DietTraining

5 things stalling your fat loss progress

By September 15, 2010 13 Comments

It happens to all of us at some point… You seemingly have the ability to lose weight super fast, magically shedding pounds like Kanye West shedding his credibility.

You try a bunch of lose weight diets and stick to a stringent routine which all make you lose weight easy… for a while. Then suddenly, without warning, you hit a fat loss wall. It’s commonly called a plateau, but that’s a little bit fancy — so lets run with wall.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the human body is one smart son-of-a-b*tch. It will quickly wisen up to your fat loss strategy in a heart beat sending you into a spin of confusion leading to sleepless nights and countless trips to the fridge at 3am.

Without giving you a science lesson (as lord knows, I’m not qualified), the human body is rigged for survival. It has a whole bunch of self-defence mechanisms built into it to prevent pain, cold temperatures, death and ultimately too much fat loss. One of these mechanisms flicks on causing your body to store fat as a ‘reserve’ just in case the chips are down, you lose your job and you have to start eating your own butt-cheeks to survive.

Here are 5 things that are making your belly fat hard to lose

#5 Not mixing it up enough

You need to trick your body into action. It’ll notice that you’re running endlessly on the treadmill each and every day and start saying things like “WTF!” and “EPIC FAIL LMAO!” and all sorts of groovy internet acronyms. All your body wants to do is hold onto that precious fat you keep going out of your way to lose.

#4 Forgetting to constantly adjust

You need to change up your diet/routine on a monthly basis, and then as you near your fat-loss goals, you then need to adjust weekly and even daily just to really shock the system into handing over another pound of flesh (or fat if you like). Make no mistake, losing fat IS hard. Noone gets lean from NOT training their butt off, eating properly or forgetting to sleep.

You need to train, adjust, train, adjust and keep on doing so until you reach your goal body fat level. There is no sure fire technique that will work ALL the time EVERY time.

#3 Neglecting your diet

One of the BIGGEST mistakes we make, is to put so little focus into what we eat. We train like a bitch, then order a hamburger with a side of fries all the time wondering why our spare tyre has become a spare tractor-wheel.

If fatloss is your goal, you need to take control of what you keep shoving into your pie-hole. If you sort this part out, your goal weight and body fat level will become exponentially easier to reach.

5 Tips to help you shed the pounds when your fat-loss progress stalls

Ok, so you can balance on a rock, but you still have the gut from Hell

#2 Giving up

It’s the easiest thing to do. You hit the wall, and you aren’t even losing a pound a fortnight anymore. Worse than this, the leaner you are the harder it is to lose fat.

First thought is “Bugger it, I tried my best. I’ll just go back to how I was before. Cuddly, festively plump and king of the pie-eaters”. It doesn’t need to be that way. Just realise that we are all in the same boat. We all stall, fail and have to continuously re-think our fat-loss strategy.

#1 Not trying something completely different

We often get so set in our ways, that we a scared of trying a new technique. It could be as simple as: don’t have salad dressing today or maybe introduce a day of fasting. Eat one serving for dinner instead of two then maybe add 5 minutes to your HIIT sprinting routine. It’s the little things that matter- they all add up to a mountain of fast fat loss at the end of the day.

Editor’s note: We all hit a fat loss plateau at some point. What techniques do you use to bust through it when trying to reach low body fat levels? Comment below.

Clint Nielsen

Author Clint Nielsen

Clint is a dad and husband trying to stay in shape. He's also a highly opinionated fitness enthusiast and author of Reveal The Steel. Follow him on: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Google+

More posts by Clint Nielsen

Join the discussion 13 Comments

  • Cassie says:

    This is really helpful for me because i feel like I’m in that exact rut now.
    I was onto a really good thing then lost my mojo after having a short break from the gym. Now I’m back on track but can’t see any improvements in my body. Its a constant battle I’m afraid.
    I’m going to try and introduce a day of fasting and mix up my training (summer is almost here after all) Also could benefit in getting myself a PT. I’ll let you know how i go!

  • phon says:

    I’m guilty of all 5. I’m also guilty of sporting a permanent one-pack. Belly fail :(

  • Ryan says:

    Hey Man,

    Just found this place from Project Swole. Love your style.

    For me, Fasting days or carb rotation really help if I’m at a plateau.
    Also, I mix up the routine a bit. Try a few different exercises, do density circuits, and do a few days where I just focus on interval training.

    It’s hard for a body to adjust when you constantly change it up.

    Thanks for the post.
    Talk to ya soon,
    Ryan “The Fat Loss Informant”

  • Clint,

    Dropping belly fat is a long, hard process. Everyone hits speedbumps at one point or another. I think tip #4 is especially important. The last thing you want to do when you start to plateau is give up. Mixing up your routine and adjusting your calories lower, if necessary, can definitely help.

