Still not losing weight?
As the saying goes, you can’t out run a bad diet. You just can’t. 80% of your body composition is determined by what you eat.
Some experts even claim as much as 90%. In either case, it’s got a pretty big influence.
Unfortunately, we live in a time where there’s more confusing and bad information out there than ever. There’s definitely more bad than good.
That’s why it’s so easy to commit some pretty common diet mistakes that sabotage your weight loss progress.
So today, I wanna go over the top 10 diet mistakes that you wanna avoid. Because what you stop doing has far more impact than what you start doing. We’re gonna use the concept of addition by subtraction.
Why You’re Still Not Losing Weight – Top 10 Weight Loss Mistakes
1. Thinking that you need to eat small meals spread throughout the day to lose weight.
This is one of those conventional wisdom advice that I can’t believe hasn’t died yet. I like to refer to them as conventional stupidity.
The idea is this type of eating supports your metabolism which should somehow translate to fat loss.
That’s why most cookie cutter meal plans calls for anywhere between 5-6 meals spread throughout the day. Which is actually what most people do.
Studies have shown that the average person has a 15 hour eating window. Which goes against our genetic programming how we evolved as human beings. Specifically, our circadian code.
The average person, especially in North America, is also overweight. 70% of American adults in the US are overweight or obese. In fact, experts are projecting that number to reach 90% by 2030.
What should you do instead? You need to honour your circadian code.
This is how powerful it is. Studies have shown that if you just reduce your eating window to 12 hours, independent of any dietary change. Meaning you don’t even need to change your diet. It’s obviously better if you do. It’s gonna result in weight loss and reduced risk for disease. Imagine if you actually started eating a decent diet. Your life will change.
Your eating window starts the moment you eat or drink anything other than water. For example, if you eat breakfast or just drink coffee at 7am. You need to have your last bite or sip done at 7pm.
This is more commonly known as time restricted eating. If you just take one thing away from this video, this is it. Your life will change.
2. Majoring in the minor.
Losing weight and getting rid of your stubborn fat can really be boiled down to one simple statement. You need to be on a calorie deficit while optimizing hormones. That’s it.
Most people miss the ‘optimizing hormones’ part which is a big mistake in itself.
Despite that simplicity, you can make dieting as complex as you want. That’s where common questions come up like:
Should I buy organic?
Should I eat kale?
What kind of eggs should I buy?
What kind of pre workout or protein powder should I get?
What’s the best fitness tracker?
What kind of workout shoes is the best?
Yes, there’s a time and place for those questions. But if we’re looking big picture, they have very little or negligible impact on your weight loss results.
And it’s so easy to get overwhelmed when you get caught up in the minutiae of majoring in the minor. Which often leads to paralysis by analysis.
The two guiding principles you need to follow if you want to lose weight and keep it off is number one, you need to be on a calorie deficit while optimizing hormones like I mentioned earlier.
Number two, you need to get high quality and adequate protein every day.
If you can adhere to those two things combined with TRE, there’s no limit to how much fat you’re going to lose.
3. Believing that a keto diet is the only way to burn fat.
Let me explain.
I’m a big believer that a Paleo or Keto diet is an unbelievably effective way to lose fat. Because it’s one of the best diets that effectively moderates the storing hormone insulin by limiting the amount of carbs you consume.
I gotta admit, I got caught up a little bit in the dogma a couple of years ago.
But as I said in one of my recent videos. Not all carbs are created equal. There have been many cultures and long lived societies that have existed primarily on a high carb diet.
The secret lies in the quality of carbs they consume. As well as other lifestyle choices.
For context, the average North American consumes a mind bending 400-500 grams of highly palatable ultra processed insulinogenic carbs every day. Insulinogenic means it’s fattening.
Basically, the more processing your food goes through, the worse it is for you.
Now, the other side of the equation when it comes to the Paleo and Keto movement is thinking that the more fat you eat, the more fat you’re going to lose.
Yes, you need to consume essential fats in your diet for your body to function optimally.
But past a certain threshold, more doesn’t necessarily mean better. You don’t need to go out of your way to consume MCT oil and eating sticks of butter.
Think about it this way. If you have excess body fat that you wanna lose. Would you rather get your fat from MCT oil or would you rather burn your own body fat for energy?
At the end of the day, assuming you’re metabolically flexible by optimizing your hormones, you still need to burn more calories than you consume.
If your diet consists mainly of minimally processed foods, it’s almost inconsequential whether you get your macros from carbs, fat, or protein. As long as you’re getting adequate and high quality protein. More on this in a second.
Just don’t be dogmatic and think that following a certain diet is the only way to lose weight. That’s why I’m not a fan of diet labels these days.
4. Going YOLO on weekends.
This one is pretty simple.
For starters, I’m a big proponent of scheduling an optional cheat meal every week. Depending on your weight loss progress, you can even have two cheat meals. As long as you’re on point with the rest of your meals.
If we do some simple math, let’s say you eat 3 square meals a day in a 12 hour eating window, like a normal human being, consisting of mostly whole foods. That’s 21 meals.
If you have one cheat meal, that gives you a 95% adherence rate. Even if you have two cheat meals, that still gives you a 90% adherence rate. I would take that rate of compliance to the bank.
But if you go YOLO starting Friday night all the way up to Sunday night, that’s a third of your meals for the week where you’re just on the ‘See Food’ Diet. You see food, you eat it.
You’re basically undoing all the good work you put in throughout the week. You might even end up gaining fat through that process.
5. Just because something is good for you doesn’t meant that you don’t have to account for calories.
Again, your daily diet should mostly consist of single ingredient, mostly unprocessed, nutrient dense foods.
