Bodybuilding.com Information Motivation Supplementation
in:

Fat-Loss Facts:
7 Common Dieting Mistakes

Fat-Loss Facts: 7 Common Dieting Mistakes

Fat loss is a long, slow journey. It's made even slower by dieting errors. Don't fall into the same traps that I did! Read my mistakes, learn from them, and your fitness goal will be a reality much sooner.

Whether you're just starting out on your journey toward a bangin' new bod, or you know the ins and outs of health and fitness, you've probably made some mistakes in your nutrition. When it comes to shedding fat, we often fall into a trap hoping we are doing the right thing. In reality, we may be doing ourselves more harm than good.

There's a lot of nutrition and diet information out there—it's easy to get lost in the mountains of tips, rules, and new terminology. For all you know, "Paleo" could be a new type of deadlift. When I first started trying to lose weight, I had no idea what I was doing. I read what I could and made a lot of errors. And though making mistakes and learning from them is part of the process, you can make the road a little less bumpy with some good information. Here are seven mistakes I've personally made. I want to share them with you so your road to fat loss is as smooth as possible.

1
Buying "Fat-Free" Food

If you find yourself buying food that's labeled as "diet," "fat-free," or "sugar-free," drop the package and run the other direction immediately. Many people see these buzz words and assume that what they are buying must be healthy. In reality, these words usually mean the food you're about to purchase is anything but healthy.

Stick with fresh, whole foods with minimal ingredients.
"Stick with fresh, whole foods with minimal ingredients."

When food companies remove a nutrient like fat to make a food "fat-free," they have to add something back to make it palatable. These flavor-boosting ingredients generally include a hodgepodge of chemicals you can't pronounce, refined carbohydrates, and ample amounts of sugar.

Together, these additives can be detrimental to your fat loss goals. Stay away from the processed, packaged, and pre-made foods. Stick with fresh, whole foods with minimal ingredients.

2
Not Eating Enough

If you want to lose fat, the first logical step is to cut your calorie intake, right? It makes sense then, that the more calories you cut the more fat you lose. Wrong! Seriously cutting your calories may work for a short period of time, but your metabolism will slowly shut down and eventually come to a screeching halt.

If that's not bad enough, when your caloric intake is too low, your body begins to use your hard-earned muscle as fuel, a process known as catabolism. If it happens, it could further hinder your fat loss. I realize that eating more sounds counterproductive to a fat loss goal, but trust me, more food is usually better. If you cut your calories too much for too long, you're not going to see results.

3
Going to Extremes

We live in an all-or-nothing world. For a lot of people, dieting is definitely no exception. I've heard it all: "You have to eat 10 times per day for fat loss!" "Make sure you get 600 grams of carbs." "Never eat fruit or dairy products." "You need these 30 supplements to be successful." Sure some of these things may work for some people, but whatever happened to the middle ground? From my experience, going to extremes got me nowhere but right back where I started.

If you cut your calories too much for too long, you are not going to see the results.
"If you cut your calories too much for too long, you are not going to see the results."

If you're in this for the long haul, like you should be, remember that balance and moderation are keys to your success. My suggestion: Start somewhere in the middle. Slowly add or subtract until you find the right balance for you.

4
Hopping on the Latest Fad Diet

If you've tried The Hormone Diet, the cabbage soup diet, the 3-Day Diet, the Blood Type Diet, or some crazy juicing thing, you need to listen up. Fad diet advertisements try to suck you in by presenting the "latest research" and showing stories of success. Generally, fad diets work. But, they only work for a short peiod of time. When you go back to normal life, don't expect your body to join you.

The majority of these diets proves unhealthy, extreme, and shouldn't be practiced for an extended period of time. I always tell my clients: "Don't do anything you can't or won't keep up for the rest of your life." Healthy eating should be a lifestyle change, and unless you see yourself eating cabbage soup everyday for the rest of your life, stay away from fads.

5
Clocking Out (and I Mean All the Way Out) for the
Weekend

I've been guilty of this on a few occasions. OK, you caught me—it happens almost every weekend. A cheat meal is perfectly fine, and can be beneficial mentally, and physically. But if you clock out at 5 p.m. on Friday from both the office and your diet, we may have a slight problem.

Stuffing your face all weekend with everything you didn't eat duringhte week will not only slow your progress, but binges can stop progress.
Stuffing your face all weekend with everything you didn't eat duringhte week will not only slow your progress, but binges can stop progress.

Stuffing your face all weekend with everything you didn't eat during the week will not only slow your progress, but can stop it. Sometimes, it can even completely reverse what you've worked so hard for. Depending on your goals and progress, one cheat meal, sometimes two, is usually OK. Get back to eating your healthy foods as soon as possible. Don't allow your cheat meal turn into a free-for-all cheat weekend.

