5 Fat Loss Mistakes You’re Making + How to Fix Them

Sometimes it’s small details that you may not even realize are sabotaging your fat loss goals. Are you making these mistakes? Here are five of the most common ones I see and how to move past them.

The 5 Fat Loss Mistakes You’re Making

1. Picking Unrealistic Goals: Let’s face it, we cannot base our goal body off of the Instagram famous fitness models. Believe me, I too have fallen for those lean shredded women in hopes of achieving their look. But here’s the thing, you’ll achieve that desired look, only to realize it’s temporary. Maintaining that level of leanness may not be sustainable or even healthy long term. Still, that doesn't mean you can't become the healthiest, happiest, best version of yourself. Instead pick a realistic role model or a realistic weight goal and work steadily towards it. Sure, there will be literal ups and downs, but steadfast resolve will win out in the end.

2. Eating Diet Foods: Technology has created all kinds of diet foods that are largely devoid of sugar, calories, certain nutrients, and of course, taste. Here's the problem: Since these foods are invariably missing something, they leave you unsatisfied and craving more food. They may be able to fake out your taste buds, but they can't fake out your body. It's true that many of these foods contain added nutrients, but for all our recently acquired knowledge of calories, vitamins, phytochemicals, anti-oxidants. Instead focus on whole food sources, shop the perimeter of the grocery store, and read labels (a good rule of thumb is if the food item has more than 5 ingredients, you should probably skip it).

3. An Overreliance on Ab Exercises: For some reason, abs have become the most important and most visually appealing metric of fitness, but here's a secret, everybody has abs. It's just the amount of fat covering them that differentiates us. It's true you can make the abs more pronounced by working them in an intelligent manner, but infinite crunches and twists and planks aren't going to make them "come out." Instead, cut down on all that ab work. Do some cardio. Do weight workouts that burn fat and build muscle. And most importantly, watch your nutrition.

4. Rewarding Yourself After Exercise: We think we need to be rewarded for even the smallest sacrifice of time or effort, even when that sacrifice was supposedly for our own well being. Here’s a perfect example, a running group meeting up at the nearby Mexican restaurant for chips, salsa, and refueling with margaritas after finishing their training run for a marathon. *I can share this example because I’ve done it! This has got to be one of the reasons so many women who work out complain about not being able to make any progress. Instead of refueling with sugar and salt, skip the chips & margarita. For post long runs order a grilled chicken plate with salsa, black beans, cilantro rice and avocado. Craving a drink post run? ONE low calorie beer is totally ok.

5. Giving the Reins to PMS: For most women, PMS is associated with cravings for carbohydrates, fat, and salt, which is the holy trinity of weight problems and what the majority of snack food companies bank on. And, of course, with the fulfillment of these cravings comes bloating and water retention, sometimes ranging from 5 to 10 pounds. Blame it on all that progesterone. This water weight usually disappears after your period, but any weight that hangs around is because of giving in to all those PMS cravings for carbs, fat, and salt. Instead, feed yourself protein. It's filling, your body has to work hard to metabolize it, and it levels out blood sugar. In fact, base each of your PMS and during-period meals on protein and combine it with vegetables, many of which act like diuretics to reduce bloat.

I’m guilty of all of the above! What fat loss mistakes have you made in the past?