When it comes to fitness, there are certain things many people just can't seem to get it right, one of it being nutrition. Many people are so obsessed with shedding that extra body fat, they often go too far in their efforts and stall their progress or, worse, start to backslide into the awful realm of being "skinny fat" (the result of lost muscle mass without a marked loss of fat). As hard as you may workout in the gym, you still need to cozy up to the fact that your work in the kitchen and at the dinner table is just as important. The following three are the biggest nutritional mistakes people make when trying to lose their body fat.
1. Aggressively Cutting Calories - You're ready to lose body fat at all costs. No sacrifice is too great. As a result, you decide to slash your caloric intake in half, expecting to transform your body in just a couple of weeks. Big mistake - not only is this completely unhealthy, but your body also isn't likely to reciprocate with the same dramatics. The reality is that aggressive cuts in calories can backfire, causing metabolism, your calorie-burning engine, to downshift into a lower gear. The better approach is to create a mild deficit, eating 15%-20% fewer calories on a daily basis.
2. Completely Eliminating Fat - Remember that moderation is the key to steady gains. Zero anything is dangerous in the nutrition world: Zero-carb, zero-fat, and zero-cholesterol diets are all fads that should be avoided. Controlling calories by slashing bad dietary fats such as butter, gristly meats, chicken skin and fried foods is one option. Taking a good thing too far, however, many eliminate nearly all dietary fat and try to chisel their bodies with fat-free sources of protein such as white fish, egg whites and protein powder. Since there's barely any fat in most carbohydrate foods and vegetables, where you'd pick up the remainder of your calories, these types of diets are essentially "fat-free." The big pitfall is that zero-fat diets compromise testosterone levels, which can disrupt the body's ability to retain metabolic-boosting muscle while dieting. In short, when testosterone levels fall, the metabolism slides right along with it.
3. Abandoning Carbs - While lower-carb diets certainly aid in the shedding of body fat, you don't want to cut out carbs completely. It's better to watch the selection and manipulation of your carbohydrate consumption. One of the best ways to do this is to slash carbs at all meals - outside of breakfast and your post-workout meal, that is. Those are the two times of day when carbs are critical to muscle growth. At breakfast you need carbs to reverse the catabolic state you fall into from fasting while you sleep, and after training you need carbs to spike insulin levels to drive muscle growth and restock muscle glycogen (the storage form of carbs) that was depleted during the workout.
Avoid these 3 biggest nutritional mistakes while continuing with your workout routines and you'll be able to lose your body fat fast and easily.