Fat loss is probably the most common goal of people who workout – and often people who don’t. Feeling trim is a key ingredient to increasing our confidence, how attractive we feel and generally feeling physically better about ourselves. These are the top five reasons why you are not losing weight despite your best efforts.
1. You May Be Eating Well, But Too Much.
Your diet is clean and you are really trying hard to minimise all the bad foods, sugary snacks and alcohol you know have caused weight gain in the past but that pesky layer of body fat just won’t shift and you can’t for the life of you work out why. It could be the simple fact you are eating too much good stuff.
You have to consume fewer calories than you need for your body to be convinced to start burning fat for fuel to top up the extra energy needed. In addition to eating well; reduce your food intake by around 500 calories per day to start to seeing your hard-earned abs.
2. You Are Possibly Eating To Much Refined Sugar
It’s hard not to! The damn stuff is in almost everything! Sugar is a fast absorbing nutrient which absorbs into the body extremely quickly – more quickly then it’s able to be used resulting in excess fat storage. Avoid the obvious sugary snacks, chocolates, alcohol, soft drinks but also avoid eating more than one piece of fruit a day due to the high sugar content. For best results stick to natural foods such as colourful vegetables with brown rice and whole wheat pasta for your energy needs.
3. You May Not Be Working Hard Enough
So, you feel you have been working hard and still not seeing a difference. When was the last time you changed your programme or challenged yourself in a new way? After a while your body gets used to your programme and gets more efficient at doing it. This can actually mean you burn LESS calories doing your workout the more that you do it.
It’s important to keep upping the ante with faster running times, heavier weights, more repetitions or less recovery time to boost your fat burning potential.
4. You Might Not Be Drinking Enough Water
A lack of appropriate water intake can affect you in two ways. One; in your exercise performance – If you are more than 5% dehydrated it can affect your capacity for work by around 30%, meaning you won’t be able to physically push yourself as hard in the gym.
The second thing is the brain confuses hunger and thirst and in the event of dehydration and will often crave food rather than fluids. This causes you to overeat and actually gain weight rather than shift it. Aim for 1-2 litres per day and an extra litre for every hour of strenuous exercise you do.
5. You May Not Be Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is an integral part in a weight loss programme. A lack of sleep causes physiological stress on the body which in turn leads to the elevation of the body’s cortisol levels – a stress based hormone which is linked to the burning of your hard-earned muscle and the storing of unwanted body fats.
Feeling tired will also make you low in energy creating a craving for sweet sugary foods which will also cause you to pile on the pounds. Aim for seven hours minimum per night for best results in the gym.
For more information on how sleep can affect your weight, please read my post ‘Is Your lack of Sleep making You Fat?’