There is nothing quite as frustrating as a scale that just won’t seem to budge. You’re working out on a regular basis and watching what you eat but it’s simply not working. When fat loss stalls, most people will attempt to “fix it” by exercising more and eating less. This will result in only more frustration.
Let’s put an end to this madness once and for all! I am going to help you stop the confusion and frustration right now by sharing with you some real secrets of fat loss. I’ve listed below the top seven reasons I’ve found why you’re probably not losing fat.
No I’m not talking about eating too much processed, refined, junk food. If you need me to tell you that then you’ve been living in a cave. But you may be surprised to learn that eating even “healthy” foods like whole grains can cause bloating and inflammation. Many women have digestive issues with wheat gluten and other grains and don’t even know it. A little known secret is your body won’t release much fat for energy when your digestive system is undergoing inflammation and bloating. I recommend women suffering from bloating and inflammation go “grain free” for a while by eating exclusively from lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oils, and other natural foods free from processing.
This very well may be the biggest reasons why women fail to lose fat even with a solid exercise and nutrition program. You will find more and more coming out soon about sleep deprivation and the effects on the human body. When you don’t get enough sleep your body views it as stress and produces a hormone called cortisol. One of the many functions of cortisol is to store fat. Bottom line is if you’re not getting 7-8 hours of good sleep on a regular basis you can forget about losing fat.
Much like the effects of not getting enough sleep, emotional stress has a significant impact on the adrenal system in your body. Hormones like adrenaline, nor-adrenaline, and cortisol that are produced by the adrenal glands all play a major role in fat burning or fat storage. You must view stress reduction as important as exercise or diet if you want to see fat loss happen.
Hormones dictate most every function of your body. An imbalance in only one area can through off levels in several others creating a domino effect. Often times you may not even know you have a hormonal imbalance. A few hormones that play a major role in your ability to lose fat are estrogen, thyroid, cortisol, and insulin, to name a few. It’s well worth the investment to have hormonal panel tests run by your physician if you’ve reached a weight loss plateau.
When it comes to aerobic exercise, more is not always better. The intensity of the exercise makes all the difference in the fat loss game. High intensity exercise (interval training) is significantly more effective at fat loss because it lights up your central nervous system. This helps to stabilize insulin levels (fat storing hormone) while increasing growth hormone and other powerful fat burning hormones.
Muscle is the furnace where fat gets burned for fuel. The more lean muscle you have the greater the ability you have to stabilize hormonal levels that affect fat loss. It is essential that women work on developing lean muscle with resistance training especially after age 30. Hormone levels start to naturally decline around that time and the effects on body fat can be significant. Your best defense is progressive resistance training to build and maintain muscle that will help keep you trim, lean and toned.
Food acts like a drug on the hormonal systems in your body. How well you assimilate and digest the nutrients in the food will make a very big difference. Food allergies, a build up of metabolic waste from a poor diet, inflammation from yeast imbalances, and other conditions can all lead to problems in your digestive system. If you suffer from constipation, a bloated stomach, frequent indigestion or other irregularities look to do a detoxification program to break your plateau.
If I can assist you with putting together a personalized fitness and nutrition program for fat loss and body composition change, please don't hesitate to let me know.
Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, motivational speaker, mentor, and owner of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studio located in Mt. Pleasant, SC.