The Top 3 Fat Loss Mistakes Guys Make

At least 95% of guys at your gym aren’t making any progress. They’re just spinning their wheels.

They get to the gym, run on the treadmill for a bit, hit the bench press, and grind out a few curls before calling it a day. They might follow a routine. They might even go through periods of watching their diet (whatever that means) or buying supplements that are supposed to burn fat and build muscle fast!

But it’s all bullshit. Be honest: how much have you improved your body over the last six months? The last year? The last two years?

The problem is that almost everyone is taking shots in the dark. They’re combining something their friend told them with something they read on the internet. And then they’re adding in a tip or two from the personal trainer or buff bro at the local gym.

They combine all of these things and end up with a big mish-mash of garbage, when what they really need is a simple approach that they can put into place and forgot about. Yes, exercise science is progressing, but not at an astronomical rate.

I promise you’d be better off if you picked a single basic, fundamental approach and then followed it for the next year. During that year, you must ignore every tip or article that’s shared with you on Facebook, emailed to you by a friend, or offered to you at the gym.

So while program hopping, excessive dietary tweaking, and all-around fitness ADD might be the single biggest mistake guys make, I want to share some more specific fat loss mistakes I see all the time.

1. Going too heavy on the cardio


Cardiovascular exercise has become synonymous with weight loss for most people.

And while cardio does have various health benefits, magical weight loss is not one of them. Going hard for 30 minutes to an hour on the elliptical, bike, or treadmill every day of the week isn’t going to melt fat away. But it is going to burn you out mentally.

Furthermore, the metabolic benefits of cardio are minimal. This means that the amount of calories you burn over the course of the day (while not doing cardio) isn’t going to increase much, if at all, from increased cardio.

So that leaves the actual calories you burn during a session of cardio as the main reason for doing it to lose weight. And let’s be completely honest: it’s WAY easier to not eat a Snickers bar, a bag of chips, or a couple slices of bread (all about 300 calories) than it is to run on the treadmill for 30 minutes (to burn about 300 calories).

My point is that dietary restriction is far more effective than cardio in regards to weight loss.

2. Not lifting heavy weights


I can’t even count the number of times a buddy of mine stopped lifting weights or chose to lift only light weights because he wanted to lose fat.

I think it’s because we associate heavy weights with building muscle. When you decide your goal is to cut weight (and not gain muscle), you naturally assume that you need to stop lifting heavy.

First of all, that’s terrible logic. Second of all, foregoing lifting heavy weights while losing body weight will result in your body shedding muscle along with the fat.

This is because your body doesn’t have a reason to hold onto the muscle. You aren’t activating a maximal number of muscle fibers or motor units if you aren’t lifting heavy. This means that your body will have no reason to maintain your muscle mass, and begin to shed it along with the fat.

It takes a lot of time and energy to build muscle. The last thing you want to do is give up your hard earned muscle during a period of weight loss. Not only will you be weaker afterwards, but you’ll look like shit. An aesthetically pleasing body combines ample muscle mass with a low body fat percentage (i.e. you have muscle and there’s only a small layer of fat covering it).

When you take away the muscle along with the fat, you begin to approach skinny fat (a heinous condition marked by small amounts of both muscle and fat – skinny, but without definition). Trust me: you don’t want to be skinny fat.

3. Obsessing over the scale


I get it. You have some extra belly fat that you want to get rid of. Who doesn’t?
But you must be careful. If you get obsessed with seeing weight drop off the scale you run a high risk of unhealthy weight loss.

Starving yourself and going heavy on the cardio is definitely an effective way to drop weight fast. But remember, dropping weight shouldn’t be the goal – cutting fat should be.

You must combine the almighty scale with the mirror and the weights. What I mean is that if your weight on the scale is dropping, you’re seeing more muscle definition in the mirror, and you’re not getting weaker in the gym, then chances are you’re cutting fat and maintaining muscle. This is the goal – keep it at the forefront of your mind.

This is an excerpt from my new book Shredded Beast, released this week on Amazon. To get it click here.

Read More: Don’t Look For a Girlfriend

66 thoughts on “The Top 3 Fat Loss Mistakes Guys Make”

    1. Best exercises for fat loss are “no” head shake when food is offered, 2nd best are table presses when satiated.

  1. Mistake #1: stop bragging about your weightlifting on a PUA website and actually lift a damn weight. I know a little hard work and willpower might be tough for this “no-fap challenge” crowd, but it’s just the cold hard truth.

