At some point, most people in the gym are looking to lose some fat and ask why can’t I lose fat? Some people do awesome and get to their goals on their own, with little external support. Others need more knowledge, guidance, and support along their journey to succeed. If you are one of these people, you have definitely asked this question:
Why Can’t I Lose Fat?
Ironically, fat loss doesn’t have to be as complicated as some people make it seem. Once you know where to focus your efforts, you will be on the fast track to success! I’ve seen it with plenty of my clients in my years of training everybody from complete beginners who have never touched a dumbbell to experienced athletes who are basically gym junkies.
Here are 5 things to ask yourself to ensure that you are on the right track!
1. Do I Need Professional Guidance?
Do you understand the importance of overall energy balance and the roll of calories in versus calories out? Do you follow a specific exercise program that is beneficial for muscle mass retention and promotes maximal fat loss? If you can’t answer yes to both of these questions, you might need a little support.
Trainers and coaches exist for one reason: to get you to your goals. If you goal is maximal fat loss and you don’t really know how to get started, that is what a trainer or coach is for! I can’t even count how many clients I’ve had who had tried to diet and exercise alone and never got anywhere until they came to work with me!
You can find a local trainer, or go with an online fitness coaching program, like I have with my business, MM Fitness. Local trainers are great to have when you need that one-on-one guidance while you are training. Coaches are great to have if you are motivated enough to make it to the gym and follow the program as laid out. They can also be much cheaper than local trainers.
If you don’t want the help of a professional, continue through the list!
2. Am I Eating Properly For Fat Loss?
If you are looking to lose fat, you need to be consuming less calories than you are burning in a day. This leads to a caloric deficit, which promotes weight loss. This weight isn’t always coming from fat stores, which is why exercise with resistance training is just as important as your nutritional intake.
If you are new to counting calories and don’t know where to start, Online You can find virtually any food to log into your daily journals and it will calculate everything for you. All you need is measuring tools, like cups, tablespoons, a food scale, etc.
Calculate your recommended calorie intake for your goals, although I prefer just multiplying your body weight, in lbs, by 12 for females or by 13 for males as a good starting point.
Keep this in mind: you can gain fat by eating the healthiest foods in the world if you exceed your daily calorie requirements. Don’t think that eating healthy automatically makes you lose fat!
3. Am I Exercising Properly For Fat Loss?
Most people still believe that cardiovascular exercise is better for fat loss than weight training. This isn’t true, however, Resistance training promotes lean body mass maintenance while in a calorie deficit phase, meaning your body wants to hold onto the muscle and take more energy from fat stores. Aerobic work doesn’t produce the same retention of lean body mass, meaning you’ll lose muscle along with the fat and actually have to lose more weight overall to achieve the same level of total body fat in the end.
Not to mention that resistance training produces just as good of a calorie burn as aerobic exercise, due to an increased rate of calorie burning for about 24 hours following a weight training session. Cardio is still important for overall health, but it shouldn’t be the focal point of your training plan.
Ladies, don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights! They won’t make you look like a man, especially if you are in calorie deficit, which makes muscle gain much harder overall.
4. Am I Giving Enough Effort To Proper Recovery?
Are you taking the time out of your day to ensure that you are recovering optimally? Something as simple as a Yoga class, or nice Epsom salt bath will relax your body and promote better recovery. Not only that, these tactics help reduce stress and lower Cortisol, a hormone that can wreak havoc on those looking to lose body fat.
Also, you need to make sure you are getting high quality sleep, and enough of it! The better you sleep, the easier the results will come. Bad sleeping habits lead to a higher concentration of Cortisol in the body as well.
Practice some flexibility and mobility training, perform Yoga, take contrast showers, and use other recovery tactics, as needed, to ensure that your body continues to function properly throughout your fat loss efforts! Hitting the gym for multiple hours day after day isn’t necessary at all!
5. Am I Being Honest About My Effort?
If you think you are hitting your calorie goals every day perfectly and following a great training program, but still don’t see results, you might be lying to yourself! Remember, fat loss is highly complicated. A simple calorie deficit and proper exercise, along with the right recovery techniques, is all that is needed to produce great fat loss!
So, are you actually measuring your food and counting those calories daily? Are you actually completing your training program as intended? Are you really putting effort into improving your recovery outside of the gym?
It is very easy to think that you are doing awesome, but actually eat more calories than you think you are and not training to your best abilities. If you are cheating, you are only cheating yourself. It’s cliché, but it happens to be very true!
Now Lets Lose That Fat!!!
You’ve successfully audited your fat loss efforts now! Pat yourself on the back and start working towards your goals. There is no better time to start than right now.