Do you feel like you’re doing everything right but still struggling to lose fat?
You’re not alone.
I’ve seen enough patients walk through Dr. Chasan’s doors to understand that this is a massive problem.
Particularly with those who are health-conscious—the ones who exercise regularly, watch what they eat, and keep up to date on the latest health information.
(Minus the occasional fast food – can’t deprive yourself entirely 😄)
But ALL of us have our blind spots. I’m talking about the foolish fat loss mistakes we make that we aren’t aware of.
So now you’re probably wondering, “Am I making any of these foolish fat loss mistakes? How will I know?”
Don’t worry. I’m here to help you with that.
I rounded up a list of the more common mistakes healthy people make that keep them from achieving their fat loss goals:
Foolish Fat Loss Mistake #1: Only focusing on the number on the scale.
Don’t get me wrong… the scale can be a valuable tool when assessing progress towards your fat loss goal.
But that’s ALL the scale is – a tool.
Many factors can affect your weight daily, such as fluid fluctuations, undigested food, muscle mass gain, and not going to the bathroom in a while.
A better way to use the scale is to take a long-term view—is the number trending down month over month, rather than day over day?
Foolish Fat Loss Mistake #2: Harboring unrealistic expectations.
As humans, we tend to grossly overestimate what we can do in the short term and vastly underestimate what we can do in the long term.
When you have incredibly high expectations, it’s easy to become frustrated and give up.
One study1 noted that overweight and obese women who expected to lose the most weight were more likely to drop out of their fat loss program within six to twelve months than their peers who had more realistic expectations.
Keep your fat loss goal modest, at least in the beginning, and build other small goals on top of your successes as they roll in.
Foolish Fat Loss Mistake #3: Drinking calories.
Drinking soft drinks, fruit juices, and sugary cocktails are the sneakiest bandits in town when it comes to fat loss.
There are a few reasons for this:
- Sugary drinks don’t affect the appetite center of your brain in the same way solid food does. Meaning, you end up continuously drinking more calories without feeling satisfied.
- Sugary drinks rarely have any nutritional value—yes, including your fruit juice. Most of the beneficial fiber and nutrients of fruit are found in the skin and pulp.
Making this ONE simple change of cutting out calorie-laden drinks might be enough to spark the fat loss you desire.
Foolish Fat Loss Mistake #4: Not eating enough.
Sounds counter-intuitive, but hear me out.
Drastically cutting calories and skipping meals may seem like a quick fat loss fix, but this constant undereating can hold you back in the long run.
Your body is smart and adjusts to whatever you throw at it. If you cut calories sharply, your body will enter starvation mode, causing your metabolism to slow down and preserve energy.
This means you hit a plateau, stop losing weight, start eating again with a slower metabolism, and gain back the weight you lost.
Your fat loss journey starts to resemble a vicious roller coaster ride.
The solution to this problem isn’t sexy (truly effective solutions rarely are). Adopt the motto “slow and steady,” reduce calories sensibly, and aim for sustainable progress over the long run, rather than focusing on dramatic short-term (read: unsustainable) changes.
Foolish Fat Loss Mistake #5: Lack of sleep.
Every other action you take towards healthy fat loss is diminished if you don’t get enough sleep.
- Your hunger hormones—ghrelin and leptin—get thrown out of whack, causing cravings and an insatiable appetite.
- You don’t just crave any food… you crave fat- and sugar-rich foods.
- You have low energy, which makes it harder to exercise.
If you want some quick ‘n’ dirty ways to improve your sleep, try keeping electronics in another room, making your room as dark as possible, and keeping the temperature nice and cool.
These are the more common mistakes Dr. Chasan’s health-conscious patients make.
If you’re doing everything right and still not seeing results on your fat loss journey, take a fine-toothed comb through your habits and assess if you’re falling short in one of these areas.