“Why am I still fat? I’m doing everything right! “
Because you’re not doing everything right.
Gloves are off. Get ready for the blow.
If you were doing everything right, then you wouldn’t be in this situation.
Tough love comin’ your way:
Cut the BS. Pride aside. Time to face the truth.
I know that losing weight can be arduous and frustrating. I know that it can be overwhelming.
But, I also know that most people who claim that they are “doing everything right” are just lying to themselves.
[I’m not a doctor (surprise!), so if you have a medical condition or a psychological diagnosis related issues of weight loss, please don’t bother reading any further. Do what your doctor is telling you to do.]
Here are two blunt reminders to help you evaluate your lack of progress.
The #1 reason you are still fat is because you are eating more calories than you are expending.
Seems obvious, right?
This concept is incredibly simple, but people really get thrown off here. They get distracted so easily.
One day, they are gluten-free and the next, they are ketogenic. After that, they’re paleo. Next thing ya know, they’re vegan!
Let’s be clear: All successful diets are successful because they follow the same principle. They ultimately result in the dieter reaching a calorie deficit (i.e., eating fewer calories than you burn).
There’s no magic.
Eliminating grains from your diet will most certainly help you lose fat. You’ll be nearly forced to substitute lower-calorie, higher-fiber vegetables in their place.
This will work terrifically well…until…you discover your new favorite combination of sweet potato chips and guacamole–and start making that your mid-afternoon snack, instead of your previously-typical “snack-pack” of cookies.
That’s a healthy little swap of 160 calories (22 g of carbs) in exchange for 350 calories (27 g of carbs).
Now, you’ll probably feel tons better, physically and emotionally, eating the sweet potato chips and guac. You’ll probably feel better fueled for higher-quality workouts. And, you might make better choices throughout the day. I don’t think anyone would argue that you haven’t made a healthy, nutritious change to your diet.
BUT, you haven’t cut calories.
So, you might have trouble reaching an overall calorie deficit.
So…you might stay fat.
The #1 solution for fat loss is managing calories. Pick an approach and commit to it.
If your goal is to lose weight, your goal is to find the least-miserable way to reach a calorie deficit. (If your goal is to feel your best, that will require a bit more effort and tweaking.)
If you love bread, maybe try a higher-carb, lower-fat type of diet.
If you love meat, maybe try something like a paleo diet.
If you love all food but have trouble over-eating, perhaps intermittent fasting is your solution.
Doesn’t matter. Reduce calories and you’ll reduce excess body fat.
Check out some previous posts of mine for more guidance with finding a nutritional approach that will work for you–like this one or this one. Or Part 1 and Part 2 of “So why am I still not losing weight?”
The #2 reason you are still fat is because you are not challenging yourself physically.
This is commonly the case for those who “workout” regularly but still appear skinny-fat.
Classically, this is the plight of the middle-aged woman who has jogged 3 miles 5 days of week for the last 20 years.
Their bodies have 100% adapted. Their metabolism has adjusted efficiently. Their energy needs match their energy consumption. They burn 1500 calories per week from their exercise, and they eat 1500 calories per week to compensate.
The #2 solution for fat loss is increasing training intensity. Add resistance/strength training or add sprints.
It’s not rocket science. If your workout is easy, you aren’t doing it right.
Add some weightlifting, add some kettlebells, manipulate speed.
(If you are one of those 3-mile joggers, simply add 1-2 sprint intervals each mile, and you’ll see more results than you would by adding a 4th mile.)
Bring your body to a place of inefficiency; as it seeks to adapt, you’ll reap the benefits.
If you’re looking for ideas to add intensity to your training, you’re in the right place. Pat and I write about this topic mostly all the time. Nonetheless, here are a few places to start: this one, this other one, and…this one.
In addition, both of these reasons–and all of the other ones–are discussed and solved regularly within Pat’s Inner Circle. Just sign up and get all the answers!
NOW ->Try this 5-Minute Sweaty for a killer way to kick up your intensity–regardless of your training routine!
5 push-ups (from the top of the plank, transition to squat jump by hopping feet towards hands);
10 squat jumps;
5 reverse lunges L;
5 reverse lunges R;
1o squat jumps (from the bottom of the squat, transition to push-ups by plant hands and hopping feet back to plank).
Repeat for as many rounds as possible in 5 minutes. (I think 5 would be pretty amazing.)
P.S. Bells & Beer.