The Same 5 Fat Loss Mistakes People Make In January

TSquared Lab, 16 Feb 2023

The start of each year marks the beginning of a weight loss journey for many people. As the saying goes, “New year, new me.” 

Unfortunately, while people eagerly jump into a diet and gym routine, they typically make five common mistakes that stop them from seeing great results. 

Even worse, these errors lead to confusion and frustration, forcing people to give up.

Stick around to learn what these are and how you can avoid them.

1. Not Having a Plan

The biggest fat loss mistake people make is jumping head-first into the process without a plan. They don’t get clear on:

  • The type of training they will do
  • How they will approach their diet
  • How they will track their progress
  • What goal they will try to achieve

To avoid confusion, sit down and think about what you want to achieve and what specific actions you will take. For instance:

  • Walk 3,000 steps daily
  • Hit the gym three times per week (push/pull/legs routine)
  • Do 90 minutes of cardio weekly
  • Drink at least 2.5 liters of water daily
Have a Plan about what you want to achieve

2. Giving Up After The First Slip-Up

Despite not having a plan, most people are sure about one thing:

The whole process is going to go down smoothly: no setbacks, no mistakes, no doubts, and no frustrations.

It would be fantastic if that were the case, but it isn’t. 

Despite being a relatively simple process, fat loss is certainly not easy because your body actively fights against that. From an evolutionary standpoint, dieting and getting lean are comparable to starvation, and your body can’t tell the difference.

You might want to get a six-pack for the summer, but your body will see it as a period of food shortage. As a result, it will set various processes in motion to make further fat loss more challenging.

Most notably, you will grow hungrier the longer you diet, and your metabolic rate will slow down. 

The problem is that most people see these things as personal mistakes, grow frustrated, and give up. Take a deep breath and relax because weight loss is never linear or without setbacks. 

Stay consistent, find ways to manage your hunger, and you will be successful in the long run. Not losing weight linearly is part of the process – don’t assume you’ve done something wrong.

Don't Give Up

3. Having Unrealistic Expectations

Having unrealistic expectations is another common mistake that often stops people from reaching their fat loss goals.

Often, beginners don’t know what to expect from the process or are misled by gurus trying to sell a workout plan, diet, or supplement. So, when someone jumps into a fat loss journey and isn’t ripped by the end of January, they get frustrated and give up. 

For example, if you weigh 200 lbs and hope to get down to 180 by the end of January, you are setting yourself up for failure. The approach is unsustainable, even if you could theoretically starve yourself down 20 lbs in 31 days. 

You would end up overtrained and extremely hungry.

Real results take time––often longer than we would like. Having the right expectations will save you from disappointment and keep you going. A reasonable weight loss rate is 0.5 to 1 percent of your body weight per week.

Have Unrealistic Expectations

4. Doing a Crash Diet

This mistake often ties in with the previous one of having unrealistic expectations.

Here’s the deal:

We live in a time of instant gratification, and everyone wants results yesterday, never considering the fact that patience is a virtue.

Doing a crash diet is one of the worst mistakes you could make. Here are three solid reasons why:

  1. Such approaches are unsustainable, and you’re bound to give up sooner rather than later.
  2. Rapid weight loss through severe caloric restriction leads to an unhealthy relationship with food that can result in binge eating, yo-yo dieting, and more.
  3. Losing weight too quickly would cause you to lose a lot of muscle. Even if you lose a lot of scale weight, your body composition won’t improve significantly. 
Limit Yourself to the Short-Term

5. Limiting Yourself to the Short-Term

Most people looking to lose weight make the crucial mistake of fixating on the short term––the next few weeks.

While it’s good to have an actionable plan and to daydream of the results you can achieve, you should look beyond the initial period.

Weight loss is a long game. It takes time to reach your goals and even more time to learn how to maintain your new weight and body composition.

Don’t obsess over the short term because that could lead you down a path of crash dieting, unsustainable exercise programs, and chasing gimmicks that don’t work.

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