Often, I hear my clients tell me that they are eating well most of the time but they still can’t seem to lose stubborn body fat. If this sounds familiar to you it might actually be something that you are NOT doing rather than what you are. It could be that you ARE eating the right foods BUT in the wrong combinations, or in the wrong way, or at the wrong times. Personalisation is super important to your success. Every BODY is different. You might be doing the exact same thing as your best friend and while she seems to lose weight you just don’t see the same results. It is super frustrating but with a little knowing you can find the solution.
Here are 8 things that you might NOT be doing that are sabotaging your fat loss attempts:
- NOT EATING ENOUGH DURING THE DAY
Over time not eating enough during the day consistently, slows down your metabolism causing your body to hold on to the calories for longer. These calories are stored as fat for future use. The good news is that you can eat A LOT (of the right types of food) and still not over indulge in the calorie department, while ramping up your metabolism.
- NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER
Drinking water is one of the easiest ways to turn up your fat-burning capacity. A dehydrated body cannot burn fat effectively. So if fat loss is your goal, aim to drink 8 glasses of water (preferably filtered) per day—and as a bonus your hair and skin will shine!
- NOT CONSIDERING THE AMOUNT OF SUGAR IN FOODS
Quite often I find that my clients are eating the right amount of calories for weight loss, but are not losing weight. The quality of the calories is super important and the culprit is usually sugar. Sugars and refined carbs have the unique ability to stop weight loss in its tracks. Think of this: Your body is burning fat and all of a sudden it gets an influx of sugar. It will prioritise use of the sugar as energy and promptly stop burning the fat. So, cut the sugar if you want to lose weight, not to mention feel better and think more clearly.
- NOT DOING RESISTANCE TRAINING
Many of my clients tell me about the hours they spend on the treadmill — thinking that this is the secret ingredient to burning more calories. Sadly, it just doesn’t work out. Sure, you burn more calories by walking on the treadmill than by lying on the couch; however, without the proper amount of weight training, you will not increase your metabolism in the long term. Your metabolism is directly affected by how much muscle you have. The higher your metabolism is, the more calories you will be burning throughout the day (and through the night) – so, build more muscle!
- NOT UNDERSTANDING FOOD AND EXERCISE CALORIES
Many people want to know how many calories they burn during their exercise session. Usually, the reason they want this information is to quantify it in terms of food so they can justify eating an indulgent meal or “treat” because they have “earned” it by working out. However, this equation just doesn’t work. You will end up NOT losing weight, or you might even gain some. So remember, food and exercise are separate issues.
- NOT AVOIDING ALCOHOL
There is nothing inherently wrong with a few cocktails per week, but too many will absolutely reduce your fat-burning capability. Not only does alcohol provide a hefty dose of calories, but it also stops fat burning in its tracks (similar to sugar) as it is the first thing your body will try to burn. Add in the side effect of the increased food consumption while drinking and you’ve set yourself up for weight loss failure. Enjoy your cocktails…sparingly, and if you must, then really only saving them for special occasions or better still, replacing them with non-alcoholic alternatives.
- NOT EATING ENOUGH PROTEIN
Food fads that set trends during different time periods can cause disastrous consequences. Low fat, high fat, low carb, high carb, low protein, high protein all becomes very confusing and as a result most people end of following what the major trend is without really thinking about what they are really doing. The truth is that protein is needed for muscle maintenance (and growth) and when you don’t consume enough protein you are disadvantaging the most metabolically active tissue in your body, which means less calorie burning action! In addition, consuming adequate amounts of protein will help satisfy your hunger and you will be less likely to snack. So eat your protein, often!
- NOT MANAGING STRESS EFFECTIVELY
Weight loss is determined by your metabolism. When we are in a constant state of stress our body is largely under the influence of the sympathetic nervous system. This is a state of “fight or flight” and in order for effective metabolism of food (digestion) we need to be in a relaxed, or parasympathetic, state. The good news is that you do have control over your fat-burning capacity by breathing deeply before each meal, eating slowly and mindfully, and without distraction.
Try implementing some of these tips (rather than NOT doing them) and notice the difference that they bring.