Written by: Eric Roberts
You feel defeated.
You are working out 3-5x a week.
You’re doing your favorite HIIT cardio class or running on the treadmill at the gym.
You swear up and down you eat healthy.
But you cannot seem the get the scale to budge.
Can’t seem to fit into your favorite pair of jeans.
In all honesty, can’t seem to stop feeling tired, unhealthy, and lost.
By the end of this article, you will be aware of where you are going wrong in your fitness journey.
You will also be able to take immediate action in your plan to start seeing the results you deserve.
I have to preface this article with a quick prelude.
Everything I will be talking about will stem from this very important fact.
In fact, the most important.
No matter what else goes into your fitness journey.
No matter what “diet” you choose to follow.
No matter what workout routine you choose to live by.
If this is not established, then you will not see results.
The most important factor being in a caloric deficit.
What exactly is a caloric deficit?
Your body has more calories going out than it has going in.
Where do calories come from?
How do calories go out?
For the most part, daily life functions to keep your body alive, with some exercise thrown in for good measure.
If you are not losing fat, I can 99.99% assure you you are not in a caloric deficit.
That being said, now I will go into the most common mistakes people make that does not allow them to be in a caloric deficit.
Also how to not just be aware of them, but take action to make sure you avoid them.
Mistake #1- You’re Eating Too Many Calories
I have pretty much seen people fall into two categories when it comes to this.
They don’t want to hear this, because their favorite HIIT cardio class tells them they burn 1000 calories.
And since they burn so many calories, they should be able to eat whatever they want.
If that is you, I am going to direct you to my instagram post that went over this.
The second group of people is who I am going to focus on.
They swear up and down they “eat healthy”.
They “don’t eat junk food, stay away from carbs, eat a salad a day”.
Then when I ask how many calories they are intaking, they either have no clue, or “around 1200 calories”.
That is great Sally, but lets reference the prelude.
What is the most important part of a fat loss equation?
Being in a caloric deficit.
I do not care how “healthy” you eat.
How many calories are going into your body?
If you do not know this, then you can not be expecting to lose weight.
Can it happen?
But if you are someone who consciously tries to eat healthy but can’t seem to get the scale to budge, I would advise starting to track your calories.
With technology now a days, this literally has become as simple as scanning a barcode and you’re done.
I get some backlash from this.
“OMG, that takes way too much time!”
Taking 5-10 minutes out of your day to write down what you ate takes too much time?
But you wanna lose 30lbs? You wanna feel confident when you put on a bathing suit?
You tell me if that sounds logical.
Another common one is “ I don’t wanna be that person who can’t go out to dinner because I’m so obsessed with tracking calories”.
Okay cool, don’t.
No one said you have to be perfect 100% of every day.
What I am more worried about than you going out and having ONE meal you don’t track, is what you do the other 95% of the week that gets you to your goal.
Consistency > Perfection.
How Can You Put This Into Action?
Now that you know you need to be in a caloric deficit to lose fat, and you need to be tracking calories, how can we put this into action?
I will start by saying obviously everyone is different.
What works for your friends body might not work for you.
And what works for me certainly may not work for you.
As a great starting point, to find how many calories you need, I would use your body weight, and multiply it by 10.
For example, 130×10=1300 calories.
My advice would be stick to it at least 85% for 4-6 weeks, and see what happens.
Some may need more, some may need less, but I promise you if you implement this and stick to it, you WILL see results.
Mistake #2- Too Much Cardio/Not Enough Weights
Since we were little, we have been trained to think cardio is how we lose weight.
We run in sports to get winded and sweaty, thinking we are burning off the food we ate.
Big box gyms buy 100 treadmills and stick them in a 50,000 sq foot place to think its an essential part of working out.
The reality is cardio is a tool to get you into a caloric deficit.
No matter what kind it is, no matter how long it is, no matter weights or treadmill.
The problem is, the amount of calories you are able to burn on a treadmill for 30 minutes isn’t anywhere close enough to put a dent into getting into your caloric deficit.
Yet people think because they do 30 minutes on the treadmill 4x a week they should be losing fat.
That is simply just not going to cut it.
Is that to say cardio or exercise is useless?
