You’re working your tail off. Everyday. You are living, breathing and all day thinking about losing that stubborn body fat. You have tried everything.
I get it.
You want to just drop everything and say “F this!”
You’ve tried every new fitness trend: crossfit, barre, spin, HIIT training, running
You’ve tried every new nutrition trend: intermittent fasting, paleo, gluten free, Whole 30, no carbs past 7pm, bulletproof coffee
What. The heck.
I want to start by saying that every single thing that we do day to day in our lives takes practice to get right. You don’t just walk into work on the first day and expect to understand everything. You don’t look at ingredients in your kitchen and all of the sudden create an extravagant meal like Giada.
Things take practice and fat loss is no different.
One of the main frustrating things that I see with my clients or anyone I am trying to help when it comes to their fat loss is that they don’t see fat loss as a skill they need to practice and get better at. It will not happen overnight. It takes time to understand the body and how it works in reaction to exercise and diet. What works for one may not work for the other. Your body is UNIQUE. And it takes RESPECT and PRACTICE to see change.
Think about a person brand new to exercise and watching their nutrition as compared to a figure pro or Bodybuilder/strength athlete. These athletes may possibly have a much easier time getting their body to look a certain way or drop in weight because they have had months, years of practice of getting there. They’ve done it before, they can do it again. They KNOW they can do it again too.
No one wants to sit around and wait to see results, so the reasons I am sharing with you today are simply ways to accelerate the process. It can, in fact happen faster than you think, but the main key is to learn how your body works through this process that you embark on.
If you’re sitting there and just think that you can continue on with the Whole 30 diet for the rest of your life and be good, then of course you go girl (or guy) but if you are looking for sustainable, realistic results that will not cause your body to adapt new intolerances and allow you to eat foods that you ‘wish you could’ while trying to lose fat, then I highly suggest you read this blog post.
SO, today I wanted to talk about why you may be struggling with weight/fat loss and what you can do today to begin to adapt your behaviors to reach your goals. The moment that you train your brain to think of fat loss and fitness as a skill that you can develop and make better.
Reason #1 You’re Not Tracking Your Food/Measuring Correctly
No matter how you cut it, to lose fat there NEEDS to be a calorie deficit in place.
Eat more calories than maintenance: Gain weight
Eat less calories than maintenance: lose weight
Eat enough to sustain: Maintain weight
Finding how how much YOUR body should be taking in is key in seeing progress. How would you know how much food your body should be taking in by guessing? Chances are this just wont work if you are seriously looking for fat/weight loss specific results.
Logging food can also force yourself to develop a sense of intuative or mindful eating. It allows you to play around with the macros in a given day and do it in a way that works for you. You don’t NEED to eat 5-6 small meals a day if that doesn’t work for you. Who says that is the end all and be all? You can eat 2-3 meals a day! Whatever works for you here, goes. When you get used to logging your food and seeing the portions in front of you, you are more likely to look at food and automatically know just about how much protein/carbs are in it. I don’t want you to be measuring and counting macros your whole life, so doing it short term with the goal of fat loss can force you to think about food in terms of quantity and portions.
Logging food can also be a huge eye opening experience when you actually track the calories that are on your plate when you go out to dinner or even just have a home cooked meal. The calories can rack up without you ever having known so tracking gives you a sense of just how much you should be eating for your body. You may be shocked at just how much that extra slather of almond butter on your rice cake or ‘small’ sprinkle of cheese on your chicken can add up!
Just as I explained earlier regarding fat loss as a practice, logging food plays right into this! It takes work, practice and patience. I suggest scanning common food labels that you eat into apps like MyFitnessPal so then they are in there and you can tap and track!
A pretty good baseline website that do a pretty decent job in setting up macros include IIFYM Calculator Just be sure to really be honest about your activity level 😉
Reason #1 You’re Not Staying Consistent/Following too many different plans
Ahhh, this is probably the most common downfall right here. A client legitimately asked me what the best diet was. Instead of just walking out of the room. I just smiled and said Its the one that you can stick to for life. Now. I am a full blown advocate for trying things out to see if it works for you! There is nothing wrong with that at all. I think this is in fact, a great way to learn more about your body. With that said, trying new ways of eating shouldn’t be happening every week. Paleo this week, intermittent fasting the next, vegan after that. No way, Jose. THAT right there is where your body will never see changes. I suggest a minimum of 6 weeks with one diet before hopping onto something else. You don’t need any detox juices or teas. You just need consistancy.
Reason #3 You’re Not Lifting Enough
Many people have the misconception that they want to lose weight so they hit the treadmill for their long runs or join in on 3 spin classes a week to crank up their calorie burn. These forms of exercise are great, but the only mode not when it comes to fat loss.
