Burning body fat is a goal that many people and many is the single cause of so much frustration and depression. The frustration is particularly true during the tough times we find ourselves due to COVID, with COVID-related depression sky-rocketing across most of the world.
The good news, though, is that if you can gather some momentum with your fat loss mission, this could go a long way towards helping you to feel better and to feel more confident in your skin. I’m not saying it’s the single solution to mental health problems. Still, it could well be one of the bigger ones, especially when combined with a higher omega 3:6 ratio, sunlight, and strong relationships.
Let’s get into the most common mistakes I see people making when losing the ‘timber.’
1. FAILING TO SEPARATE YOUR IDENTITY FROM YOUR BODY
Remember that you’re *not* fat, but you simply have body fat.
This simple reminder serves an essential purpose – you are you. You are not your body. The body has simply stored excess energy, but it’s not a reflection of you as a person.
The problem with unifying your body to your worth is that it causes emotional decision-making instead of rational choices. I realize that it can be an emotional affair when you weigh yourself every few days, but fat loss becomes easier when you can take your emotions out of the decision-making causing your body to lose fat.
This leads to a healthier mindset, which is at the foundation of all success. A healthier mindset leads to better food choices, sensible exercise routines, and you’ll be able to sleep better at night.
It’s so crucial that you do this.
2. RUSHING YOUR MEALS
We live in a fast-paced world, where we want to get chores done as quickly as possible. Things like driving, shopping, cooking, eating, cleaning are all time-consumers that must be executed as quickly as possible.
But is this a good idea when it comes to fat loss?
Studies would say no, with fast-eaters being 115% more likely to be obese. It’s also well documented that it takes the brain approximately 20 minutes to truly acknowledge whether your stomach is full or not.
Meaning that if you eat your meal in less than 10 minutes, there’s just no way you fully appreciate that meal or that you’re going to be feeling completely satisfied from that meal. Which can lead to eating more food later on.
Learning to slow things down when you’re eating is a critical fat loss skill. Feel the food in your mouth, taste it, chew it thoroughly, and be grateful for it.
Try to avoid scrolling on your phone or watching TV, as these things will distract you from the above. But the main magic here with slowing down your meals is that if you do this correctly, calorie counting is entirely unnecessary, as you’ll naturally end up controlling your portion sizes when you’re fully present while you’re eating your meals.
3. SNACKING FREQUENTLY
Snacking can work for some people under some circumstances, but it seems to combat fat loss as a general rule.
From my personal experience, it seems that getting just one or two large, wholesome meals into your diet every day can lead to amazing fat loss results. These meals are full of protein, vegetables and are very micronutrient-dense, of course.
The main reason that snacking appears to be a problem is that it’s usually an impulsive decision that’s not a part of a pre-determined plan. This almost always leads to higher consumption of calories. It’s not always a bad thing if the snack is healthy. But it tends to slow fat loss down or halt it entirely.
Another benefit of having one or two substantial meals built into your meal plan is that this alone tends to reduce your desire to snack in the first place. One of the biggest reasons people feel the urge to snack is that they’re not satisfied with their meals (often carb-dense and lower in greens).
4. BEING STUCK INDOORS
I know this is hard to change if you have to commute to an office and then work long hours there. But try to do what you can because being stuck all day indoors is a guaranteed way to suffocate your activity level (and potential calorie burn).
Walking outdoor is the number one go-to recommendation I have for people who not only want to lose weight but are also looking to improve their mental wellbeing. Humans were never designed to be stuck all day indoors, and our brains simply seem to perform better when we spend plenty of time outdoors and have meaning in our lives.
So it’s well worth it to schedule either a morning walk/run/short bike ride before work or to have a lunchtime walk where you separate yourself from your work for 30 minutes or so. If you can get yourself to a peaceful, green space, then that would be ideal.
5. DOING BORING CARDIO
One of the biggest reasons people fail to stick to their cardio routines is simply BORING.
Suppose you can avoid this trap of boring exercise routines like walking on the treadmill for hours, or sitting on the stationary bike with nothing interesting to look at. In that case, you’re far more likely to have success with your cardio, and therefore fat loss.
Whatever excites YOU personally, that’s what you want to do more of. Whether that’s HIIT, hill sprints, swimming (my fave), or hiking, if it makes you feel excited, you’re much more likely to have success with it.
Don’t fall into the trap of copying other people in the gym when it comes to cardio/exercise because what works for them may not work for you.
A lot of fat loss comes from your mindset, and this is where separating yourself from your body and slowing your meals down can make an enormous difference.
Choosing an exciting exercise routine will also make a night & day difference to your motivation, enthusiasm, and overall results.
Follow these tips, and I can assure you that your fat loss journey will become miles easier, and it may well relieve a lot of mental health issues and stress in the process of burning body fat. Good luck!