It is critical.
But you thinking you have to do hours on hours of cardio to lose weight is 100% not the right way to go about it.
Which is helping me Segway into the second part of this mistake.
People think they need to stay away from weights if they are trying to lose weight.
They think weights is what makes them big and bulky.
Or if they do strength train, they think they have to do high reps with low weight to “burn the fat off”.
Aside from smacking myself in the face even writing that, I can just as easily type with ease, that is not true.
If you want to lose fat, strength training is a must.
Heavy strength training at that.
Stick with me here.
When you train with weights, the heavier you go does not automatically mean you will get bigger muscles.
Can it happen? Sure.
But if your diet is in check, then you will not get bigger.
What you do when you train with heavy weight for low reps is you train your Central Nervous System (CNS) more than your muscles.
Meaning you can train your CNS without necessarily training your muscles to get bigger.
This is key.
Will you build some muscle?
Yes more than likely.
But you’re not going to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
That being said, having muscle is not a bad thing either.
The more muscle you have means the less body fat you will have.
Thus resulting in better body fat percentages, more efficient metabolism, and a better physique.
How Can You Put This Into Action?
If you are trying to create a routine, I would focus on strength training 2-4x a week.
What makes up these workouts?
I would focus on total body workouts with compound movements.
What does that mean?
For example, one full body day could look like:
Back Squats 4×5 reps
Bench Press 4×4 reps
Deadlift 3×8 reps
1 Arm Row 3×10 reps
Plank 3 sets 45 seconds
The movements here are covering your whole body.
Squats is a total body movement.
Bench Press is a chest/shoulder/tricep upper body movement.
Deadlift is a total body movement.
1 Arm Row is a back/shoulder/bicep focused upper body movement.
Plank is a trunk movement.
This will ensure you are burning the most calories, building optimal amount of muscle, and keeping your body strong and healthy.
As far as cardio, I would say “as needed” but that won’t help anyone here.
Pick 2-3x a week to do cardio.
My preferred version of cardio is HIIT, or high intensity interval training.
For example, you could do intervals on the bike for 60 seconds on 60 seconds off, for 10 minutes straight.
Or you could do some functional movements with weights.
Whatever you choose I would advise to keep your intensity high, and total time low, under 30 minutes max.
If you have questions or want to work with me to develop your own plan, see HERE to contact me.
Mistake #3- Not Being Patient
In a world where instant gratification is abundance, it is easy to continuously look for the fastest route to get what you want.
I am here to explain to you, if that is what you are looking for, leave this blog now and go buy fit tea with some instagram girl’s discount code.
If that is not what you are looking for, and you are looking for a way to create habits you can sustain for the rest of your life, then we can continue on.
The thing about fat loss is, it takes time.
It takes trial and error.
It takes an insane amount of consistency, dedication, and perseverance.
And I’m here to tell you, that is exactly how it should be.
Because this is forever.
This is for the rest of your life.
This is so you can pass the habits you learn onto your kids so they can live an amazing life.
If you want to lose 30lbs, it is not going to happen in a month, 3 months, or maybe even a year.
But what will happen is week by week you will chip away.
You will learn habits, you will feel better, and you will enjoy yourself during it all.
There will be set backs, there will be hard times, and there will be times you don’t wanna do it anymore.
And that is also okay.
What does matter is that through it all, you remain consistent, you persevere, and you remember why you started in the first place.
If you have the right mindset approaching your fat loss journey, I promise you it will be a process you look forward to, rather than fear.
How Can You Put This Into Action?
I felt the need to put some numbers here to have something tangible you can go off of.
If we are talking about weight loss, I would say .5-2lb per week lost is awesome progress.
While remembering you can lose fat and gain muscle, which can show up as a net even on the scale.
If you do everything listed above, I promise the fat loss will be a by product of your hard work.
If you have read this far, I just want to say thank you.
I also hope you got a great deal of information out of this article.
It is easy to get caught up in the noise of what works for fat loss, especially with social media.
Hopefully this article can clear some of that noise, and give you some tangible things you implement to help you with your plan.
If you have any questions please feel free to leave them below, I would be happy to help.
If you are interested in working with me on your plan, feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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