    Alykhan

  • Clint Nielsen says:

    @Cassie
    You’d be surprised at how much your improvements are noticed by other people. We look at ourselves each and everyday, and don’t notice the changes as they are so incremental. You do look fab right now. Trust me on that ;)

    @Ryan
    Welcome Ryan, and thanks for the kudos — Im glad to see others use similar techniques to bust through their own plateaus.

    @Alykhan
    It sure is a long process. Unfortunately for me, the belly is the first to come and last to leave. Some of us are just blessed in that way :)

  • Clint,

    Awesome post….and your blog is Bangin’ as well!

    I have seen so many people give up at the first sign of adversity. This applies to anything in life that matters and not just weight loss. So I like your #4 point the best.

    I also like point #5 (trying something deifferent) I’m experimenting with a BCAA powder that Martin at Lean Gains is recommending. So far seeing an improvement in muscle size as well as a little bit of fat loss.

    Loving the site buddy!

    -Rusty

  • jason says:

    Great post.

    I find number 3 the big one. Keep diet in check and you will not be in the mess in the first place.

  • Hey Clint,

    Yeah man…these are 5 excellent points. From my own personal experience, #3 always has the most direct effect on success. I mean…if you are overweight, you can NOT exercise at all and still lose fat if your nutrition program is in order. Case in point: I’ve been nursing some nagging injuries lately (bum shoulder from a motorcycle accident, bi-lateral sports hernia, and a yet un-diagnosed biceps injury – could be a partial tear but I hope it’s just tendonitis), so my workouts have been infrequent and realtively easy in intensity. I’ve still managed to maintain my weight and bodyfat percentage thanks to my nutrition plan. Besides #3, I agree with Rusty that #4 is also important. You can’t ever give up. Consistency is the key.
    ~ Pete

  • Jason says:

    Can’t stress enough how important finding an active hobby is, that you love. (Biking, cross country skiing, running, pickup basketball, flag football). If all my physical activity came from workouts for the sake of workouts, I think I’d go crazy. Martial arts is a great way to do this, if even just twice a week. If you fall in love w/ it, you will workout to fuel your hobby, and at this point, weight loss and fitness is just an advantage on the side.

  • Clint Nielsen says:

    @Rusty
    Thanks mate, I really can’t thank you enough for helping me get this thing of the ground!
    I’m also on some BCAA powder during training. I see it as a ‘muscle sparing’ supplement more than anything else. Interested to hear your results regarding muscle size however.

    @jason
    Definitely agree with you there, but also hard to do for a lot of people. If we take care of our diet 70-80% of the time, the weekend can be free-reign of pizza and beer… well kinda :)

    @Pete
    Sorry to hear about the injury — I know your pain and how hard it is to be away from the gym (had a shoulder impingement for a good 9 months which niggled my progress for AGES). Diet manipulation has helped you stay on track though so nice work indeed!

    @Jason
    I think a lot of us (including myself) do find the gym or any kind of cardio + lifting enjoyable to do and a form of mental and physical release. It isn’t for everyone (your case in point) — so finding other ways to keep you fit and strong whilst enjoying sport is of course a great motivational tool.

  • Bryan says:

    Great post Clint! I think this is the biggest issue for a lot of people that want to lose weight. Discipline. I have also said that weight loss/fat loss is 80% of the game and it’s amazing what you can do if you just start eating less FAT. Eat fat and get fat is my motto ( now ). To add to #3 I think another thing that people forget to do is actually pay attention to their portion size.

    I used to look at the nutritional value of a big bag of chips and say, “Well that’s not so bad.” Turns out, I eat the whole bag and felt tired from all the sodium and bloating. I didn’t pay attention to the serving size itself and just ate until my gut stretched. ( the full feeling ) The serving SIZE is what you need to look at and pay attention to for those boxed meals/snacks so you don’t engorge yourself with empty calories.

    #2 is a little difficult to adhere to for those who want to lose the weight fast. Changing the routine that initially worked is like throwing a kid afraid of the dark into a dark closet. Can’t stress enough about changing the diet/workout routine as much as possible. Also, this helps to with finding new foods or exercises and keeps things fresh. Can’t have your fitness get bland now can we?

    Keep this blog a rollin Clint. Love the writing style that you have.

  • Great post! I certainly think #4 hits home with a significant portion of the population. Every January 1st, people make a resolution to get in shape and by March 1st, most people have given up. On #5, people still don’t understand how I can go without eating for 24 hours (intermittent fasting)…and yet, they’ve never even tried.

  • Love the photo, I find it so much easier to relate to the article when you have a interesting and relavent photo present.

    Keep up the good work.

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