- Diet & Weight Loss
5 Things To NOT Do When Losing Weight
When we get involved with losing weight we often forget that there is a specific framework by which we have to guide ourselves. It is not out of the ordinary of making mistakes that may lead to a less aesthetic body transformation or even a complete disaster for both women and men.
A lot of people believe that when trying to lose weight all you have to do is train more and eat less. That's because everybody makes it sound like that. However, if you truly are aiming to achieve a good looking and pleasing physique then you need to understand that when we talk about weight loss there is a whole lot more that comes into play.
As there are "dos" there are "don'ts". I have already written a Hub where I explain how exactly can you lose weight, now comes the time when I explain what you must NEVER do when losing weight.
1. Do not lower your calories too much
It is, at this point, common sense that in order to properly target body fat storages we need to be on a caloric deficit. However, the problem with many is that they tend to overdo it, by a lot. So much so that they are on the verge of starving them self in the means of losing as much weight as possible.
I have seen some crazy situations where the individual lowers the calorie consumption with about -1000 calories. The person who I am speaking about is male and required 2600 calories to maintain his current weight. He lowered his to about 1650-1700 calories - he went below the minimum requirement of calories that are necessary for the proper functioning of the human body (for males it is 1800 and for females it is 1200 calories). This doesn't just mean that he is harming his physique but he is also harming his overall health.
By overdoing it and lowering your calorie consumption with such a high number you are basically putting your whole structure in risk. You are going to lose muscle, which is expected, because you are not providing your body with the necessary macronutrients to sustain your current muscle mass. Your body's reaction to this situation is to sacrifice your current muscle fibers in order to lower them to the point where you are actually providing your body with the necessary macronutrient value to sustain life. For some this may seem as a fairy tale as they are losing more weight and they are getting extremely skinny (I am looking at you girls), sadly enough that is not going to work because along with your skinny physique you are also losing your glutes (your butt will get flat), your shoulders will get bony, your legs will lose shape (as well as your arms) and you will develop this walking-sceleton look that, quite frankly, is not attractive.
You do have to be on a caloric deficit, but the numbers by which you lower your calorie consumption has to be anywhere from 200-300 calories of your total calories necessary for maintain your current bodyweight, anything above that and you are losing muscle and bone mass.
2. Do not consume too much protein
As people tend to lower their carbohydrates and fats in order to lose more weight they tend to increase their protein consumption believe that it will little to no affect on their stored fat.
Here's a little know-how - everything that contains calories is a source of energy for the body. The only difference is that calories coming from carbs, fats or protein are used in a different fashion. Calories from carbs are used as your primary source of energy and calories from protein is used for reconstruction of current muscle tissue and providing your muscles with the necessary amino acids to promote muscle growth and development.
Every macronutrient has a purpose, even though they provide you with calories. Once the purpose of the macronutrient is served they become obsolete and if you continue providing your body with more of it, then guess what, it is stored by the body as body fat for later uses.
In other words you are going to gain the same amount of fat as you are losing (or in some situations more than you are losing, depending on your genetics and body type) and you are going to hit a plateau and remain there for a very long time. That is, until you become rational and lower your protein consumption.
3. Do not do too much cardio
This carries the same consequence as lowering your calories too drastically.
As people get deeper and deeper in their weight loss program they tend to really increase their cardio. I know people who do cardio, and this is no joke, 16 hours in one week. That is more than 2 hours of cardio every day!
The main reason for this to occur is because the individual has started hitting a plateau (stopped seeing good results). As a result they have jumped to the only logical solution - increase the amount of energy that the body burns and decrease the amount of energy that the body digests.
The only reason for this plateau to occur in the first place is because your body is starting to get used to your current program and diet, meaning that you have to change something in your diet and cardio program and not decrease your calories or increase your cardio.
Use variations of cardio - swimming, sprinting, jogging, hiking, cycling, boxing, kick-boxing. All of those are really good ways to get the heart rate up and boost your metabolic rate to put your body in a good weight loss environment.
