Not reaching your fat loss goals?
There is a big chance one or more of these reasons are stopping you.
We’ll take a look at the problem and give you strategies on how to fix it.
Let’s get started.
1. Your Diet Really Sucks
What you put into your mouth accounts for a huge part of your fat loss results.
You can exercise as much as you want, but if your nutrition sucks, then you won’t reach your goals.
That is easy to say, but what exactly is a really sucky diet?
If you are eating fast food, sweets and candy constantly then you don’t need to read any further than this first point. Whatever else you do is useless and you will barely make a dent in your goals. This stuff is literally toxic to your body. Eating it on a constant basis will mean you are eating way too many calories all the time, stuffing your body with trans fat and sugar.
Not only will this hinder weight loss, it will also stop muscle growth and impair performance. Whatever your fitness goal is you are absolutely sabotaging it if your diet is a mess.
If you are in this category and your diet just sucks, you need to take it one step at a time.
If you are partial to soda and soft drinks, then that needs to be the first thing to go. We will try and squash one habit at a time. For two weeks, soda is out. You will substitute it with water or tea, nothing that contains a lot of sugar so make sure you check your labels. The next step is to add another habit. Two weeks is a good time to get control of something and feel the benefits, so the next step would be to stop eating take away food. Two weeks later, change another horrific habit.
You have to take things step by step, if you try to overhaul a sucky diet all in one go you are asking to fail. Taking it slowly and getting control over each habit will ensure long term success, and in the meantime you will reap the benefits as well.
2. You Are Drinking Your Calories
You’re diet may not suck, but you might be drinking way too many calories without even knowing it. Some common offenders are fancy coffee LOADED with sugar (think lattes, frapuccino etc), alcohol, juice and sports drinks.
You might be eating right, getting a good amount of protein and fats and generally following a healthy food intake. However you can easily sabotage that with large amounts of empty calories from drinks. It is easy to drink calories, and we have to be aware what we are taking in. Take a look at this table courtesy of WebMd outlining how much energy drinks actually contain.
If you aren’t sure about calorie levels and if you are sabotaging your good work then you need to track your food for a week.
Tracking calories can be boring and tough, but very eye opening.
The easiest way is to download a calorie counting app and put everything you eat and drink in there. I like my fitness pal. Alternatively, keep a note of your intake and calculate it later. You can find numbers online very easily.
This will really open your eyes to how many calories you are taking in from drinks alone.
3. You Exercise and You Eat
When you exercise, you do need to refuel. However a lot of us think that if we go for a jog, we automatically can load up with carbohydrates, give ourselves a treat and effectively double our food intake.
Maybe not all of us are so drastic, but the fact is that exercise does increase appetite and we do tend to eat a lot more when we exercise, which will all but ruin the work we did.
You do need to refuel after exercise, but the work we are doing in the gym can’t negate what we eat. Exercise will help to build muscle, increase our metabolism and in general make us healthier human beings, but the most important thing is what is going into your mouth.
If you burn calories exercising, work up a sweat and get some muscular adaptations going you will be putting your body in a good fat burning position. If you then proceed to over compensate with food, you pretty much stuff all that up.
The fix is very simple, eat more fats and protein. If fat loss is your goal, you should be strength training (see next point). If you are strength training, you are going to be burning calories as well as building muscle. You do need to eat, but you will get greater satiety from eating more fats and proteins. You won’t feel as hungry and you won’t over compensate.
You don’t need to cut out carbs completely, but if you find your appetite has increased a lot since starting to exercise, then make sure you eat more protein and fats!
4.You’re Not Strength Training
What? You’re not strength training.
Strength training is amazing. It will help accelerate your fat loss and in my very humble opinion is the most important thing you can do exercise wise when wanting to lose fat.
I’m not a cardio basher, but I am all about efficiency of training. Cardio will help you burn calories, but so will strength training. If you have the time to do both, and it fits then you can. However for those who are on a limited time budget and want to do the most effective thing possible, then strength training is a must. You will burn a ton of calories, you will increase your metabolism, you will lose fat.
Start strength training.
If you can get to a gym, check out these links.
If you can’t get to a gym, subscribe to the blog at the bottom of this post or check out my sign up page, you will get a free ebook with exercises you can do at home as well as a free email series of workouts and advice.
Stop wasting your time and get started now.
5. You’re Training Too Much
Over training can hinder fat loss. Let me warn you, very few of you are actually in this boat, but for those that are working out every single day, for hours on end and aren’t getting the results you want, take a moment and a deep breath, you might actually be working against yourself.
Your body needs rest to recover and adapt. If you want to build muscle, increase your metabolism and lose fat, you do need to have some downtime. When you are strength training you should have at LEAST 24 hours in between each session.
