1. Training Fasted
It’s usually done in good intentions and based on having been told that it’s the best for burning fat, but the truth is that training on an empty stomach tells your body to hold onto fat stores.
Your body is programmed to think that you’re still living a bit like a cavewoman – if you exercise without eating, it must mean you can’t find food. Which, for survival purposes, means batten down the fat cells.
Try this instead – have something easily digestible and protein-based at least 30 minutes before training. Boiled eggs or half an organic protein shake are both great starting options. Or you could do as I do and have some steak or leftover chicken half the time!
*A note on intermittent fasting. I do think it’s a great concept for some people. I have a few issues with it. Firstly, the first protein you eat kickstarts detoxification. Considering you’re exposed to 500+ toxins in a day, to me this is more important than fat loss. Especially when you consider that if you don’t detox effectively that fat WILL come back to haunt your booty. Fat, after all, IS toxicity. My second issue – IF only seems to work for people with relatively manageable stress in their lives. So if you have/have had emotional eating issues, if you have a very stressful or busy life, or if you have a lack of sleep, it backfires. That’s what I’ve seen to be true. One other thing to note is that IF should ONLY be attempted if you’ve been eating clean and being sane about it for a good 6-12 months or more.
2. Snacks Instead of Fat Burning Protein
This is one of the biggest mistakes that women make when looking to get super lean.
And no, I’m not even talking about snacking on the occasional candy bar or actual treat, I’m talking about eating even healthy snack foods. I have nothing against yoghurt, nuts or nut butter, dark chocolate, home-made superfood balls and the like. In fact I even recommend you include some of these types of food in your weekly plan and have included an amazing brownie recipe in the first few weeks of the Woman Incredible Platinum Mentoring program which re-opens for the first time in a year in just a few weeks!
But when you regularly enjoy even the healthiest snacks instead of adequate protein? That’s where you run into problems. Aim for at least 4 serves of animal-based protein each day as a base-line. Once you know you have that under control, feel free to add the healthy snacks, but I still don’t think any of us really need them daily, unless you’re talking maybe a square or two dark chocolate in addition to a meal!
3. Never Eating Carbs
Oh, this is a big one.
It is SO easy to get so well caught up in the world of paleo or primal eating that you forget that these methods both include some healthy (by which I mean non or low-processed, and gluten-free) starches from time to time.
I’ve learned the hard way that even though many people fare better and get leaner eating low-carb, cutting out carbs altogether results in disaster of usually epic proportions. And I don’t just mean epic-ness of a post-low-carb-diet chocolate binge.
I believe that we can all include some starch in our diets when it’s timed carefully and added to a foundation of plenty of greens, lean protein, and (of course) some good fats. One of the things I teach in my VIP Mentoring program is how to listen to your body properly and know which foods work well for you.
4. ‘Holding Out’
Actually, I said the idea of never eating carbs was big but this is even BIGGER. And I’m going to go right ahead and say it – it is SUCH a girl thing to do!
Honestly ladies, how is it that we can be so very smart about business, training, finances and even manage to keep up with the constant Facebook changes and yet we still can’t quite get our heads around the idea that it’s okay to eat when we’re hungry?!
I know you’ve been there at least once – telling yourself you can ‘hold out’ another hour or two, and some deep part of you thinking that doing so must mean ‘saving calories’ or burning more fat.
Doesn’t work, does it? So let’s all take a collective exhale and agree that if we are hungry we will feed ourselves. Fairly promptly, no less, and at least 80% of the time with whole foods as close to their natural state as possible.
The down-side of being a driven woman is that once we get onto a good thing we tend to just keep going. And going. And going. When it comes to living a balanced life I think many of us Type A gals never actually got directions to the off-ramp or braking mechanism.
I realised that I was a case in point a few months back when talking to my friends and noticing that I was training at least twice as much as any of them. And I’m NOT in better shape than these girls, they are all very fit and healthy and all look amazing.
More is not always better, and the truth is that there’s been many a workout that’s been driven out of my fear of falling behind, or somehow magically gaining 10kg overnight if I miss a day, or perhaps just feeling I need to ‘make up’ for something.
How about you? Can you relate?
Athletes are taught to have roughly every 13th week off as an ‘unloading’ week, and I think we should be doing the same. But not only that, if you’re also someone who is prone to pushing yourself day after day I’d suggest having every 13th planned workout off as an unloading day.
Are you brave enough to try it?
What are some of the mistakes you’ve made in pushing yourself to achieve certain goals? What would you never do again, or what are you determined to change?
Life is Now. Press Play.
PS: TODAY is the day I am going to re-open the doors to the Woman Incredible VIP Access Platinum Mentoring and Gold Membership program, which has been closed to new members since Feb last year! The doors are open only until March 26th and there is a special bonus offer for the first 10 ladies to join, as well as over HALF price off your place. That’s less than a few PT sessions to work with me for a whole year! Check it out over here and register for early-bird notification! Make sure you see what the current members have to say about this fantastic online training, nutrition and TRANSFORMATION program!