I've written about one of the most common mistakes people make when they're trying to lose fat, by doing slow and long-distance cardio.
I discussed the most effective type of cardio that burns more fat. Another common mistake I see people make involves nutrition.
That biggest mistake is dieting! That's right-dieting is a big mistake.
People have tried one, two, or more diets in their attempt to lose weight. If diets "work," why do people have to try more than one?
Diets don't work because psychologically, you start off with a negative action. When you think dieting, you start thinking about the food you have to "give up," eating what you really don't like, etc. It doesn't sound motivating at all.
Diets can be too restrictive or difficult to follow. Depending on the diet, some foods are forbidden, and the ones that are not might be foods you don't like.
Diets dictate the exact amount of food you should eat, how many calories, what time you should eat, the percentage of calories coming from carbs, protein and fat, etc.
Diets are generally not practical for everyday life. Imagine having to weigh, measure and calculate everything you put in your mouth.
If you are a professional athlete who needs your body to be at optimal levels, then yes, you should be that detailed. However, being fastidious is not practical if you don't rely on your body to earn a living.
The number one thing that will help you in your nutrition goals is to focus on adopting one healthy eating habit at a time.
Far too often, people try to change too many habits at one time, which is a recipe for failure because behavioral changes take time to occur.
Adopt one habit and be consistent in observing it. Once you become consistent, add another to work on, and so on.
Here are three simple healthy eating habits to get you on the right track for maximum fat loss.
1. Take a multivitamin and a fish oil supplement.
2. Drink at least a liter of water a day, preferably two liters.
3. Eat protein in all your meals
A multivitamin and fish oil supplement will help make up for the nutritional gaps in your diet. Don't worry about which multivitamin to take; just work on taking it consistently everyday for now.
For fish oils, I prefer the liquid type, but if you don't like the fishy taste, pills are fine. Follow the recommendations on the label. The goal is to get you taking them consistently, daily.
Drink more water; it is likely you are not drinking enough. A saying goes-"If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated." Don't wait to get thirsty to drink water.
Drink water throughout the day. Have a bottle of water on hand so it is readily available. People often mistake thirst for hunger. They eat even if they're not really hungry, and this leads to excess calories.
Protein is an essential nutrient. Its function is not only to build muscles. Weight loss, increasing fat mobilization, and a reduction in cardiovascular risk are among the health benefits of increased protein intake.
The goal is to get protein from whole foods (chicken, fish, meat, etc.). If that is not possible, a protein supplement is a good option.
There are many different types of protein shakes, so don't get stuck trying to figure out which one to get. The goal is to have protein from whole foods with every meal, and if you can't, a protein supplement will do.
Where to go from here?
Healthy nutrition habits will get you started on the right track, because they are simple and easy to observe. The best start is to pick one of the habits and observe it consistently.
If you are able to do it everyday for one to two weeks, add the next habit. In six weeks, you will have established a good nutrition foundation to achieve your health and fitness goals.
Filipino-American coach Randy Gruezo is the founder and president of No B.S. Fitness Solutions LLC, a New York City-based fitness consulting company. Visit www.nobsfitnesssolutions.com.