7 Reasons Why Your Fat Loss Has Stalled
There's a lot of reasons why you could be stuck at a plateau in as far as your fat loss is concerned, but here's a quick tally of my top seven reasons why you're stuck at a certain weight.
- You're not exercising enough or at all. Hands down you simply have to exercise in order to lose a whole bunch of fat. You can lose weight and still not be losing fat, simply because the body will start losing both muscle and fat mass. You want to exercise (weight training is best for holding onto muscle mass) in order to teach the body what to do with calories. If you're not exercising your body wants to get rid of any type of tissue that isn't tied down. If you're lifting weights the body will preserve the muscle mass and turn toward burning more fat as fuel.
- You're not exercising intensely. This is another big issue for a lot of people that go to the gym consitantly enough, however, they don't challenge themselves and working hard looks more like hardly working. Your body is very adaptable. If you're not providing enough stress for the body to change, well you're going to stay the same. Plain enough, right? Put down the pink dumbbells and start pushing some heavy weights and engaging some challenging workouts.
- Eating too little. Many times you can pinpoint a lot of people, especially women who undereat in a attempt to lose weight, although they cut calories WAY TOO MUCH! You want to be able to eat a good quantity of quality calories, while undercutting caloric requirements just a bit. You can do this simple calculation to determine how many calories to consume during the course of the day: 10kcals x (bodyweight) = daily caloric value of RMR. Now this calculation is really simple to do in your head and it's not going to be spot on, but it'll give you a good number to aim for...now some people may need a bit more calories if they're active, so generally I aim for a range of 10kcals / bodyweight and 13kcals / bodyweight to initiate weight loss. You really don't want to go too much lower than that. If you undercut much more you're going to start undermining your metabolism and turning off cellular machinery that is useful for helping you burn off more fat.
- Eating too much. This one should be obvious, if you're eating too many calories, you're not going to continue losing fat. What most people don't consider is the fact that after you've initially lost a bunch of weight, your body has changed and doesn't require the same amount of calories that it once did. Smaller bodies need smaller amounts of fuel (unless you're exercising a hell of a lot). Even then, if there's more weight to lose you'll probably have to shift those calories down a bit to start the fat loss process again. Just remember not to down regulate too much.
- Falling for marketing tactics. Far too many companies are out to sell you there wares and they have a whole bunch of tricks to get you thinking their product is the best, most awesome product on the market in terms of health, fat loss, taste and super human abilities. It's all bull! Don't fall for it. Packaged products are never better than real food options. Period.
- Not eating quality calories. Quality counts folks, if you're trying to get your calorie needs in through a whole bunch of processed junk without considering all the vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient components of food, you're shooting yourself in the foot in terms of fat loss. Protein bars, powders and supplements can't replace real wholesome food and all of it's benefits. Start with getting your daily intake of protein figured out, then add in more vegetables, salads and a bit of fruit. Then start curtailing some of those carbohydrates, especially the processed carbs. You'll be back on track with your fat loss in no time.
- Being consistent for a long time. You can't expect things to happen overnight. If you've been overweight for a while, you can't expect to lose a ton of weight in a month. The body just doesn't work that way. Sorry to burst your bubble. If you're consistently working on your body and diligently pursuing bigger and more challenging workouts you're going to be successful eventually. If you're going hard for a week, then you take two weeks off, then back on for another week and then off again, you're spinning your wheels. Commit to something and ride that train for a while. Don't get off till you're where you want to be and then work on how to maintain it. With any luck you'll have decided that it's a lifestyle and you're going to stay on that train wherever it leads.
There you have it. The 7 main reasons why your fat loss is stalled. If you have a couple more reasons, I'd love to hear from you. Please list them in the comments below.
Jesse “Captain Smash” Howland is the owner of SMASH’s Strength Lab, which offers targeted personal training to reach a variety of fitness and physique goals. A natural bodybuilder, competitive powerlifter, certified personal trainer, and nutrition coach, Jesse is often the go-to resource for personal training Ottawa. He studied Exercise Science at Oregon State University and even trained at the world famous Gold’s Gym. He’s a former US Army Captain with the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, a former blog writer at Veterans Fitness Career College, and former Chief Executive Officer at U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). His workouts and personal training are army-inspired to help reach your weightloss, athletic, or physique goals.