I think it’s fair to say that the majority of gym attendees are there to improve their body shape. Losing fat is a major factor in improving most people’s body shape, but why do we find losing fat so hard to achieve. Below I have listed 3 reasons why we aren’t losing fat and what we can do to combat them.
Be honest with yourself (be consistent)
Losing fat is hard and it takes dedication. If you are eating a healthy diet for 5 days and then consuming 10 pints / 2 bottles of wine, a fry up, a curry, 1 large chocolate bar and 4 bags of crisps on a weekend, then you aren’t going to achieve much fat loss. I understand the we all need to enjoy ourselves but we need a reality check. In 10 pints of beer we could be looking at 2500 calories, that’s what is recommended for the average daily intake for an adult male per day! To lose fat we consistently have to be in a calorie deficit. This means that we to consume less calories than we use. This isn’t just 5 days a week, your body doesn’t change at the weekend! You have to be in a calorie deficit for the whole week. To see any results in the week we should be looking at a calorie deficit of at least 3500 calories per week (500 calories per day). This equates to around 1lb of body fat lost. I guess you are looking at that and thinking all that work for 1lb. However think that if you kept this up for the whole year it would be 52lbs / 3st 7lbs / 23.6kg. That is a lot of fat to lose.
So let’s be consistent, cut the rubbish and be honest with yourself. Let’s do the exercise when you don’t totally feel up for it, eat that healthy meal instead of a pizza on a Saturday night. The results you will see will make you feel miles better than the junk food ever will. Setting small achievable goals will make it a lot easier to achieve and keep the momentum going. Also don’t worry when you “fall off the wagon” (everybody does) just get straight back on it ASAP and you will still see the results.
You are restricting yourself too much
This links in with my first point. I always see it, Monday-Friday people are in the gym smashing it 100% and being very restrictive with their diet. This is a recipe for disaster. If you restrict yourself too much then you are going to relapse, and relapse hard! Linking into my first point, we have to be consistent. Too many people will be in a calorie deficit of approx 4000-5000 calories 5 days a week and then be in a calorie surplus of 4000-5000 calories over the next 2 days (a lot of it through alcohol!). This leaves you exactly where you started last week. This will lead to you becoming unmotivated and therefore you are more likely to actually gain weight.
Fat loss does result from exercising and being restrictive (to a certain extent) with your diet. But don’t go at it too hard. Remember 500 calories a day. This sounds a lot but if your nutrition is made up mostly of good quality food such as meats, eggs, fish, rice, potatoes, veg, fruit etc, rather than processed food you be able to eat a good amount and still be in a calorie deficit. This isn’t to say you still aren’t going to be hungry. You will be hungry, as you are in a calorie deficit and you aren’t adequately fuelling your body. Long term consistency is better than short term intensity. Moderation is key. However we have to remember that moderation isn’t a full wee
kend of drinking and eating rubbish. Moderation is that curry every couple of weeks or that chocolate bar on a weekly basis.
You aren’t drinking enough water
I used to be one of them people that said “I can’t drink water”. Now I hate thissaying as I drink about 2 litres of water a day. We believe that we don’t like water, but when we do drink it we actually don’t mind it. So please never say to me “I can’t drink water”, just get over it and start drinking it, you will like it. It’s not too sweet, too sour, or even have a strong taste to it. I can understand when people don’t like certain foods as most foods have a distinctive taste or smell to them. What you don’t like about water is that it doesn’t have a strong taste or fizz to it. Water has no calories. This makes it great for fat loss as you can drink as you can drink as much as you like (well, enough that you don’t drown) and it will not contribute to fat gain.
Start drinking about 2 litres of water a day. Stop making excuses that you can’t drink it, you can I promise. It’s not bad at all. There is no other way to combat it than to start drinking more. Give it a go!
There isn’t any secrets on fat loss. The simple science is that if you consume less energy the you expend then you will use stored fat as an energy source and therefore you will have less fat stored. However if you would like to get a great body shape then there are more factors to contribute towards it. The “toned” look that people tend to desire will not be achieved just by being in a calorie deficit (unless you have fantastic genes, you lucky bugger). You have to alter your nutrition and exercise. Ways in which to achieve this will be coming over the next few weeks, so keep your eye out!