Losing fat can be a difficult process process, but often it comes down to the things you are eating that hinders your process. Below are 5 simple reasons that may be preventing you from losing fat.
1) You eat a high sugar, low protein breakfast
We are told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Who are we getting this advice from? Cereal companies no doubt. Consuming a high carbohydrate meal first thing in the morning is a sure way to cause a large insulin rise, then fall leaving you more tired and hungrier. I suggest consuming a meal higher in protein and fat such as eggs and oatmeal. Protein and fat have a hunger suppressing effect and will keep you fuller for longer.
2) You think “fat free” meals calorie free
Food items that are labeled “fat free” generally have a larger amount of carbohydrates to replace the fat content that was removed. This does not mean you can have more of it, as it generally will still be high in calories, and calories still count.
3) You follow the USDA food guide pyramid
The majority of Americans are sedentary and large amount of the population is fat. The idea that a diet should consist of 60% carbohydrates is absurd, considering the low activity levels of most individuals. Carbohydrates are stored in the body as glycogen, which is then used during periods of high intensity activity. There is no need to consume such a large amount of sugary foods when there is no demand for them. A diet high in carbohydrates may negatively affect fat loss and can lead to diseases such as diabetes.
4) You think cardio is the best way to lose fat
Individuals who perform excessive cardio will decrease muscle mass, which will then result in a decrease in metabolism. Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat, and that is why it is important to hold on to as much muscle mass as possible so your metabolic rate says high. Perform high intensity weight lifting to keep muscle and shred fat.
5) You are eating too much, or not enough
In order to lose fat you need to burn more calories than you take in. This is known as an “energy balance.” If you are chowing down on fruit loops and Big Mac’s on the daily, chances are you don’t look good naked. Over consumption of calories leads to fat gain, and excessive under consumption of calories will bring fat loss to a grinding halt. It is recommended that you consume a 600 calorie deficit from maintenance levels. Maintenance level is the amount of calories you consume to either lose, or gain weight. For men this is approximately (bodyweight x14) and for women (Bodyweight x13) assuming 1 hr of exercise/day.
Galen is a trainer at Phenomenal Fitness. You can contact him at Galen@phenomenalfitness.com