“Help! I need help losing weight!”
Here are 7 Things Slowing Down the Fat Loss Process For You…
Dieting seems to be one of the top gym-fanatics struggles, next to making enough time to actually get to the gym.
Let’s face the facts, it seems that most people will make time to workout. Training seems to be the easy part. The diet however, is the most important part of the equation for the majority of those who set out on the journey of continuous self-betterment and people seem to fail miserably at it.
Call it lack of willpower, dedication, or simply being misinformed, the results people expect to see usually fall short of what’s promised.
One minute everyone is fired up with enthusiasm and passion…
The fired has fizzled by everyone’s worst enemy…less than desirable results.
After a few weeks have gone by and people aren’t getting the “quick shred fix” results that they expected, they give in to their indulgences and usually end up giving up.
The buzz these days seems to be around the quick results, fad diet, 14 day craze, but no body wants to put in the work necessary in order to actually achieve the expected results. All they want are the secrets, shortcuts, hacks, ANYTHING “NEW”. Anything except having to work hard! This is ultimately the reason they fail and jump to the next challenge or transformation program.
So, let’s break this down a bit further. Do you fit into this category? Have you fallen on and off of your diet due to not seeing the desired results quick enough? I’m going to address this issue now. Whether it’s that you struggle to see any results whatsoever, or someone that is plateaued close to your goal desperately trying to melt off those last few pounds, or it has worked for you and you just rebounded because you went back to your normal habits instead of adopting the program as a lifestyle.
This list will cover many factors on the road to being lean! Ready? Let’s do this.
#1: Training is not intense enough
Training intensely with weights and/or pushing your body to achieving stimulation and failure of your muscles, causes your metabolism to get a boost for a considerable time period after the completion of the workout. Sometimes this is referred to as “the afterburn effect”.
This effect can be used to your advantage, especially if – like the rest of us – you’d rather not drop into starvation calories within the first week of your transformation program. This metabolism boost can be extended just by being consistent and training more frequently and intensely.
Having this boost more frequently means that your caloric intake can stay exactly where it is but you will still drop fat because your body is using them more efficiently and rather quickly.
The same boost can also be stimulated through HIIT and fasted steady state cardio and regularly feeding your body. So when all of these factors are combined, you will, in theory, be able to keep your metabolism constantly boosted.
You probably don’t want to hear this one. But, Alcohol is known in the world to be full of “empty calories” (7 calories per gram), which translates to calories that don’t really have any nutritional value. Although, some alcohols like a lager also have carbohydrates which won’t be used very effectively either and aren’t really an optimal source.
Synthesizing alcohol upon ingestion is the primary focus of the body when consuming it. Thus meaning, the body is focused mainly on converting these calories as energy. And when you combine this with the fact that alcohol has been proven to provide an increased appetite, means that you are likely to eat more! Let’s be honest here, those extra calories aren’t even going to be accounted for now are they?
So basically your body is focusing on breaking down and using the alcohol, then the food, that came as the by-product of the alcohol consumption, it is not focused on using your stored body-fat for fuel.
Long story short: alcohol can hinder and even prevents fat loss, and in more ways than one.
#3: Overusing refeeds/cheat meals
The sole purpose of a refeed, whether it be using clean or junk foods, is to replenish previously depleted glycogen storages and boost your fat utilizing hormones. There’s also another reason that we can add on top of that: it’s a relief; in a way saving you, from boring and mundane “diet” foods. But from a physical, rather than a mental standpoint, refeeds should be used to restore your glycogen stores and boost your fat utilizing hormones, that is it.
Overusing these refeeds/cheats is plain and simply the biggest issue most people face. I mean lets face it, if you haven’t done the work all week, eaten in a calorie deficit (usually restricting bad carbohydrates), then your glycogen storages haven’t really depleted enough to deserve a refeed meal. If you decide that you “need” one though, which 90% of people will say they do, because heaven forbid you go one week without one, THAT will lead to ALL the GAINZ…in the wrong places…FAT!
So work hard during the week to deplete your glycogen storages and create a need for the body to soak up the “extra” goodness! But if you didn’t do the work…or stay right on your diet (#FOLLOWTHEGUIDELINES) then you wouldn’t need the extra boost!
#4: Deficiency of micronutrients
Micronutrients are one of the most overlooked aspects in body transformation.
Most people know what macronutrients are, well at least a lot of people do – you never know in this day and age. Macros are among the forefront of simplicities. They are one of the first, if not the first things you learn as you take your first steps in your body transformation journey. They’re just basic nutrition and they form the base of any diet plan and are comprised of Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrates.
However, micronutrients? Not so much.
People have a tendency to disregard overall health when it comes to dieting, meaning that micronutrients are forgotten. When in actuality, they are vital to not only general health, but also to making progress in your physique. Without the required vitamins and minerals, your body will not function optimally in terms of anything. Be it muscle building, fat burning or fighting off an illness.
A deficiency of these vital nutrients is never a good thing and if you want to maximize your results, I would advise getting a good amount of micronutrients from different forms of targeted nutritional supplementation, a variety of different vegetables, and various forms of other foods and drinks (ask one of our coaches how to optimize this using our brand of supplementation and nutrition guides). Even if it makes a tiny little difference, that’s one tiny little difference in your physique and in the art of body transformation, every subtle difference counts. Especially mentally.
