So you’re trying to get that ideal, toned body and not getting the results you want. Maybe you still have a stomach pooch that’s making it impossible to bare your lower stomach in a pair of low rise jeans. Maybe your inner thighs refuse to tone up and cellulite is making your life miserable.
People generally exercise for two reasons:
- They want to burn fat
- They want to have a lean, sculpted body
Most people are pretty good at figuring out what to do to accomplish those goals! However, pretty good doesn’t mean great. Pretty good doesn’t mean effective.
In a lot of cases, pretty good just doesn’t cut it.
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight and burn fat and just couldn’t get the results you want, you know what I’m talking about. That’s why I put together this list of 6 reasons why you might not be burning as much fat as you want with your fitness plan, and how to fix them so you have the body you want as quickly and easily as possible.
1. You’re Not Doing The Right Training To Lose Fat
This one is huge. If you’re just trying to do a ton of cardio to lose fat – it’s not going to work.
Lifting weights is super important for fat loss. Simply put – cardio machines, running, and cardio heavy classes are not enough for most people to hit their weight loss goals.
The best way to boost your fitness plan’s weight loss potential is to add in weight training. A great method for weight training is hiit – or high intensity interval training – to most efficiently burn fat and build lean muscle… plus give a fat burning boost to your metabolism.
Here’s how to do it: do a combination of short, very high intensity bursts of exercise and follow them up with short breather periods for recovery. hiit applies to pretty much any exercise you want and is the most efficient way to work out – which means you’re not wasting time at the gym.
Here’s why strength training is so effective for women.
2. You’re Under-Eating
Note I said under-eating, not over-eating. As counterintuitive as it seems, eating too little can hurt your body’s ability to burn fat effectively.
That’s because when you under-eat, you’re placing a large amount of stress onto your body, which signals it to hold onto fat in case it needs it, slowing your metabolism down and destroying your fat-burning levels.
Think about it this way – your body is fine tuned to keep itself alive. If it senses that you’re very active every day but you’re not getting enough nutrients, it’s going to hoard fat in an effort to keep you alive and protect itself.
So here’s what to do: make sure that you’re eating enough calories every day. Many diets can trick you into thinking that practically starving yourself is a great way to lose weight – but it’s not. Sufficient calories (especially protein calories) will actually help you lose more weight in the long run, not less.
Check out why kettlebells can give you the most efficient workout possible.
3. You Should Be Eating More Protein
Most people who have spent time doing weight training in a gym have heard that protein is the crucial ingredient towards building muscle. That’s because protein is super important for many phases of your body’s recovery and development – including muscle building, boosting your metabolism, keeping you feel fuller for longer, and keeping your bones, hair, and skin healthy.
So how do you eat more protein over the day? Simple solution: eat breakfast. Most people skip breakfast, and it’s terrible for them. But if you eat breakfast and include protein, it kills the desire to snack throughout the day and ignites your fat burning for a whole 24 hours.
In case you need any more convincing, here are 9 reasons women should be eating more protein.
4. You’re Way Too Stressed Out
There’s a very common assumption with fat loss – thinking that fat loss is entirely controlled by how much you’re eating and working out. In fact, there are many factors when it comes to weight loss, and stress is one of the biggest ones.
When you have an excess amount of stress, it can cause your body to produce too much of the “stress hormone” cortisol. Cortisol is a very important hormone, but too much of it is a huge problem for your body – causing elevated blood pressure, a buildup of fat around your midsection, suppressing your body’s fat burning rate, decreased insulin sensitivity, and increased cardiovascular risk.
What do you do to lower your stress and cortisol levels? It’s pretty simple – get more sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, it destroys your health in a lot of different ways, from physical effects to mental. Plus, when you haven’t gotten enough sleep due to stress, your cravings for “comfort” snacks spike, and so does your risk for fat gain.
5. You’re Going Overboard With Your Fitness Program
This one could also be counterintuitive for a lot of people, but it’s pretty simple. If you’re stressing out a ton over your diet and your exercise plan, to the point where you’re losing sleep or obsessing over it – you’re making things much harder for yourself.
