Nobody’s a fan of body fat. You’ll do just about anything to get rid of it: train martial arts, go on an extreme diet, or take up jogging even if you hate the outdoors. Unfortunately, even after months of your supposed lifestyle change, you find yourself back at square one – overweight with too much body fat.
Fear not, Evolve Daily is here to help! We know that all this talk about body fat has been plaguing you, so we’re here to give you a helping hand.
First of all, let’s talk about what body fat really is. It is an energy storage center, acting as back up for other substances that provide energy. Sadly, many adults nowadays have unhealthy amounts of storage fat that could lead to health problems such as obesity, cancer, heart disease, strokes; the list goes on.
So what can you do to get rid of body fat?
You can’t completely get rid of body fat, although you can maintain a low body fat percentage or lower your body fat levels. It doesn’t matter how hard you’ve been exercising or how strict your diet is; if you can’t see any results, here’s why:
1) You’re not exercising enough
Just because you’re working out three hours a week, it doesn’t mean you have the right to scarf down a plateful of nachos. You need to exercise properly—this means that you should burn more calories than you consume.
To do so, you need to push yourself harder. Your workout needs to be considered physically demanding to count as proper body fat burning exercise. Yes, you might feel more tired after but it means that your body is working harder to deplete your glycogen stores.
2) You’re not eating well
You’ve heard it all before – you need a better diet in order to lose weight. We’re not telling you to go paleo or vegan, we just think that you should be eating a balanced diet filled with wholesome, nutritious foods.
Choose foods that are rich in dietary fiber and protein to be a part of your daily diet. You don’t need to stick to a strict schedule of six meals a day either, just stay aware of physical hunger (e.g. your stomach is grumbling) and fullness cues.
3) You’re not sleeping enough
Studies show that sleep loss can increase hunger and affect metabolism in a way that hinders the loss of body fat.
One of the reasons is increased cortisol production. Cortisol, the hormone that the brain releases when we are stressed, is released at an increased rate when we lack sleep. Cortisol is also responsible for that feeling of hunger even when we are full.
Try to average about 7-9 hours of sleep per day. This helps manage your cortisol levels and also gives you more energy to work out!
4) You’re on an extreme diet
Cleanses, juice fasts – there are so many extreme diets around that completely lead you astray from your journey to body fat loss. At first, going on an extreme diet might sound like a good idea. It works immediately, helping you lose that unwanted weight in a short time span.
Unfortunately, your body isn’t wired to stay this way forever. Eventually, it gets into starvation mode. Your body slows down metabolism and your food cravings escalate – which would result in rebound weight gain.
5) You’re not consistent
So you insist that you’re ready to change your life, cut out the bad habits and go cold turkey. You do this for a few weeks and somehow, you find yourself going back to where you started.
Create a realistic diet and exercise plan, one that you know you can stick to and isn’t such a drastic change from your current lifestyle. Doing so will make it easier for you to commit for the long run, instead of something that’s short term.
6) You’re not doing enough non-exercise physical activity
Did you know that the activities you do outside of exercising could greatly impact your fat loss? Whether it’s choosing to walk instead of driving or taking the stairs instead of the escalator, you should choose the activity that will help you burn more calories.
Studies show that the more non-exercise physical activity an individual reported, the more likely they were to be slimmer, have better levels of HDL (good cholesterol). Also, they were likely to not to have metabolic syndrome.
7) You’re not resisting temptation
With the ease and mobility of our smart phones, temptation has become harder to avoid. Social media is to blame as well, with Instagram and Facebook feeds filled with cooking videos and scrumptious meals. Unknowingly, they force us to channel our inner foodie and succumb even if we aren’t really hungry.
Turn off your electronic devices and get back in touch with the real world. Have face-to-face conversations or explore someplace new. There are so many activities available to keep you distracted from raiding your fridge!
Instead of putting all the blame on your diet and exercise, take a look at the bigger picture: your lifestyle. Make healthy eating and living part of your daily life and we guarantee — the body fat will start melting away!
So tell us, what changes will you make today?