Sure, if you are very overweight you might notice that you lost the first 5 kilos fast with a new diet and workout. But after those 5 kilos, the numbers resist to go down any further.
Truth is, you are sabotaging your weight loss program with poor planning, poor coordination, poor tracking and poor tactics. You trust your cardio alone to do the trick, but is it enough?
Apparently not! According to Shawn Arent who is an associate professor of exercise science at Rutgers University, “While cardio burns more fat as a percentage of total calories burned, it burns far fewer calories than more intense exercise, meaning you burn less fat overall”. So, there is your first mistake!
Let’s talk of the 4 most common mistakes that we all are guilty of making which are the real reasons our weight loss program has gone so off-track.
Problem 1# Workout for You Means a Long and Slow Cardio Session
The biggest problem with over 50% of all people on a weight loss plan is that they buy a cardio equipment and spend hours on it. You will burn a lot more calories in total if you create an intense workout program.
Cardio is great to turn up your heart rate and pulse and burn fat, but the number of calories you will burn while doing cardio at a slow steady pace for an hour is a lot lesser than what you will burn if you do a mix of high intensity workouts, where cardio is also a part.
The Solution: Do a mix if interval cardio training with strength training workouts for more efficient calorie burning. The best idea always is to follow a metabolic resistance training program. Here you will do supersets along with circuits of whole body intense exercises. You get a more effective workout that burns more calories and too to in lesser time.
Problem 2# No Planning or Tracking Routine
You know that exercise will make you lose weight but you are not tracking or planning your diet. Many of us don’t really have a realistic idea of how compliant we are with our diet. You are good through the day – eating healthy and including small snacks between meals.
But after dinner, you fit in front of the TV and manage to munch a huge bowl of butter laden popcorn or you indulge in your sweet tooth and have that whole bar of chocolate. Don’t forget the small bites you take through the day – any colas had between meals, the biscuits that accompany evening tea or coffee and all those lattes from Costa are all adding to the bulge you are trying so hard to lose.
The same problem also happens at the gym – you start a workout program and then you stick to it. The key to losing weight consistently is to keep progressing. The same workouts made you lose the first 5 kilos, now add a few weights, spend more time on the treadmill and track your progress carefully.
The Solution: You need to have a food journal as well as a workout journal. Track every morsel that goes in to your mouth, so that at the end of the week you can review where you can make cuts or whether you need to add a few snacks or time your meals better. Same way, charting the number of minutes spent on cardio machines and keeping a track of the weights you lift help you increase those figures over time.
Problem 3# Working Out and Then Eating Out
Only because you are working out more doesn’t mean you get to eat more. You can eat to your heart’s content if the goal is weight maintenance. However, if the goal is weight loss, you need to also create a calorie deficit. This doesn’t mean you skip your pre-workout or post-workout nutrition; those are critical to the success of your fitness program. But it means you need to control your portion sizes and concentrate more on healthy foods.
Don’t order in Chinese and Pizzas every day. And don’t be foolish enough to think that eating at salad bars will make you slim.
The solution: Depend on healthy home cooked meals that have been carefully rationed. Keep a track of calories… yes; calorie counting is good if you don’t have control over temptations. If you do, then portion control might be enough for you.
Problem 4# Not Paying Attention to Post Workout Nutrition
To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. But not eating after a workout is a big mistake. While you exercise, your muscles are put under a lot of stress. The wear and tear experienced by your muscles is catered to after a workout, when the body goes in to a repair and recovery mode. This is when your body needs calories to repair the damage, and if it doesn’t find these calories from food, it breaks down muscles you worked so hard to build in order to generate fuel for the body.
This window that occurs after a workout is critical for building lean muscle mass, and you need to boost your weight loss by eating a high protein and high carbohydrate snack that replenishes the needed amino acids and the energy the body needs to use those amino acids in repair.
The Solution: Drink a post workout drink. This is also the right time to ingest simple sugars because your body craves energy and this energy comes faster from simple sugars and simple carbs. Eat protein so that your muscles stay intact because more muscles means more fat burned.