Why You are Not Losing Fat

Posted: April 8, 2013

If you are frustrated and wondering why you are not losing fat, then read on. I guarantee that if you start incorporating a few of these tips into your plan, you will see some fat loss. Not only will you see fat loss, you will feel better and have more energy. Notice that I said fat loss? I first want you to start getting used to saying “fat loss” instead of “weight loss”. Why? Because there is a major difference. Weight loss that can happen quickly, but does not last is usually made up of water, muscle and if you are lucky, some fat. Fat loss, is exactly what you want…a loss of only fat. The reason you only want to lose fat, and never muscle is for one huge reason. Muscle is metabolically active tissue. For every bit of muscle that you lose, you slow your metabolism down. Anyone that knows anything about being fat, knows that they have a slow metabolism. So, one of the main things that you want to do is to preserve your muscle tissue. Better yet, build some muscle tissue.

I have been training women for years. I have recently been coaching mostly women on how to lose fat. Once again, I will remind you to say “lose fat”. Keep repeating that. Your new inner voice should say, “I want to get stronger, and lose fat”. This is the beginning of a better relationship with your body, how you feed it, and how you work it out. So, back to the best thing you can do to lose fat? Add muscle. By lifting weights and getting stronger, you now turn your body into a stronger body. You create an empowering way to feel better about yourself, and you take the focus off of things that make you weaker. Like cutting the wrong calories and skipping meals. So the number one thing here, lift weights. Stay away from the cardio only workouts for a couple of weeks. Plan on only getting stronger by lifting weights. As you get stronger, you will need to pay special attention to what, and when you eat. Which brings me to the next tip.

When to eat and what to eat. The basic takeaway here is this. Eat for what you are doing next. If you are going to the gym soon, eat more carbs, a little protein, and a little fat. If you are going to sit and watch a movie and it is late in the day, eat some protein and very little or no carbs and some healthy fat. Treat your body like a machine. It needs more fuel when you are placing a demand on it, less when you are more sedentary.

The next biggie. Make your workouts intense. Shorter, more intense workouts have been proven to keep the metabolism running high for up to 36 hours. Add weights, kettlebells, sandbags, anything that gets your muscles engaged, and your heart rate up. The key here is short bursts of intensity. Forget the hour in the gym where you mindlessly go through the same old workout that you have done for years. Pick 6 exercises, go through 10 reps, then onto the next exercise, and repeat this for all 6 exercises. Rest at the end for 2 minutes, then repeat 2 more times. Make sure you warm up, and cool down. The highest after burn of calories comes from this type of workout. Exhausted, done in 30 minutes. Fat still burning hours later. Perfect!

Next reason you are still fat? Skipping meals. Yep. Oldest one in the book of overweight chronic dieters. I hear women every day say “I barely eat all day and do cardio for a half hour and still have this belly!”. They are making their bodies into perfect, fat storing machines. Burn through muscle all day long, then burn through a little more doing only cardio, then eat because you are starving. Wrong. Eat often. Eat protein with every meal spread out through the day. Once again, use weights in your workouts.

No sleep? Believe it or not, this is something studied a lot these days. People that get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis are better at burning fat. The body needs rest to work efficiently. Muscle grows while you are at rest. Again, muscle is the most important tissue in the body when concerned with fat loss and fitness. Get some rest, better yet, get at least 7 hours of sleep.

There you have enough tips to change how much fat your body is carrying. Add one, or add them all, and watch your body start to work more efficiently, with more energy and less fat. The fat won’t stand a chance on you if you are incorporating these tips into your daily life.

Here is the summary:

1. Start saying “I want to get stronger, and lose fat”…..win win situation.

2.  Add muscle. Start a strength training program. Ladies, you will completely change your body by doing this one thing. Women are so much stronger than they think. Forget 3 and 5 lb weights. Lift something challenging.

3. Plan your meals around what you are doing next. Working out? More calories. Sitting for long periods? Less calories. Same amount of protein, but less carbs.

4.  Make your workouts shorter, and more intense. Remember…short, intense bursts of strength and energy.

5.  Eat often, and have protein with every meal. Aim for 1 gram per pound of lean body weight. Your lean body weight is what needs to be fed, not the extra fat.

6.  Sleep at least 7 hours per night. Be refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Brain power and muscle power depend on it.

I just had my snack of cottage cheese, topped with a few blueberries, and some almonds. Took some magnesium, 2 melatonin and a big glass of ice water. I’m off to saw some logs so that I can wake up refreshed and be ready for an intense workout tomorrow. That’s how I keep the fat off of my body. You can too!

In strength and health (and working towards less body fat,)

Scroll down for other great tips on nutrition, fat loss, and functional strength as we age.
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