17 Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Fat
Feel like you’re doing everything right when it comes to your fat loss efforts, but with little result? There are many reasons you could be failing when it comes to fat loss. Are you a stress eater? Drink away your calories at the beach bar on the weekend or think ab crunches till you drop will make that fat melt away? Guess again! Here are 17 reasons why you still can lose fat and what you can do about it.
17 Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Fat
Reason #1: You Drink Too Many Calories.
Water should be the only thirst quencher you reach for. Juice, even the fresh stuff is full of natural sugars and extra calories. Coffee or tea drinker? Those added calories from milk, cream or sugar can add up fast. Especially if you’re drinking a few cups daily.
Fat Loss Tip: Stick to water or infused waters made with fresh ingredients and herbal teas. As for coffee and tea, go black, if that’s too drastic; choose low calorie natural sweeteners like stevia, along with low calorie almond or coconut mylk blends. Additionally, be sure to get in at least 3 L of water daily, water not only helps the digestive tract keep moving, it also helps reduce hunger by contributing to a feeling of fullness.
Reason #2: You Think Ab Crunches Burn Fat.
Although performing crunches is not a bad thing, it will help tighten the muscles of the core, but it won’t do much for getting rid of that deep layer of fat that sits on top. Holding fat around your mid-section can be the result of hormonal imbalances. Estrogen present in fat tissue plays a direct role in regulation of fat metabolism including controlling the enzymes that breakdown fat. Over abundance of estrogen – also known as estrogen dominance can block fat cell receptors from being activated by the fat oxidizing enzymes, slowing fat burning to a halt.
Fat Loss Tip: Eating plenty of fiber in the diet from vegetables – specifically green cruciferous such as broccoli and kale, provide a phyto compound known as indole, which acts as an anti-estrogen in the body. It helps bind, package and remove estrogen, resulting in lower circulating estrogen levels. Eat veggies with everything! Add greens to your morning omelette, have a salad for lunch and replace your starchy carbs with roasted veggies at dinner. It has been shown that eating plenty of vegetables can help lower the body’s estrogen load.
Reason #3: You Don’t Calorie Count.
It might seem annoying as fuck to count your calories, weigh everything and keep track of every crumb you’re throwing in your mouth, but how else will you know exactly how many calories you’re stuffing your face with unless you keep an inventory?
Fat Loss Tip: Use a wearable fitness device and use a fitness app to help keep on top of your calorie consumption along with the calories you’re burning off. Remember you need to create a significant deficit of at least 500 calories everyday through eating less and burning more to lose even an inch.
Reason #4: You Starve Yourself.
If you think eating one meal per day will result in significant weight loss, think again. The less you eat, the more your body will think you’re in starvation mode and instead of burning off that extra fat you’ll actually keep it! That doesn’t mean you can’t use fasting but you need to know how to break your fast too.
Fat Loss Tip: Understand how many calories your body actually needs. Use a BMR calculator to determine the exact amount of calories you need to sustain your daily slay. Then add on the amount of calories you need to maintain your workout activity. If you’re looking to lose extra weight, drop up to 500 calories from your caloric total and viola – you have your calorie needs for losing weight. Eat at regular intervals throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels balanced and avoid overeating. If you’re using Intermittent Fasting you need to understand how to break your fast without overeating.
Reason #5: You Don’t Eat Enough Fresh, Whole Foods.
If you tend to f@ck off vegetables and fruit, you’re missing out on all the fiber and phytonutrients these natural foods offer, fiber slows down digestion and reduces spikes in blood glucose levels which can in turn curb hunger, while the vitamins and phytonutrients help with food digestion and energy release. They also deliver a heavy dose of antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and reduce aging.
Fat Loss Tip: Include plenty of fiber rich vegetables and fruit such as broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, squashes, apples and berries in your diet. These foods provide soluble fiber, which absorb water that turns into a gel during digestion. This gel, moves through your system slowly preventing hunger from arising, and also providing a slow steady release of energy.
Reason #6: You Eat Without Thought.
Do you eat when you’re stressed out? Eat when you’re sad, bored or just because you feel like it? Don’t! Eating with no good reason is not a good excuse to eat and will ultimately lead to extra calories consumed.
Fat Loss Tip: Eat with a plan, determine the calories you need and eat according to your goals. Consider subscribing to a meal plan delivery service that is tailored to your needs. Following a meal plan will have you less likely eating just for the sake of eating and will help keep you on track no matter what your mood.
Reason #7: You Sit On Your Ass Too Much.
If you don’t take the time to make your workout a priority you won’t be doing too much of anything, no extra calories burned means that fat isn’t going anywhere. A body at rest, stays at rest, if you want to burn fat, you need to exercise to increase blood flow. Increased blood flow, increases fat oxidation or fat burning and stimulates the release of exercise factors or myokines that cause a cascade of reactions that lead to greater fat burning!
Fat Loss Tip: If you want to lose weight, then you have to plan, prioritize and schedule your workouts into your life. Don’t let work, or your social life ruin that body, or for that matter laziness. Find your motivation – join a boot camp a class, get a training partner or a personal trainer to keep that ass in the gym.
Reason #8: You Chat Instead of Working Out.
If the gym has become your place to socialize then you’re really not doing yourself any favors. Taking too long between sets to chat up your training partner, or that hottie by the water cooler, will not count towards calories burned.
Fat Loss Tip: Invest in a good pair of wireless noise cancelling headphones that will block out your chances of contributing to any conversation. Put your game face on and focus on the task you came to accomplish! If you find the gym too distracting try home workouts or taking the workout outside.
Reason #9: You Eat Out of the PB Jar.
