I thought I would talk about weight loss on the Monday after the Super Bowl. Fitting hey? According to ABC, the Super Bowl is the 2nd largest gorging fest, next only to Thanksgiving. Americans consumed 30-35 million pounds of snack food on Sunday. Who knows what that value would be if it included Canada or other football-loving nations. Phew, that's a lot of calories and fat, and we didn't even include the beer! I did not watch the game ( I don't have cable) but I did consume some pizza with a huge salad! Yum. It's possible that those people who gorged themselves are going to go to the gym for 10 hours this week to burn off those last nacho bites. While you are burning calories, you are not allowing your metabolism to work overtime after you leave the gym. Although exercise is crutial to allow you to lose weight, you can never out-train a bad diet, as Craig would say. Weight loss is not only about calories and high intensity workouts, your body has to have a favorable environment to allow fat to leave its comfy storage sites (hips, but, thighs etc). So, here are 5 reasons why your fat cells are not budging.
- Your body's pH may be too acidic (below 7) - When the body is in an acidic state it will take the excess acid and store it in fat cells. As the body recognizes the acid as being harmful to the body's physiology, it will keep it harnessed in these fat cells. Hence, making it more difficult to lose body fat. Try dumping the processed foods as these foods are highly acidic. Replace them with green smoothies containing alkaline forming vegetables and fruits. You can get pH test strips to see if you are acidic or alkaline (this is optimal!) at your local health food store or drug store.
- You are doing too much long, slow, boring cardio- How many hours do you spend at the gym? I'm there for about 4.5 hours a week. This includes my workout, steam room, sauna, pool time, and shower. My workouts are usually 45 minutes in length including High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). I used to be a cardio junkie but I've learned that this is not the most effective way to work my body. Craig wrote about a study on his blog that compared two groups. The first group did 40 minutes of slow cardio and the second group did 20 minutes interval training. Guess who lost more weight? Yep, the 20 minute interval group. A study completed at the University of Guelph in 2007 showed that interval training increased fat burning by 36%. That's huge! So, give up the slow cardio and do some intervals instead. Try going at an 8/10 pace for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds rest (3/10). Complete this 8-10 times and you are going to do some awesome fat burning, even after you leave the gym! Of course, always be safe and ask your trainer or doctor if you want to give this a try.
- You are lying to yourself about how much you really eat- One chip? or was it one bag of chips? Huge difference there and of course this only puts you further away from your goal. One of the best ways to keep your eating in check is to start a food diary. In fact, keeping track as to what goes in your mouth can increase your weight loss by 50%. Being honest is always good and in this case it will do your weight loss efforts some good as well. I'm going to start this today! I am going to make an account at fitday and see what I really eat in a week. I eat pretty good but I'm sure there is room for improvement.
- You are producing too many stress hormones- Ahh, stress! Nobody likes it, but everybody has too much of it! These little hormones reduce the hormone DHEA which is responsible for increasing muscle mass. We need lean muscle mass as it burns off the excess fats cells and reduces insulin. High insulin can increase the secretion of cortisol. Cortisol is often associated with abdominal fat and for good reason. The cells found deep in the abdominal wall have 4 times the amount of cortisol receptors on their membranes. So, when we get stressed cortisol is secreted and the fat storage cycle is initiated. Stress hormones can also be triggered if you are deprived of sleep. So get some zzzz's tonight!
You do not have a support system in place - You need a cheering squad! Whether its a co-worker or someone online, you need someone to help you with your weight loss journey. If you are surrounded by friends who eat at McDonalds for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, your progress will most likely be pretty minimal. I'm lucky that my hubby is into going to the gym and eating healthy or my journey would definitely be more difficult. Check out sparkpeople or TTmembers for some awesome online support. I can be your support too!! Drop me a comment if you need some encouragement!
Hope you have a wonderful week! Try to get to the gym or go to the park and do some push-ups against the benches as your kids play around. Whatever it is, I hope you keep at it!