    1. You gotta love these troll fatties. Daddy must have told her she could write…right before she ate him.

      1. First: Someone’s too dumb to realize they’re being trolled. The poster is a poster child for everything the nerds here hate.
        Second: The person that posted this is right. Half the people bitching are bitching because they aren’t putting in the effort they claim to.

        1. Even so, somebody should tell obese whores like this one that their getting plowed in all holes by all manners of dicks and strap-ons doesn’t make them authorities on anything.

    2. quote: “Mistake #1: stop bragging about your weightlifting on a PUA website and actually lift a damn weight.”
      Hey dope: The purpose of the article was to make suggestions on losing wait.

  2. Dietary restriction, especially faddy reductions of carb intake, will increase your chance of long-term metabolic damage. That means a lifetime of yo-yo dieting.
    You don’t see many fat cyclists or runners. On the other hand, there are a lot of fat guys who excel at weightlifting (even at the highest level).

    1. I am a cyclist. I see a lot of cyclists. A lot of them are fat. In fact, the fat, middle aged man in lycra is stereotype of humour and ridicule.
      Many of these fat men are excellent cyclists, completing multiple century rides a year and at a good pace, but remain fat, year after year. As they are not competitors there is no particular pressure on them to go easy on the beer at the after party.
      I am not fat, because I control my body composition by resistance training and diet. It’s what works.
      Running is a low strength, but high impact activity. The less weight the better, even if it comes from muscle and bone. In races you won’t see a lot of fat runners (although you will see a lot of stick figures with osteoporosis), but out on the paths I see them all the time, vainly trying, year after year, to lose fat. It’s really rather sad, especially considering the damage all the weight is doing to their joints.
      Weight lifting, like cycling, can be a competitive event. but unlike cycling where dead mass is always a disadvantage, total mass is actually an advantage in making certain lifts. Hence lifters interested in maximizing their lifts may deliberately carry extra pounds of fat. This is done with diet, intentionally. It is not an effect of lifting.

    2. I see TONS of fat women, half-marathoners. They love the mindless escape. They also think shuffling their feet quickly for an hour allows them to consume plate-loads of pasta, sweets, and entire bottles of wine. I’ve met a lot of them.
      There’s a girl that showed up at my gym 12 months ago. She’s 5’10, 180lbs (guessing). 12 months later she still looks the same. Doing the same exercises. She walks on the treadmill for 20 minutes after her workout. Heart rate is probably 20% increased over resting.
      -Hey, I guess we all should be glad she’s not 190lbs this year….SMH

    3. People have a lifetime of yo-yo exercising too. If not done right the risks of excercising are the same as incorrect dieting. A person will still get more bang for their buck when doing a proper diet.

  3. I’ve dropped at least 50lbs over the past year by doing a caloric deficit and doing heavy compound lifts and cardio. Deadlifts and Squats. Do them. My routine is based off Sean10mm’s stripped 5×5. You might not be doing big numbers when you start out, but as long as you keep at it, those will go up. Never give up.
    And that is at the core of everything. The things you have to do have to be something you have to set out to do for the rest of your life. It’s a LIFESTYLE CHANGE. Stop doing things that hold you back from this. Stop surrounding yourself with people that hinder you from this and start surrounding yourself with people that are more closely aligned with where you want to be.
    Don’t fucking do things to achieve goals. There are no goals, only checkpoints. Don’t lift for girls or any dumb reason other than for yourself. Those come and go, but you; you’re all that you have. You were the only one there when you were born and the only one that will still be there when you die. And it’s your duty as a man do be the best that you can be.

    1. “You were the only one there when you were born and the only one that will still be there when you die.” In other words: “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”

  4. 4. Drinking way too much alcohol.
    5. Consuming too many processed carbs and sugar.
    6. Giving up after a couple weeks.

    1. Just wanted to reiterate…
      4. Drinking WAY TOO MUCH alcohol.
      in addition…
      7. Not getting a personal trainer or working out with other men.

      1. Getting a personal trainer…. GAY. Squat/ front squat,bench,military press, DL, SLDL, and row. Eat chicken breast, oatmeal, and salmon, and eat that damn candy bar if you want to. Fuck cable machines and personal trainers- save your money and buy what YOU want. Good luck on your journey. Keep us posted.

