Most dieters make a couple of fateful mistakes early on that can really sabotage their progress. One common mistake is cutting too far back on calories for too long. Your body is programmed to survive periods where food may be scarce by holding onto body fat. This is accomplished by slowing down the metabolism.
Another common diet mistake is devoting too much time to treadmill running, riding the stationary bike, step mill climbing or another form of aerobic exercise. While you definitely want to get your heart rate up and sweat off some body fat, more isn’t always better. Resist the urge to engage in too much of a good thing. You’re likely to lose muscle mass instead of body fat.
Balance and moderation can help you avoid both of these dieting pitfalls. It’s a little known fact that you’ll lose nearly as much muscle mass as fat on a typical diet. To get around this unfortunate reality, increase protein intake while restricting carbohydrates. Dairy proteins like whey help maintain muscle mass while providing satiety support to help you feel full for longer. After determining the right amount of calories for losing weight, plan out your daily meals to look something like this:
Proteins = 35% of Total Calories
Carbohydrates = 55% of Total Calories
Fats = 10% of Total Calories
Here’s another widespread dieting mistake: cutting out the consumption of any and all fats. While you should go out of your way to avoid saturated fats from red meats and overly processed food, mono- and polyunsaturated fats from nuts, seeds, olive oil and cold water fish are actually required by your body for numerous metabolic functions. To see what types of proteins and carbs you should be focusing on, refer to the diet section of our Bulking Up Programme, or check out the examples listed in this daily meal plan:
7AM 6 egg whites, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup blueberries
9AM Gold Standard 100% Whey shake made with water, 2 rice cakes
11AM 4 oz. chicken breast, sweet potato, 3 oz. broccoli
2PM 4 oz. lean ground turkey, 1 slice Ezekiel bread, 1 cup green beans
5:30PM 5 oz. salmon, 1/2 cup brown rice, 3 oz. asparagus
9PM Gold Standard 100% Casein shake
By eating 6 or 7 smaller meals spaced evenly throughout the day instead of the typical breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’ll be keeping your metabolism stoked up and running which helps burns more calories than you would with a 4 to 5 hour gap between meals.
You’ll also be fuelling recovery and replenishment from fat-burning workouts that incorporate techniques like Supersets. That’s when you perform a set of one exercise followed by a set of another exercise that complements the first with no rest in between. Tri-Sets follow the same concept but consist of 3 rather than just 2 exercises. Remember to take a rest after completing one set of both or all 3 exercises. Try this workout:
Warm Up 20 minute jog on treadmill
Leg Extensions 3 sets 15 reps
With Leg Curls 3 sets 12 reps
Step-Ups on Bench 3 sets 12 reps each leg
Walking Lunges 3 sets 15 reps each leg
Incline Dumbbell Press 3 sets 12 reps
One-Arm Dumbbell Rows 3 sets 12 reps
Combo Dumbbell Curl & Press 3 sets 10 reps
Dumbbell Deadlifts 3 sets 10 reps
Side Lateral Raises 3 sets 10 reps
Push-Ups (feet on ball) 3 sets 20 reps
Stair Master 20 minutes alternating fast & slower speeds
After a couple of weeks, change the exercises, add sets and/or reps or engage in a totally different type of workout. You can sign up for boot camp style training, learn to swing kettlebells or throw/drag a sandbag around an obstacle course. Changing up the training routine keeps your body adapting and helps to keep you interested and motivated to accomplish even greater progress.