My number one problem with most diets on the market is that they all assume that whatever you were doing before you found their diet book or program was wrong. I really don’t like that mindset and that’s why I wrote The Physique Formula which aims to focus on improving your diet without drastic cuts or changes. A HUGE problem with fitness and nutrition coaches is that they often project their plan, likes or opinions on you without truly listening to YOUR goals.
A vegan nutritionist will suggest you go vegan.
A bodybuilder coach will give you a bodybuilding workout.
A Crossfit coach will tell you to join a BOX.
And all of that is FINE is they are in line with YOUR goals but what if you like eating meat? Or what if you don't want to train for an hour then do an hour of cardio?
At the end of the day, if you’re trying to build muscle, lose fat, or perform better, you better avoid these 4 mistakes.
You started by eating less right away
This is by far, the BIGGEST problem that everyone makes when they start to lose fat. The typical scenario is that you get fed up with feeling heavy or looking overweight and after a Saturday night or weekend binge, you decide that you need to diet on Sunday. You can not go from 0 to 100 and expect it to be easy. Most people start with just eating barely enough food,or just under their basal metabolic rate.
The goal for any PREMIUM Physique Formula coaching clients is to lose 1-2 lbs of fat per week. For a diet to be effective, long term, you need to have a deficit. The easiest way to achieve that deficit is to leave your nutrition ALONE at the start. Focus on eating higher quality foods like I advocate in The Physique Formula and eliminate the junk calories such as flavored coffee drinks or sugars.
By doing this you’ll actually increase your metabolism at the start of your diet, you won’t experience the hunger pains of the early stages of a diet and you’ll give your body a reason to gain lean muscle which ultimately helps you lose more fat.
After two or three weeks of just cleaning up your diet you should have lost a few pounds and now we can cut your carbohydrate for more results.
Your diet is too restrictive
There’s not one piece of fat loss science that suggests that you should deliberately remove or eliminate complete food groups. While it may be helpful to cut gluten, wheat, diary or fruit, there’s no reason, especially in the early stages of a diet, to completely remove these foods.
Too many people go all out too early in their diet then wonder why, after a few weeks, their fat loss has stalled. Under eating is just as harmful on your fat loss as over eating is. Especially if you train hard and need nutrients and calories to recover and maintain muscle. Remember, muscle is very metabolically expensive so you want to have enough incoming energy to retain it.
The only food groups you should restrict for the majority of your diet are empty calorie foods like sugars, flavored drugs and processed foods. The rest of the food should slowly be reduce then, possibly, removed completely.
You have no clue how much you’re eating.
This is a big one. Most people who constantly train hard actually under eat. Seriously. Why? The normal thought process isn’t to gain as much muscle as possible, it’s to be “lean” or “toned” or whatever other word is popular. As a result, if you take a dedicated trainer and slightly raise their calories, their bodies rapidly change and they gain muscle and lose fat.
The same can be said for anyone looking to burn body fat. Why? If you don’t know how much you’re eating, then you’ll truly never be able to reach your goals. I’ll admit, tracking your macornutrients is a pain but it’s easier than tracking your calories. Remember, calories don’t matter since the macronutrients in food (protein, carbs and fats) are more directly responsible for your fat loss.
Truth be told, I only require my PREMIUM PHYSIQUE FORMULA coaching clients to track their carbohydrates at the start. While it’s optimal to track everything since, for example, the carbohydrates in almonds do matter in your daily total, just having a idea within 90% accuracy of the carbohydrates that your body is ingesting can be a huge aid in achieving your goal.
Stop worrying about fat loss!
The mental aspect of dieting is always the hardest. Compare fat loss to muscle growth as goals.
If your goal is to gain muscle, you don’t look in the mirror after every workout to check if your biceps grew that day. You don’t worry if a meal is going to make you gain muscle or not.
No, muscle growth is generally accepted as a long process. So people are patient with it.
Fat loss, on the other hand, is viewed as an immediate goal. As a result, most people raise their cortisol by worrying if they burned enough calories on the treadmill or if that extra scoop of ice cream went right to their waistline.
And let’s not forget the obsession with the mirror. This is where most Crossfitters have it right. They very rarely worry about fat loss, they don’t do cardio and they don’t worry about calories to a large degree. Instead, they focus on their performance at today’s WOD or their time on FRAN or any workout. They are optimizing their body for performance.
Granted the activity level of a elite Crossfitter is more than most average gym goers but my point isn’t that they don’t watch what they eat, they do. My point is that they are more concerned about losing a few pounds so that they can increase their ring dip performance not if they lost a pound this week.
Clean up these mistakes and make progress, now that's what I'm talking about.