It’s a Monday morning and a client strolls into our office.
“How did you do this week?” We ask.
“I think I did a good job.” The client says.
We start to take the client’s measurements. This is a weekly ritual of ours that helps keep our clients accountable. As we start measuring, all the measurements are going the wrong way. The client looks confused and says “I don’t understand!”
This is usually the point when B and I turn from nutritionist and trainer to crime scene investigators. Generally after a series of questions we can obtain our answer as to what the problem is. After a general series of questions we can assess the problem and determine how to go about fixing it.
Surprisingly enough no matter how different our clients may be, the first few questions are generally the same. The questions tend to be based around some general ideals of what to look for when a client is not making progress. With that being said, here are a few things you may want to look at if you are not progressing with your very own body fat loss.
1. Are you eating enough?
This is one that we can’t stress enough with some clients.
“You can not starve yourself skinny!” Is a statement everyone should hear and understand.
A lot of times people think that if they starve themselves they will get smaller faster. The problem with not eating enough is the body goes into starvation mode and not only will you lose muscle but most of the time gain weight in the process also.Burning body fat is a metabolic process and for that metabolic processes to work in the body, food is required.
2. Do you know how much you are eating?
While you should never starve yourself, portion control does play a huge role in diminishing body fat. You need to take in enough calories to produce a metabolic response in a body, but you also need to be able to burn off more than you take in. This delicate balance will produce a positive response when it comes to fat burning. The biggest deterrent to this is either taking portions that are too big at meal times or constantly snacking. Some people tend to constantly have “a little bit of this and a little bit of that..” A little bit of snacking can add a big amount of calories to your diet very quickly.
3. Are you drinking enough water?
Water is key for almost all reactions in the body. When the body is hydrated it is easier for it to burn body. Not only will the body burn more fat when well hydrated but because there are increased oxygen levels in the body you will also have more energy. Water also removes waste products and toxins from the body. When these waste products and toxins are built up and not removed by the body, they can slow body fat loss and create a lack of energy.
4. Are you following your nutrition plan?
This is one of my favorite loaded questions that we often ask clients.
Whenever we have a client that says “I did everything on the plan…”
I already know, with a little more probing I will find something they did not do. I often tell clients EVERYTHING is in their plans for a reason. It is very much the saying “The sum of the whole equals the sum of its parts.” Simply put this means everything you do or do not do will have a part in how effective your body fat loss efforts will be. What most people don’t realize is that even slight changes over a period of time will create big effects, sometimes good sometimes bad. We have had clients screw up their entire diets because the decided they were going to eliminate certain foods or food types from their plans without consulting us first. What they failed to realize was they may have been taking away vital nutrients or calories that they may not have been getting by eliminating those foods. From a personal standpoint as a nutritionist and trainer, nothing aggravates me more than to hear a client say the plan is not working then to come and find out they have not been following the plan.
5. You give yourself way too many excuses not to stay on plan! “Well the problem was my best friend’s third cousin had this pet Tiger in Asia that got lost. Everyone was so stressed over it I had to have 6 chocolate bars to calm my nerves!!!” Okay so maybe you have not said something this extreme but my point being if you do not want to stick to a regiment, you can easily find a reason not to. Sticking to a regimented plan is not easy but in the same token it is not doing nuclear physics either. What you put into your nutritional efforts is exactly what you will get back in return. We often tell people instead of finding ways why you could not stay on plan, look for ways to make things easier so you can stay on plan.
6. You listen to way too many so called “Experts”. We as nutritionist always find it amusing how there are so many health and fitness experts out there that are totally out of shape or have little to no clue as to how to get someone into shape, but have a million articles of misinformation or videos on the internet about fitness. I remember once having a client who was a trainer and nutrition adviser and she could not read the difference between two nutrition bar labels but yet was out given misinformation about fitness all over the internet. This to me personally was horrifying. If she could not understand the principles and concepts, how was she giving advise on the subject matter. If you are going to take nutritional advise make sure you know where its coming from and the information is reputable and easy to understand.
You better ask yourself While being on a regimented fat loss plan may not always be the easiest thing to do, if you are not progressing take a good honest look at what you may or may not be doing in terms of your rate of progress. By asking yourself a few simple questions and really examining your actions you may move down the road of fat loss a lot quicker.