When the Scale Doesn't Budge...
Feel like you've been trying to lose weight but the scale is stuck at the same number every day? If losing fat was easy, then we’d all be at our goal weight, right?
Unfortunately, the fat loss game is more complex than most care to admit. The scale quickly becomes a dreaded enemy—a constant bearer of bad news. But it doesn't have to be that way. A few small adjustments can result in the scale moving down again. (Safe weight loss is averaging 1-3 lbs per week.)
If the number on your scale won’t budge, then read on for some possible explanations and simple solutions:
Possibility #1: You’re eating more calories than you need...
Or you're eating exactly the amount of calories your body needs... to maintain your current weight. Our bodies need a specific number of calories to maintain basic body functions as well as for exercise and activity. But if you eat more calories than your body needs, the excess will be converted to fat and stored in your body for future use.
Many people spend the majority of their time sitting, and that means needing even less calories and a slowing down of their metabolic rate. Taking frequent movement breaks can help, and of course exercising regularly is a must. Exercise can help you use more calories every day, and building lean muscle through weight training can make a huge difference in your metabolism. The bottom line is that if you consume more calories than your body needs, you'll store the excess calories as fat.
Possibility #2: You’re eating more carbs and sugar than you think...
Processed carbohydrates and sugars can easily promote fat storage if you're consuming more than you need. Blood sugar and insulin levels respond the same to processed carbs – whether those carbs are in the form of a granola bar, a piece of fruit, whole wheat bread or a Twinkie.
Balance your intake of carbohydrates with proteins and fats to avoid spiking your insulin and turning excess carbs into body fat.
Possibility #3: You’re doing too much cardio...
If you’re doing hours of cardio, it can end up working against your fat loss efforts. All that cardio promotes the release of stress hormones in your body, which counteracts your ability to lose fat. Plus, people who do lots of cardio tend to crave sugar and carbs because their body needs to replenish their muscle glycogen.
Ask any woman who has trained for a marathon if she lost weight during those months of all that running... she probably ran 4-8 hours a week and she didn't lose weight.
I didn't say that cardio is bad, just that there's an optimal amount. See me about designing your ideal exercise program for maximum fat loss. I’ll let you know how much cardio should be included in your routine.
Possibility #4: You’re not getting enough sleep...
You may not see the connection between your sleep patterns and the number on your scale, but it’s there. Sleep patterns have an impact on your hormone levels, and hormones are a huge factor when it comes to losing fat.
Be sure to get a full 7-9 hours of sleep each night to boost your fitness results. Stick to a consistent bedtime and wake time for optimal results. And avoid snacking late at night. Nothing good happens after 10pm, right?
Possibility #5: Your snacks aren't packing...protein
Small, whole foods snacks can help encourage fat loss, but it all depends on what you’re snacking on. Fruit-only snacks quickly break down to sugar, which causes insulin to be released and potential fat storage to occur, much like when you eat processed carbs. Sure, the fruit will make less of an impact than a candy bar, but you could be snacking better if fat loss is your goal.
Eat snacks only when truly hungry, since the extra calories will be stored as fat if not used for energy. If you choose to eat a snack, choose snacks that contain more protein than carbs, and also a little bit of fat. This will help to stabilize your blood sugar levels while also keeping hunger at bay longer.
Possibility #6: You're eating diet foods and artificial sweeteners
When you have a fat loss goal, it’s tempting to fall into the trap of purchasing foods that claim to help. The problem lies in the fact that these ‘diet’ products have been highly processed and contain potentially harmful chemicals and artificial sweeteners that will affect your hormones, taste buds and gut, and can promote fat storage.
As I like to say,"Nobody got skinny using artificial sweeteners."
The best diet strategy, whether fat loss is a goal or not, is to stick with real, fresh, whole foods. Steer clear of anything fake or processed.
This is Important:
If your goal is to add some muscle while losing body fat (which is the goal for most of my clients) and you're weight training regularly, you might not see the scale moving much initially, although your body IS changing. Remember that the scale only shows body weight, not body composition (how much fat and muscle you have) or hydration. Pay attention to things like how you feel, how your clothes fit, how your body looks in the mirror, and all the wonderful "non-scale victories" that you experience on the journey to becoming healthier and more fit. Remember that the scale doesn't hold the key to your happiness, it's just measuring the gravitational pull of the earth on your body.
I’m here to help you reach your fitness and fat loss goals. Call or email today to get started on a fitness program that will quickly and permanently transform your body.
I'm ready and excited to see you through your goals.
Let’s do this!