As a certified fitness instructor and nutritionist, the number one question I’m always asked about is stubborn body fat and how to get rid of it. In reality, we are all a little different and require different means of addressing this problem. That’s why each of my client’s programs are a little different, so they will achieve the BEST results for them.
Although I can’t give one specific answer to this question, I can give you the 5 most common reasons why I see so many people fail to reach their fat loss goals.
1. Lack of Consistency
This is a big one that I notice with people. I see examples of this at the gym and as I listen to people tell me what they are currently doing. I’m always hearing the excuse, “I’m just too busy.” Are you really as busy as you think?
The truth is, for the majority of people I’m hearing this from it’s untrue. Being “too busy” just means that exercise isn’t a top priority for you. Each of us has the same 24 hours in a day. How we use those 24 hours depends on what we feel matters the most. If exercise and staying in shape rank high on that list, we make time for it. Even if that means getting up before everyone else so that you can get your workout done!
2. Lack of Patience
We live in a fast paced world. Everything is happening right now and we’re used to getting everything that we want on demand. The the major reason Amazon is so popular is because they can have your package to you the next day. People love that! However, it doesn’t work that way with fat loss. Taking care of your body and maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong process.
You probably see this happen all the time. It’s the “New Year’s Phenomenon.” I see certain people at the gym every day, staying consistant, doing everything right. Next thing you know, they are nowhere to be found. What happened? They simply gave up because they were not getting the results they expected immediately. Remember, you don’t gain 50 lbs over night. Likewise, you will not lose 50 lbs over night. Patience!
3. Lack of Food
On the other end of the spectrum, there is the lack of food. As I mentioned in my article How Your Brain Makes You Fat, fat loss comes down to calories. You need to eat less calories than you burn. However, some people take this to the extreme and WAY under consume in calories, leading to a wrecked metabolism!
You have to think of your metabolism as a fire. In order to keep the fire (your metabolism) going, you need to add kindling (nutrients, food). Ultimately, the amount of calories you consume should be slightly under the amount you burn. It’s recommended to be around a 500 calorie deficit, which equates to losing a pound week. That’s 52 pounds in a year!
4. Lack of Protein
Now, you know that calories are the most important factor to consider when it comes to weight loss. However, protein is also another important factor to consider because it protects your hard earned muscle while you are dieting!
Muscle burns calories while you are at rest. That’s why someone with more muscle mass is able to eat more and not get fat. With that being said, you want to protect all of the muscle you have while dieting, and the only way to do that is to make sure you’re eating enough complete protein!
Another great benefit of protein is that it actually boosts your metabolism during digestion. This is known as the thermic effect of feeding (TEF) and is HUGE when it comes to losing fat. Out of all the macronutrients (carbs, fat, protein), protein has the highest TEF!
5. Lack of Tracking
The final, yet one of the most critical, reasons why most people that I encounter fail to meet their fat loss goals is because they aren’t tracking! I always pose the question, “how are you keeping track of your progress?” Most of the time I hear they track everything in their head, from memory. That’s not tracking.
I’m not saying you need to weigh your food or count every calorie that you consume, but you should be logging your weight, food, and exercise somewhere. From these logs, you can track and make adjustments as needed. For example, you may notice that you’re not losing weight and decide to cut back on calories. You can look back at your logs and see where you can lower your portions even further to reduce your calories slightly.
Without tracking, you won’t know where you need to make adjustments. Either that or your adjustments may be too drastic or not drastic enough. Without tracking, it’s simply a guessing game that’s going to set you back weeks, maybe even months!
Tip: use the MyFitnessPal app to keep track of food, exercise, and weight all in one place!