Bottom line. If you want to rev up your metabolism and fat burning, you MUST elicit a response within your body to create a new stimulus. The more muscle you have on your body, the more efficient it will be at fat burning and to do this, you need to lift heavy. Heavy for you.
If fat loss is your goal, you must create a demand for change in your body using resistance where you feel challenged. It doesn’t matter what body type you have, you must challenge your body to produce progressive overload, which is just the gradual increase of stress placed upon the body during strength training. In essence this concept allows your body to do more over time; whether thats add sets or reps, volume, intensity or frequency.
And NO, women, this will not cause you to get ‘bulky’ as if this is still a myth! It will create sexy, feminine lines and a more efficient, fat burning machine of a body.
Lifting heavy is relative. There will be some people who have been training for years and can deadlift over 200 pounds, while for others, a 40lb kettlebell deadlift if challenging. This is A-OKAY! The goal it to progress more overtime. By building a base of strong muscular movement, your body will soon learn to adapt and change and get stronger and sexier.
Please refer to some of my posts:
Reason #4 You’re Eat TOO Many Processed Foods.
Pop tarts, cinnamon toast crunch, Oreos, donuts, Sugar free syrup. These are common items that I see everyone and they’re mom boasting about when they follow IIFYM type of plan. Guys, breaking news. You can STILL do IIFYM and minimize the processed junk. The quality of the calories you are ingesting DOES matter. I am not suggesting that you get rid of it completely, not in the least! A girl has to have her Teddy Grahams every now and then, but I am suggesting that when you are aiming for a goal of fat loss, keep the processed foods to a minimum. 80% of your diet should consist of real, whole, unprocessed foods.
If it’s late at night and you realize you have 20G carbs left, you don’t HAVE to go have have chocolate covered Oreos or Frosted Flakes. You could have an apple or 1/2C oatmeal. Now you technically CAN have those processed foods, but keep in mind that your palate will be signaled to want these foods all of the time which will make fat loss in the end way harder. Basically the more you have these foods in your diet, the more you will crave them. AGAIN, I am not suggesting that you get rid of them all together, but maybe set out for a day or two where you can enjoy certain processed foods and then keep most of the day as unprocessed as you can 🙂
Reason #5 The “Free” Foods You’re Eating are Not Free
This one is quite simple. Vegetables can be seen as ‘free’ foods for most people when they count macros. (I for one don’t count anything green or veggies like peppers, bok choy, cabbage) This is just me, I am not looking for serious fat loss right now. If i DID have a goal of fat loss, I would track everything. With that said, track your vegetables! Another point I want to bring up is ordering vegetables and other ‘free’ condiments at restaurants. It is almost guaranteed that most vegetables unless you specify STEAMED are cooked in some sort of fat which are huge macro hitters. Just the other day I got a pint of roasted brussels sprouts from Whole Foods. Ummm these were INSANELY delicious. I ate the whole pint which is another issue all in itself for how my stomach felt later, but I digress. The brussels were covered in oil and salt and all sorts of things that made them taste like candy.
Bottom line. If things taste too good to be true, they probably are. Track it! Salsas, dressings, vegetables, low calorie goodies. Mints. Track it if you want serious results!
Reason #6 You’re not Sleeping Enough
Who doesn’t love sleep? This item on the list is probably the most overlooked but one of the most important factors. Stress is bad for our health. We know this.
We also know that the body functions best when well rested. Think about the last time you had a horrible nights sleep. Chances are you were unproductive at work, irritable, edgy, forgetful, mindlessly snacking all day and forget that quality workout you had planned.
When the body doesn’t get enough sleep it can experience stress which will thus force you to store more fat. When we are tired, we also have a tendency to grab food that may not be the healthiest so you could be taking in extra calories without even knowing it! IN addition, sleep deprivation makes us way hungrier than being well rested so you are more likely to stick to your solid nutrition than mindlessly eat! Getting adequate sleep also helps to stay focused and on task during the day so you will be more productive and energized for your workday and workout! Adequate sleep equates to adequate cortisol levels which keep the body in a happy place, physically. Too little sleep and cortisol rises meaning fat loss becomes way harder.
I talk more about sleep in one of my recent posts, 15 FAT LOSS HACKS
The BIGGEST takeaway I want you to know regarding fat loss is that it takes PATIENCE. Adopting these habits are a great starting point for anyone looking for fat loss/feeling better/weight loss. They may seem small but they are some of the most important elements that can be overlooked when embarking on any physique change. If you ever get frustrated at your lack of progress, just take a step back and analyze the path that you are going down and see what you can adjust to get closer to the end of that tunnel. It takes TIME and PRACTICE, but with that said, it is 100% achievable