Are you spending hours on the treadmill each day, but still not getting fat loss? Have you wondered what you’re doing wrong? If so, take heart: You don’t necessarily need to work harder, just smarter!
Fat loss comes as the result of the proper proportion of calories, cardio exercise, sustained heart rate and strength training. Getting the right amount of each takes some practice, and mistakes are common.
Let’s take a look at the ten most common mistakes people make when trying to lose fat through their workouts:
Before you read any further, watch this free video that shows you exactly how to melt fat with a customized diet!
Mistake 1: Not getting with the fat loss program.
You know you want to lose fat, but which path will you take to reach your goal? This is an important decision so don’t go into your fat loss workouts without a definite strategy.
A good workout needs to combine cardio, muscle building and core strengthening exercises.
Mistake 2: Not considering details.
Now that you’ve picked a plan, how will you implement it? What time will you work out, and where? How long will each session last? How much weight will you lift, and for how many reps? How will you make room in your budget for workout clothes, equipment and healthy foods?
Having a workout plan is only the beginning; you need to work out the details as well.
Mistake 3: Not setting tangible goals.
Fat loss is a good goal, but a vague one. By setting more specific goals, you can feel a sense of accomplishment by charting your progress toward your ultimate goal.
For example, you might set a goal of losing 1 pound each week, or 1% of body fat each month. Or you might set a goal of working out 5 times during the week – or maybe just once.
Be realistic with yourself about your expectations. No matter how you measure progress, every time you succeed, you’re moving closer to your final goal.
Mistake 4: Cardio overload.
Ever feel like you’re running in circles and not getting anywhere? You might be relying too heavily on cardio.
Try decreasing your cardio to less than half of your workout routine, and spend that time on resistance exercises instead. You’ll burn calories during the workout, and build muscle mass that will burn more calories even at rest.
Mistake 5: Assuming workouts will compensate for overeating.
Regular workouts are a wonderful thing, but they won’t make up for undisciplined eating. Stay on track with your nutrition, and you won’t have to work yourself to death to burn off those excess calories.
Mistake 6: Not resting between strength-training sessions.
Weight-lifting and resistance exercises tear down your muscles so that they will rebuild themselves stronger than before. However, if you’re training the same muscle group every day, that group won’t get the downtime it needs to repair itself.
Mix up your strength training by focusing on arms and shoulders one day, then core the next day, then legs the next. The result will be strong muscles that keep burning fat all day long.
The exception to this rule is if you’re practicing certain sports or activities that place a demand on your whole body at once, like martial arts or gymnastics.
Mistake 7: Skipping workouts.
You’ve had a hard night, a stressful day, a rough week. It would be so easy to postpone your workout until tomorrow, but don’t do it! Your fat-burning workout will make you feel much better.
Workouts encourage our bodies to release endorphins, which make us feel relaxed and content.
Working out is a wonderful way to counteract stress. Plus, just getting through your routine will give you a sense of accomplishment and bring you closer to your goal.
Mistake 8: Getting stuck in a rut.
The human body is highly adaptable. That’s great from an evolutionary perspective, but it also necessitates a switch in your workout routine.
Keep your body from growing complacent by adding more strength-training to your routine. Work a different muscle group. Vary the intensity of your cardio or the length of your workout.
The idea is to keep your body confused enough to burn fat at maximum efficiency for the most fat loss.
Mistake 9: Neglecting your weak areas.
We all like to do things we’re good at. If you have a strong upper body, you might enjoy arm routines more than legs or core. If you have great endurance, you might prefer long sessions of low-intensity cardio.
But you’ll never improve if you don’t target your weak areas as well. Take it slow, and remind yourself that nobody starts out strong in every area. Everyone has to work to fill in the gaps in their fitness.
The key is to keep at it, even though it’s a struggle. Remember: “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”
Mistake 10: Depending on workout machines.
Workout machines are convenient, but don’t rely too heavily on them. Your body needs variety if you want it to keep burning maximum fat.
Instead of hitting the treadmill, go for a run through a scenic neighborhood. Instead of an ab machine, get on the floor and try some new core exercises. Instead of pressing and curling on a machine, challenge yourself with some free weights.
You might be surprised by how much you enjoy a more natural approach to fat loss.
A further fat loss resource to help you: