficient, productive ways to go about it. There are some stupid ways to go about it & some seriously down right idiotic ways to as well – fat burners, pills & juices being some of them.
1. DRASTICALLY CUTTING CALORIES STRAIGHT AWAY
Look, I’ve seen my rig getting a little bit out of shape & the initial reaction is to cut calories. By a tonne! Ok it works for the first week, but mate let me tell you I ain’t half craving all the foods I’ve just drastically cut out in order to establish a calorie deficit. Let’s go into more detail, the food group you restrict also in order to cut these calories, the good old ‘carb’. How many times have you cut carbs suddenly to find some weight loss? Same.
Firstly, 1g of carbohydrates holds 3g of water. This means as soon as you restrict carbs, a lot of water will disappear with that too, ever seen the scales drop dramaticcally straight away? 99% of that was water, not fat. Sorry about that! Let’s not even go into the hunger pangs we all get, the emotion led food aspects & the overall craving side of things. What’re you gonna do when your partner wants to order pizza & you can’t do anything but look from afar & admire?
The restriction in calories to a high degree is never great, for many reasons, it’ll affect our energy, our performance in the gym, our sleep, our stress levels, general day to day things will massively be knocked. Our NEAT will drop a lot & remember, this can make upward of 25% of your daily expenditure (respectively). We have to think long term with anything we’re doing, otherwise we’ll be in constant search for an immediate reward which gives no long term rewards.
Let’s take a 20% deficit:
2000 maintenance calories
400 = 20%
= 1600 calories daily
The 20% deficit is made up of both food intake & exercise. We have to be realistic, how sustainable is it going to be when it comes to lowering these calories even more without affecting the thing’s discussed above? Energy, sleep, stress, performance?
Start as slow as you dare possibly go, don’t be reactive to situations.
2. COMPLETE CHANGE IN DIRECTION
Look I’ve done this before in the hope I’ll get some sort of positive return out of. I do, for the first week or 2 then slowly find myself wandering back into my old ways & habits. This is the key point ‘old ways & habits’. We have to be invested in a long term change, over a period of time. At KL Fitness, we don’t work with anyone under 12 weeks for the simple fact they just can’t achieve the long term result they desire. That’s not us being big headed we just have to have the investment for a long term perspective.
12 weeks is a good starting point to really start to lay the foundations to the next phase of training, nutrition & habit building. It gives us time to firstly establish the current state of where we are at, how we intend to programme to move forward, how we adjust & adhere to new plans 1 day at a time. How we take current habits & slowly place new more complimentary habits into the mix. How we get a client to understand their current habits & state & enable them to value & respect the why’s behind the behaviour change.
We are humans, we seek immediate reward I get it. Maybe this time, think outside the box a little & see if it works?
3. DOING ALL THE CARDIO
Ever jumped on a 10k the morning after you had the bright idea to start losing fat? Same. Headphones in, playlist on. Run it, feel uncomfortable, look like a d*******, get home, post on instagram, have a smoothie, wake up achey as f***, don’t plan another run for another few days. Get to the 2nd run with no real idea of what you’d done on the first one. Didn’t track it, didn’t measure the distance, didn’t record energy, basically you p***** in the wind. I am not shaming the running, I’m saying we automatically go for the thing we ‘feel’ is working because it ‘worked’ before.
It’s ok to use running, just go in with the mindset to start small, to track It & think about progression over the course of the month. We humans need progression & if we’re just running 10k’s every week with no real idea of what progress we’re making, we won’t withstand doing it for long, am I right?
I remember I used to set myself an absolute horrendous HIIT circuit up in the local leisure centre gym because the timber was gaining, I didn’t track It, didn’t really enjoy it either. Got a good pump but that was it! You do not have to do all the cardio to make progress. Period.
Use it as a tool WHEN thing’s start to slow down. Add in when necessary. My coach instilled this in me from the start & let me tell you I was made up. Knowing I didn’t have to do 7 days of cardio to lose fat! Boom!
4. RE FEED MEALS / DAYS
Any coach that programmes ‘re feed days or meals’ into your week are tools. Period. At the level you are reading this article, you should not require a cheat day or meal. I don’t mean level in the sense of you’re s*** & someone else is boss. I’m talking people who are stepping on stage to compete & those who are looking to lose some fat, feel good & get stronger.
