Fat loss can be tricky. Often, it can start out with a bang and then come to a screeching halt, seemingly out of nowhere. So what gives? Why were things working so well only to completely stop?
Like I said, fat loss can be tricky. The body is pretty incredibly adaptable and as I hinted above, it has the ability to “get used” to certain efforts on your part and become more efficient at what you’re doing. In this case, becoming more efficient isn’t a good thing.
Think about it like this, if a car is more fuel efficient, then it needs less fuel than other cars to drive the same distance. Using the same logic, if your body is more efficient at burning fat, it needs less fat for fuel, meaning you burn less fat than you used to. Not good situation if you’re wanting to get some fat off of you.
So what do you do? The answer is simply-change something. This is where people usually go to one of two extremes, neither of which are good options. Some people change everything. They completely overhaul their diet, they completely change their training, they add in all kinds of supplements and they add 4 hours of cardio. Others, just simply give up because they haven’t lost a pound in a week and a half.
The correct response is somewhere in between. If your fat loss efforts have stalled out for more than a few weeks, (not a few days) it’s most likely time to make a subtle change or two. When this happens with clients of mine, I usually make one of three changes.
-One option is to make some small changes to their nutrition plan. This can be a minor reduction in calories, in increase of vegetables, a reduction in grains, etc. This is completely dependant on what their plan looks like, how they’ve responded to certain changes in the past, etc. And sometimes it’s a shot in the dark. I simply say, let’s try this and see what happens. If it doesn’t work, we do something different.
What is not a good change to make is a massive reduction in calories. This happens all too often and can be detrimental to someones fat loss efforts.
-The second option is to make some changes to the focus of your training. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had fat loss clients stall out, changed them to a program focused on increasing their strength only to have their fat loss kick right back into gear. I think the reason for this is two fold. First, it gives the body some very different stimulus and second, it gives the client a mental break from the focus of fat loss.
When someone has stopped dropping body fat, they often get pretty stressed over it. Shifting training modalities can give some relief from that stress by completely focusing on different goals for a month or two.
-Lastly, a simple increase in activity can have profound effects on a flat-lining fat loss program. Simply moving more can burn a few extra calories and keep your fat loss moving in the right direction. Riding a bike, going for a walk, etc. are easy and enjoyable ways to increase your daily caloric expenditure.
Remember, simple changes can have a profound effect on your fat loss efforts. Usually, sweeping changes can cause more frustration and confusion than the alterntaive.
For more help on dropping body fat, be sure and register for the “Everything You Need To Know About Fat Loss” Seminar. Pre-registration ends on October 14th!