Why Can't You Lose Fat?

Jul 6, 2016

11 Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Fat

Most of you already know that losing fat is easier said than done. It is truly stubborn and can really stall out your self-confidence and self-image. So, why is so hard to lose fat? Have you ever asked yourself, “is it the foods I’m eating or the lack of physical activity?"

The truth is that it can be more than one behavior that’s sabotaging the leanness and low body fat percentage you’re looking for. Most men tend to hold more fat in their midsection around their waistline, and women usually hold more around their hips and lower body. So, what happens when you start and continue to lose fat? You keep your motivation, keep doing the right things, and don’t look back at any regrets. This article is going to dive into 11 reasons that might be preventing you from losing fat and provide you with some quick pointers.

1. Don’t make excuses for your actions - Excuses that keep piling up aren't going to get you anywhere. You can’t keep telling yourself that it’s okay to over-indulge or your harmful behaviors are going to lead you down a path to poor health. Also, the excuse that your fat is genetics, passed down from your mother/father, or is there for other reasons like warmth should not sit well deep down in your gut. Everyone has the ability to put those excuses into actions and start shedding fat. It’s going to take work, but your confidence and ability to lose the fat is limitless, you just have to take the first step.2. The lack of physical activity - To lose the fat, you’re going to have to burn the fat. The lack of physical activity is one of America’s biggest contributors to obesity. Physical activity does not have to be structured; it just has to get your heart rate elevated. I often say that some sort of physical activity is better than nothing at all. A sedentary lifestyle is not only harmful to your health, but it is also hindering your mental and emotional wellness. If you engage in fun exercises that you enjoy, you’ll more than likely stick to them and make them a part of your lifestyle. Have fun with it!3. Eating clean and healthy only when you feel like it - Gaining and losing fat is not something you can just turn off and on like a light switch. The same holds true for eating a healthy well-balanced diet. To lose that stubborn fat, you are going to have to make sacrifices, and my best suggestion is start in the kitchen. You can’t eat healthy and crash diet and expect to lose fat; it’s going to take some mindfulness and self control. 4. You’re in a rut - Have you ever been in a hole, and you just seem to keep digging yourself even deeper? Before you know it, that hole has gotten so deep that it’s a struggle to get yourself out of. One bad behavior seems to lead to a string of consistent behaviors that lead to weight gain. The plus side is, you can overcome any obstacle or barrier. If you recognize your strengths and achieve a quick win such as weight loss, that will trigger your confidence and boost self efficacy.

Photo: Everyday Health

5. You’re setting unrealistic goals for yourself - Setting goals too high and unachievable can cause anxiety and continued failure. It’s best to design small behavioral goals that are not too easy nor too difficult. I encourage everyone to design SMART goals: which stands for specific, measurable, action-based, realistic, and time-lined. If you start with a small goal and get a little taste of an accomplishment from the start, you’d be surprised the amount of confidence you’ll gain and build.6. You’re doing the wrong type of exercise - You may not know it, but you may be doing the wrong type of exercises to lose fat. If your heart rate is barely elevated and you’re reading a book while doing cardio, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. Whatever exercise you chose, you should be sweating and at times, you should be breathing heavily. If you’re not sure what routine or exercises to do, I suggest investing in a certified personal trainer for a few sessions to get you started. 7. Cheat days become too abundant - I often I hear people say that they have cheat days to eat or drink whatever they want. They use food as a reward for being disciplined during the week or reaching a goal. I suggest finding an alternative, and let yourself have a single “cheat” food. A whole cheat meat or whole cheat day can lead to excessive calories eaten that can turn into fat. It may also lead into you craving those foods more often, so finding another way to reward yourself could be a good idea. Try a little vacation, buy yourself something, or even a have a relaxing day at the spa.8. Sweets became your best friend - Unhealthy sweets can be a tough enemy to fight off. Their addiction capabilities can be very powerful which makes it hard to lose fat. Most sweets like cakes, cookies, candies, and desserts not only contain a lot of added calories from sugar, but they contain a high amount of unhealthy fats. I suggest fighting that sweet craving with healthy fruits that will provide a lot more added vitamins, nutrients, and fiber to help you feel full longer.

Photo: Best of Life

9. You’ve forgotten that alcohol also has many calories - Many American’s pair their meals with a cocktail as a way of socializing, especially on the weekends. An occasional alcoholic drink or two won’t kill you, but if you’re looking to drop fat, then it is going to be a struggle. All alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, which you can see is almost as much as fat. Those calories will add up fast, and you’ll have to work extra hard just to burn those beverages off.10. You’re too stressed - Stress is harmful to our bodies and is constantly affecting our mood in a negative way. When we are stressed, our bodies release Cortisol, a hormone that makes your body hold onto fat. This will make losing fat difficult especially if you resort to food for comfort, and have a hard time becoming physically active. I recommend finding activities that help you de-stress and unwind every day. Some great examples are working out, getting a massage, meditating, and doing yoga.11. You feel pressured - To lose the fat and get healthy, you have to be internally motivated. You won’t stick to an exercise regimen long if you are pressured by someone to exercise. Find reasons that you want to lose fat and get healthy and use that as your motivational fuel to power through your workouts and shed that fat. You’ll change when you’re ready not when someone tells you to.

Nathan Mikeska, BS, CPT, CHC

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