Summer is around the corner, and despite your best efforts, you may not feel fully satisfied with how you look. Excess body fat is a concern for many, and it can be tough to beat. But that’s where we come in! Here at Phoenix Effect, we help go-getters like you take the guesswork out of your workouts, nutrition, and healthy habits to give you the body of your dreams! Read on to find out 3 key reasons why you may not be not losing body fat and how we can help you uncover the missing pieces to your overall wellness.
1. You’re NOT strength training enough: We’ve seen it time and time again, and maybe you’ve experienced it yourself. When most people want to lose body fat, they think the best way to do it is to spend hours on the elliptical or sweating it out on a stationary bike. While cardio has real health benefits, cardio alone can only do so much when it comes to shredding fat. The reason is pretty simple: To oversimplify the weight loss equation, calorie intake must be less than calorie output / energy use. And how might you burn more calories, you ask? By having more muscle! Muscles are constantly breaking down and rebuilding, which means they are always burning calories. Therefore, if you have more muscles, you burn more calories (or in other words, you have a higher basal metabolic rate). This means you’re able to burn EVEN MORE body fat at rest. Who doesn’t like the sound of that? Not to mention, strength training helps you build lean muscle, which is scientifically proven to make you sexier… pretty sure there are studies to back that up? 😉
2. You’re NOT sleeping enough: Research indicates that people who sleep fewer than 6 hours per night gain ALMOST TWICE as much body fat over a 6-year period as people who sleep 7 to 8 hours per night. This is a pretty crazy finding, and there are a few reasons why this could be. Some scientists deduce that sleep deprivation disrupts the hormones that regulate appetite, which can result in overeating and body fat accumulation. Ever notice that after a bad night of sleep, you tend to crave less healthy foods or have less willpower to resist foods that don’t serve your goals? This could be another reason why poor sleep habits are correlated with more body fat. Also, quite candidly, more time spent sleeping means less time spent eating, so if you’re debating between hitting the hay or watching one more episode of [insert show you binge watch here] followed by late-night snacking, do yourself a solid and just go to bed!
3. You’re NOT eating enough: Remember the calories in, calories out equation from earlier? There are many factors that can make it more complicated. Sometimes when you make a drastic decrease of “calories in,” your body will compensate by decreasing “calories out” on its own accord. This is a function of our bodies learning how to combat starvation and keep us alive back in the caveman days. For example, your body will try to keep your weight steady even when you’re eating less by:
- Decreasing the calories you burn while eating (because you are eating less)
- Decreasing your basal metabolic rate (because you weigh less)
- Burning fewer calories through physical activity (because you weigh less)
- Absorbing more calories when you do eat (because your body is like “When will I get fed again?!”)
This is why starving yourself is NOT an effective way to lose body fat. Instead, focus on getting plenty of whole or minimally-processed sources of protein, carbs, veggies, healthy fats in each meal, as well as eating slowly & only until about 80% full.
If you’re looking for nutrition advice or a way to build healthy eating habits that promote weight loss and losing body fat, look no further! We have individualized nutrition coaching for all levels, whether you’re an elite athlete or brand new to the whole healthy eating thing. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for your free consultation today!