If you are trying hard to lose weight and reduce your body fat percentage then it can be incredibly frustrating when you are not seeing the results you would expect to see.
Even if you are eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise there may still be reasons why you are not seeing the results you desire.
Read on to find out a few reasons why you are not losing fat:
#1: You are focussing on cardio
If your time spent at the gym involves walking or jogging at a moderate pace on the treadmill then you will not be getting the most out of your workout.
While you are burning calories doing cardio alone, it is certainly not the best form of exercise for your weight loss goals.
My suggestion to you would be to try some HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training, as this has been shown to be significantly more effective for fat burning.
HIIT involves quicks burst of intense exercise that is then followed by a short rest, which is then repeated. Often a HIIT workout can be completed within 10 minutes so is ideal for those not only interested in burning fat, but also have very little available time.
Another alternative to steady-state cardio would be resistance or weight training, which will help to ensure you start building muscle as well as burning calories and fat.
The importance of building muscle for weight loss is that muscle burns more calories at rest than fat.
You will also find that you are still burning calories up to 24 hours after completing a weight training workout, whereas your calorie burning will stop as soon as you complete your steady-state cardio workout.
#2: You are not getting enough protein
There are a few reasons why protein is important for weight loss:
- It is slow to digest so helps keep you fuller for longer
- It is used by your body to repair and build muscle
Protein can also help burn fat too, with one study published in The FASEB Journal showing that those who doubled their protein intake were more likely to lose fat than those who didn’t.
In the study 32 men and 7 women were given a 31 day weight loss diet.
While each participant lost a similar amount of weight, those that ate the most protein lost the most fat.
#3: You are stressed
If you lead a stressful life this could be effecting your weight loss efforts.
When you are stressed your body will start to produce cortisol, which not only causes food cravings but can also effect your testosterone and growth hormone production.
This can have a negative effect on your muscle growth and can cause an increase in fat, in particular around your waist.
To reduce stress I would suggest yoga, although even a nice warm bath with your favourite book could be equally as effective.
#4: You are not eating enough fat
This may seem silly, as you have no doubt hear how fat is bad for weight loss. However certain types of fat (good fats) could speed up your results.
Certain types of fat should be avoided, such as those found in junk food (saturated and trans fats).
Instead you should try and eat more foods containing monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats that can be found in oily fish, nuts and avocados.
#5: You eat unhealthy ‘healthy’ foods
Certain foods are marketed as being healthy, but may not be as healthy as they are made out to be.
For example low-fat foods are often full of sweeteners can leave you craving sugary foods.
Rather than picking these ‘fad’ foods try to stick to fresh produce instead.
#6: You don’t eat any carbohydrates
If you are planning on going to the gym, which you should if you are serious about losing the weight and fat, then you will need to be eating carbs.
If you want the energy to workout to your best ability then you need carbs as they are an essential source of fuel for your body.
As with the fats, there are healthy carbs that you should eat, for example sweet potatoes, fruit and quinoa.
#7: You are not drinking enough
There are various reasons why water is important for weight loss:
- It can suppress your appetite
- It can flush those toxins that promote weight gain
You will also find that if you are dehydrated your metabolism can slow down as your muscles need water to function properly. As we all know your metabolism is important for fat loss as this is what ensures calories are burnt.