#5: Lack of hormonal manipulation
I believe that even a natural athlete, competitor or not, a mom, dad, busy entrepreneur, a college sorority girl, fitness or runway model, and your average Joe, can benefit greatly from setting up a diet around utilizing your hormones more efficiently. The main one in terms of this article being: growth hormone. If you are unaware, your natural growth hormone is produced in its highest quantities whilst you are sleeping.
If you consume carbohydrates upon waking with your first meal, you halt growth hormone production in your body by spiking your insulin levels. The two hormones counteract each other, when one is active the other is greatly reduced. So first thing in the morning, when your blood sugar is low, growth hormone levels are high and insulin levels are low. This, from a fat-burning standpoint, is ideal.
From an anabolic standpoint, first thing in the morning is when your body is more susceptible to carbohydrates due to these low insulin levels. Spiking your insulin here can be beneficial towards muscle growth as insulin is the most anabolic hormone in your body.
But to make the most of fat burning, especially if you are starting to hit plateaus, I would recommend avoiding carbohydrates for your first and even second meals (Veggies in 2nd/3rd) wherever possible – consuming just protein with low fats in your first meal, and then protein, veggies, fats in lunch and dinner. Saving your sweet carbs for your pre-bed snack! Yes you heard that right…used correctly after putting in the hard work in the gym and following the above guidelines you will have a controlled insulin spike and give your body an excellent opportunity to sleep and recover and burn and restore.
This is a simple trick which you can use to help your body burn fat for longer. For guidance on this from an experienced coach hit up our programs inside of sculptorbodyfitness.com
#6: Excess protein and BCAA’s
I bet you just read that heading and thought “what?!?” But let’s get into this in a little detail. This one is mainly aimed at those who are rigorously tracking their carbohydrate intake and more specifically, when intake is low.
Upon translation – the process by which cellular ribosomes create proteins – amino acids are incorporated into proteins, which are made available for the body to utilize during the reparation of bodily tissues. This, in layman’s terms, means that BCAA’s are in fact “good for recovery” as so many labels and “gurus” state.
So now you are wondering: “so how could they possibly hinder fat loss?” well, here’s your answer.
After the body has made use of proteins to structure red blood cells, regulate enzymes and hormones and repair bodily tissues, and you continue to ingest protein or BCAA’s, what do you think happens to any excess protein? The theory is that you excrete it. And for the most part that is correct. No. Your body is smarter than that. It doesn’t want to simply discard something which could be useful in the near future, it wants to do the exact opposite: store it. Again, mainly if your carbohydrate consumption is too low for too long.
The excess protein is converted, believe it or not, into glucose – the same thing that carbohydrates are converted to in the body. The process is called gluconeogenesis, during which the body converts amino acids firstly into alpha keto acids and then to glucose, with both processes occurring in the liver. And here’s where the low carb for too long aspect comes into play. But when in doubt eat protein due to it being the last thing to convert over fats or carbohydrates in the body.
The excess glucose then needs to be either used or stored. So if you mistime your consumption, the excess glucose will not be used during exercise and it will then be stored in your glycogen stores. Then when you bring refeeds into the equation, it will be quite easy to spill over and cause the body to store excess glucose as body fat – as I mentioned in number three.
So, through overusing BCAA’s and over-consuming protein, you could actually, in essence, be taking in more carbohydrates than you think after the aforementioned conversion processes. And it is all over-complicated by refeeds, because your glycogen stores are already fuller than you think, resulting in spilling over.
The take home: BCAA’s, when mistimed, could be hindering or slowing your fat loss. Eat plenty of protein rich foods in your meals and make sure to time your workouts to consume your BCAA’s post workout with a mixture of good proteins and carbohydrates.
#7: Lack of dedication and drive? Do it for you!
There’s really no explanation needed with this one. I touched on it briefly at the beginning of the article. The final reason on my list of possible things which could be hindering your fat loss is, plain and simply: you don’t want to. Or maybe, you want to at first, but after coming to the realization of how hard dieting is you decide that you don’t want to and instead, you go in to “BULKING SEASON” for life!
If you aren’t doing this for yourself, then this becomes the main reason people fall off. If you’re doing it to “fit in” rather than for the betterment of yourself, then you’re bound to fail.
If you really want something bad enough, you’ll go out there and get it. No matter how long it takes and how hard things get, you WILL keep moving forward. People who seek their motivation from external sources often fall off track and give in.
Overcome the Difficulties
In conclusion, if you’re going to diet either for any reason but especially for general health purposes, make sure that the first thing you do is learn to become your own motivation. If you’re doing it for yourself then victory will be yours.
And if the road gets a little bumpy along the way as you start to hit some sticking points, use the tools and information that you have discovered in this article to get you over those hurdles. Body transformation is all about having an analytical mind.
You have to be capable of focusing on the minute details and making minute adjustments, but as I said earlier: it is more often than not these small details make a huge difference. And being able to formulate plans based on the small details in body transforming, is an essential tool to be put in use when sculpting your perfect self.
Live. Life. Sculpted.
-The Sculptor Coach