You’ve been working your butt off – but your butt’s still there!
Does it seem like nothing is working in your weight loss quest? You’re sweating it out in the gym, cutting back on the calories, and even reducing your alcohol intake, with little or nothing to show for it.
Well, you’re not alone. Millions of people are in the same, sad boat. The ironic thing is that you are very close to nailing this fat loss thing. All you need are a few tweaks to what you’re doing and you will finally break through. Well, lucky for you, you’re about to discover exactly what those tweaks are.
Reason #1: Not Enough Sleep
Sleep is vital to fat loss. Yet, because it is so easy, most people dismiss it as a serious concern (in the same way people dismiss the need for water). Don’t make that mistake.
The quality and quantity of your sleep controls the release of key hormones in your body. The big two are leptin and ghrelin. Leptin controls our hunger levels while ghrelin lets us know when we are hungry.
Lack of sleep leads to lowered leptin levels. It also triggers a phenomenon known as leptin resistance in which the brain cannot read the messages it gets from leptin hormones. This combination throws our hunger signals out of whack meaning that we will have a burning desire to eat even when we’re not hungry.
Lack of sleep has the opposite effect on ghrelin as it does on leptin. It actually increases its production, with the result that we feel even hungrier! More ghrelin release also makes the metabolism slower.
Until you learn to control these two vital hormones, you will never get on top of your fat loss. To do so, you need to establish a regular sleeping pattern – and stick to it. Keep technology out of the bedroom, make the room as dark and quiet as possible and don’t eat within two hours of retiring.
Reason #2: No Resistance Training
A lot of people, especially women, are still afraid of using weights to lose weight. They are worried that they’ll build muscle and lose their femininity. This is another huge mistake.
The truth of the matter is that weight resistance training is key to stripping fat off your body. It will also shape and strengthen the muscles which give your body its shape. And you don’t have to use wights, either. You can get a great workout, using just your body weight as the resistance.
While we’re on the subject of muscle, the vast majority of people are sabotaging their fat loss efforts by thinking purely in terms of weight loss. Their total concern is about dropping pounds on the scale.
The problem is that the scale can’t make the distinction between fat and muscle. Now, muscle is five times heavier than fat. That means that if you lose 5 pounds of fat and gain 1 pound of muscle through weight training, the scale will stay exactly the same. But when you look in the mirror, you body will be looking a whole lot better.
The bottom line is to forget about losing weight and start focusing on losing fat – there’s a big difference!
Reason #3: Lack of Variety
You are exercising to stress your body and force it to work harder, burn more calories and adapt to its new working environment. It doesn’t take the body long, however, to adapt to a new training challenge. When it does, it no longer sees it as a challenge and stops responding.
Sticking with the same routine week in and week out will also quickly lead to a loss of motivation.
If you are just going through the motions of your workout, you won’t be giving you body anywhere near enough reason to respond. Only by pushing harder than before will you keep seeing progress.
Plan to change your workout program every six weeks.
The three hacks that we’ve identified could be the extra push that you need to get some traction happening on your fat loss. Implement them over the next few weeks by taking your sleep seriously, adding weight training to your program and pushing that little bit harder on each successive training session.