In the quest for a leaner physique, you can run into a host of obstacles that keep you from reaching your goal. Knowing what the most common pitfalls are—and how to avoid them—can help you successfully drive the number down on your scale.
Here are five of the most common factors that could be holding you back from reaching your weight-loss goals.
When it comes to training, a common mistake is focusing on the wrong types of workouts. This is particularly true with cardio. Steady state cardio is a go-to for many, and while it can be effective, it’s not the most optimal form of cardio when you’re looking to shed weight fast.
Compared to steady state cardio, quicker paced, higher intensity routines such as HIIT have been shown to keep your metabolism revved for up to 48 hours following your workout. With steady state, calorie burning slows to a snail’s pace after your treadmill session is over. Steady state cardio has also been found to increase the hormone cortisol, putting your body into muscle breakdown mode.
You can also swap steady state cardio for metabolic resistance training type routines, such as Kris Gethin’s Dramatic Transformation Principles (DTP) program. Training programs that combine different rep, weight and intensity protocols such as these will not only help you burn more calories, but also boost fat burning hormones, increase muscle mass, and ratchet up strength.
Protein is key player in any muscle building diet plan, and for good reason. Protein helps to maintain (and build) muscle mass, boost metabolism, reduce hunger, and increase hormones such as glucagon to promote fat utilization for fuel. Several studies have shown that upping protein intake helps to spur fat loss while supporting muscle retention. Aim to consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. For a 200-pound athlete that’s about 200g of protein spread over the course of the day.
In addition to a solid nutrition plan, high quality supplements can help you achieve your weight-loss goals. A well-designed stack may be just what you need to take your efforts to the next level. Here’s a beginner KAGED MUSCLE stack for those looking to boost fat loss with the help of a few key supplements:
While many struggle to get the recommended 8 hours of shut-eye every night, doing so will serve your body well. Research has shown that regular, good-quality sleep supports increased fat loss, muscle growth, better health, and reduces your risk for disease. Just one night of interrupted or reduced sleep can spur a host of issues, including impaired insulin sensitivity (meaning you don’t metabolize carbs as well), increased hunger, and reduced will power.
Sleep is also crucial to athletic performance. When you’re well rested, you’ll have more energy, which will allow you to train harder, for longer.
When following a reduced calorie diet, sleep plays a vital role in keeping your immune system functioning properly and in supporting better recovery. Naturally, a reduction in calories and nutrients hampers your body’s ability to recover properly and build muscle, which can lead to increased risk of injury, overtraining, and chronic fatigue. Therefore, when dieting, sleep becomes even more crucial to allow your body to recover and maintain an intense training regimen.
Surprisingly, about 90% of the human body is made up of bacteria. A significant portion of bacteria lives in your gut, and gut bacteria play a vital role in your health. From extracting energy from food to building muscle, protecting against disease, and enhancing weight loss, your gut impacts your body in many ways.
One rodent study found that when ill, overweight and diabetic mice got a boost of healthy gut bacteria they saw huge improvements in health and lost weight. What’s more, because there were not changes in diet or exercise, the researchers were able to attribute the changes to the healthy gut bacteria. A follow up study investigated the effects of boosting unhealthy gut bacteria in healthy rodents. The results showed increases in negative metabolic markers of health and weight gain.
Even if your diet and training is on point, if your gut lacks healthy bacteria, then your body isn’t functioning optimally. To give your gut a healthy boost, try adding a good probiotic to your mix of quality supplements. You’ll also benefit from focusing on cleaner foods—ditch anything that contains artificial flavors and colors, and opt for more natural, micronutrient- and fiber-rich foods.