in today’s article, I’m going to be outlining twenty different mistakes that you might potentially be made with the fat loss diet that is either slowing down your results or that are preventing you from getting any real results at all.
Now, I usually like to be really thorough when I explain things, as a lot of you guys know, but this video is going to be a bit different. There are twenty different points here, so
I’m just going to go through each one really quickly and just give a generalized overview
of each one and I’ll try my best to keep it concise.
So, here we go: Twenty cutting diet mistakes to avoid
So mistake number one: Your daily calorie intake is set too high. This is the most basic, most foundational fat loss mistakes you can make. If you want to lose fat consistently then you need to maintain a calorie deficit over time by burning more calories than you consume.
And if your calorie is set too high then nothing else in your program is really going to make any difference. A good guideline for most people is to start out by eating five hundred calories below their maintenance level. And that’s going to create the calorie deficit you need to stimulate fat loss.
A calorie is absolutely done matter and your total net energy balance in the big picture is by far the most important fat loss principal there is.
Mistake number two: You’re over-eating without realizing it. So maybe your daily calorie target is set at the proper level but you’re actually going over it without intending to. Now, this can happen for a lot of reasons: Maybe you’re making errors with your food measurements, maybe you’re going overboard on cheat meals in cheat days.
It could be little snacks and other hidden items that are sneaking in into your diet and aren’t being accounted for. Or it could just be that you’re not really tracking your diet accurately in the first place and you’re just trying to eyeball things but you’re not doing it properly.
Cutting diet mistake number three: Your calorie intake is set too low. So this is the opposite of the first two mistakes and it happens when people try to rush the fat burning process, and they crashed diet because they’re trying to drop the fat as quickly as possible.
Aggressive calorie deficits can work for some people in the short term if it’s done correctly but for the average person going too low is rarely a good idea because of your appetite will go through the roof. You won’t feel good physically and mentally.
You’re training performance will suffer. And you’ll probably eventually quit and then rebound in the other direction. Again, the five hundred calories below maintenance are what I would suggest in most cases.
Mistake number four: You aren’t eating enough protein. Not only is protein critical for maintaining lean mass during a cut or possibly even building lean mass under the right circumstances, but it’s also the most filling of the three major macronutrients.
So it’s really important that you’re enough protein each day in order to keep your appetite under control. And my general recommendation for most people is to go with anywhere between 0. 8 to one gram of protein per pound of body weight daily.
Mistake number five: You aren’t eating enough fat. So a lot of people will make the mistake of thinking that eating fat makes you fat. And so they’ll drop their fat intake really low, thinking that that’s helping them get leaner.
When really, all it’s going to do is crush your testosterone levels, negatively affect brain function, decrease your mood, and it can also lead to increases in depression and anxiety levels in some people as well.
So my suggestion is to get around twenty-five percent of your total daily calories from fat and I wouldn’t recommend going below twenty percent as a minimum. Dietary fat does not make you fat. An excessive total calorie is what makes you fat.
Mistake number six: The other possibility, you aren’t eating enough carbs. So maybe you are getting enough protein and you are getting enough fat, but you’ve gone ahead and cut your carbohydrate intake way down instead.
Now, low carb diets can work for certain people depending on their body type and depend on the situation, but unless you have specific reasons for doing it I wouldn’t recommend just aimlessly cutting up carbs.
Because all that’s usually going to do is cause your appetite to go up. It’s going to decrease your training performance, and just like with a low-fat diet, it’s also going to impair your mood and mental functioning.
So at least there’s a starting point for your cutting diet, just go with 0. 8 to one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day, get twenty-five percent of your total calories from fat and then fill in all of the remaining calories with carbohydrates. Cutting diet
mistake number seven: Your daily meal frequency is not suited to your appetite. So everyone’s going to be a bit different when it comes to meal frequency and everyone will feel physically better and be more likely to stick to their diet based on different patterns of eating.
So given the fact that meal frequency itself isn’t going to impact your actual bottom line fat burning fat burning results as long as the total calories for the day remain the same, rather than just blindly following some set-in-stone diet plan you’ll be best off to take the time and experiment a bit and then lay out your fat loss diet in whatever way feels best for you, in terms of meal size and meal spacing.
