10 Worst Diet Mistakes that Make You Fat
You can work out as hard as you want, but you won’t burn fat if you’re not focused on eating and how much of it you’re eating.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of confusing and contradicting information out there, so it’s easy to make some pretty common mistakes when setting up your diet plan for fat loss.
So today we want to go over ten of these major diet mistakes that you’ll want to avoid because these make it much harder for you to lose fat and keep it off.
The first mistake that makes you waste a whole lot of energy and time on unnecessary meal prep is the false idea that you need to eat several small meals throughout the day to support your metabolism and to effectively burn fat.
That’s why most fitness meal plans call for anywhere from five to six meals per day.
We recommend this high meal frequency strategy and claim that it keeps your metabolism high since you keep feeding the fire consistently which supports weight loss. But is this true? Well, the answer is no.
A meta-analysis concluded that there is no difference between nibbling and gorging when it comes to 24 hours calorie intake and expenditure.
It doesn’t matter whether you eat many or a few meals per day. As long as you consume the same amount of food, the impact on your metabolism and your body will be the same.
On top of that, eating more frequently might make it even harder for you to lose weight. That’s because, as found by research from the University of Hawaii, eating frequency was positively associated with energy intake.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that eating more often will cause you specifically to gain weight and that eating less often will cause you to lose weight.
It highly depends on what works for you. But if you find it hard to lose weight and eat many meals multiple times throughout the day, you might want to try reducing your meal frequency and see if that helps you better control your caloric intake.
2- Make your Diet as complex as you want
The next big mistake that prevents people from even starting to change their diet is focusing too much on the details and not focusing enough on the big picture.
Losing weight and burning fat is simple on paper, you consume fewer calories than you burn, and you’ll drop the pounds off the scale. But despite its simplicity, you can make dieting as complex as you want.
For example- beginners might wonder whether they should go organic or not, whether broccoli is better for weight loss than cauliflower, or whether it’s better to boil vegetables rather than eat them raw.
Those are interesting questions, but in the grand scheme of things, they’ll either have a negligible or no impact on your weight loss results at all. Many people get lost and overwhelmed when start focusing more on the rather nonessential details.
- Should you eat red meat or white meat?
- How long after you have a protein shake?
- What’s the best time to eat carbs?
Ask these questions, The two key big-picture tips that you need to follow as you’re guiding North Stars are that you have to be in a calorie deficit and you have to make sure that you eat enough protein every single day.
If you can follow these two big-picture things, you will burn fat and improve your body composition.
Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed with the details, because there’s enough mismatching information out there to make your head spin from vegan to carnivore to keto to low carb to low fat, and you’ll just get lost and stuck in analysis paralysis.
You have to understand that any diet can work as long as it works for you. Another widespread diet myth is this false belief that you have to eat a lot of fat and a low amount of carbs to burn fat. For many people, paleo and keto-type diet plans can be very effective for weight loss.
One reason for this is that you limit your carbohydrates, which is one of the most overconsumed macronutrients.
Now, many low-carb dieters end up going wrong in that they believe that the more fat they eat, the more fat loss. The rationale behind this is that studies show that consuming more fat increases fat oxidation in the body, which is true.
However, most people that are just drinking MCT oils and adding tablespoons of coconut oil to their coffee every morning, fail to realize that burning body fat and burning dietary fat are two different things.
Just because your body is burning more of the fat that you’re eating for fuel doesn’t mean that you’ll be losing more body fat. For that happen to be in a calorie deficit.
If your body satisfies all of its energy requirements just by breaking down dietary fat, that means there’s no need to break down body fat for energy
Some people find calorie intake on a low carb high-fat diet. But this doesn’t mean that you should eat as much fat as possible, because adding unnecessary calories to your diet, like adding butter to your coffee or eating coconut oil by the spoon that’ll only add additional calories and make fat loss harder.
3- Taking the weekend off
let’s talk about taking the weekend off. When it comes to your diet. Most people work from Monday to Friday, and then they take the weekend off to recover and enjoy themselves.
That extends out to their diet. While this can work well if you’re following a structure to balance your calories, it can also completely backfire.
Especially for most people, since they’re cycling their calories blindfolded without knowing what they’re aiming for.
Even though you do have to be in a calorie deficit to burn fat, it doesn’t matter if you’re in a calorie deficit on any one particular day.
It’s about whether you’re in a calorie deficit over the long run. By letting yourself go on the weekend, you’ll likely end up undoing the calorie deficit that you created by following a clean dieting approach throughout the rest of the week.
You can’t have cheat meals or even full-out cheat days every weekend, but without planning on how to balance out those calories throughout the rest of the week, you’ll probably get stuck, and you might even gain fat in the process.
So if you’re planning to overshoot by 1000 calories on the weekend by eating things like pizza and ice cream, then you have to make sure that you deduct those thousand calories from the rest of your week to maintain steady fat loss.
It can be done. It just has to be done correctly. Another issue is thinking that you can’t possibly get fat while eating clean.
The fundamentals of eating clean suggest that you should eat more whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats while limiting highly processed snacks, sweets, and other prepackaged foods. And there are a lot of benefits to this simple approach.