6
Ignoring What Your Body Tells You

Believe it or not, we have hormones that regulate functions telling us we're hungry and when we need to stop eating. When we stop listening to these signals and eat right through the "I'm satisfied" zone and speed into the "I'm stuffed" zone, problems like obesity happen.

On the other side of the coin, eating on such a rigorous and inflexible schedule voids these hormonal signals as well. Sometimes, we get so caught up eating exactly 300 calories every three hours that we forget to listen to what our body is saying. I'm not saying throw everything you know out the window and stuff your face all day long, but when is the last time you really stopped and listened to your body's hunger signals?

Are you hungry when the clock strikes every three hours? Are you so hungry you could eat the paint off the walls? Are you still hungry when you finish your meal? Experiment with relying on your body, not the clock to tell you when to eat. You may be surprised by what you learn.

7
Forgetting to Live Life

Chocolate

Do you find yourself obsessing over every gram of broccoli you put in your mouth? Do you eat tilapia and asparagus at least four times per day? Do you have a panic attack if you can't eat "Meal 4" exactly 2-1/2 hours after "Meal 3?" If so, it may be time to stop, slow down, and breathe. Don't let the quest for health become an unhealthy obsession.

Call breakfast what it is—don't say "Meal 1." Go out with friends, eat a piece of chocolate; listen to your hunger signals. Smile, relax, and have fun. Don't forget to live your life!


Related Articles

About The Author

Check out these awesome articles by some of the best writers in the industry.

RATE THIS ARTICLE
POOR
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
EXCELLENT
OVERALL RATING
8.3

Out of 10
Excellent
372 Ratings

138

Comments

Showing 1 - 25 of 138 Comments

(5 characters minimum)

      • notify me when users reply to my comment
brankin7

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
brankin7

See these mistakes time and time again especially the first, fourth and fifth points! Good read that will be shared.

Apr 9, 2013 4:48pm | report
 
itsJustAROD

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
itsJustAROD

iv been getting more and more strict on my diet.
except last weekend, i let myself get out of hand with a free for all cheat weekend lol. Oh well i started hardcore this week with plenty of cardio and plan on busting my *** all the way thru. im on a low carb-no carb diet. its terrible mentally. but physically im liking the results:)
Stay mentally strong when it comes to nutrition!

Apr 9, 2013 5:04pm | report
 
Dazzling Danielle

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Dazzling Danielle

Great article Karina!!

Apr 9, 2013 5:10pm | report
 
texasrebel93

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
texasrebel93

great body Danielle!

Apr 9, 2013 7:19pm | report
EddieBU15

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
EddieBU15

^lol nice one

Apr 9, 2013 9:36pm | report
PokeTheLump

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
PokeTheLump

^ how often does this work for you texasrebel93?

Apr 10, 2013 9:52am | report
SaraSolomon

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
SaraSolomon

great article Karina! xoxo

Apr 9, 2013 5:26pm | report
 
ImJakeBro

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
ImJakeBro

Couldn't be more guilty of the last one for the better part of 2 years. After I started letting myself slip every now an then, I saw awesome responses. couldn't agree more

Apr 9, 2013 5:55pm | report
 
Marcozr1

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Marcozr1

great article

Article Rated:
Apr 9, 2013 6:00pm | report
 
atokad

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
atokad

good article, Im pretty strict on my diet however every Sunday I like to enjoy some cheese pizza or go to the Mexican restaurant with some friends

Apr 9, 2013 6:20pm | report
 
liuzhoudragon

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
liuzhoudragon

1 and 4, falling prey to marketing.

Apr 9, 2013 6:47pm | report
 
awlareau

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
awlareau

I gotta take the last one more serious. I'm in the prime of my social life being in college and all, but I say no to going out with friends all the time because they are going somewhere absolutely terrible for my diet, and I have no self control when around bad food so I'd probably down 2000 cals in one meal if I went out....

Apr 9, 2013 7:05pm | report
 
chrissieh

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
chrissieh

Serendipity to find this article the same evening i have decided to fight the fat and win. Thanks for the reminders...all common sense.

Apr 9, 2013 7:06pm | report
 
Stef810

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Stef810

just had an egg and cheese sandwich ezikiel egg whites and umm well a quarter a cup of fat free mozarella which is low call but def guilty of number one and 5 big time

Apr 9, 2013 7:10pm | report
 
Jerky769

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Jerky769

Great Great Article...love the last one.."Don't forget to live life":)

Apr 9, 2013 7:11pm | report
 
face055

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
face055

holy broscience, how are articles like this published on this site?

1. fat free foods are fanstastic for dieting.

