4 Reasons You’re Not Losing Fat

Good morning beautiful people! Today I have an extra special treat brought to you by my good friend Christy. Christy has her B.A. in Movement and Exercise Science and Marketing. She’s a certified personal trainer and health/fitness blogger. Follow her here: @Christye.livefit

Today she shares with us 4 reasons you might not be seeing the fat loss results you’ve been looking for.

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You’re cutting calories, exercising more, but still not losing the weight. Fat loss isn’t always black and white. In fact, there are multiple reasons your body might be hanging on to stubborn pounds you’ve been trying so hard to shed!

  1. You’re eating too much:
  • I know, you’re thinking, “Well duh??” this seems like the obvious reason, but hear me out! In simple terms: Fat loss = calories expended > calories consumed; you need to be in a caloric deficit in order to lose weight.
  • You might be eating salads and choosing healthier options at restaurants, but have you ever stopped to think about the hidden calories? Salads by themselves are low calorie, nutrient packed, healthy options, but some dressings can contain 100-300 calories per serving and the serving sizes the restaurants give you typically aren’t small – you might be consuming 2-3 servings of dressing with one salad. Before you know it that 400-calorie salad just turned into a 1,000-calorie meal.
  • Maybe you opted for the grilled chicken and veggies, GREAT! However, most restaurant vegetables are cooked in a lot of oil; 1-2 tablespoons of oil is close to, if not more than, 200 calories. Unless you specifically ask your waiter/waitress to steam your vegetables, there’s a good chance they’re doused in oil.
  • Next time you’re prepping your lunch, ordering from a restaurant, or just snacking until your next meal, I encourage you to think about those hidden calories and serving sizes. It may seem small, but small numbers add up over time and may be the reason you aren’t making progress.
  1. You aren’t eating enough:
  • Say whaaaaaaat? Is that really possible?!
  • A lot of people tend to think more is better. More cardio + fewer calories automatically equates to fat loss…WRONG. More does not always mean better.
  • Our bodies are very, very smart machines. They know when we aren’t eating enough and when this happens they go into starvation mode. Once we’ve forced ourselves into starvation mode we hang on to every calorie we consume because our bodies don’t know when they’ll get another, therefore affecting our fat loss. We require a set amount of calories each day in order to function properly (varies based on gender, age, weight, height, etc.). When we aren’t consuming the necessary amount, we cling to what we have to make sure we maintain normal functions. Without it our bodies will literally shut down – think about how tired/lethargic you get when you’re really hungry.
  • If you’re eating less than 1,500 calories and performing 2 hours of cardio each day, it might be time to slowly add in more calories and see how your body reacts. The goal is to always be able to eat as many calories as possible while still losing weight, if you’re already down to 1,5000 calories a day you don’t have much wiggle room before you start harming your metabolism and yourself.
  1. You haven’t ben dieting long enough or aren’t really sticking to the plan
  • When it comes to weight/fat loss the majority of the population wants to see fast results. Unless you’re participating in unhealthy crash dieting and excessive amounts of cardio, this will not happen.
  • Healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. If 10 lbs. is your goal, make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to make this happen. I honestly cannot stress this enough! Don’t drop below 1,000 calories per day, exclude carbs from your diet, or perform 2 hours of cardio per day, because the minute you stop doing all those things you will gain the weight right back – it’s inevitable.
  • Weight loss should happen through a sustainable diet and exercise regimen. If you can’t see yourself continuing after a couple of weeks, it isn’t the plan for you. Put in the work, follow the steps, trust the process, and let it happen! If you know you have an event coming up you want to shed a few pounds for, plan/train accordingly. Give yourself the time.
  1. Genetics/Hormones:
  • Some of us were blessed with awesome genetics (darn you lucky people) and some of us have to work a little harder to see results (Hiiii, me!) but regardless of your good or bad genetics you’re still going to have to put in work to get the results you want.
  • My genetics work in such a way that when I gain weight the first place it goes is my stomach/low back. The last place I lose it? You guessed it! My stomach and lower back. Unfortunately, we don’t get to choose where we gain/lose weight; our genetics do it for us.
  • Hormone levels can also aid or hinder fat loss –
    • Leptin: fat burning hormone
      • Regular over/undereating causes this hormone to become confused and resist fat burning.
      • In order for this hormone to function properly it is best to time out smaller meals every 2-3 hours to decrease the confusion.
    • Insulin: fat storing hormone
      • Mostly influenced by carbohydrate intake and/or overconsumption of other fat and protein.
      • Overconsumption elevates this hormone, prolonged elevation of this hormone will cause you to store excess calories as fat – resulting in a difficulty burning fat.
    • Cortisol: stress hormone
      • The more stressed you are, the more elevated your cortisol levels are, and the more fat you hang on to.
    • Thyroid: metabolism control
      • Higher thyroid levels = more fat burning
      • Lower thyroid levels = slower fat burning
      • This hormone is sensitive to lifestyle choices such as sleep, nutrition, stress, and exercise. Too much/too little of any and your thyroid can be thrown off.
    • Ghrelin: hunger control hormone
      • Keeping this hormone at a level where you feel little to no hunger is ideal – try to time smaller meals 2-3 hours apart. It prevents you from starving and causing this hormone to increase.
    • Estrogen (ladies this one is for you):
      • Considered a fat storing hormone – but, with good reason. Females need the extra weight for when we are carrying children.
      • Appropriate levels of sleep and nutrient based diet can help keep this hormone regulated.
    • When any one of these is out of whack, typically so are the rest. Thus, you guessed it, messing up your fat loss.

If none of these explanations sound like you, I encourage you to ask yourself if you’re really pushing yourself with your training sessions and nutrition. Our bodies don’t change unless we do. If you’re going into the gym and training the same or eating the same foods every day, your body isn’t likely to change. Push yourself, put in the work, trust the process, and the results will come.

And if you’re really worried or suspect something is wrong – talk to your medical provider.

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