Sometimes we need to avoid the bad things instead of doing more good things. That’s why it’s important to avoid these 5 mistakes stopping you from losing belly fat.
Everytime you think you know about everything you find out you were still making some mistakes. That’s not a bad thing! The more you learn the more weight loss results you will see.
These 5 mistakes are fairly common. Not a lot of people know they shouldn’t do these things.
1. Only counting calories
Too many people only focus on the amount of calories they eat without considering what food it is coming from.
Not all macros are as good for weight loss as the others. And even within the macronutrient categories there are huge differences.
The most common thing counting calories doesn’t keep in mind is your insulin levels.
Insulin is a hormone that prevents fat loss and encourages fat storage. This is important to consider because certain foods will spike insulin more than others. Typically carbohydrates will have the biggest impact on your insulin levels, protein will have a moderate impact, and finally fat will have the smallest impact.
This is why just lumping protein, carbs, and fats all into one category as calories is not a good idea. It can have a negative effect on your ability to lose belly fat. Your body will probably not respond the same to all calorie sources.
Some people are able to eat tons of carbs and their body is very good at burning those carbs off. On the other there are people that are very bad at dealing with carbohydrates.
Decreasing carbohydrate consumption is one of the best ways to lower insulin levels, but keep in mind a really high intake of protein can also shoot insulin levels way up. One of the things you can do lower insulin levels is fasting.
If you’ve never done fasting before you can start with a 16 hour fast followed by and 8 hour feeding period. Once your body adapts you can try a 20 hour fast followed by a 4 hour feeding period. Just eating less often can already make a difference.
2. Doing nothing about hunger and cravings
The next mistake is not doing anything about hunger and cravings.
A recipe for disaster is just eating less and moving more. If you don’t do anything about your hunger and cravings it’s only a matter of time before you give in. This can lead to binging and undoing all your hard work.
There are two simple things you can do right away to reduce cravings and appetite.
Number one is increasing fiber intake by eating more vegetables. The fiber and water in vegetables will help fill your stomach up. This reduces the amount of hunger signals you get.
Fiber can also potentially help by reducing the amount of calories you absorb from other foods.
Number two is increasing the amount of protein you eat. This can also significantly reduces your hunger and cravings.
Don’t forget, too much protein is also not good. The right amount can help leave you feel full without negative consequences.
3. Only focusing on belly exercises
A good amount of people belief that you can focus fat burning on certain areas. Sadly enough, that’s not the case.
However, as a result of this believe some people think that, for example, crunches target the fat on their stomach. This leads to a bunch of people at the gym trying to lose belly fat by moving from one ab machine to the next.
The thing that those machines will help you do is build abs. This isn’t bad but it won’t do much against the fat on top of your abs.
What you should focus on
Without burning that layer of fat, you won’t see the improvements in your abs.
Yes, you can still do crunches but that’s not the thing that will impact your fat burning the most.
It’s impossible to target fat burn. Fat gradually comes off the body. Unfortunately we can’t pick where we will lose fat from first or last. Early fat loss tends to happen in areas you don’t expect. Areas like your hands, your feet and your face. Then it works its way closer to the center of your body to burn fat from areas like your stomach and hips.
After enough weight loss efforts your body will choose to lose the fat stores around your midsection.
4. Too much focus on cardio
The next mistake is only focusing on cardio. This is a mistake that people make in regards to fat loss in general. The idea that cardio is for losing weight and burning fat while weights are only for building muscle is a popular one.
While cardio may burn more calories minute per minute, building muscle is the best kind of exercise for long term weight loss.
Your body uses energy measured by calories to do almost everything it does. Keeping your heart beating, processing food, moving around and so on.
The more weight you carry around the more energy your body needs to do all these processes. This is one of the reasons weight loss plateaus happen. You lose weight and the things that previously helped you lose weight are now not enough to put you in a calorie deficit.
Building muscle helps you keep weight on your body without the negative health consequences of excess body fat.
5. Not following through
The last mistake and probably the biggest mistake is not following through.
Consistent action and behavior over time will determine how you look.
One day of eating unhealthy won’t make you unhealthy but the opposite is also true. If you permanantly implement good habits you will see the results sooner or later.