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10 Reasons You Have Stopped Losing Fat

aesthetic male posing shirtless with low body fat

10 Reasons You Have Stopped Losing Fat:

The most frustrating thing when on a diet is when your fat loss begins to stall. If you have been on a fat loss diet before then you will strongly appreciate where I’m coming from on this topic! You’re training hard and eating clean but your results have completely plateaued. If this sounds familiar then don’t be discouraged the truth is you’re closer to getting shredded then you think all you need to do is remove the barriers holding you back from turning your body into a fat burning furnace.

 1. Cardio Is Your Only Option

Cardio despite what many people say is a very un-efficient tool when it comes to fat loss. Cardio by itself simply does not burn enough calories and the more cardio you do the better your body adapts to it. One way to overcome this is to perform interval training. High intensity interval training (HIIT), which by its very nature causes you to burn more calories, stimulate higher fat loss and create a metabolic surge, which can increase your body’s ability to burn fat for hours after your workout.

 2. You’re Cheating On Your Cheat Meals

Cheat meals are actually a very underestimated part of dieting, they are portrayed as a chance to “cheat” on your diet and briefly give in to any cravings you may have. But in fact cheat meals are essential to ensuring your body continues to lose fat. During a calorie deficit your body’s levels of leptin, a hormone that controls weight loss and defends against starvation are reduced. Low levels of leptin not only reduces your ability to lose weight, but can also lead to more fat being gained! To counteract low leptin levels when dieting and return your body back to an optimal fat burning state you must have an occasional high-carb meal (cheat meal). Please take note that high-carb does not mean high fat. A cheat meal, which is carb heavy and high in fat, will send nutrients to your shrunken fat cells and cause progress to stall.

3. Protein Isn’t A Priority

Whether it’s a low carb or a low fat diet you decide to pursue, your protein content should always be high! This is because your body burns more calories to digest protein than any other macronutrient. Protein also keeps you feeling fuller for longer and is vital in ensuring your maintaining muscle mass while losing fat. Studies have also shown that a high protein diet improves body composition and insulin levels more then a diet with moderate protein despite the number of calories remaining identical. To ensure your eating enough protein consume at least 1-1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight per day while dieting.

4. You Don’t Drink Enough Water

Nearly 50% of all Americans don’t drink enough water. When in a calorie deficit your water intake is incredibly important to the amount of fat you can shift. Even the smallest amount of dehydration causes your metabolism to slow down to try and conserve water this in turn almost stops your bodies ability to burn fat. To counter these effects insure your drinking enough water each day to keep your body fully hydrated and optimise your ability to lose fat.

5. You’ve Stopped Focusing On Strength Training

The number one priority when trying to lose fat should be to keep as much muscle as possible. Losing muscle should not be acceptable! Doing so will make it more difficult to continue to lose fat. This is because muscle tissue itself is metabolically responsible for the majority of the fat you loose. So by maintaining or even gaining strength is a sure fire way to ensure your doing all you can to keep as much muscle mass as possible. Lifting heavy forces your body to hold on to muscle as it sees it as essential for survival. When the amount of weight lifted is reduced your body then assumes that you no longer require the same strength any more and muscle mass will likely be reduced. This is because your body will always try to adapt itself to run as efficiently as possible. Muscle requires a large amount of calories every day simply for maintenance so it is likely your body will see it as an expendable item. To focus on building strength and size to defend against muscle loss include some heavy compound exercises using lower reps (4-6) reps into the start of your workouts.

6. You Are Too Stressed

Even if everything else is in check being over stressed can play havoc with your ability to lose fat. Mental and Physical stress reduces your body’s ability to lose fat due to the elevation of the hormone cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels interfere with growth hormone and testosterone production this in turn reduces muscle growth and leads to fat gain. So aside from trying to reduce stress levels from everyday working life make sure you take at least one day of rest per week from any exercise to prevent burning yourself out.

7. You Don’t Take Note Of What You Eat

Although you may think you are eating correctly to achieve fat loss. If you are not tracking your calories and macronutrients each day it is very difficult to give your body exactly what it needs to maintain muscle and lose fat at an optimal level. Tracking your calories and macronutrients is as not as difficult as you may first think and there are a host of mobile apps, which enable you to scan and track your complete food and drink diary.

8. You’re Not Eating Enough Fat

Despite trying to reduce your body fat its is still vital that you are still consuming enough fat each day. A diet too low in healthy fats can play havoc on natural testosterone levels causing reductions in both muscle mass and the ability to shift body fat. In fact studies have shown that by combining exercise with a fish oil supplement (a healthy source of fat) subjects dropped more body fat then those who just exercised. In some cases these studies resulted in an extra two pounds of fat loss in only three weeks. Therefore look to get your fats from healthy sources such as olive oils, avocados, coconut oils, and fish.

9. You Have Dramatically Cut Carbs

There are a lot of diets out there that suggest cutting carbs is the best way to lose weight. Although this may be true in some cases, when referring to the healthiest way in which to reduce body fat whilst maintaining muscle and athletic performance in the gym it is not the route to go down. For people who are weight training several times a week, your body is reliant on carbs as its primary source of energy to help power you through workouts and perform your best. To encourage fat loss, eat carbs before and after weight training and ensure they come from clean sources such as whole grains, sweet potatoes and brown rice.

10.You Haven’t Cut Down On Sugar Consumption

Reducing your sugar consumption can really help increase the rate in which you lose fat. Foods and drinks with added sugars such as cakes, soft drinks and sweets have very little nutritional value. These refined sugars, which are added to a large range of food, lack the vitamins, minerals, proteins and fibre, which are commonly found in complex carbohydrates. Often referred to as “empty calories” refined sugar can cause blood sugar levels to spike provoking insulin levels to follow. Insulin is a hormone, which helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. When consuming sugar if it is not rapidly used for energy, insulin will remove it from the blood and it will be converted into triglycerides in the liver. These converted triglycerides can then be stored as body fat. Therefore make sure you monitor sugar consumption to avoid any excess body fat being stored.

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Stanhope, K. L. (2015). Sugar consumption, metabolic disease and obesity: The state of the controversy.Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences



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7 Responses to “10 Reasons You Have Stopped Losing Fat

  • Some great points here. Adding to the HIIT thought process, I have been using cardio acceleration which has helped reduce my bodyfat by 3.5% in 3 weeks. Of course, I’ve worked on all the other points mentioned here – consuming enough protein, utilising a high carb meal, reducing sugar.

    For those who don’t feel like HIIT, cardio acceleration is a great alternative, and can minimise time spent in the gym

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