"𝗪𝗵𝘆 𝗮𝗺 𝗜 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝘀𝗲𝗲𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘂𝗹𝘁𝘀?" This must probably be one of the most asked questions I receive on a weekly basis.
Women telling me about the amount of diets they have been on, the countless meal plans they have followed, the amounts of hours the spend training every week, the food they are "not allowed" to eat... The list goes on.
If you are on a journey to get lean & shed some body fat, but you're just not seeing the results you are after - there's a good chance that one (or more) of these factors might be the reason.
When it comes down to fat loss & getting that "toned" look - it ultimately can be narrowed down to three major categories:
1. Calorie Deficit
2. Stress Management
Option 1: You are too restrictive
Has this ever happened to you: The moment you tell yourself that you \"can't\" have something - then all out of sudden, you're constantly craving it.
The idea of can & can't when it comes to nutrition usually comes from restrictive eating habits that you have cultivated over time.
And what happens with restrictive eating? It leads to binge eating. What happens after you binge eat? You feel guilty and jump back onto the restriction wagon again.
This comes from a bad relationship with food and keep the relationship in tact. It derails most (if not all) forms of sustainability - as you never know when the next binge might take over.
One of the very best moments there is, is when you have the light bulb moment for the very first time - that you can have all the foods you enjoy, no restrictions and you can still reach your health and fitness goals!
Option 2: You are inconsistent
Consistency truly is key! When we let go of the Monday to Thursday diets and eat whatever we see from Friday to Sunday - we would already see massive changes in our health and fitness journeys.
Yes! One bad day, a missed workout or a bad meal can't make you fat and unfit. Nor can one healthy day, good meal or hard workout make you skinny and healthy.
You can be flexible in your health and fitness journey and still maintain consistency!
There is no point in following a diet / program / lifestyle that you cannot sustain. If you are constantly falling of the wagon and have to start over again every Monday - then surely something is not working.
Health and fitness that really improves your life in the long run is about finding something that you can be consistent with. If you are consistent - the results will show it in due time!
Option 3: You are always stressed out
Stress is a part of life as we know it. The problem comes in when our stress levels are not controlled and we end up chronically stressed.
Between family, friends, work, studies and all other never-ending obligations, the stress just piles up.
Mental as well as physical stress elevates cortisol levels in our brain. Cortisol is our body's primary stress hormone. When cortisol levels are elevated - the glucose in the bloodstream increase. Cortisol slows down all body functions that would be non-essential in a harmful fight or flight situation.
High levels of cortisol interfere with testosterone and growth hormone production, which reduces muscle growth and leads to fat gain. And to top it off is when you deal with increased stress by eating.
Option 4: You don't get enough sleep
The importance of sleep cannot be emphasised enough!
Sleep plays a integral part when it comes to optimal health and wellness. It influences our day to day performance, our health as well as our weight loss / gain journeys.
A recent study showed that when dieters reduce their sleep for a two week period - the amount of weight (fat) lost dropped with 55% - even though their daily calories stayed the same. People who consistently get inadequate amounts of sleep are far more likely to make poor decisions when it comes to food, to make impulsive food choices, binge eat / eat larger portions in general.
We require approximately 7-9 hours of sleep per night. It’s therefore important to schedule your days and plan ahead. When you know you have to get up early tomorrow – then prioritise going to bed earlier tonight.
If you haven’t been making your sleep a priority – it might take a while to get used to it. It’s important to not be to stuck in a routine when it comes to your sleep. Not all of our programs will work with a get up at 6am; go to bed at 10pm rule. So adapt your schedule to suite every day of your life.
Option 5: You have underlying gut issues
An imbalanced gut can impair your body's ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar and cause your body to store fat - that would have other wise been broken down or secreted.
People suffering from gut issues usually also have to deal with constipation, diarrhea, bloating and several other health issues.
If you are not going to the bathroom regularly, suffer with food intolerances, deal with stomach pain and bloating consistently or have any other gut issues that you are aware off - best option would be to really pay attention to it and get the required help to sort out your gut.
Sorting out your gut will help to make your weight loss goals way more effective and consistent.
Option 6: You eat too many calories
The secret to fat loss is being in a calorie deficit. Not hopping from one diet / meal plan to another.
If you are not in a deficit, you can do whatever you want to - you will not loose weight. You can be on famous diets and still not be in a calorie deficit and thus you won't see the result you are after.
Tracking your calories is something many people just refuse to do out of principle. And that probably comes from having a bad relationship with food to start off with.
Tracking your calories is not something we recommend that you do for the rest of your life. However, it is an amazing tool to educate you on the basics of nutrition. Tracking for a period of time will enable you to learn to decide what you put on your plate long after you have stopped tracking.
Option 7: You eat too little calories
As mentioned in the previous slide: the secret to fat loss is being in a calorie deficit. However, our bodies require a certain amount of calories per day to sustain itself - in other words - to stay alive. If you are eating in too big of a deficit - you will not see the results that you are after - just like when you are eating in a calorie surplus.
We are not meant to be in a calorie deficit forever. And living life from one diet to the other or one meal plan to another is keeping you in an unfavourable amount of time in a calorie deficit. Which will result in our body's metabolism slowing down. So the moment you start to eat the way you ate before you started with the diet / meal plan, what happens? You gain back the weight you have lost.
If you want to loose weight and actually keep it off - you need to be in a calorie deficit for a certain amount of time and then go back to maintenance or even surplus calories for a period . After that you can go back into a deficit for the next phase
When your body is feeling safe and sure that there is an adequate and consistent supply of food, it will start to drop body fat.
Option 8: You overtrain
Just like stress and a lack of sleep, overtraining increases your body's stress response.
Our bodies need sufficient time to recover from our workouts to actually reap the benefit from those workouts. If you don't give your body sufficient time to recover, your body's stress response stays elevated and the muscles you have worked so hard to build won't get any stronger.
Less truly is more when it comes to your workouts. Instead of spending hours in the gym doing senseless exercises in an attempt to loose weight - rather shorten your sessions but ensure that the time you actually train are proper sessions. Prioritises quality over quantity. It's not about the calories burned according to your smart watch. It's about the effort you put in when you are physically training and balancing that out with adequate amounts of rest - that is how you get results.
Your recovery is just as important as your workouts.
Option 9: You don't eat enough protein
We as women especially do not always consume adequate amounts of protein in our daily diets.
Being lean or getting that "toned" look isn't about loosing weight - it's about changing our body composition. Simply put: it means that we want to increase our muscle mass and decrease our fat mass.
Protein plays an essential when it comes to the maintenance of muscle mass when you are on a fat loss journey.
Protein is stored in our muscles. And if we do not consume sufficient protein whilst we are in a calorie deficit - we will loose muscle mass instead of body fat.
Protein is also the most satiating macronutrient - thus when you are consuming adequate amounts of protein in your daily diet - you are less likely to feel the need to snack between proper meals.
Protein plays a important role in any weight loss journey.
I'd love to know if you found this blog post helpful and if you were able to pin point any of the possible reasons in your own life!