Top Mistakes to Avoid While Losing Weight

The new year is almost here and I couldn't be more excited! It is a time when we can re-evaluate our goals and what we want to accomplish within the next year.

Fitness is often used as a primary example when talking about New Year's resolutions, with losing weight/fat as probably the most common fitness goal. As with many resolutions, people will be extremely motivated at the beginning and start working towards losing weight, but the motivation will eventually wear off and so will the journey towards their goal.

This pattern can be broken however, with just a few tweaks in the process. Below you will find the top mistakes to avoid while losing weight so that you can stick to your resolution and experience tremendous results!

Too Much Cardio

Cardio on a regular basis is important for your heart health, but can you do too much cardio? Yes, in fact, too much cardio actually leads to muscle atrophy and therefore reduces lean muscle mass which in turn slows down metabolism. Muscle is KEY to burn fat and speed up metabolism.

A better approach would be to balance your cardio with weight training, so that you are also building muscle, increasing your metabolic rate and the amount of fat your body can burn.

My LEANSQUAD App has fitness programs designed with this goal in mind. Once you've joined, all you have to do is literally open the app and your daily workout will be right there for you. Every workout can be done from anywhere, so no need to spend time commuting to your local gym, simply press play and get started!

Caloric Intake

There is ONLY ONE WAY to actually “lose weight” and that is to be in a calorie deficit. You have to eat less calories than you are burning, but the good news is if you follow the tips below it doesn’t have to suck or be extremely restrictive.

When it comes to losing weight, food plays a large part in your progress. There are 3 types of macronutrients: protein, carbs, and fat. The majority of the population does not eat enough protein. High carb diets often include too much refined sugar and calories which can lead to weight gain and a number of health issues. Protein has a number of health benefits and has been shown to be an important factor when it comes to losing weight and controlling your caloric intake.

This Ginger Chicken Stir Fry recipe in the LEANSQUAD App is a great example. Here I swap out regular noodles for Konjac noodles, which alone saves us almost 200 calories per serving! Konjac noodles are high in fibre, a great source of calcium, vegan, soy free and gluten free. Mix that with all these veggies and chicken and you have yourself a low calorie, high protein meal that will leave you feeling full and nourished.
Protein is the number one source for maintaining and building muscle mass in your body, especially when losing weight. When you eat enough protein, you will feel fuller for longer, maintain or build muscle mass, change your body composition, and have better appetite control. You won't feel the need to eat as frequently if your meal contains enough protein, which in turn will help you in achieving a caloric deficit. Also, incorporating low cal food swaps (explained later on) will assist in controlling your caloric intake.

​Try to make sure each meal contains a high protein source. This could be meat, dairy, beans, legumes, quinoa, among others. You can find lots of protein-rich recipes and low cal food swaps in the LEANSQUAD App, which are specifically designed to increase feelings of fullness and energy levels.

Not Lifting Weights

A lot of people shy away from weights with the fear of getting bulky. I am here to tell you that is 100% not going to happen! Take my wife Brodie for example, she has being using weights ever since I convinced her when we first met and her results have been incredible. Lean muscle takes a fraction of the space vs fat. You will be more toned, stronger, leaner, and feel so much better!

Remember, lifting weights leads to increased muscle mass. More muscle leads to a faster metabolism allowing your body to naturally burn fat faster. Lifting weights will speed up the time it takes to achieve your goal of weight loss, while providing some nice lean muscle in the process. If you were to try losing weight without lifting weights, your metabolism could actually slow down making it that much easier to put the weight back on.

​If you don't know where to start with lifting weights, a dedicated fitness program that is specifically designed to help you lose weight and build muscle will allow you to stay accountable and progress each day, week, month, and year. It removes yet another barrier in your journey towards a healthier, happier self.

​With a fitness program, you will also be able to lose more weight than you would without a program to follow. This is because during exercise you will be burning calories which means you will increase the caloric deficit, thus losing weight. Additionally, exercising will allow you to eat more food (if you want to) and still lose weight!

Exercising Too Much​

When you get into the routine of exercising, it can feel fantastic both physically and mentally. However, it is possible to overexercise which can lead to a whole host of problems.

​Fatigue can start to set in if you aren't giving your body enough time to recover. It can also lead to stress and poor sleep because your endocrine hormones could be negatively impacted. Excessive exercise will also cause injury at one point or another, which could actually lead to you put weight back on.

In all of my programs in the LEANSQUAD App, you will never have more than 5 workouts per week. You will see results in just 2-3 days per week, but it is of the utmost important that you prioritize time for your body to recover. This is why I include optional stretch and recovery sessions in each of my programs, so that you can lengthen out your muscles and prepare your body for the next workout.

Extreme Restriction - Eating Too Little

It's true, in order to lose weight you need to eat less calories than you burn in a day. However, one of the biggest misconceptions with calorie deficits is that people associate it with extreme restriction. They completely cut out all enjoyment of food, reduce portion sizes to the absolute minimum and in turn end up HATING their weight loss journey and quitting before it has even really begun.

​​This is a one way ticket to weight loss disaster.

Believe it or not, there is a much more sustainable approach; working out AND eating more. When you exercise daily, you will burn more calories and fat, your metabolism will increase, and you will feel so much better. Since your body will become more efficient and burn more, it will allow for room to eat more food than if you were to try and restrict your caloric intake. Even as little as a 10 minute walk will work wonders for your body and health!

​It is also important to ensure the calories that you do eat are healthy and high in protein, this way you will stay fuller for longer and will never feel hungry throughout the day.

Not Using Low Cal Food Swaps

One tip that has helped many of our Squadies is focusing on volume eating. Volume eating essentially means shifting your mindset from “restriction” which is more often than not the most common weight loss technique (but definitely not the most successful) and instead start focusing on eating MORE of the foods that are lower in calories but higher in nutrients, thus allowing you to eat way more while still staying in a calorie deficit!

Not only can you eat more food AND lose weight, but you will also eat more nutrient dense foods in the process. It is simply a matter of picking the right ingredients and looking for low calorie food swaps like this Teriyaki Chicken on Cauliflower Rice Meal Prep you can find in the LEANSQUAD App!

Remember, the only way to lose weight is to ensure you are in a calorie deficit, which these foods accomplish because they have far fewer calories but many more nutrients. You will feel more nourished, eat more food, all while remaining in a calorie deficit.

Just Focusing on the Scale

There are many measures of weight change, the scale is not the only one. This is important to remember because often we think this is the only indication of our progress, but the body is more complex than that. The amount of food that remains in your system and fluid fluctuations can also influence your weight, which means the scale is not an accurate picture of what is really going on.

Throughout your journey, you may see your weight remain the same for several days up to week. This may actually mean you are losing fat mass and holding onto a bit of water or building lean muscle mass, which is a good thing!

A healthier measure of progress is to take pictures of yourself and see your transformation over a long period of time. We encourage our Squadies in the LEANSQUAD App to take photos before and after a fitness challenge so they can see the physical changes they made, even if that means their weight didn't change on the scale.

Find The Perfect Lean Program for YOU!

I have over 6 full programs for you to choose from, where I workout with you in real time to guide, motivate and transform you, so that no matter your goals and fitness level, we will get results! Programs vary in length, workouts per week, difficulty, and what your goal is. Squadies have seen tremendous results from each of the programs seen below. Whether you're a beginner or workout pro, there is something for you!

​When you first set out on a weight loss journey, it can feel as if you aren't making any progress. If you avoid these mistakes, the barriers towards where you are and where you want to be should be lowered slightly to give you the best chance at reaching your goals!