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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Ustrzycki

10 Common Fat Loss Pitfalls

Successfully losing body fat is all about achieving the sweet spot in which all your habits are working for you. It's easy to get sidetracked by pitfalls, especially when temptations are all around. This article gives you heads up to some of the most common pitfalls that sidetrack you from reaching your goals. 

1. Not Eating Enough Protein

Many people struggle with hunger when they are trying to lose body fat. Eating high-protein foods such as beef, chicken, fish, and eggs leads to the release of gut hormones that make you feel full for longer. Protein also helps preserve muscle mass when dieting so that you sustain your metabolic rate. 

2. Avoiding Veggies

Veggies are a godsend for anyone trying to lose body fat because they are filling and provide phytonutrients that protect health and help the body repair itself. Plus many veggies like leafy greens are so low in calories that you can eat as much as you like, which goes a long way to filling you up when portions are restricted. 

3. Relying Too Much On Exercise

Exercise can do wonders for body composition because it improves hormone balance and raises metabolic rate. But, too often people just focus on exercise without putting the same effort into eating habits. Set yourself up for lasting success by taking a multi-faceted approach that accounts for what, when, and how you eat in addition to working out. 

4. Fearing Fat

Going non-fat may seem like a good idea at first glance since fat contains more calories per gram than protein or carbs. But when you understand the role of fat in the body, you realize getting too little of it is a bad idea. Dietary fat improves absorption of nutrients and it is used to produce hormones and build the outside lipid layer of cells, allowing for better insulin sensitivity and a higher metabolic rate.   

5. Lack Of Sleep

Lack of sleep raises cortisol and triggers hunger hormones, which makes resisting dietary temptations harder. It also makes us lazy. This combination makes losing fat nearly impossible. Develop a bedtime ritual and stick to a consistent bed and wake time to take advantage of your natural circadian rhythm. 

6. Drinking Your Calories

People who are new to healthy eating often don’t realize how many calories they consume through beverages. Everything from wine to ice tea, soda, sweetened coffee, cocktails, flavored water, and sports drinks adds calories you don’t need. Worst of all, the brain doesn’t register liquid calories in the same way as food, so most people end up eating more overall. 

7. Not Weight Training Properly

Prioritizing strength training will make fat loss easier because it burns fat and calories, improves insulin sensitivity, and makes you stronger. It also improves body composition by increasing lean muscle mass so that you have a higher metabolic rate and burn more calories daily. 

8. Slashing Calories

Many people start a diet out of desperation. They slash calories super low in an effort to make progress only to find that they lose lean muscle mass in the process and their metabolism plummets. They become overwhelmed with hunger and cravings and ditch their diet. Instead, focus on healthy eating habits (plenty of protein and whole foods) and regular physical activity to create a sustainable energy deficit. 

9. A High-Carb Breakfast

The standard high-carb breakfast of cereal, toast, or juice triggers a large insulin response and sets you up for a day of uneven blood sugar and frequent hunger. Try eating high-quality protein (eggs, fish, turkey, or beef) first thing in the morning to elevate your motivating neurotransmitters for a productive, energetic day. 

10.Not Being Honest With Yourself

We are often our own worst enemies. We don’t face up to how much we eat or how hard (or easy) we exercise. Being honest with yourself will make things simpler because you will finally be able to troubleshoot what’s really going wrong. If you tighten up your efforts and give it all you’ve got, the fat will start to melt away and you’ll get the physique you desire. 

Source:, 2015

Originally written: February 7, 2016

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