Peanut butter, even the healthy, natural stuff without added sugars or oils still provides 188 calories in just two tablespoons. That’s a whole lot of calories in a few spoonfuls. It may provide a good source of fat and fiber, but a calorie is still a calorie. And that goes for all nut butters and high calorie foods such as avocado, nuts, olives and high fat cheeses.
Fat Loss Tip: Don’t do it. You’re only asking for trouble if you start double dipping that spoon in the jar. If you really can’t resist the delightful taste of PB, or any high calorie fatty food just don’t buy it. Get your source of fats from less tasty sources such as fish oil, chia or flax!
Reason #10: You Frequent Brunches, Bars and Beach Clubs.
If your weekends revolve around the bubbly, all that hard work in the gym and on a diet during the week will go to waste. Alcohol is considered a toxin in the body and requires the body to switch from other metabolic processes like burning off fat to burning off that alcohol. Additionally, alcohol consumption can increase cravings for salty and fatty foods.
Fat Loss Tip: Everything in moderation. Spend your weekends doing things that don’t revolve around alcohol, however if you must go out, limit your alcohol consumption to just a few clear spirits with soda water and a squeeze of citrus, instead of those sugary, calorie dense cocktails.
Reason #11: You Think A Day Off is Without Consequence.
There’s nothing wrong with taking one day off your diet, weekly, in fact it can be beneficial to your metabolism when done the right way. However, if you ‘kind of’ follow your diet during the week, then go over board with the calorie intake come your day off; you’re going to do more damage than good.
Fat Loss Tip: The trick to taking a day off your diet without consequence is to be ultra strict and stick to a lower calorie and lower carb plan during the week, come your cheat day, it’s OK to up the calories and change up the macros. This will help keep your metabolism guessing and your body burning fat! Use the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time stick to the plan, allow 20% for the fun foods!
Reason #12: You Don’t Eat Enough High Quality Protein.
Protein is essential to maintain lean mass, in fact the more lean mass or muscles you have, the higher your metabolic rate and harder and leaner your body will be. In fact, those who ate higher quality protein – that is a protein that provides all the essential amino acids, with every meal had the least belly fat and better overall body compositions than those who ate iso-caloric diets that were higher in carbs.
Fat Loss Tip: Eat a diet rich in high quality protein – at least 1 g per pound of body weight per day will help to maintain a lean curvy figure and support recovery from a hard workout. Include protein such as chicken, fish, and lean cuts of beef, whole eggs and low fat dairy. Plant protein will also provide some benefit, but since it doesn’t provide all the essential amino acids required by the body in one shot, it will be more challenging to reach your protein needs.
Reason #13: You Forgot to Change Your Workout Routine.
Doing the same workout routine over and over will become easier and less challenging over time. The body becomes adapted to exercise, making it easier and easier to complete. With less challenge, comes less change. Hitting a plateau can slow your goals. Resulting in less weight loss and less fat burned.
Fat Loss Tip: It’s important to change up your workout routine every 4 to 6-weeks to keep your body guessing. Change it up between the style of workouts, the duration and the intensity.
Reason #14: You Skip Breakfast.
It may not seem like a big deal but skipping out on breakfast has been shown to result in more calorie in-take later in the day compared to those who ate a high protein breakfast upon rising. Missing out on breakfast can result in blood sugar drops that can leave you feeling hangry, causing overeating at subsequent meals.
Fat Loss Tip: Don’t skip out on a healthy high protein breakfast. Eat eggs and whole grain toast, a protein smoothie with whey, fruits and oats, or try a bowl of natural Greek yoghurt with berries and nuts. Protein has a satiating effect that reduces the onset of hunger and when combined with a fibrous carb will further help to keep you feeling full! Need some healthy breakfast ideas? Go here!
Reason #15: You Eat Too Many Carbs.
They’re yummy, but eating too many can result in unnecessary weight and fat gain. Carbs – especially the simple ones such as white potato, white rice or from processed products made from refined sources like bread provide primarily simple sugar. When eaten, carbs are broken down into their simplest form during digestion – glucose, or sugar, which gets stored for immediate use in the muscle as glycogen or for later use in fat tissue. Glycogen storage in the muscle is limited, which means, more can be directed toward fat storage if you’re over consuming them.
Fat Loss Tip: Optimize your carb intake throughout the day; eat them when the body is most responsive to up-take. This means eating them post-workout and first thing in the morning when muscle glycogen is at its lowest. Eat plenty of fibrous carbs, especially green vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and asparagus, root vegetables like sweet potatoes, squashes and fruits like apples and berries. Carbs can be 20 to 30% of your diet, depending on how much fat you have to burn and how much activity you’re performing.
Reason #16: You’re Stressed the Fuck Out.
Stress can be a major factor when it comes to burning off fat. The higher your stress, the higher your cortisol levels. When cortisol is high, this can result in changes in hormone chemistry that result in an increase in cravings for of all things carbs! Increased cortisol can also reduce melatonin – the hormone that triggers sleep, while also reducing testosterone and estrogen hormones – which in turn can reduce recovery, and slow the metabolism.
Fat Loss Tip: Stress less, meditate, take up yoga, go for a walk, or learn how to channel that stress through martial arts, boxing or my favorite kickboxing. Figure out what method works best for you.
Reason #17: You’re Not Sleeping Enough.
You may not realize that sleep has a direct effect on your appetite hormones including ghrelin – the one that signals hunger, and leptin – the one that tells you to stop eating. When you’re sleep deprived ghrelin increases, and leptin decreases. Uh oh!
Fat Loss Tip: Get your 8-hours of sleep every night. Learn how to unplug from work and life stresses. Exercise can help, but so can mediation, reading and even writing or journaling can help you get whatever is lingering in your head – out. Get into a habit of shutting off your TV and closing your phone at least 30 minutes before you plan on sleeping.
Until Next Time,
Be Fierce & Rule the World,