You may be diligent in hitting the gym frequently, but could you be making these 5 mistakes and sabotaging your fat loss success?

  1. Not getting enough sleep

That’s right. When your body is fatigued, it not only does not gravitate towards nutritious foods, but we are more likely to snack frequently on foods saturated with fats with little to no nutritional value. Our sense of self control is diminished – making us more likely to pack on extra calories that subsequently lead to weight gain.

Our alternative: get 7-8 hours of sleep, preferably the same hours every night. When that is not possible, make sure to drink plenty of water and snack on fruits and vegetables to regain energy and avoid calorie over-indulgence.

  1. Not incorporating resistance training into your fitness regimen

Even with all the known benefits of weight training, many people still believe that doing cardio is the only way to stay slim or loose weight and/or body loss. This is actually not true. As much as cardio is needed in our routine, weight training has amazing benefits for body fat loss. A more toned, muscular body is smaller in appearance as muscle is denser than fat. Building muscle not only makes you more “defined” but it really raises your metabolism. So, after a hard strength training workout, your body will actually burn more fat, doing all other regular daily tasks.

Advise: Incorporate resistance training – you can use either machines or dumbbells. You will love the results!

  1. Not working hard enough

This is an all too common mistake – going to the gym but working out and barely breaking a sweat. In order to see results, you have to work hard. Having said that – do not be scared. Hard can still be fun, when your workouts are exciting, different and involve both cardio and resistance training techniques.

Not sure what to do? Check out group classes or hire a personal trainer for a little instruction. It will all pay off in the end – as you learn how to take your workouts to a whole new level.

  1. Not eating small meals throughout the day

Habit and culture, the way we were raised and our surroundings; all impact our approach to eating. Frequently, we find ourselves consuming few, larger meals. Sometimes, we might believe it is easier to eat less frequently. However, if you realized how much eating more, small meals could help you out, I bet you could figure out a way to incorporate them into your day. Breakfast is super important to start the day off right and get the metabolism machine pumping! When the body does not receive food, it is programmed to go into starvation mode, storing fat for energy. In essence, when the body is deficient in nutrition, it starts storing fat in order to have something to “eat” later.

Best practices: eat small, nutritional meals throughout the day.

Don’t go to bed with a full stomach or eat after 7p.

  1. Not drinking enough water

There is research that supports the notion that simple H2O can help you burn more fat. For one, dehydrated individuals experience a drop in resting metabolic rate (the number of calories they burn in a day). So simply staying hydrated can help to keep metabolic rate and fat burning optimal.

Moreover, one research study from Germany reported that drinking about two cups of cold water led to about a 30% increase in a subject’s metabolic rate for over an hour; in male subjects, the majority of calories burned came from fat. The same researchers found similar results in a follow-up study.

It appears that the cold water raises metabolic rate because the body has to spend energy to warm the water to body temperature. Drink an extra 2 cups of cold water in between meals to keep your fat burning turned up (source: bnet.com).

In Summary

Try to avoid these 5 common mistakes by: getting into a regular sleep pattern, using resistance as well as cardio in your workouts, challenging yourself when you do workout, eating smaller portions – more often and staying hydrated.

Sometimes it takes just a few changes to get your body feeling great and more efficient at burning fat. Give it a try. Novelty can not only be fun but extremely beneficial!