You want to greatly minimize your intake of ultra processed and highly palatable foods. Save them for special occasions.
If you follow that simple guideline, you will lose weight as long as you’re on a calorie deficit.
That’s where the problem starts.
You still need to be on a deficit even if you’re eating healthy food if you want to burn fat. There’s no free lunch.
A lot of people just go to town on healthy foods without accounting for calories. Especially when we factor in delicious treats like nuts, cheese, and dark chocolate.
Yes, they’re good for you. But they’re also very calorie dense which means you still have to factor that in to the equation.
The good thing about whole foods like meat, fruit, and vegetables is that they activate your built in satiety mechanism.
They’re very filling which means you almost automatically control for calorie intake when you eat them.
But, it doesn’t automatically absolve you from over eating. Especially when it comes to fruit. Which is actually mistake number 6.
6. Over consuming fruit.
Again, there are levels. Generally speaking, fruit is better than cookies. But that doesn’t automatically mean that they’re free calories.
In fact, fructose, the type of sugar found in fruit is found to be the most lipogenic type of sugar.
Lipogenic means it’s fattening. But you’re kinda protected when you eat the whole fruit because it also contains fibre and you’re getting the physical bulk from eating the actual fruit.
It’s when you consume it in juice form where it becomes a problem. Because now, you’re getting it in a pre-digested liquid form.
The dose also makes the poison. If you’ve ever bought a bottle of orange juice, it’ll say that it contains 6 oranges for a tiny bottle. My question is, who the heck eats 6 oranges in one sitting?
Usually, it’ll also say 6 oranges in one serving when the full bottle actually contains two servings. Now you’re eating 12 oranges without triggering satiety.
Speaking of knowing your numbers, that’s actually the next mistake.
7. Not knowing your numbers.
You can’t control what you can’t measure. Another popular saying is what gets measured gets managed.
The goal at the end of the day is to get to a point where you’re eating intuitively.
But there is a big gap between intuitive eating and where most people are right now. You need to know your numbers when you’re just starting out.
Keeping a food journal can be an eye opening experience for a lot of people. Especially if you’re committing the first mistake which is snacking all day.
If you don’t track your food intake, you might think you’re on a calorie deficit. But in reality, you’re actually on a surplus. Most people are guilty of that.
There’s a study that shows that people significantly underestimate how much they eat and can underreport on their calorie intake by as much as 2,000 calories per day. And they wonder why they’re not losing weight.
I have a separate video tutorial on how to track calories that you should check out. Keep in mind that you don’t need to do it every day. You just need to be in the ball park when it comes to calories. Especially if you’re eating mostly the same meals every day.
Because there’s a big difference between being in the ball park and being outside the stadium.
All you need to know is that a lot of these meal plans and diets that these people are endorsing are completely made up. The vegan diet for example is nothing but a modern day human experiment.
Or, these people pushing you to buy a supplement or a weight loss shake that comes with it.
More likely than not, the celebrity endorsing that plan doesn’t follow that meal plan or diet. They just got paid to endorse it.
The bigger issue is just because something worked for this one person doesn’t mean that it’s automatically gonna work for you.
Everyone is different. Your metabolism is like your own unique finger print. No one else has it.
Juice detox and cleanses are especially bad for you. They’re also ridiculously expensive. It’s actually quite the scam. I can’t believe still fall for that stuff. You’re basically just going on an almost zero protein and high sugar diet.
Which means that as much as half of the weight you’re gonna lose is muscle. Once you finish the cleanse, you’re almost guaranteed to put all the weight back on, and then some.
The only thing you’re cleansing is your wallet. You might as well light your money on fire. Your body has a natural detox and cleansing system, and it’s free. It’s called your liver.
9. Not drinking enough water.
I read a stat recently that as much as 70% of adults are dehydrated. That’s a problem.
Up to 60% of the human body is water. The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83%. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery at 31%.
Which means that if you don’t drink enough water, your body doesn’t run optimally. If your body isn’t running optimally, it’s just gonna go for short term survival. The last thing that it’s gonna want to do is burn body fat for energy.
In terms of practicality, people sometime confuse thirst with hunger. You need to know the difference between the two.
10. Not eating enough protein.
Eating high quality and adequate protein should be the centre piece of any diet worth its salt. Because that’s how you build and maintain muscle.
Simply put, muscle is the mechanism of health. It’s your metabolic currency. It’s the key driver of your metabolism.
Honestly, muscle is metabolism. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. That’s how you become a fat burning machine.
You don’t have to manually burn calories by doing cardio which is what most people do. Another mistake.
Just like water, if your body doesn’t get enough protein, it’s just gonna go for short term survival. It won’t function optimally.
It’s also the most satiating macronutrient. Think about a nice piece of ribeye steak or bacon and eggs. You won’t find a short list of studies that shows that increasing protein intake results in weight loss.
This study shows that increasing daily protein intake from 15% to 30% resulted in 440 calories less consumed per day. Which led to an average weight loss of 11 pounds in 12 weeks just by eating more protein.
So don’t believe the vegan propaganda that red meat is bad for you. None of those claims are based on good science.
So those are the top 10 diet mistakes that I see people make. Now you can make the necessary changes to finally achieve a successful weight loss transformation.
As always, if this was helpful, share it with a friend who could benefit from it as well!
Need More Help?
Use this simple 4-step process to melt ALL the fat around your stomach and look good shirtless WITHOUT going on a crazy diet or wasting hours at the gym. Get the Lean Body Blueprint here for free!