Stuck in Your Fat Loss Journey? Here's What You Can Do
If you've set out with the primary goal of losing body fat and you're not seeing any changes after a month, don't be disheartened. It's not unusual to find your waist circumference the same or even increased, your progress photos looking no different, and your weekly bodyweight average unchanged or up. While this might be frustrating, it could indicate that you've been building muscle, not necessarily a sign of failure. However, since your primary aim is fat loss, it's time to reconsider your strategies.
Adjusting Caloric Intake
One of the first things to consider when you're not losing fat is adjusting your caloric intake. Your body needs fewer calories to maintain a lower weight, so your weight loss might stall after some time. You might need to increase your caloric deficit to kickstart the fat loss again.
You can achieve this by reducing your calorie intake. Consider removing 100-250 calories from your daily diet to accelerate fat loss. Cut these calories from your carbohydrate and/or fat intake but not your protein intake. Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass during weight loss.
If you're considering increasing the deficit by reducing fats, ensure your total daily fat intake doesn't drop below 20 percent of total calories. Fats play a crucial role in hormone production and overall health, so it's essential to maintain an adequate intake.
If reducing your calorie intake further doesn't appeal to you, increasing cardio is another way to boost your fat loss. Adding extra cardio sessions to your routine can help you burn more calories and increase your caloric deficit.
You can start by adding one or two weekly 30-minute low-intensity steady-state (LISS) cardio sessions. LISS cardio involves performing exercises at a steady, low-intensity pace for a prolonged period, which helps to burn fat effectively. Alternatively, you can try to increase your Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). This involves making simple changes to move around more and fidget throughout the day.
But, when increasing cardio, remember not to exceed the maximum cardio recommendations. Depending on your lifestyle and primary goal, you can perform LISS cardio for up to 30-45 minutes 0-5 times per week. On the other hand, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) should be used more sparingly at a maximum of 1-2 sessions per week.
Boosting Daily Activity Levels
Increasing your daily activity is another effective way to reignite your fat loss progress. Small changes to your daily routine can make a big difference in the long run. One such change could be aiming to increase your daily step count. For instance, setting a goal of 8000-10000 steps per day can significantly boost your total daily energy expenditure and caloric deficit.
This doesn't necessarily mean you need to spend hours on the treadmill. You can achieve this goal by making simple lifestyle changes such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away from your destination to allow for a longer walk, or taking a stroll during your lunch break. Even household chores can contribute to your daily step count.
By incorporating these changes into your routine, you'll accelerate your fat loss and improve your overall health and well-being. It's a great way to make your weight loss journey more sustainable and enjoyable, while also promoting a more active and healthier lifestyle.
When you do not see the fat loss results you hoped for, you must reassess your strategies. You can consider adjusting your caloric intake to reduce the calories from carbs or fats but not protein. If you're reluctant to reduce calories, ramping up your cardio routine could be a viable alternative. Incorporating additional LISS sessions or increasing your NEAT are effective ways to boost your calorie burning.
Furthermore, making small yet impactful changes to your everyday life, such as increasing your daily step count to 8000-10000 steps, can significantly contribute to your overall energy expenditure, helping you create a larger caloric deficit. These simple strategies can be easily incorporated into your daily routine, promoting not just weight loss but an overall active and healthier lifestyle.
Remember, weight loss is a journey, not a sprint. It takes time, patience, and consistency. Periods of stagnation are not indicators of failure but opportunities to reassess and fine-tune your approach. Keep moving forward, and you'll surely reach your fat loss goals.