Why You're Not Losing Body Fat
Fat loss is probably be the most common fitness goal, but it's definitely not easy to achieve. If you've been trying to lose fat for a long time and it seems like you've tried every diet out there, it's probably because you're making one or more of the mistakes below. We're here to help make sure you cut out those mistakes and get that body you've always wanted!
Mistake 1. You Eat Too Much
This may seem obvious, but many people actually underestimate the actual amount of calories that they consume on a daily basis. For example, ordering a salad might seem like a healthy, low calorie meal, but you could be getting a 700+ calorie meal without even realizing it. Sauces, dressing, and oils all have calories you probably don't even think about.
Most people assume that fat loss is the simple "eat less calories than you consume" method. However, this "calories in, calories out" methodology doesn't quite paint the full picture. Hypothetically, this system would work if you ate 1,500 calories worth of cheesecake per day and burned 2,000, but the human body isn't a calculator. The type of calories you eat is also important. A carbohydrate-only diet will not help you reach your fat-loss goals, and frankly, you would probably be even more unhealthy and feel even worse than when you started. The proper combination of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats are needed to build muscle and burn fat.
For most people, a 40/40/20 ratio works great. If 40 percent of your food comes from carbs, 40 percent from protein, and 20 percent from fat, the stage is set for positive change. However, that ratio is not the golden rule for all body types and goals. Finding out what works best for your specific body type will dramatically increase your results.
Mistake 2. You Don't Eat Enough Protein
Protein does more than just build and repair muscle tissue. Protein increases satiety at meals, which can help you help you feel less hungry and therefore eat less throughout the day. High-protein diets can also have positive results on the body's blood lipids, glucose levels, and muscle-to-fat ratios. Protein is a great fat-loss macro, but don't think that you'll see quick results simply by adding some shakes to your diet. Food should still be the main source of your protein and a shake is NOT a meal replacement. Ideally you would like to have 40% of each meal to be quality protein.
Mistake 3. You're Doing Too Much Low-Intensity Cardio
Cardio is not resistance training. It trains an entirely different aspect of the fitness spectrum. Don'st expect a two-hour treadmill slog to produce the same results a an intense hour of heavy lifting. If you want to perform cardio that will do you some good, try incorperating HIIT (high intensity interval training) into your workouts. By incorporating your whole body in high intensity compound movements and shortening the rest periods, you'll challenge your cardiovascular system as well as your muscular system. That means more bang for your training buck.
Mistake 4. You're Stressed
Stress is something most people face, yet nobody tries to target when trying to lose fat. When you get stressed, your body produces way more cortisol than normal. Elevated cortisol can cause your body fat storage to increase. Even if your diet and training are perfect, excessive stress can keep you from achieving those fat-loss goals. Adding relaxation techniques to your day can have a big impact on your physique and overall health. Try yoga, take a bath, read a book, see a movie, or invest in 10-15 minutes of simple meditation.
Mistake 5. You Don't Sleep Enough
Like stress, sleep deprivation elevates cortisol, which hinders fat loss. When you're short on sleep, your insulin sensitivity also decreases. Combined, these problems create a less-than-optimal fat-loss environment to say the least. Sleep should be one of your main priorities when trying to lose excess body fat. Try to get at lease 8 hours of sleep per night. Try to limit your use of electronics before bed, don't drink caffeine in the evenings, and try to incorperate some of those stress relieving techniques before bed as well.