People who come to my nutritional consultation do so for numerous reasons. Some for health reasons, others to improve their sports performance and others who simply want to show off a better body. But most of them have one goal in common: losing body fat. In this video I want to tell you what are the...
When Daniela went to her first day of consultation, and after a long time trying an infinite number of “miraculous” methods and restrictive diets in the fight against her extra pounds, she finally understood that she had been falling into several of the most common mistakes that people commit when losing fat:
1. Do little or no exercise
To lose body fat, the first thing you must achieve is a caloric deficit, or in simple words: expend more energy than you are consuming through your diet. There are two ways to expend energy: being alive (energy expenditure at rest) and moving (energy expenditure through physical activity). If your activity is limited to spending the day sitting in front of a computer, in the car, or in bed, the number of calories needed to achieve an energy deficit will have to be very low. Imagine that you eat a 1200 kcal diet but you only spend about 1400 kcal per day; Your energy deficit will be just 200 kcal per day. At this rate, it will take you more than a month to lose your first kilo of fat. On the other hand, with the same 1200 kcal diet but spending 2200 kcal (e.g. adding an hour of intense exercise daily), your deficit would now be 1000 kcal, managing to lose a kilo of fat in just one week. Therefore, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle and increasing calorie expenditure through exercise is a very important strategy to accelerate your fat loss process. Remember that the only fat burner that exists is called “physical exercise.”
2. Eat healthy, but a lot!
Nowadays, thanks to the bombardment of information in the world of fitness, most people looking to lose fat have included foods considered healthy in their diet, such as vegetables, fruits, oats, sweet potatoes, nuts, egg whites, chicken, fish and even protein supplements. However, very few people take into account the total amount of calories they consume at the expense of these foods, mistakenly thinking that, because they are healthy, they cannot cause excess calories. A classic example is snacking on a handful of 20g of almonds (115 kcal), versus snacking on a bag of 100g of almonds (580 kcal), which would be equivalent to the calories of three and a half cups of pasta! Impressive, right? And when designing a good nutritional plan to lose fat, you should not only take into account the quality of the food, but also its quantity. We all have an energy requirement that can vary widely from person to person. Therefore, if you do not count what you eat, you will be sailing blind.
3. Follow fad diets
The paleo diet, alkaline, detox, points, blood groups, intermittent fasting and a long etcetera. Following fad diets is a serious mistake, as it ignores the most valuable principle of adequate nutrition: individuality. On the other hand, most of these diets are based on myths and theories that lack scientific validity, and whose benefits, if any, are limited to a certain group of people. For example, a paleo-type diet could be beneficial for a patient with a significant degree of obesity and chronic diseases, but totally inappropriate for a healthy individual or an athlete. Therefore, what worked for María's friend will not necessarily work for María, since each of us has specific needs that depend on a host of totally individual characteristics such as age, gender, body composition, level of physical activity, daily routine, tastes and particular objectives.
4. Don't eat carbohydrates
Without a doubt, the most common mistake made by people who want to lose fat. There are many myths surrounding carbohydrate consumption. Some limit themselves to eating them before a certain time and others avoid them completely. The truth is that both behaviors are unnecessary and, in many cases, counterproductive. Carbohydrates or sugars are the main source of energy for your body, and the more energy you expend through physical exercise, the more carbohydrates you need (yes, even if you are looking to lose fat). Eliminating carbohydrates will cause you to lose muscle, glycogen, and water , which will make it more difficult to lose fat. As long as the total amount of energy you consume per day is less than what you expend, you will be able to lose fat without cutting out carbohydrates, especially if you exercise. It's just a matter of understanding which ones, how much and when to use them, depending on your energy needs and your training schedule.
5. Skip meals
Eating at odd hours is the main cause of what many describe as anxiety, which is nothing more than hunger. Going more than three or four hours without eating will cause a drop in your blood sugar (glucose) levels, and the lower these levels are, the more urgent it will be to raise them again. This is why if you only usually eat three meals a day, separated by about 5 or 7 hours, you will not be able to resist that dessert that passes before your eyes in the middle of the afternoon, or in the worst case, you will end up making a dinner worthy of a Spartan when he arrives at your house at night. For this reason , it is very important to include snacks between your main meals, which will help you keep your sugar levels stable and allow you to better control your appetite during the day. Do the test!
6. Lose weight and not fat
Our body is made up of many components. We have muscles, fat, bones, skin and other tissues. Each of them contributes to the total body weight, the one we see when we step on a scale. Of all these components, only muscle and fat are modifiable in the short term through diet and training. If you focus only on losing weight quickly, you will be at the mercy of adopting restrictive behaviors that will lead you to lose muscle instead of fat. In fact, losing weight is very simple. Just stop eating and in a few days you will lose a large amount of weight at the expense of muscle and water. On the other hand, losing only fat is a much more complex process, which depends on an eating plan calculated specifically for each person. Therefore, you should pay less attention to the number on the scale and focus on losing body fat, which you can monitor with a qualified professional.
7. Make disasters on the weekend
“I follow my diet perfectly from Monday to Friday, but on the weekend I go off.” Remember that Saturday and Sunday represent almost a third of our entire week, so falling into excess during these days can sabotage the progress you have made the previous days. Enjoying a medium hamburger with a calorie-free drink and sharing a dessert on a Saturday night will not stop you from continuing to lose fat. But a weekend of barbecue, pizza, double hamburger with extra fries, regular soda, ice cream, chocolate cake and alcoholic drinks will represent a huge excess of calories that can slow down your weekly progress. In the end, the key is moderation. If you're on a low-calorie plan to lose body fat, you can eat one or two meals out of your meal plan over the weekend. Just stay away from excess fats, sugar and/or alcohol and you won't have anything to worry about.
Additionally, remember that you should not put anything in your body that is not natural and healthy, such as injectable fat burners, pills of dubious origin, among many others. Just imagine torturing yourself with injectable fat burners and them not working for you in the end.