        1. Personal Trainers correct form for those of us that haven’t figured it all out yet. It’s a little more complicated than, “Just go deadlift heavy.” Personally, I had to major stretch work to do before I could even deadlift/squat properly.

        2. Reduce the weight if you can’t keep a correct form. That is all a personal trainer can say and do for you. Start squatting a broom stick if the bar is to heavy, everyone starts somewhere. Heavy for me might be your warm up.

        3. I prop my cellphone on a chair and record my reps. Then watch them between sets for pointers.

        4. Sure. What if you don’t know what a hinge is? What if you can’t get down far enough? What if you don’t know where the correct range of motion is? What muscles need to be stretched to correct the sticking points. What is the correct starting position for my deadlift form so I don’t throw my back out? How do I warm up the optimal muscles for squatting? Where should I point my feet? Where should I look? How do I keep my core tight? What muscles do I focus on to get lower for better form?
          Most people F themselves up because they just start with a low weight and start squat/deadlift. I sure did.

        5. Internet is your friend. All your questions can be answered for free by Dudes who can out squat your favorite personal trainer. Post your video on T-NATION or Bodybuilding and they will point you in the right direction, for free. A personal trainer is more for women to socialize, because they don’t lift. I know many professional trainers and all they do is have their clients walk on a treadmill and do medicine ball slams instead of lifting.

        6. Whether a PT is good for you or not depends on the quality of the PT. Best place to meet a PT is at a relevant seminar NOT at a gym.
          Anyone can improve their technique so continuous education is a vital part of physical enhancement. Watching the Internet is not the best way to improve lifting technique IMO. You can see what they are doing but can you see what you are doing? And someone watching your videos can help but it is a poor substitute for some working with you on every rep.
          Remember if you get something for free you usually get what you paid for.

      2. Working out with others can be a distraction. Gym time turns into social hours for a lot of men I’ve seen.

        1. Cant figure that out myself. Some dudes lift a little then kind of meander about aimlessly like they are peacocking or something. I just go in a pound as much as I can until im sick of it then split. I need to follow a program and work on my form too but the way I see it is as long as I get my ass in there for an hour or so and 5 days a week its a start.

  5. Can’t agree more about lifting heavy weights, makes no sense to stop lifting – people just get bad info from.. everywhere.

  6. It is actually a simple process. You just have to work off more calories than you consume. A combination of eating smaller portions at meals and cutting back on snacks in tangent with more exercise and physical activity will help you lose weight OVER TIME. It will take multiple months to make progress which is why it is good to stop obsessing over the scale as the article indicates. You have to enjoy your new lifestyle in order to help yourself stay committed. It is a little more complicated than this because of what foods you eat and what exercises you do, but there is a lot of info out there regarding healthy food and exercise.

  7. Hit the weights.
    In October last year, I went to an ortho complaining of knee pain. X rays came back negatory and the doc told me my leg muscles were de-conditioned and not supporting the knee properly. The doc said I needed to get to a gym and work my legs. So I joined a gym and went all in.
    After five months of workouts and careful diet, I am a changed man. I’ve lost alot of fat and added muscle. Arms, chest a legs look like I in my 20’s again. Once you get Mr. T flowing fast again through diet, fat loss and heavy (compound) lifting, things change quickly.

  8. People should also try intermittent fasting. What works best for me to cut off excess fat I don’t want is to cut out my carbs completely, reduce my calorie intake while intermittent fasting and doing high intensity cardio. If you can handle all that, the weight will drop off much faster than you think is possible.

    1. I’m working on a regimen of fasting every five days (or so) for 24 hours. Essentially skipping breakfast and lunch every five days while I strive to lose 10-15 more pounds.
      First fast was last Thursday evening to Friday evening. It went well. I made my goal of losing one pound last week and still ate ample portions Friday evening, Saturday and went out for a big lunch today. Dinner will be lite tonight.

    2. I lost 30lbs in three months doing two 24 hour fasts a week + lifting. Eating whatever I wanted.

    3. Check Martin Berkhan
      I haven’t eaten breakfast in over a year and can’t say I miss it. For me IF is more about the convenience of eating when I like rather than force feeding in the morning. It’s not really a diet more of an eating protocol, it is possible to bulk with IF, it all comes down to calories in and out.

