When it comes to achieving and maintaining a healthy body, fat loss is key. While some people think fat loss can only come from fad diets, the reality is that eating real foods, exercising, and getting the necessary sleep each day is the best plan of attack in the battle of the bulge. However, if you swear you’re doing all of that and yet you still can’t seem to shake the unwanted weight, the following five reason might be why you’re failing at fat loss.
Too Much of a Good Thing: Even when you’re eating the right kinds of foods–lean proteins, healthy fats, and unprocessed carbs–it’s hard to ditch unwanted fat if you’re taking in too many calories. It is possible to overeat healthy foods, so portion control is key. Try the “hand” method when balancing your meals:
- Meat: One serving is equal to the palm of your hand.
- Veggies: One serving is equal to your two hands together.
- Fruits and Grains: One serving of each is equal to one fist.
- Fat: One serving of healthy fat (ex. olive oil) is equal to the size of your thumb.
Not Eating Enough: On the flip side, if you’re taking in too few calories, your body will start to think it’s starving and start clinging to fat for dear life. Instead of reducing your food intake to levels that leave you hungry (and probably cranky), eat more often. Swap three larger meals for five or six smaller meals and snacks.
Stressing Out: When life throws you a curve ball, it’s natural to worry and stress about it. However, with that anxiety comes a hefty dose of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to the reason why many people deal with stubborn belly fat. While stress may be thought of in relation to a person’s job, family responsibilities, or financial struggles, it can also be caused by poor nutrition, not getting a good night’s sleep, and staying sedentary for too long. Analyze areas in your life where stress might stem from, and consider ways to remove those woes from your way of living.
You’re Not Pushing Fluids: Water plays a key role in the speed of your metabolism, which is the rate at which your body uses energy. Don’t drink enough water each day, and your metabolism can slow to a snail’s pace. Your body will have a more difficult time burning fat needed for energy, and the dehydration can be mistaken for hunger, leading to unneeded food intake.
You Need More Muscle: The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolism can be. According to WebMD, five- to ten pounds of lean muscle mass can lead to an additional 100 calories burned without making a move. To increase muscle, be sure your meals include plenty of lean protein, which is the building block for muscle. When you’re working out, add in strength-training exercises that use barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells, machines, or just your body weight to create resistance.
Before you throw in the proverbial towel on fat loss, be sure you’re not making one or more of these epic mistakes. Change your eating and exercise routines using these guidelines, and the fat shouldn’t stick around for much longer.
What is your favorite lean protein meal? Share with us in the comments!