For example, it’s probably not surprising for you to learn that research shows that consuming more fruit and vegetables can help people lose weight and keep it off.
That’s where many people go wrong. Some people believe that as long as they eat clean and consume foods that are seen as weight loss-friendly, they don’t have to worry about how much of those foods they eat.
That’s not true, especially when we factor in healthy foods like nuts. These kinds of foods might even be high in protein, but they’re also very high in calories and easy to overeat.
Now, the benefit of eating clean is that foods like fruit and vegetables make it easier to control your energy intake automatically.
That’s because compared to the number of calories that they provide, they’re very filling. That reduces total calorie intake throughout the day.
This belief is that unlimited amounts of fruit will help you burn fat since fruit is healthy.
4- Diet Mistake
that happens to be a huge diet mistake all on its own. Beginners choose fruit and vegetable juices to burn fat. But what they don’t consider is that these juices can contain hundreds of calories and tons of sugar.
It blows my mind when clients pack a blender full of fruit alongside a tiny bit of vegetables and they thinking that all that sugar is going to help them lose weight just because the fruit is healthy.
Instead, they should minimize the amount of fruit and maximize the number of vegetables in that smoothie to assist with fat loss. That carries over to whole fruit as well.
If you have six pieces of fruit every day thinking that that’ll help you lose fat, you’re very wrong, because it’s going to add a good amount of simple sugars and potentially block fat loss.
The bottom line is that eating clean can assist with weight loss because it’ll usually help you consume fewer calories.
If you eat too much clean food, you’re going to put yourself out of a calorie deficit, and that’ll prevent you from burning fat.
That is actually why another common mistake is estimating your portions and not tracking your calorie intake.
Now, I think it’s required for everyone to get to the point where they don’t have to track calories, and they have more of a natural intuition based on experience.
However, if you’re not familiar with nutrition labels or you’ve never tracked your calories and macros beforehand, it’s very easy to underestimate how many calories you eat and how many calories you burn.
So if you don’t track your food intake, you might think you’re in a calorie deficit even though you’re not.
For example, studies report that participants significantly underestimate how much they eat and can underreport their calorie intake by as much as 20 calories per day.
Instead, once you have more experience with tracking your calories, you’ll most likely be able to guesstimate your calorie and macronutrient intake, especially if you eat the same foods and meals regularly.
5- Follow fad diets
Another major mistake is following celebrity meal plans or fad diets that you see in a magazine or some health article online.
- Understand that many of the meal plans that you think your favorite actor, model, or athlete follows are completely made up, and the celebrity advertising the plan doesn’t eat that way.
- The second issue is just because something worked for someone else doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for you. We have different needs, and preferences.
- Celebrities usually advertise following fad diet plans that have no scientific backing. Usually, these are quick-fix programs designed to help the actor or the model lose weight as fast as possible for a certain role in a movie.
For example, to prepare for her role in Dream Girls, Beyonce followed the Master Cleanse Diet.
On this diet, there were no solid foods eaten for at least ten days, and the only source of calories and nutrients came from a homemade sweetened lemon beverage.
The idea is that doing this will detox your body and accelerate weight loss.
They most likely don’t. And this Beyonce Master Cleanse Diet is terrible for your health and your body composition for many reasons, including the fact that you’ll be taking in almost no protein, which means that a large chunk of the weight that you do lose will be in the form of muscle mass.
That is also without mentioning how unsustainable this type of plan is. So stay away from fad and celebrity diet plans.
6- Not Drink Enough Water
Not drinking enough water and other zero-calorie beverages. I’m not going to spend too much time explaining the benefits of avoiding all the extra calories and sugars that come from sweetened beverages like sodas and fruit juices.
Instead, I want you to understand that drinking enough water by itself can help you reduce your calorie intake just by what it does to your stomach.
Research shows that people that drink mostly water consume on average, 9% fewer calories per day compared to those that don’t.
Aside from the fact that you’re less likely to consume energy-dense beverages like soda, beer, or juice, drinking water triggers the stretch receptors in your stomach, which sends a signal to your mind that your stomach is already partially full.
That, on its own, helps with hunger management. So if you’re not drinking enough water and other noncaloric beverages throughout the day, you’re making it much harder to maintain a calorie deficit.
7- Not Eating Enough Protein
The last mistake that I alluded to earlier, as well as in previous videos, is not eating enough protein.
Eating enough protein in any diet plan helps you to burn fat easily.
That is because if you don’t, it makes it much harder to maintain a calorie deficit. Since protein is the most satiating macronutrient, by not taking in enough protein, hunger hormones like ghrelin will be elevated, which will stimulate your appetite.
A simple demonstration of this can be observed in a study that looked at what would happen when participants raised their daily protein intake from 15% to 30% of their total daily energy intake.
The results showed that they automatically consumed 440 fewer calories per day, which led to an average weight loss of £11 in twelve weeks just by eating more protein.
Maintaining muscle isn’t only beneficial for your appearance, but it’s important for long-term health and your body composition. So those are ten major diet mistakes that you want to look out for if your goal is to burn fat.
I hope you enjoyed this article. keep in mind if your main goal is fat loss, you will need to adjust your diet and training regimen over time as your preferences and nutritional requirements change.