      1. I really wish someone here would write about leangains and run an experiment. It changed my life and I wasn’t even close to the 15% that you’re normally supposed to start the program at.

  9. Fat is controlled through diet. Exercise doesn’t really affect your body fat composition that much. If you have a shitty diet and you exercise, the exercise simply tells you to eat more of that same shitty diet.
    Being sculpted and aesthetic is what weight lifting and exercise is for. If you eat a proper diet you will simply be lean. Weights give you the strength and definition.

  10. I’m missing the advocacy for fat acceptance for men. Is it out there?
    Or, are the so-called “feminists” just opening up another front to wage their war by using (only) obese women as human shields?

    1. Why would anyone want to waste the time? My boyfriend, MrBig, makes me come in 2 minutes. Sometimes I come just looking at him. He’s a real man

      1. That’s awesome, I see who wears the pants :). My bum would be pink for days if I posted what you just did. You go girl LOL!

  11. I would change “heavy weights” to “intense resistance training”. Not all of us can lift heavy weights (due to injury) and have to follow alternatives. But you can make tremendous gains from bodyweight training.

  12. After losing about 25 pounds a couple of years ago, I plateaued and regardless of how much or how little I eat, drink, or exercise, my weight fluctuates up and down by about 10 pounds. It was driving me completely insane but now I am just focused on weightlifting and eating healthy. I walk a ton as well. I am still not losing weight but I am visibly gaining muscle.

    1. “I am still not losing weight . . .”
      If you are not a boxer or ballast, so what?
      For most people their weight is about the most useless thing they can know about themselves. You have to ask yourself in what situation does your weight actually mean anything.
      If you are visibly gaining muscle, but not gaining weight, your body is recomposing from fat mass to muscle mass. Is that not, perhaps, the actual affect you are looking for?

  13. I have a little memo book that I use to record all workouts to document progress weights, sets, and other workouts. It saves a lot of time for grabbing the correct weights.
    One reason many men make 0 progress is that they socialize with their workout buddies and text instead of lifting. I lift alone and don’t bring my phone. I have a plan, get my sets done, and finish with a good core regime. Most of my gym sessions are 1 hour because I stick to the important lifts and don’t screw around.

  14. Never seen anyone as far as that man in pic. Must be a lower class thang.Even older men are not fat and certainly never boys. The proles need to be starved.

  15. Also, on the lifting weights thing, MUSCLE BURNS FAT. When trying to lose fat, do research. You’ll learn quite a bit. Muscle needs energy and nutrients to continue to exist. Your body will prioritise, and send sugar and vitamins to the muscle, and not fat.

  16. I am lazy, I only lift heavy weights and I lost 2 stone in six months. You can be lazy and still lose weight if you have some self control.

  17. One thing to not forget is that fat loss, especially if you’re over thirty or so, takes time. If you cut your calories the typical experience is this: quick loss of a few pounds, then a long period of no or very slight results, then a period of rapid fat loss. Don’t give up, it will happen, but it might take a few months to see good progress.
    if you’re exercising harder than usual then of course you’ll lose the fat more quickly but it will be harder to get motivated to do so. Your body won’t like that much stress. you’ll be more likely to get sick or injured, too.
    to a truly fat and out of shape slob, I recommend losing the weight first then doing the lifting and cardio. Too many reasons to list here but it comes down to motivation. It’s much, much easier to do the workouts when you’re not carrying around all that fat, too.

  18. Spot on article. Its amazing how little known this information appears to be. Truly, most people are ignorant plebs.

  19. Best way to lose fat is to kick the obese sows to the curb. Hot women need to learn fat friends need to be tied up and left in the yard and do not belong at the club.

  20. I actually agree heavily with this article. Progressive overload is the ONLY way to look better. You simply have to lift heavier each time you workout. I aslo agree with too much cardio if it’s steady state cardio. Your body adapts to steady state cardio types like jogging, biking at the same speed for long periods. HIIT works wonders by doing short burts of all those activities or just go out and sprint. Have you ever seen a fat sprinter before? Lastly, I agree with the scale one as well. Your weight means nothing, only what is in the mirror matters. A guy that is 165 can look very different from another guy at 165.

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