So maybe that means six small meals a day, maybe it means two big meals, maybe it means our medium size meals somewhere in the middle. Just figure out where your overall calorie and macronutrient needs are and then distribute them throughout the day in the ways that you’ll be most likely to stick to over the long term.
Mistake number eight: Your daily food choices aren’t suited to your personal preferences. So keep in mind that there’s no such thing as any single mandatory ‘fat burning food’like you might’ve read in some articles online.
So if you’re not crazy about a particular food item, then there’s no need to force yourself to eat it. It’s perfectly possible to lose fat and build muscle and enjoying your meal at the same time, as long as you take the time to lay things out and to prepare.
So just go through the foods in each category. Protein, carbs, and fats, and then just choose the ones that you like best, whether its chicken versus fish, rice versus potatoes,
bananas versus apples, oatmeal versus bread, et cetera.
As long as the bulk of your diet is based around minimally process whole foods then it’s mainly just a numbers game from there. And you can use whichever foods you’d like
to hit your daily macronutrient targets.
Mistake number nine: Your calorie to food volume ratio is out of balance. So the bottom line is that if you’re trying to lose fat then you need to maintain a calorie deficit, and if you’re in a calorie deficit then you will feel a certain degree of hunger in different points in the day.
So, one of the key ways to offset that is by consuming foods that are low in calorie content relative to their volume. So if you’re loading up on things like dried fruit or peanut butter, health bars, calorie-dense snack and smoothies and things like that, you’re going to be getting a lot of calories in exchange for only a small amount of actual food.
Whereas if you based your diet around less calorie-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, et cetera, you’re going to be able to eat a lot more actual food and fill yourself up while still keeping your calories under control.
Mistake number ten: You’re forcing yourself to ‘eat clean’ 24/7. So yes, the majority of your cutting diet should be based around nutrient-dense, minimally processed whole foods but that doesn’t mean you have to eat plain chicken breast and rice and broccoli all day long. It doesn’t mean that ‘clean foods’ are the only thing you’re allowed to eat.
As long as your fat loss plan is mainly based around what you traditionally refer to as clean foods’ then you can go ahead and ill in about ten to twenty percent of your overall calories with your favorite treat foods, as long as you tracked them as part of your overall intake.
Doing this is not going to negatively impact your overall fat burning results but it will make your diet more enjoyable and it will prevent you from feeling deprived and overly restricted, which is then going to increase the chances that you’ll actually stick to your cutting diet over the long term.
Mistake number eleven: You’re going overboard on cheat meals and cheat days. So this one here would be the opposite of the last mistake where people think that you know, they’re eating clean and hit their calories over a certain period, so it’snow okay to just go all out and eat whatever they want without any worries. Now, this approach can be fine for some people.
If it’s just for a certain meal or if they don’t go too crazy with it, but for those who take it too far and who are doing it too often this can very easily add up and hugely offset the deficit that you created over the previous period. Remember that fat loss is ultimately a game of your total energy intake versus your total energy expenditure in the overall picture. And while cheat meals are totally fine to have, they aren’t, somehow, free calories and everything that you’re eating accounts toward your total calorie intake for the day and for the week.
Mistake number twelve: You’re following extreme, overly restrictive dietary rules. So any fat diet approach that heavily restricts certain macronutrients or eliminates entire food groups or the overly emphasized smaller details like meal frequency and meal timing, eating highly specific foods at certain times of day and avoiding other foods at certain times of the day.
These types of diet might work put okay in a short-term but they usually won’t be sustainable over the long term. Fat loss is ultimately pretty simple and there’s no need to unnecessarily overcomplicate your eating plan, and doing so is probably just going to increase the chances that you’ll eventually get burn out and quit.
Mistake number thirteen: You aren’t adjusting your calorie intake as you get leaner. So the calorie intake that you start your cut out isn’t necessarily going to be the calorie intake that you end your cut at.
And if you find that your fat loss is plateauing then you may need to adjust your calories downward in order to continue getting leaner.
So if your results have clearly stalled out for about a one to two week period then you can either add a bit more cardio to your plan depending on how your program is already structured, or you can decrease your daily intake by about a hundred to a hundred and fifty calories.
