If you’ve been working out like mad and whipping up sensible meals for a while and not seeing any results, you could do with some advice from a nutritionist. Express.co.uk chatted to David Stache, expert sports nutritionist from Instant Knockout, to find out the six most common diet and exercise mistakes people make when they’re trying to lose weight and what to do instead.
Make better choices
Not all calories are the same, so it’s important that you make nutritious choices as well as not overdoing it on the calories.
David said: “Whether your goal is weight loss, muscle gain or improved conditioning, your diet needs to follow suit.
“You could be working tirelessly in the gym but if you are not fuelling your body with all the right nutrients and calories, you will not see the results.
“Whilst a regular workout regime is one piece of the puzzle to aid weight loss, a healthy diet is another huge aspect to support your goals and will play a huge part in helping you get the results you are trying to achieve.”
One easy thing to do is to try to up your protein levels – this is because a high-protein diet boosts metabolism and can lead to a reduction in calorie intake and cravings, especially if you eat protein-rich foods early in the day.
Calculate how much protein you should eat using this formula: 1.2 grams of protein for every 1kg you weigh. For example: 1.2 x 100kg = 120grams of protein per day.
You can also try to eat seven portions of fruit and veg per day. By trying to cram these in, you’re less likely to fill up on crisps and chocolate.
Poor sleep can drastically sabotage your workout results, so make sure you’re getting enough shut-eye.
David said: “Sleep deprivation makes it more difficult for you to have enough energy to push through your workouts and could force you to start skipping sessions.
“Poor sleep can also impact the hormones that control appetite, making you more likely to binge on unhealthy, sugary snacks that will undo all the efforts you have put in at the gym.
“You should be aiming for around seven to nine hours each night for optimal results.
“To promote a deeper, more peaceful sleep, you could try taking a hot bath before bed and avoid using any electronic devices within an hour before you try to go to sleep.
“If you are sleeping right, your body will let you know one way or another.”
High blood pressure: Does high blood pressure cause sleep apnea? [INFORMER]
Vitamin D deficiency: Five subtle signs you could be deficient [INSIGHT]
How to live longer: The free daily habit that boosts longevity [EXPLAINER]
Monitor your progress
When it comes to seeing results and progressing, consistency is one of the key things.
However, if you are not monitoring your progress, you will never know where there are gaps to improve or what you are doing well.
David pointed out: “A good rule here is to review your previous workouts as you plan the next session, this way you set expectations on what you should be achieving.”
If using weights in the gym, try to track how much you can lift and see if this is improving.
Or if you’re trying to lose a few inches from your waist, get the tape measure out and see what changes are happening to your body.
Step off the scales
Weighing yourself is fine, but it is important that you do not solely measure your success based on a number on the scale.
David said: “You should not take for granted the other benefits you can get from a healthy diet and regular workout routine.
“Exercise can greatly improve energy levels, mental health, mobility, and even sleep – none of which should be taken for granted.
“Pushing yourself too much and restricting your calories in order to shift the scales can be more detrimental as you could be forcing yourself to burn out which can negatively impact your results.
“Remember, your body needs to take a rest in order to restore and repair itself, so never skip a rest day.
“You will feel more energised and ready to go again for the next session, which will pay off a lot more than if you overdo it.”