Trying to lose fat and get fit can be super frustrating if you aren’t doing the right things.
Trust me, I know. You can work you ass off in the gym and still not see the results you were working towards if other factors aren’t in check. Below are 8 reasons to keep in mind if you’re not burning the fat you’re working so hard to lose.
1. Energy Balance
This is the king daddy topper. Everything else after this is not as significant. Generally, if you focus on being in a caloric deficit, (while eating proper levels of protein, carbs, and fats) you will lose fat. With that being said, don’t go too crazy with the caloric deficit. A drastic major deficit will create a decline in metabolism, decrease in bone mass, reductions in thyroid hormones, testosterone levels (could lead to loss of muscle, low sex drive, mood swings, etc.), and a reduction in physical performance.
The best way to figure out your maintenance amount of calories is to use an online calculator, or to take your body weight and multiply it by 15. Then depending on how aggressive of a fat loss approach you want to take, adjust your calories accordingly (taking into account how much you exercise, how physically active you job is, etc. This is generally anywhere between 250 – 600 calories below your maintenance level, and you’ll lose about a pound of fat a week.
Again, being in a caloric deficit is the most important factor to losing fat. Lifestyle and environment play large roles as well. But being in a caloric deficit is a must.
2. Hormone imbalance
Major hormonal imbalances will affect your weight loss efforts and risk actually gaining fat.
Excess insulin (eating too much processed foods, sugary drinks, artificial sweeteners, etc.), chronic stress, fatigue, depression or anxiety can all negatively affect your health and body composition. Balancing your hormones is key in your fat loss journey.
3. Ineffective workouts
If you are not pushing yourself during your workouts, and you aren’t burning enough calories to create that deficit, then your fat loss efforts will stagnate.
4. Lack of sleep
This can relate to hormone imbalances. Lack of sleep can cause an increase in cortisol levels which can increase your appetite and cravings, cause loss of muscle mass and increase stress levels. Everyone needs different amounts of sleep, but generally, anywhere between 6-8 hours is adequate.
5. Consuming liquid calories
Not many people realize how calorically dense some pops (soda’s for you Americans), dressings, juices, and oils are. Not to mention the sugar levels. Even olive oil has a ton of calories (but that’s healthy, right?). Just be mindful with what and how much you are eating.
6. Not staying consistent
This is a big one. People spend so much time looking for the “perfect” workout and diet plan. They start focusing on the minor details that separate successful programs and during that time they are doing nothing. OR, you consistently switch workout programs and diets and don’t give them enough time to work effectively, and eventually start spinning your wheels, and no progress is made.
7. Not reading labels (or at least, not being aware of what you’re eating)
Being uneducated about what you are putting in your body, or how many calories and nutrients certain foods have, is a bad plan. I’m not saying you have to count every single calorie, you will never know exactly how many calories you eat anyway but it is beneficial to read some food labels every now and then, and get an idea about what nutrients certain foods contain (or don’t contain).
This will give you a better idea about the nutritional value of different foods, and if it will fit your goals.
8. Your “Cheat Meals” turn into days… weeks…
“Cheat Meal” is an interesting term.. Is it really a sustainable diet if you have to cheat on it? I’m not saying I eat the healthiest diet 100% of the time, I love the odd pizza, burger and fries, but don’t go overboard, try to fit it into your macronutrients / calories for the day. So many people are on a “fat loss diet” but then have a huge meal of something they think is “unhealthy”, and say, oh well guess this is my cheat day… which turns into a cheat week…maybe even a cheat month! And they wonder why their fat loss stalls. Its okay to eat out, but just don’t fall off track.
Are you staying on track with your fitness goals?
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