1) Poor nutrition: strangely enough people tend to forget that the human body functions with… Food! among others needs.
I can not remember the number of people following celebrities diets or showing up to train without having had breakfast only to faint within 30 mins through the work out. Those incidents could have been easily avoided had they taken a nutrition consultation with me before insisting on ‘my diet is good.’
My professional experience tells me that most people who embark on a weight loss program have already many nutritional issues so my advice beforehand is: fix them first.
2)Poor training methodology coupled with orthopedic problems such as flat feet, muscle imbalances, injuries etc and a lack of systematic goal setting and monitoring.
I personally call this ‘training like a headless chicken‘: you do not know neither where you are nor where you are going.
3) Cardio, cardio, and more cardio.
It is not their fault but people have ingrained in their heads that to lose weight they have to do cardio: running for hours on a treadmill, riding the bike, rowing machine, stair climber/master or these new fancy cardiovascular pieces of equipment.
Every year or so a new wonder piece of cardiovascular equipment is launched, endorsed only by the manufacturers and the commercial gyms that want the members to use them. Not by exercise physiologists. What? cardio does not work? yes, it does but only for 6 to 8 weeks max before the body adapts to it FOR LIFE. On the other hand, continuous aerobic work has a darker side: it is too catabolic, it burns some fat initially but also destroys muscle tissue which is exactly the opposite of what we want to achieve.
Ideally, we want weight loss from fat only, not from muscle tissue, but why?
Muscle tissue is responsible for burning 75% of the calories a person consumes per day just to maintain the basic biological functions like breathing, maintaining body temperature, heart rate etc. The rest of the calories from the diet are burned through physical activity such working, studying, making love etc.
Now, I am not an expert in cars and mechanics but imagine the performance and fuel requirements of a Formula 1 car engine and an ordinary FIAT 500 car engine, or the nutritional requirements of a rugby player and an office worker. Can you see the picture?
For years people have dieted and done cardiovascular exercise in an attempt to shed weight which also destroys muscle tissue, this effectively reduces the size of the ‘engine’ of the person and of course the need for calories, so when the person stops dieting after some time, the weight lost comes back but this time with avengeance: a few extra pounds.
Do not get me wrong, some people who love cardio and run or ride the bike look fit and great but they are the minority not the norm.
So in order to burn the fat, reshape the body and increase calorie expenditure, even at rest, we need to increase muscle mass.
You do this through weight training.
I can assure you that you will get fit and look the best you can according to your genetics in a permanent way. Sadly, the free weights area is always the smallest in commercial gyms and many times ladies feel intimidated about going into the ‘male area’. Couple that with the misleading information of the fitness industry: a new training device every six months or so promising unbelievable results with minimal effort and commitment like the Power Plate, Bosu Board etc.
Driven by financial pursuit they tell people what they want to hear not what they need to hear but that my friends…that is another story.