Have you been working out like a maniac lately without any significant results? Been strictly dieting without giving in to treats but still you just don't have that six-pack of abs you really want and deserve? Well, time to figure out the reasons why your body is fighting you!
5 Common Mistakes
Check out these common mistakes to make sure you don't make them yourself...
1. Going Crazy With Your Cardio
Few people get lean without any cardio training at all, but doing too much can actually make you softer, especially in your waistline. All exercise stresses your body so it releases cortisol (stress hormone) which can make your body retain excess water.
Even though you may be lean you won't look lean when this happens. There's a layer of moosh between your muscles and your skin. What is there for you to do? Well, take a look at your routine.
Scale down on your cardio for about two weeks. Maybe by 50%! Don't change anything else but instead of working out, be active like cleaning the house or going grocery shopping. Your body will recuperate better this way and when the two weeks are gone you can once again add more cardio to get leaner.
2. Ditching The Carbs
When you follow a diet with little carbs in order to burn fat, your body can compensate by lowering your metabolism. You see carbs raise the levels of insulin which means the energy enters the muscles as glycogen. This is a good thing since you need energy for your heavy workouts.
The bad side of the hormone insulin is it can also flush energy into hungry fat cells. The key is knowing when to consume carbs and when not to. I recommend you start your day with a source of carbs for breakfast accompanied with lean protein. The other times to ingest carbs is prior to training, immediately after training and within the two-to-three hours following your workout.
If you're on a very strict diet with a relatively low amount of carbs you need a carb loading day once or twice a week. I recommend you double or triple the amounts of quick-acting carbs on those days. Split it up so you take some before your workout and the bulk of the extra calories after working out.
3. Starting To Use Lighter Weights
When you want to lean out, don't drop the poundages you use in the gym! You need to keep on working hard so you sacrifice the least amount of muscle tissue. There's no such thing as weight training to get ripped.
You get ripped by the diet process and cardio. Make sure you keep working hard with low reps. You see, when you ask for less from your muscles, they adapt. When the calories are restricted there's a great risk your body chooses to burn some muscle mass in order to meet your new requirements.
Keep on training hard and heavy. I know it's tough, but that's the way it is!
4. Choosing The Easy Calories
Why is it that so many of us forget to eat veggies? I know the texture is hard for some to handle and maybe you aren't fond of the greens. Bad excuse! By feeding your body with vegetables, you burn more energy. Greater fat loss, that is!
When you let your diet consist of easy to digest foods like milk, protein powder, bars, yogurt and fruit, you don't get the benefits from increased calorie expenditure. Digesting hard and chewy vegetables taxes your system more than anything else, so make sure you eat a bunch of them every day.
5. Relying On Protein Bars To Get In Shape
Does your beloved every day protein bar look like a chocolate bar? Well, the truth is it may actually be a real chocolate bar! Am I kidding? No. Even though the protein bar has fewer calories than the regular chocolate goodie bar, you get a lot more calories from the bar than needed.
For the same amount of calories you can get a dinner plate with lean chicken, vegetables and a good source of essential fatty acids. What do you think will get you in shape?
Example: a regular protein bar has 30 grams of protein and 30 grams of glycerine plus 5 grams of fat. This is about 300 calories. I know I'm a skeptic, but how do you know for certain the protein in the bar is correct? Well, you can only rely on your faith in the company making the protein bar! Scary!
If you choose 4 ounces of chicken breast, 1/4 lb of veggies and 1 teaspoon of fat you get a similar amount of nutrients but merely 240 calories.
Make sure you don't make the 5 mistakes listed above! Good luck and keep on working hard!