You have changed some things in your life in order to work toward your goal of losing body fat. You are working out and eating healthy and STILL it feels like you are spinning your wheels?

Moving your body and eating right for your body are just a couple of many things that play a role in a healthy body composition. Read on for some other variables that may be the reason you feel stuck!

1) You are restricting too much. Do you think about certain foods as “bad”, foods that you can’t have? Sure, there are certain food items that are not going to move you closer to your goals, but, I bet the minute that food is “off limits” you start to crave it.

  • A better way to think about foods is what should I eat MORE or LESS often? This way, your brain doesn’t think that you cannot EVER have it again, you are just choosing not now!

2) You are not eating enough…you are eating too much. This is a sneaky one, usually what happens if you cut your calories too low, you end up over eating in the long run. Have you ever felt like you ate “perfectly” all day, low calories, low fat, and then, the evening comes and you are RAVENOUS…eat a bunch of snacks while you cook dinner? Or, you stick to your “perfect plan” all week…then the weekend happens. In these scenarios, at the end of the day or week, you are actually NOT in a calorie deficit—even though you are working so hard to eat less most of the time.

  • A better way to think about this is to make sure you know approximately how many calories your body needs to maintain your current body weight, create a plan that puts you in a SLIGHT caloric deficit, and then spread those calories out over your day and week—AND BE CONSISTENT!

3) You are not eating enough protein. When I talk with clients about losing body fat, this is different than just losing weight. While many clients may want to see the number on the scale to go down, the REAL goal, the deep down reason they want to make some changes is to feel better in their skin, for their clothes to fit better, to be able to SEE the muscles they are working so hard in the gym for. To achieve this toned and lean look, you must maintain your muscle mass as you focus on fat loss.

  • A better way to think about dieting, is to make sure you eat enough protein in addition to eating in a calorie deficit. A really great place to start is to eat .8-1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So, a 160 lb person shoot for 128-160g of protein each day. This may seem like a LOT, but, start where you are at and increase gradually as you can! The bonus is that protein sources are very satiating, keeping you feel more full, which is a huge benefit while cutting overall calories!

4) You are STRESSED out. Stress that comes and goes is normal. Work, social life, kids, workouts and even cutting calories are all stresses on the mind and body. So if you are walking around constantly stressed out—your cortisol will be constantly elevated. This interferes with weight loss, decreases muscle growth and even decreases the ability for fat loss! Guess what else happens with high stress? Cravings for sugar, fat, and other comfort foods, making your caloric deficit that much harder to achieve!

  • A better way to deal with stress: Stay organized—keep your planner/calendar up to date this will keep your brain organized. Daily journaling—this can be as simple as taking time each morning or evening to write down thoughts you’ve had that day, things you need to do better the next day, there are many journals with prompts that can help you with this. Daily walks outside in nature—fresh air will do WONDERS for your stress. Schedule down time—a bubble bath, screen free time, reading a book, time with your spouse/friends.

5) You are not getting enough QUALITY sleep. It has been proven again and again, if you sleep poorly, weight loss—specifically fat loss, is much more difficult.

  • A better way to think about improving your sleep quality is to think about a consistent sleep schedule. Especially if you know that you cannot be in bed for more hours, work very hard to go to bed and wake up at the same times. This is shown to drastically improve sleep quality as your body finds a rhythm and uses the hours you are in bed efficiently!

If you can nail down these 5 things, AND do them CONSISTENTLY for weeks and months on end, you WILL see your body changing! Most people want to skip this work, this SIMPLE but NOT EASY, day in and day out hard work. Be patient, (don’t stress!) enjoy the feeling of accomplishing the small steps every day, and before you know it, body fat will melt away!