By increase the amount of cardio you do will lead to damage to the muscle tissue, as your body will start destroying muscle tissue, because you are using up too much energy and the body cannot sustain the current muscle mass and you might actually start seeing a reverse effect - start gaining body fat.
As bizarre as this may sound to some it is based on your hormonal balance. As I love to say over and over again, your hormonal balance is what drives your body's transformation, training and nutrition are just supportive elements to it. Due to the fact that you are doing too much cardio means that you are placing too much stress on the body - resulting in higher cortisol levels. Cortisol is your body's stress hormone notorious for causing muscle deconstruction and fat storing. In other words, you will gain more body fat and lose more muscle because of it.
Make sure that you do not over-exceed 2 days (3 at maximum) of cardio in a way where 1 of those has to be higher in intensity (sprints, boxing, kickboxing, swimming).
4. Do not exclude carbohydrates
A lot of people who are starting their weight loss program will tell me how they are planning to limit or completely exclude their carb consumption and focusing their attention mainly on protein and fats.
It has to do with the whole idea that carbs are the main reason why people tend to gain fat in the first place. Because you are consuming too much carbs and not giving your body the time to lose them.
And there are even people who believe that because carbs are broken down to glucose (which is basically sugar) then that means that you have sugar running in your blood making you fat (no joke).
Listen, carbs are important. They are your primary source of energy that will not only help you during training sessions but also during your daily life activities. Not to mention that glucose is your brain's primary source of energy!
There are a lot of negative effects of lowering or cutting of carbs that I am not going to go in too much detail.
Carbs actually to help you lose weight, believe it or not. They increase your metabolic rate and those that are high on fiber will also cause your body to spend energy in order to digest them. In other words you will be burning fat as you are eating an apple.
You would want to focus on carbs that are with a low glycemic index (will barely elevate your blood sugar causing the activation of insulin) or in other words all foods that are high in fiber. You have to make sure that the carbs that you are consuming have fiber, at the very least, and that they are good sources of it. It is estimated that the ideal dietary fiber consumption to achieve proper weight loss should be about 30g of fiber a day. (do not overdo it because it can lead to serious health problems)
5. Do not be afraid of fats
Similar to carbs, fats are hated by people who are entering their weight loss program. Most of them are afraid of fats because of their high caloric index and there are even people who are afraid of lipids just because their other name is "fats". I spoke with this really nice lady that read this article online and told me the following "You want me to eat fats? I am trying to lose fat and you want me to eat more of it? I am confused, how is that suppose to be helpful at all?" - this is a legitimate answer I received from a friend of mine who was asking for assistance with her weight loss, she even thought I was not making sense and didn't come to me for any help (true story).
There are a lot of benefits that can be derived from consuming fats.
The hormonal and metabolic that you reap from eating fats are amazing. One of the most important benefits might be the satiating effect of lipids. Being on a diet that is low on calories will tend to leave you hungry all the time. Fats leave you feeling full. When the fat hits your small intestine it sets off signals, which includes the release of hormones such as CCK and PYY. These two play an important role for appetite regulation and satiety - leaving you full and satisfied. The more satisfied you are the more likely you are to engage with cheating on your diet.
Furthermore, lipids have a ton of positive effects on your weight loss as they provide you Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for elevating your metabolism which helps you lose more fat, as well as help you sustain a healthy heart.
There are also these medium-chain fats that do not take the function of fats but rather as carbohydrates. They provide yo with the benefits of fats and are easy to burn making them the perfect source of fats - virgin coconut oil is one source of those fats.
Following the don'ts is as important as the dos. You need to understand the fundamental mistakes that can lead to a less efficient transformation of your body and can sometimes even destroy your chances of achieving an aesthetic physique!
Thank you for taking the time and reading this brief post, I hope I was of some assistance to you!