When it comes to weight loss, there are a lot of experts out there promising to have the secret formula for dropping those unwanted pounds.
And yes, it's true that there are many different ways to get results with an almost unlimited supply of exercises and workouts.
But, for this article, I want to talk about things to avoid doing if you're trying to lose weight. We've seen these common mistakes derail clients over and over again.
Mistake #1: To lose weight, all I have to do is eat fewer calories than I burn.
Yes, calories are important, but it's much more complicated than that. If you're not laying a solid foundation with foods that will have a positive long-term impact on your health, your results may be temporary.
Rather than putting all your focus on caloric values, build your diet around foods that have a high nutrient to calorie ratio, such as organic meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
Limit or avoid high calorie foods that have little nutritional value, such as processed foods and sugary drinks. Once you're choosing the best foods for overall health, you can then focus on limiting your calories to fall within a sensible range based on your goals.
Mistake #2: If I increase my cardio activity every day, I'll lose weight without really changing my diet.
Of course, physical activity of any kind has many health and weight-loss benefits. But, if your workout program is centered only on cardio activity such as running, biking, or walking, you're creating the wrong hormonal environment for long-term weight loss.
Too much cardio can increase stress hormones and even start to break down valuable muscle mass. Cardio activity has a place in your workout program, but it should not be the only type of activity.
Balance out your cardio workouts with an equal amount of strength training. So, if you run two days a week, match it up with two days of resistance training.
Mistake #3: I really don't want to bulk up, so I'll just avoid lifting weights.
Deliberately avoiding strength training may be the biggest mistake you can make for long-term fat loss management.
Maintaining and building valuable muscle mass will support your metabolism by improving your body composition. The greater percentage of lean mass on your body vs. fat mass the greater metabolic rate you will have and therefore the more calories you will end up burning each day.
Even one pound of muscle will increase your daily caloric burn because muscle is an active tissue that burns calories 24 hours a day.
Think about adding total body strength exercises into your routine -- such as dead lifts, lunges, overhead presses, pullups, and planks.
These common mistakes can be easily avoided by taking a well-rounded approach to weight loss.
A proper balance of nutrition, cardio, and strength training will give you the greatest chance for success!
For more exercise and nutrition tips, visit PushFitnessTraining.com for links to our blog and social media resources.
• Joshua Steckler is the owner of Push Fitness, a personal training studio located in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning, and nutrition. Contact him at PushFitnessTraining.com.