4 Reasons why you’re not losing fat (and what to do about it) Part 1 of 2
By Klaudius Petrulis
We’ve all experienced it, that bit of pudge that just won’t go away. Maybe it’s on your upper arms, perhaps your stomach, or your thighs.
The first question you should ask yourself is: “Do I want to get rid of this fat?” – If you answered yes, keep reading. I’ll be explaining the 4 most common reasons people don’t lose fat, and what steps to take to help you get rid of those unwanted fat deposits.
Please note there are affiliate links throughout the articles, which link to awesome books/supplements that I’ve used to better my life.
Let’s begin shall we?
Reason 1 – Sleep
This one may actually surprise people, but the problems people have with sleep are actually 3-fold (surprise!) and oddly enough, tie in to the other 3 reasons I will discuss below.
The first reason is that when you have too little (or too much!) sleep, your energy will be suboptimal. What this means in human is that you’ll be tired. Maybe too tired to get that workout in, too tired to prep healthy meals, or too tired to get in your mindfulness or meditation practice.
The second reason relates to diet. Think about this for a second: When you don’t get enough sleep, do you crave sugary or carb heavy foods? I know I do. There is a correlation between lack of sleep and cravings for sugar and carbs (which actually contribute to people getting fat). A fantastic read about this exact topic is Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival by T. S. Wiley
The third reason not sleeping is a cause for not losing fat ties in with something we’ll discuss below: hormones. There are important chemicals released by your body when you sleep. When you don’t sleep enough or deeply enough, your body does not recover properly from the day’s work. This means fat burning and anabolic hormones like HGH are stunted in their release. I’ll discuss hormones more in the next section, right after I explain how we can fix your sleep!
What to do about it: My suggestion would be to go to bed at 10:30 PM most nights, and get at least 8-9 hours of restful, restorative, and undisturbed sleep. What I mean by restful/restorative sleep is that you wake up feeling good and ready for the day. If you don’t, this may be a physical problem like sleep apnea, or even adrenal fatigue. If you’re not rested after a solid 8.5 hours of sleep, I would find a naturopath and try to figure out why you’re tired when you wake up. This is important. Sleep is important. So sleep. Make sleep a priority.
Reason 2 – Hormones
Okay, a lot to cover here and despite my knowledge, I am not an endocrinologist. I will do my best to give a brief overview of how we mess up important hormones and what to do to keep them optimal.
Stress. Stress causes the elevation of the stress hormone cortisol. Some of you may know that cortisol can cause us to store extra amounts of fat. Cortisol isn’t evil. We need it to survive and to wake up properly in the morning. The problem is that your body cannot tell different stresses apart. Being attacked by a bear is the same stress response we get when we have a fight with our boss or a loved one (or worry about bills). Stress is a huge problem in today’s world, so make sure to have some remedies to deal with it.
Not sleeping. As explained, not sleeping will cause your body to retain fat and it will screw up not only your hormones, but how you feel during the day.
Eating crappy food. Eating low quality food, especially food with GMO soy will increase estrogen. Estrogen in good amounts is good. In excess amounts, it causes fat gain. Estrogen dominance can become a downward spiral. The more estrogen you have, the more fat cells you produce. The more fat you produce, the more estrogen there is! Also, it contributes to Syndrome X (you probably don’t want Syndrome X) and something called insulin resistance which is discussed below.
BPA and other environmental stressors also can add something called xeno-estrogens into your body. Some birth control pills/IUDs can fall into this category. This is essentially excess external estrogen, and as we should realise by this point, anything in excess by is not good.
Drinking too much beer and liquor. This will mess up your anabolic hormones when your body is trying to recover at night. Beer has the added benefit of introducing EXTRA ESTROGEN into your body! Congratulations! Man boobs and a sexy beer gut are a few 24-packs away!
Testosterone. It helps you build muscle and keeps you lean. Low testosterone is a problem for men even in their early 40’s now. Some women even struggle with this problem. I believe all of the lifestyle factors I list here contribute to low testosterone.
Insulin resistance. This is a very real problem people face today. Diabetics often struggle with insulin resistance, but now people who are not born with Diabetes are eating their way into that realm. Type 2 and 3 Diabetes are upon us, and most of these cases are self-inflicted.
What to do about it: I’ll do this in bullet point. It’s better. Just a reminder, I am not an endocrinologist. My suggestions are meant to bring awareness and for you to do your own research.
- For estrogen control, stay away from: BPA and other similar environmental stressors. Stay away from beer, or keep it to a bottle per week if you can’t live without it. If you cannot keep your excess estrogen under control, I would suggest to research a product like Mike Mahler’s Estrogen Control and/or see a Naturopath and get some bloodwork done and talk about what could be causing excess estrogen.
- Insulin control. I’d be very wary of excess sugar in your diet. This is the kiss of fat. I will discuss it more below in the diet section.
- For low testosterone, this can get tricky. The best thing I’ve found for increasing testosterone is to get your lifestyle in check. Follow the suggestions in this article and you’ll be heading in a good direction. For Men: If you want an extra boost, the best supplement I’ve found is Mike Mahler’s Aggressive Strength Testosterone Booster. Without changing anything else, the first time I tried this supplement I gained energy, lost fat, and boosted my libido. For women this supplement doesn’t function the same way, but it can be used as a nice little pre-workout. If you’re interested in both the Estrogen Control and Testosterone Booster, here is a bundle link
Please tune in again next week for the conclusion of this series with Part 2! (Part 2 is now available here)