The Most Ineffective Way to Lose Weight – Are you making these Common Weight Loss Mistakes?
At least 90% of the people out there trying to lose weight are simply going the wrong way about it.
Don’t let a lack of knowledge ruin your attempt at weight loss!
All the men out there that are dominating life know exactly what they’re doing.
So, what can happen if you go the wrong way about this whole weight loss thing?
Bad food cravings
The Biggest Loser, Best Selling Fitness Authors, Celebrity Personal Trainers and a variety of other so called ‘Professionals’ and preaching the worst methods of weight loss.
Now, let’s take a look at the principles that make up the most ineffective way to lose weight.
Restrict Your Caloric Intake to an Extreme Amount
If you’re giving your body less than 70% of the caloric amount it burns daily you are in an extreme caloric deficit, also known as a ‘crash diet’.
The lower you drop you calories the more health issues you’ll encounter.
For reference a man weighing in at 200lbs will burn around 2550~ calories per day provided he is exercising 3 – 5 times per week. Should he drop his caloric intake much below 2000 calories this would be classed as an extreme caloric restriction.
Yes, an extreme caloric deficit will allow you to drop weight quickly initially; however…
the vast majority will be water weight, not fat.
You will lose large amounts of muscle mass.
Your metabolism will slow down, bone health will decrease and risk of serious disease increases.
So how do you avoid this?
Don’t drop your caloric intake so much! By dropping 20% of the calories your body requires (or 500~ calories) you will maintain your good health and will preserve your energy and muscle mass.
Remain in a Caloric Deficit for a Prolonged Period of Time
Weight loss does take time, however the longer you stay in a caloric deficit…
The more your metabolism will slow down
The more muscle mass you will lose
The more stress you place your body under
The more your anabolic hormones decrease
If you’re in a calorie deficit attempting to lose weight for a prolonged period of time you will get frustrating when you plateau. There comes in a point in time where you will be eating so little and will not be losing any weight – your metabolism will have slowed down to the point of making weight loss near impossible without starvation.
This is referred to as metabolic damage.
Metabolic damage is horrible, and although it is permanent it does quite a long period of time to correct (by slowly increasing your caloric intake to repair your metabolism).
The easiest way to avoid damaging your metabolism or plateauing in your weight loss endeavours is to only remain in a calorie deficit for no longer than 12 weeks at a time.
After 12 weeks of strict dieting in a calorie deficit I recommend eating at a maintenance level (the exact number of calories your body requires to maintain its current composition) for 2 – 3 weeks before venturing back into a calorie deficit to continue your weight loss.
This will allow your metabolism to speed back up, along with improvement in your hormone profiles. Consider this 2 – 3 week period a ‘reset’ of the negative effects that a calorie deficit places on your body.
Repeat this cycle of 10 – 12 weeks in a deficit followed by 2 – 3 weeks of maintenance until you reach your goal weight.
Follow a Low Protein Diet
The only thing you’ll lose quickly while following a low protein diet is… you guessed it – muscle mass.
Most people consider a low protein diet because they’ve heard that high amounts of protein are bad for your kidneys, little do they know this myth has been well and truly debunked.
By consuming a high amount of protein in your diet while maintaining a calorie deficit you will:
Aid the reduction in body fat
Preserve muscle mass
Avoid hunger pains & cravings
You should therefore be consuming 30 – 40% of your daily calories from protein.
Don’t Lift Weights
The most important thing when losing fat is to retain as much muscle mass as possible, otherwise you’ll be left with the dreaded ‘skinny-fat’ look.
By lifting weights while following a weight loss diet you will preserve as much muscle mass as possible, as a newcomer you can even build lean muscle mass while losing fat (yes, it is possible! But if you’ve been training for an extended period of time chances are this won’t be possible for you).
20% calorie deficit + high protein intake + weights is the winning formula for weight loss.
Do Excessive Amounts of Cardio
When you think of weight loss do you think of dieting or cardio first?
I can guarantee you the majority of the population instantly associate weight loss with running on an endless treadmill for hours at a time.
That’s how ‘The Biggest Loser’ portrays weight loss.
So it must be the most important factor… right?
Don’t get me wrong, cardio is a fantastic tool to assist with weight loss, but that’s it – assist.
Cardio is not the key to weight loss, more cardio will put you in a larger deficit (as all cardio does is burn your calories, allowing you to eat a bit more).
You should however, not perform excessive amounts of cardio because:
You may very well be overtraining
Your body is already until a large amount of stress from the calorie deficit you have placed it in
Metabolic slowdown has been linked to large amounts of cardiovascular exercise
I personally would not perform more than 2 – 3 cardio sessions per week, opting for HIIT (high intensity interval training) for roughly 20 minutes per session as opposed to long period of steady state cardio.
Are there any other big weight loss mistakes you see being made?
Let me know in the comments below!
PS: if you enjoyed this article and want to know more about weight loss while retaining and even building muscle I highly recommend you check out my latest book, F.U. Fat.
For proven techniques and a not-so-bland approach to weight loss be sure to check out my post on the IIFYM diet.