Mistake number fourteen: You aren’t taking any refeed dates. Refeeds aren’t going to be necessary for the earlier stages of a cutting diet, especially for those who are more overweight, to begin with, but as you get leaner and leaner depending on how far you’re trying to drop your body fat, a weekly refeed day can be a good tool to give you a nice physical and mental boost and to take a short break from your diets, with the main goal being to improve overall long-term adherence.
Refeeds are pretty simple, just take one day a week where you eat at your calorie maintenance level and get the majority of the increase form carbohydrates.
Mistake number fifteen: You aren’t drinking enough water. A smaller point here but staying properly hydrated is going to help to control your appetite further. You’ll feel better physically and mentally, and it will improve your training performance as well.
So I wouldn’t suggest overlooking this. I don’t have set guidelines here because it varies quite a bit depending on the person, but a good approach is to just drink enough water so that you are peeing relatively clearly throughout most of the day.
mistakes number sixteen: You’re putting too much emphasis on supplements. So keep in mind that any fat burning supplements that you might be using are only going to have a very minor impact on your results at best, and the overwhelming majority of your progress is going to be decided by proper training and proper nutrition.
So don’t make a mistake of thinking that supplements can somehow make up for poor eating habits. And don’t put too much stock in them because you’re basically looking at a few percents of extra results over the long term by including supplements in your plan.
Mistake number seventeen: You aren’t getting adequate sleep each night. Now, this isn’t a direct dietary mistake, but I figured that I’d include it here anyway because improper sleep definitely can throw your eating plan off track by increasing your appetite.
And it does that by decreasing your levels of leptin and increasing levels of ghrelin which are two really important hormones that regulate your hunger levels.
So if you want to maximize the chance that you’ll actually stick to your cutting diet over the long term then you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting enough quality sleep each night, so that you’re feeling fully rested in the morning.
Not to mention all the basic health benefits of proper sleep, as well as the effect that it will have on your training performance and your mental state as well.
Mistake number eighteen: You aren’t being patient enough. If you really want to get lean and significantly transform your body, then the process takes time and patience, there’s no way around it.
And one of the best ways to lose motivation to fall off track is by expecting too much too soon. A standard rate of fat loss for most people is going to be around one to two pounds per week, maybe slightly more for those that are significantly overweight, but you’re not going to happen to find six-pack overnight and you have to be willing to trust the process and just put in the work week after week after week if you really want to succeed long term. It’s a game of consistent singles rather than home runs and maintaining proper patience is absolutely the key.
Mistake number nineteen: You’re comparing yourself to the wrong people. Now, this sort of ties in with the last point, but keep in mind that those perfect physique that you’ve seen in magazines or on social media, those represent the absolute best of the best in terms of genetics.
And a lot of those people are actually using drugs and aren’t even natural athletes, to begin with. On top of that, the pictures are usually taken under perfect conditions in terms of lighting and angles and pumps and oil.
And sometimes they aren’t even truly real, to begin with, because they’ve been touched up or even blatantly photoshopped. So having an ultimate goal in mind for the motivational purpose is fine but it can also have the opposite effect and it can lead to discouragement and throw you off track with your diet if you’re constantly comparing your physique to something that is very off and pretty much a fantasy.
So if you’re going to compare yourself, and we all do it to a degree, then at least, be realistic and make sure to do it with the general everyday population as a whole as well.
Because even just being somewhere around, say twelve percent body fat, give or take, with some modest muscular development, that already puts you in better shape than the vast, vast majority of people out there. And finally,
cutting diet mistake number twenty: You’re expecting things to go perfectly. So regardless of how carefully you’ve planned things out or discipline you might be, you’re still going to have days when things go off course.
It’s a guarantee. You’re going to go over on your calorie sometimes, and you’re going to give in to temptation sometimes, you’re going to feel different highs and lows in your motivation. That’s all part of the process.
It’s completely normal. And if you’re expecting things to go perfectly smooth all the way through or you think that making a mistake here and there means that there’s something with you personally than when those bumps in the road do show up, and they will, you’re going to be far more likely to get overly discouraged and have a hard time getting back on track.
Always remember that fat loss is all about what you do in the big picture. Your progress is not going to be perfectly linear no matter who you are. You will make mistakes. And you have to learn to just be able to brush them off and to continue on with your plan regardless. So there you go guys, twenty different cutting diet mistakes. I hope you found this useful.