That’s because that stress is going to spike levels of – you guessed it – cortisol, which makes it much harder for you to hit your fitness goals.
So if this is you, the solution is simple: just relax! Quit stressing about your workouts, or your diet, and take the time to indulge yourself and give yourself a break. Fitness is a slow process – it takes time to obtain the body you want – and stressing out about how long it’s taking you won’t help you reach your goals. So take the time to put your feet up, give yourself a treat, and reduce your stress.
Speaking of overboard, don’t fall prey to this dangerous fitness trend.
6. You’re Imbibing Too Much Alcohol
Before you get freaked out – I’m not telling you that you can’t drink. If you want to have a drink with your friends, or some wine with your partner, go for it! It’s a healthy way to reduce stress (which will help your fitness goals even more). However, while some alcohol is fine, too much alcohol can destroy your body’s ability to burn fat.
That’s because alcoholic drinks have way more calories than you’d expect. Plus, when you’ve had a few, the choice between eating something healthy and eating something greasy is going to get a lot harder.
So instead of trying to cut drinking out of your diet, try just cutting down on the drinks you do have. By drinking less each time you drink (and drinking less nights of the week), you can cut out a ton of calories and bad decisions from your diet, and hit your weight loss goals even faster.
The Biggest Reasons Your Body Isn’t Burning Fat
- You’re not doing the right training to lose fat
- You’re under-eating
- You should be eating more protein
- You’re way too stressed out
- You’re going overboard with your fitness program
- You’re imbibing too much alcohol
If you loved this article, then check out these other must-see related posts:
The Same 10 Weight Loss Mistakes All Women Make
Fat-Loss Facts: 7 Common Dieting Mistakes
i make sure to take a walk every day to lose weight but it’s not working out for me. i will weight training a try. i hope to see good results.
this article helped me a lot! thanks
Aretilcs like this make life so much simpler.
Good list. Very educational.
I hate this. These are good reasons, but they are all things that happen to me. I sit here with a belly and I work my ass off all the time!
It is not easy to eliminate that belly. Maybe if you tone your abs with a workout or two and the muscle takes over the “fat” that is there?
These are the types of articles that beginners need to read. Once you get the basics of a diet and workout down, you are going to have to understand what you have here.
I will make sure that I am not doing any of these things and see if anything changes for me.
Good luck. Make sure that you take note of your weight and other measurements that might change during this time frame as well.
Get the heart rate up and you will be burning those calories. If you need a list of things to get that heart rate up, take a look around online, there are MANY to choose from.
The drinking that many do on the weekends or whenever is a major problem and a good place to hide sugar you are not thinking about. It adds up fast and then next thing you know, there is a belly there for you to look at.
Losing weight is hard to begin with, but if you are battling things like not getting your calories to burn, you are further behind than you thought.
All of these things are spot on. I think that education is the key to having the best workout and getting the most from a workout! Great post!
Great tips! Thank you for showing these to us. There are so many things that you have to learn about when getting into the diet and exercise game.
You have to get your heart rate up in order to burn anything. Building muscle does NOT always work for burning fat. If you can get your heart rate up, you are in good shape.
It is sort of funny that under eating is on the list because just about anywhere you go out to eat gives you way too much food. The portions sizes are just out of hand and when someone finished their plate, they feel good, but on the inside their body is freaking out!
Ask for a smaller portion on a smaller plate
These are some very good tips, especially if you are new to the diet scene and need some guidance.
Exactly. First starting out on your diet can be a hassle, but as you learn things like this, it does become a little easier.
I never really thought about it, but when I was not losing more than 1 pound per week, some of these factors could have been in play.
When you under eat, your body is thrown off a little. That can be bad for your metabolism in many ways.
I have been on a normal diet for many months now. I exercise when I have the time (about 3 times per week) and it seems that I have plateaued….what options do you think I have to lose more?
It might be possible that you are just at your optimal weight. Take a look at your height and read about online, it happens when your body is just not going to get smaller based on your overall size.
under eating is a common thing. most people would think that if they eat less, they body is going to lose the weight, but like you mention, it will work opposite of that.