• Joshua Li

Common Mistakes You Are Probably Making That Are Hindering Your Fat Loss

When people start trying to lose fat they tend to struggle and wonder why it isn’t working for them. Most mistakes happen in the diet area along with some less common ones in exercise. Here are the common mistakes you are likely making and how you can fix them.


This one would probably be the most important. Without an appropriate diet to supplement your workout, your attempts in the gym would contribute very little to your overall fat loss goals.

1. You aren’t actually on a calorie deficit

One of the most common issues that tend to be seen is an individual thinks he/she is starting to make healthy food choices by going for the classic low fat smoothies, “healthy” granola bars and green juices that are, in reality, quite calorie dense. To make things absolutely clear, the most important thing when it comes to fat loss is the amount of calories you are consuming. No matter how many chia seeds, kale leaves or other superfoods you are having, without a calorie deficit you won’t be making any fat loss.

Solution: Measure what you eat, or at least use some sort of tracking app like Myfitnesspal to make a best estimate of what you are having.

2. You are in too much of a calorie deficit

Another issue we see is when the individual is super motivated, wants to make gains as quickly as possible, and ends up going from a 3,000 calorie diet to sub 1,500 calories. What happens then is your body quickly loses weight, and the individual is super stoked that they are seeing amazing gains. A few weeks later they’ve lost muscle mass from the lack of calories, their fat loss slows, and their bodies have adjusted to the new ultra-low calorie intake. Telling them to add back calories to fix their damaged metabolism will now sound crazy to them and the only way they can progress in their fat loss journey is to cut calories even more.

Solution: Find the number of calories you need to maintain your weight - usually bodyweight in pounds multiplied by 14 (female) or 15 (male). From there eat consistently for a week to see how your bodyweight moves. If that is indeed your maintenance calories, take about 10-20% calories away and off you go! If your weight has gone up, reduce by a factor of 1.5 to 2 (so if you multiplied by 15 the first time, multiply by 13.5-14 instead).

3. Your diet isn’t sustainable

You start scrolling Instagram after gaining motivation and you’ve come across a diet method that’s supposedly guaranteed to work. Whether it’s the ketogenic diet, vegan, carnivore... it’s usually something that is completely unconventional and after some time, the ability for the individual to adhere to the diet becomes compromised. Cheat meals start becoming a thing and before you know it the diet is completely thrown away.

Whatever diet it is, if you can’t sustain it and end up cheating half the time, it isn’t going to help you reach your goal.

Solution: Make sure you structure a diet that you can actually sustain long-term. Being on a diet doesn’t mean you only have to eat chicken breast and broccoli. Structure a diet based on how well you think you can adhere to it while obviously making sure you’re getting the right macronutrients and overall caloric intake.


1. You aren’t working out nearly enough

If you aren’t a farmer or a construction worker, you’re likely at a desk for almost half of your day. Open up the health app on your phone and check how many steps you’ve taken today. If you’re a desk worker it’s likely under 3,000. When you start going to the gym maybe two or three times a week, it might feel like enough but actually it isn’t.

Solution: Start incorporating forms of cardio into your life. It doesn’t need to be High Intensity Interval Training (although HIIT has its merits) but adding a walk here and there, and going for a jog or a swim adds to your daily activity and helps you burn calories.

2. You aren’t putting enough intensity in your workouts

Your body’s metabolism is correlated with the amount of lean muscle mass you have. Lean muscle mass is built up when you put stimulus on your body via weight training. If you’re half-assing your workouts, your body isn’t going to see a reason for you to have that muscle. Quite often you will see individuals in the gym barely pushing themselves and taking extremely long rest periods while browsing social media on their phones.

Solution: Keep intensity high in the gym and make your workouts count. Strive to make improvements over time (progressive overload).

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