There is a TON of information out there that’ll tell you the best diet, workout program, or lifestyle hacks to use in order to lose body fat. There are so many different marketing schemes used to make you feel like you need this diet or that supplement, and it’s easy to feel like all this information is pulling you in a million different directions.
If you have been struggling with losing body fat, there is a reason for it. The truth is that losing body fat is easy, IF you have set a solid and healthy foundation for fat loss to happen. If you haven’t put in the prep work to create a healthy internal environment, fat loss becomes extremely difficult or even impossible.
Losing body fat takes a smart training program, a nutrition plan made for YOU, a little bit of patience, and a lot of consistency.
If you aren’t doing this, it’s the first step to becoming healthier. Or maybe you already are doing this, and you’ve hit a plateau. This article will give you a list of reasons why you are not losing body fat.
- You’re not eating enough
I’m listing this as #1 because it’s the most common problem I see with clients. Eating too little will yield results in the short-term, but after a couple of months your metabolism will slow down, and your hormones will become unbalanced. When hormones are not functioning properly and your metabolism is running slowly, you cannot lose fat.
- You’re eating too much
Though not as common as #1, I do occasionally see this. You need to be burning more calories than you consume in order to lose body fat. If you aren’t in a calorie deficit, losing body fat simply won’t happen. At the end of the day; low carb, paleo, low fat, keto, weight watchers, or what-ever diet you’re following will not result in fat loss if you aren’t in a caloric deficit, no matter how good your food quality is.
- You’re not staying consistent to a plan
This one is extremely important. If you aren’t consistent, you won’t see results. Plain and simple. You need to have a smart plan in place that has been created for you by a coach that knows how to get you results and will hold you accountable throughout the process.
I often see people who are impatient and want immediate results. They have jumped from diet to diet, they have tried 7 day detoxes, different supplements, and starvation tactics. And sometimes they get great short-term results. But typically, these results do not last. And this is where yo-yo dieting comes into play.
It’s important to think long-term when it comes to fat loss, otherwise you’re setting yourself up for short-term results and weight re-gain.
- You’re not thinking about sleep and stress levels
Yes, managing these things is EXTREMELY important if you want to lose body fat. You won’t get good fat loss results if you aren’t sleeping. Our bodies recover and hormones re-balance when we sleep, so it needs to become a priority.
Managing stress is also important. Stress increases cortisol levels, and while cortisol is important for health, it can backfire if it becomes chronically elevated, making fat loss incredibly difficult.
While you sometimes can’t eliminate stress from your life, it’s important to incorporate daily habits that allow you to manage stress as effectively as possible.
- You aren’t lifting weights
Most people think that they need to do tons of cardio in order to lose body fat. This is not true! Muscle mass is extremely metabolically active, meaning that it requires your body to burn a lot of calories in order to maintain it. Weight training will allow you to build muscle mass, which then basically serves as a calorie-burning powerhouse in the body. Weight training also results in great body re-composition. Cardio will generally help you lose weight, but this weight loss is typically a combination of fat and muscle. When you are lifting while following a calorie-restricted diet, there is a better chance of losing strictly body fat, while maintaining muscle. The bottom line is that if you don’t carry muscle mass, you will not lose body fat effectively.
LADIES! Don’t be afraid of getting bulky. We simply do not have the same hormonal profile as men, so becoming “bulky” is actually extremely difficult.
- You’re not eating enough protein
Having a higher protein diet works better for fat loss and will help you to maintain lean mass. It will also help to keep you satiated when you’re in a calorie deficit.
Make sure you’re getting most of your protein from real foods, rather than downing 3-4 protein shakes/day. These are called supplements for a reason as they should be supplemental to real foods.
With my nutrition coaching clients, we always make sure to think long-term and set a good solid foundation before restricting calories to accomplish fat loss. Keep in mind that you never want to be in a calorie deficit for an extended period of time, as negative metabolic adaptations can occur, so it’s important that you’re focusing on all of these things when fat loss is your goal so you get the best and most sustainable results from your fat loss phase.
Kellie Largay is a Precision Nutrition L1 & L2 Certified Nutrition Coach. She is also anL1 Kellie Largay is a Precision Nutrition L1 & L2 Certified Nutrition Coach. She is also an NCI L1 Certified Coach and Hormone Specialist. Kellie specializes in working with people who come from an undereating background and are looking to learn how to fuel their bodies for their sport, hobby, daily activities, or to prime their body to lose bodyfat sustainably. She has worked with numerous National and World Class athletes in helping them learn how to eat for optimal performance in their sport, as well as people who are looking to build sustainable healthy habits that’ll allow them to live a happier, healthier life.
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