Joe and Simon Passey
You’ve tried it all, several diets, a few training regimes, listened to people’s advice on certain supplements to take, what not to eat, what exercises you need to do and yet you're still not losing fat. You’ve been stuck at a plateau for weeks and you just have no idea what to do next. Stop panicking, go back to the basics, stop stressing out and be patient. We’re going to give you 5 of our top tips when it comes to fat loss plateaus and how you can overcome this, to keep the fat melting off. [caption id="attachment_3677" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Help is at hand![/caption]
1. You’re not eating enough caloriesStop starving yourself of calories. If you’re training hard in the gym and have an active lifestyle, then you’re heading for a train wreck if you do this. Cortisol levels will be at an all-time high (stress) meaning your ability to burn fat will be compromised significantly, your metabolism and thyroid will shut off meaning your ability to burn fat/calories off whilst resting will be non-existent. Eat carbs. If you drastically reduce your carb intake energy levels will be poor, especially whilst training, hormone levels will dip and you’ll be more susceptible to illness. Look at the eastern continents (Asia), there staple food groups are grains like rice and noodles, look how lean they are, and they suffer from a lot less health related issues than western countries (obesity and type 2 diabetes). Diet on as many calories as you can, and then when you reach a fat loss plateau, you then have calories and carbs to play around with and reduce. Start off on a low calorie, low carb diet and after a few weeks when fat loss slows down, what are you going to do, reduce them even more and starve yourself? No, you’re going to increase them and go back to square one, putting back on the weight you just lost.
2. You’re eating too much fatCarrying on from the previous point, too many people nowadays buy into the whole low carb high fat diets. Now don’t get me wrong, we need fat in our diets (healthy fats), it’s a crucial macronutrient for regulating hormones, maintain a healthy immune system and can actually reduce the risk of CHD. But we need to remember fat has 9 calories per gram in, more than any other macronutrient. If were loading up on healthy fats all day every day, we’re still probably going to be overeating going over our maintenance calories and therefore gaining weight. Eat healthy fats in moderation (about 20-30%) of our total calorie total, from sources such as egg yolks, oily fish, grass fed beef, coconut oil and mixed nuts.
3. You’re not weight trainingWant to get “toned”, improve body composition and lose fat? Then weight training is a must. An intense weight training session will burn off, if not more, calories than a standard 30-45 minute jog. Not only will you be burning calories and raising your metabolism, but also triggering new lean muscle tissue growth in the process, making you stronger and leaner. Research has shown that weight training can keep your metabolism firing for up to 38 hours AFTER your session has finished, meaning you will continue to burn more calories, without having to do anything! (After a hard weight session of course).
4. You’re over doing cardioTraditional cardio is near enough useless if your serious amount losing a hefty amount of weight. Excessive amounts of cardio will again lead to increased cortisol levels which will transfer into abdominal fat and other health problems (inflamed joints). Instead of just running for hours on end, which is very time consuming, try out some High Intense Interval Training (HIIT) training or do some sprint work. This takes about 10-20 minutes; it cranks up your metabolism and is perfect for building lean muscle mass too. Look at all the professional sports players and the shape their in. It’s because the majority of sports incorporate some sort of interval training and or sprints.
5. You’re not getting enough sleepWhen you’re short on sleep, insulin sensitivity will decrease (bad for when it comes to eating foods high in carbohydrate) and cortisol levels go up. Remember from the first point, if were constantly stressed our body finds it near enough impossible to lose fat and sleep will have a huge impact on that. Recent research has shown that we actually burn more calories and boost human growth hormone (great for people looking to build muscle) in a deep sleep than if we were sedentary, sitting at a desk all day. If you want to lose more fat then make it a top priority to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
ConclusionSo there you go. Try and perfect these simple but effective tips in order to hit your fat loss goals. Along with a bit of extra hard work, discipline and patience you will continue to lose weight. Be smart and focus on the bigger picture instead of little details that probably won’t make a huge difference. But more importantly lead a happy and balanced life, laugh a lot, train regularly, eat well and stop starving yourself, go out and enjoy a nice meal once in a while with family and friends, life is there to be enjoyed and not being stressed 90% of the time!