Your muscle fibers take a beating when you lift heavy stuff and have micro damage. Although this sounds bad it is a wonderful thing. From here you can adapt and grow. If you don’t give yourself the time, you will never get the results you want.
Your hormones come into play here as well. Too much training (and I really mean too much) can put the balance out. You will secrete more catabolic hormones (ones that break stuff down) and less anabolic hormones (ones that build stuff up).
Like I said this will not apply to a lot of you, but for those that think they may be working too hard these are some common signs of over training.
- Poor sleep patterns
- Frequent colds
- Frequent injuries
- Mood changes
- Appetite loss
- Muscle and joint pain
- Swollen Lymph glands.
Take a day off between every session if you are doing full body strength training. If you are doing a split program, make sure the muscles you are working are getting a day to recover. Recovery days can be active, a light walk, foam rolling and tennis ball work, even a very light weights session (only the bar) can often be helpful, but I recommend a good day off and a lot of sleep!
6. You’re Not Training Hard Enough
There is no doubt in my mind that nutrition is the most important part of fat loss. If you get that wrong, you don’t lose fat. However, I firmly believe that you need to be doing strength training if you want to optimize your body. If you have lost a lot of fat through good nutrition, but seem to be stuck at a plateau, try strength training.
If you are working out once a week, walking every now and then or getting some decent exercise in but not enough then start with a full body routine, three times a week. You may not be training hard enough to get the gains you need, and accelerate the fat loss to the level you want.
Strength training will help you burn a little more calories, it will help you grow and build muscle which will give you that toned look you always wanted and will up your metabolism.
Do a full body routine, three times a week. You can download free home workouts in the starter pack, or you can check out these gym workouts.
This might seem to be my fix for a lot of things, but you will see your fat loss accelerate, you will process food a lot better, and you will feel stronger.
7. Your Goals Are Not Defined
This is a very important step that a lot of people miss out on. You must define your goals in order to create a plan of attack. Not only that, it gives you something to reach and strive for which is exceptionally motivating when you make steps towards it.
It is important to have a long term goal, as well as several short term goals. Go and grab a notebook and let’s get started.
What is your long term goal? It may be something like
I want to lose 20 pounds.
I want to see my abs.
I don’t want my thighs to touch anymore.
I want to lose X inches around my waist.
I want to compete in a figure competition.
These goals are long term ones that need time to achieve. This will be the end result of all your smaller goals.
What are your short term goals?
These are things that are going to ensure you reach your long term goal, they are steps in the process and cannot be ignored. They should look like this:
I will not drink soda for two weeks.
I will eat protein at every meal for one week.
I will workout out three times a week for four weeks.
I will change one bad habit every two weeks.
To keep yourself in check you can have regular weigh ins, measures or picture taking sessions in order to see where you are at, but I want your short term goals to be processes, not milestones. They need to be achievable, and they need to be things that will help you reach the final destination!
8. You Don’t Have A Routine
If you want to reach a specific goal, you need to have a specific plan. Working out and eating haphazardly will almost always lead to failure.
Not only will having a plan lead to you achieving your small and larger goals, it will make it a lot easier to stay on track, and ensure that you can see the progression you are making.
If you are working out and eating at random, you need to formulate a plan for each.
In terms of nutrition it is best to change things slowly. This will end up giving you the fastest results, as well as ensuring you stick to the changes you make.
Grab a pen and paper and plan out your new nutrition plan by starting with the end goal. This will be to eat lot’s of proteins and fats, drink water and tea, eat whole foods and vegetables and limit starchy carbs to exercise days. In order to get there you need to change one thing at a time. Plan for two weeks to drink 8 glasses of water a day, plan the next two weeks to continue with the water, but also eat proteins and fats at every meal. Continue this until you have the perfect diet.
In terms of exercise, you should plan your workout sessions at least weekly. Scheduling in a time to get it done will REALLY help make sure you actually do get it done. I suggest writing the plan down, with exact times and places and sticking it where you can see it.
Planning will lead to success, do not miss out on this step.
9. You’re Doing It Alone
It is no secret that working out and changing your lifestyle is easier to do with friends and family. If your family don’t support your eating habits, you will always have trouble getting the results you want. If you have to work out alone, you will always have to self motivate and stay accountable to yourself. This is tough for anyone of any fitness level.
If you need to change your nutrition habits, get the people that live with you on board or at least talk to them to help them understand why you are changing.
Find a workout partner, someone to motivate you and to keep you accountable. Someone that will not let you skip a workout, that will make sure you both show up.
Join the Laurens Fitness Community and chat to like minded people. Sometimes it’s hard to get everyone on board, and that’s where we can help. I am always available on Google Plus to answer people questions, and there are a growing amount of members that are striving for various fitness goals. Jump over and say G’day!