Firstly, they have no real benefit to you other than filling your greedy face after a restrictive week of low calories & carb cutting. What is that benefiting? Nothing, you feel no better towards the food’s you obviously have a pretty bad relationship with (ye you can have a relationship with food). You’re living the Monday to Friday lifestyle in the hope of overall making some progress.
Re feed days / meals do not boost your metabolism, at all. If you’re also using them to boost your energy because you’re feeling flat, your calories are too low through the week to start with. These foods you are ‘re feeding’ on. Why not have some during the week? A pizza on a Monday night is no different to a pizza on a Friday night, the calories are the same, the taste, the cost etc.
Let’s show you a typical week with a re feed day or meal at the weekend:
1100 x 6 = 6600
4500 x 1 = 4500
11500 per week
Your calorie deficit for the week is 10,500. You’re 1000 over target. You wake up bloated & heavier after the night before.
5. HIGH REPS / LOW WEIGHT
I remember the days I thought 20 reps were far superior to 8/10 reps when cutting body fat or looking to lose weight. Looking for that ‘deep cut’ striation in the muscle belly. No studies suggest or show that a higher rep range can benefit greater fat loss. Of course, you may pick intensity up & elevate the heart rate that in turn may ‘burn more calories’ but still then it’s a marginal debate. Let’s get serious here. I see it like this. Over the course of your programming, ideally you should be looking to progress, with strength, rep ranges, load etc. Over time your muscles will adapt i.e. grow. If we suddenly start offering the muscles ‘less weight’ & ‘more reps’, it will then again ‘adapt’ to that stimulus & process. Therefore leading in perhaps getting weaker, getting smaller, becoming ‘less efficient’.
I get it, we’ll become more fatigued, tired & lethargic the lower our body fat gets, so the training could get harder. Does that mean ‘go hard or go home’? No, it just means be smart with your training, play around with food intake in & around training times, ensure you’re getting enough sleep, hydrate well. You don’t need to slog yourself over the course of 150 reps just to gain progress. Keep doing what you were doing, the day before.
6. RELYING ON FITNESS & EXERCISE TRACKERS
To put this quite bluntly they aren’t a reliable source to track your output, if we’re measuring calories burned etc. I’ve seen a lot of people take their calories back that their watch has told them they’ve burned. That they should consume the food they lost to make them back up. Then still wondering why they haven’t lost weight.
How I see it is this, if you consistently burn the same amount of calories, doing the same session, 3 x per week. They are a consistent, inaccuracy, which, could give you an idea of where you’re at. Does that mean you should be relying on it as a measure? No, I’d say not. Try getting out of the ‘burning calories’ malarkey in the first place & start building a physique.
7. TRACKING & DOCUMENTING, NOTHING
Big frustration of mine is not actually planning, tracking or documenting anything. I can say that because I did it myself & saw the least return. As a newbie to the gym, you’ll always see the initial starters gains & what I mean by that is, progress, change to body, strength etc. But it will get harder. That’s why you have to prepare well in advance. If you’re new to any form of exercise reading this, start from today.
Plan your workouts. Have a programme, have some sort of idea of what you’re going to be doing in that gym session, over the course of the week & month. This helps you set up a foundation for progression. You can take many aspects of the workout to progress, the load (Weight), the reps, the intensity, the volume. If you don’t have the data in the first place, how can you measure it, track it & manage it? Simple note pad & pen will do.
Take your pictures, weigh yourself & measure yourself. Period. Anyone looking for compositional changes (losing body fat, gaining tissue). Should 100% be doing this. Weekly or bi-weekly. This a fantastic way to measure your progress & benchmark.
You can even look at things like managing sleep, day to day energy, hunger & appetite, steps, resting heart rate. These are all variables that can be managed & used as a measure of progress.
Tracking your food intake, whether you are a fat loss client or looking to build tissue. How can you know that something has worked without real understanding of what helped it work? Did you eat more protein that week or was it less calories? Did you stick to a deficit for 2 weeks or was it 1. Tracking food isn’t actually that easy & will take some time to get right but will transform your life once you know how to. Is it forever? Is it heck!
To summarise, the beauty of all the above is that it can all be managed & actioned from today. Why wait? Start to look at how you can action what we’re discussing & how Is it going to benefit you?
If you need any help at all, direct message me today. 07549956741
Tagged as: Fitness
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