Just like the most of us that exercise, burning fat and achieving a lean physique are your main goals. Although most of us that exercise understand or know some effective ways to lose fat, many miss out on some of the most critical elements that can help you achieve your ideal body!
To change this and get you on your way to achieving your ideal body, here are a list of reasons why you may not be burning fat optimally and how to fix it. Give them a shot and keep going after your goals!
You’re not training for fat-loss
Plain and simple, weightlifting is critical for fat loss. If you find yourself jumping on a cardio machine, participating in cardio-heavy classes or going for a jog for the majority of your workouts, it’s time to reconsider your fat loss and weight loss strategy. Adding weight training and high intensity intervals (HIIT) to workout programs has been shown to increase your metabolism, improve your body composition (the ratio of body fat to lean muscle), and improve the efficiency at which your body burns fat rather than muscle for fuel.
You’re Not Eating Enough
Yip, not eating enough can prevent you from burning fat. Though this may sound odd, not eating enough is a major stress on the body that can cause it to hold onto fat. This is especially true if you are very active and burning lots of calories.
Your body will do whatever it can to survive, so if it senses that you aren’t taking in adequate calories, it will begin to hold onto fat in order to protect your organs. Not to mention elevate the stress hormone cortisol (which can also slow down fat loss efforts) and psychological stress.
You do need to ensure that you are eating a sufficient amount of calories especially if you are active and breaking down muscle tissue. This doesn’t mean eating everything in sight! You need to eat clean & healthy. Protein is especially important so make sure you are getting in the enough amount of protein along with a balance of healthy fats and carbs to keep your metabolism going.
You’re not eating enough Protein
An adequate protein intake is crucial! Besides improving body composition and increasing your fat metabolism, protein also helps you feel more full for longer, meaning fewer cravings for unhealthy snacks throughout the day. On top of all this, protein is great for skin, hair, bones and healthy aging.
Eat Breakfast – eating breakfast helps reduce cravings and impulse snacking throughout the day and it is an important for weight loss. A recommended breakfast needs a balance of protein, carbs and healthy fats to get you through your morning.
You’re too stressed
If you are or ever have been frustrated because you are not losing weight, even though you are eating right and exercising, part of the reason may be excess stress that is causing your body to over produce certain types of hormones. When your body is stressed, whether it is from lack of sleep, overtraining or anxiety, it can lead to a spike in cortisol. Although it is an essential hormone that plays an important, as well as a beneficial role, too much can be a major problem, especially if you are trying to get lean.
Regarding your physical health and fat loss, an excess of cortisol can have negative effects including elevated blood pressure, increase of fat around the abdominal area, reduced fat burning abilities of the body, insulin resistance, cardio etc…
Get More Sleep! Lack of sleep can have behavioural consequences as well that impact our body in various ways. Sleep loss associated with stress can lead to increased consumption of ‘comfort’ food and obesity. Prioritize getting enough sleep if you are serious about improving your health and physique!
Your Diet and Exercise Program is TOO Strict
This might surprise you, worrying about eating right and training hard can be counterproductive. This again goes back to the “stress hormone” cortisol. Cognitive dietary restraint can elevate cortisol levels. In other words, worrying too much about your diet (or your training) can boost your cortisol levels and make it harder for you to achieve your desire physique. This is especially problematic if you are not eating enough and not sleeping enough, as those are both cortisol boosters as well.
RELAX! It is important to understand that building a lean body takes time and won’t happen overnight. Nor will it be sustainable if you go to extreme measures like cutting too many calories, obsess about eating only the cleanest foods in perfect ratios at every meal, exercise too intensely without enough recovery, or you skip an hour of sleep to get in more cardio, etc. This is a recipe for throwing your hormones out of control, halting your fat loss efforts, and potentially making you give up on your goals. Instead, aim to eat a balanced diet with plenty of protein and calories and don’t freak out if you miss a workout or eat a meal that doesn’t fit your definition of healthy.
You’re drinking too much
Life is about balance, and there is nothing wrong with the occasional night out with a couple of drinks. That being said, too much alcohol can severely hinder your fat loss efforts. Many alcoholic drinks have more calories than you think, a misconception from one-too-many gives you more room to eat unhealthy foods in excessive amounts. Alcohol may also increase appetite and cause overeating.
You don’t have to completely give up alcohol in order to achieve your ideal physique, just do your best to consume it in moderation and consider removing high calorie foods that you might be tempted to eat when under the influence.
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