2. starvation mode is a myth. metabolic slowdown does happen but it takes awhile and is very overstated. your metabolism will never come to a "screeching halt."

3.many people do well on extreme diets such as lyle mcdonalds rapid fat loss diet.

the rest are obvious. 6 is kind of invalid too tho, because those signs from the body can be conditioned, look at IT as an example.

bb.com pay me to write articles, ill do it cheaper and better than this guaranteed. karina youre still a hbb.

Apr 9, 2013 7:18pm | report
 
brankin7

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
brankin7

Disagree with the response on the first point. Take fat free yoghurt or lower fat peanut butter for example, compare these to organic types and you will see a massive increase of refined sugary carbs, not exactly ideal for dieting!

Apr 10, 2013 2:28am | report
DragonzFyre

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
DragonzFyre

1. Fat Free foods are NOT fat free, do the research and you will be shocked. The chemical soup that goes into these type foods is wretched and causes more health issues, again you really need to do the research. Every nutritional plan requires healthy fats, so learn what they are and skip these overpriced, incorrectly labeled products.
2. Starvation mode is not a myth, and you can cause your metabolism to stagnate as a result of improper nutrition. Not sure where you went to school, or whether you rely on Wiki, but you must have never looked at the hard scientific research over the past 4 decades.
3. Fad diets are short term and teach no one anything about proper nutrition. The damage done by extreme weightloss over the short term often causes more health issues than having not lost the weight. If you do the research, nearly 2/3 of those who lost those fast pounds regain it within a year and more because they still don't understand proper nutrition. Unless you keep paying them for life and sticking to their 'plan' most never see long term success.
4. The body does send the signals, its your interpretation of them that needs work. Yes it is a 'conditioned' response, like all things, if you ignore it then you overeat. Drink 2 glasses of water with every meal, you will see amazing result in recognizing that signal and not ignoring it.
I understand that some people can find success using the fad products or diets and maintain...unfortunately the research doesn't bear out that they work for the majority. Proper nutrition is something that has to be researched and learned, it isn't about 'dieting', lose that short sighted word from your vocabulary. Nutrition is what your body needs to operate at its optimal....understanding what is best for YOUR body takes time, no two people are alike. :)

Apr 10, 2013 3:01am | report
bhopejones

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
bhopejones

this article is by far the furthest thing from Broscience on this website.

Apr 10, 2013 8:55am | report
Marly1988

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Marly1988

come on buddy...

Apr 11, 2013 2:07pm | report
Marly1988

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Marly1988

come on buddy...

Apr 11, 2013 2:07pm | report
KarmicEffects

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
KarmicEffects

1) LOW CALORIE foods are fantastic for dieting. Most LOW FAT foods are littered with extra sugar increasing the calories in them, plus rubbish chemicals.

2) Go eat 1000 calories and see how fast you stall.

3) She means people look at them as a baseline for nutrition. Keto, LMRF, etc. are meant for short term cuts , not long term solutions for people who are not in shape. We're not talking about the guy trying to prep for NPC here.

6) Here's a trick. Hungry? Eat something small, drink a glass of water, and wait 20 minutes. Still hungry? YOu might not be after signals are tripped.

Most of her points are very valid and this coming from someone who's not a fan of alot of these articles.

Apr 11, 2013 2:20pm | report
Joshmcz06

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Joshmcz06

I'd have to disagree with most of what he's saying besides the starvation mode to a extent. Starvation mode can happen, but not for "around 48-72 hours of no calories. Sure some may disagree as I did because it goes against everything we have learned, but research intermittent fasting (leangains.com) and see how many people have gained solid lean muscle mass (skinny guys) including myself and cut fat at the same time by eating all of my required calories in a 4,6, or 8 hour window. Please don't knock it until you do a great amount of real search from lots is sources!

Apr 13, 2013 2:16am | report
Joshmcz06

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Joshmcz06

Also I promise you 100%, don't say you disagree until you try it. My metabolism is amazingly threw the roof since I started eating my foods Ina 6 hour window. I feel 10 years younger and haven't touched energy drinks or Pre workouts since and have unbelievable endurance that I never thought possible with crazy strength gains almost immediately.. I used to live groggy daily and had no Idea until I experienced otherwise. Can increase hgh by 2000% in men (1200% In women). Research first as always and try it guys :)

Apr 13, 2013 2:26am | report
IronAndRice

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
IronAndRice

If you are such an expert in weight loss OP, why don't you look like it?

Apr 13, 2013 11:12am | report
Showing 1 - 25 of 138 Comments

Featured Product

Give Us Feedback:
Report A Problem
Site Feedback
Follow Us:
Twitter
Facebook
RSS Feeds
Bodybuilding.com Newsletter

Receive exciting features,
news & special offers from Bodybuilding.com