Ever get frustrated with weight loss or fat loss even though you think you are doing everything right? It seems like no matter how hard you workout or how "healthy" you're eating nothing seems to work. What makes it more frustrating is that a lot of popular and common strategies to lose fat are outdated, don’t work, and are flat out ridiculous. There’s a reason why I will only share articles from certain publishers. Because most articles out there, especially the popular ones (ones with celebrities on the cover), are crap. Here's an article that explains the real reasons that might be affecting your results or lack thereof and how to fix those common mistakes. I will highlight a couple of the reasons that I come across all the time with my clients. You have to remember getting fit and living a healthy lifestyle requires the right kind of balance to make it all work more efficiently. Going too extreme one way or the other will only lead to disappointment.
Reason 1: “But I’m working out almost everyday”: This is a very frustrating one because you feel the effort, the pain, the sweat, and the tears when you workout. Then to having nothing to show for it, that can be very frustrating. There are a couple of reasons why your workouts aren’t getting the job done.
#1. You live a sedentary lifestyle. You may workout everyday but compared that to the rest of your day, and it still is not enough. This is especially true for my office workers. Most workouts only last about an hour, but if you’re sitting down 8 -10 hours at work, then 3 -4 more chillin’ at the house watching TV, and then sleeping the rest, well there’s not a lot of energy expenditure going on.
Solution: Be more active. If you have an office job, it is crucial to get up and move around at least every hour (this will also improve your posture, reduce chronic muscle tightness, and joint stiffness). Park further out from places. Invest in an activity tracker like fit-bit or similar. Join and participate in active social events. You have to be conscious of being more active if you are sedentary.
#2. You’re focusing too much on cardio and not enough on strength training. This is a very outdated strategy, and unfortunately, it may never go away. Just like the myth that women who lift weights will get huge muscles. One of my clients came in and said her doctor told her to do more cardio and less weights. WTF!!! I told her she needs to get a new doctor. This is the WORST strategy! Most people who focus more on cardio do it inefficiently and not enough of it to get any results. They would have to slave on a cardio machine for 4-6 hours a day-everyday & drastically cut there calories to achieve any results. And the potential results are not great. You may the lose weight, but you will also lose lean muscle mass, which will lower your metabolism, and make yourself a better fat gainer. So once you go back to eating normal again (which you will), cut back on your cardio (which you will because that is just way too much to do), you will not only gain all the weight back and then some, but all of it will be fat.
Solution: Focus more on Strength Training and Interval based cardio. Strength training is by far the most superior form of training for weight loss. Strength train 3-4 days/week performing multi-joint exercises like squats, lunges, presses and pulls. Use moderate to heavy weights up to 8 -12 reps. Perform in circuit like fashion moving through each exercise with short breaks in between. Do Interval or Sprint training cardio 2-3 days/week. I posted a sample interval/sprint workout earlier on my FB page. You don’t have to be at an advanced level to do all these. These workouts can be done at the novice level.
Reason 2: “But I’m eating Healthy”: This is probably the most common one I hear all the time. And for the most part, you probably are. The reason why you’re not seeing much results from eating “healthier” is that your ratios and calculations are all off. It doesn’t really matter how “healthy” you’re eating, if you don’t balance it all out the way your body needs it, then you’re not going to see much results. Now there are a lot of factors that play into this and there’s just too much to go over with this brief post so I’ll highlight the important tips. Please read the article for more details.
#1. Your carb intake is off. It is no secret that low-carb high-protein diets work well to help lose body weight and fat. If you are fit, around 150g/day of lower glycemic carbs is ideal. If you are sedentary, around 50g/day of low glycemic carbs would be ideal. Get rid of refined, processed carbs like breads and sugars from your diet and replace them with fibrous carbs that are filling and full of nutrients like any green vegetables and dark-colored fruits like blue/blackberries to satisfy sweet cravings. If you do eat higher glycemic carbs, plan them around your workouts to perform and recover better.
#2. You’re not getting enough protein. Every meal should have some form of protein. Protein not only helps build and maintain lean muscle but also elevates your metabolism, reduces hunger, and promotes fat loss. 1 gram per pound of lean body mass (your weight without bodyfat) is ideal. How to figure your lean body mass: have your bodyfat measured and subtract that from your body weight. Some people say 1 gram per pound of body weight, but some people have a lot of bodyfat which would have them eating more protein and calories than they need.
#3. You’re not getting enough fat in your diet. Not all fat is bad. Low-fat diets are another outdated strategy that needs to go away and be forgotten. Actually eating more fat can help you lose fat if that makes any kind of sense. Go figure. On a low-carb diet, eating good fats will help you burn fat because your body will use that as an energy source along with protein. Up to 50% of your diet can come from fat if you’re sedentary and on a low-carb diet. So again eat fat at every meal. Make sure its good fat such as: Omega-3’s from fish, organic meats, medium chain triglycerides from coconut oil, monounsaturated fats from olives, olive oil, nuts, and avacados.
If you’re getting your nutritional and workout advice by one of those popular fitness magazines, from some bodybuilder, fitness model, or celebrity then you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Fad diets or bodybuilding meal plans may work but it’s not a lifestyle that you’re probably going to keep up with for a long period of time. So if you’re not losing bodyfat or weight, start applying the tips from this article to get you on the right track. Remember getting fit and living a healthy lifestyle requires the right kind of balance to make it all work more efficiently. - BZ