The Biggest Dieting Mistake I See
When it comes to fat loss, the biggest thing people I see lack is patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was anything worth having. The human body is based on adaptation. In order to progress, a new stimulus needs to be introduced to induce an adaptation (fat loss, muscle gain, whatever that adaptation may be). Because we’re humans and love instant gratification, many of us decide we want to start dieting and want to be shredded to the bone by next week. That’s all fine and dandy, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to diet and train hard to reach a goal quickly!
However.. You need to have somewhere to go.
For example, let’s say John Doe decides he wants shredded six pack abs as soon as possible. John’s never really worked out before, aside from a jog here or there, and a couple sets of push-ups. Our buddy John decides he’ll eat 1200 calories a day, lift 7 days a week, and do 30 minutes of cardio twice a day . . . Maybe John loses a quick 10 lbs. and actually looks pretty good after a week of that! Sure, he feels like shit, is exhausted, can’t stay awake, and now has tendonitis everywhere you could imagine, but hey, at least he lost that 10 lbs.! Right..?
I’ll leave the damage our hypothetical gym bro does to himself for a different time, as the ramifications of such a “hardcore” approach is a whole different rabbit hole.
Week 2 of hell-on-earth rolls around, and this time, John lost a whopping half a pound. Our guy John is pretty pissed, given he’s working so hard with his intensive, time-consuming “fitness” regimen. But, he’s stubborn, so he persists. Here comes the week 3 weigh-ins, and John sees a solid zero change. 1200 calories, 7 days per week of lifting, 7 hours of cardio a week.. And nothing. All that, just to maintain (not to mention, he still feels like absolute hell).
Here’s the mark our guy, John, missed… Adaptation.
In order for John to continue to progress, he needs a new stimulus. If he wants to continue to lose, he would need to drop his calories even lower, or move even more! Given his already ridiculous, unsustainable regimen, it’s highly unlikely John can function like this for much longer. John’s stimulus requirement is just too large to continue to progress . . . Had John been more patient from the beginning, he could have started with a mild regimen and more calories, it would be easier for him to adjust week by week. Pull some calories here or there, add another cardio session, add extra training volume, etc..