Ugh! You never expected the pounds to just fall off without having to put forth some effort, but losing weight is more of a challenge than you imagined. You’ve been cutting back on sugary, salty, and processed foods and incorporating more fruits and veggies. You’ve been working out five times a week. Maybe you’ve even reduced the stress in your life and started getting more sleep, but even after all your lifestyle changes you still can’t seem to get rid of that stubborn body fat. Where are you going wrong?
Lots of people find themselves thinking this very thing. Wanting to lose weight and live better, they make attempts to slim down. Some progress may be noticeable after a few weeks of eating right and exercising, but your hips, thighs, stomach, or lower back regions are stubborn, to say the least. Not wanting to give up, but not sure how to blast away those extra pounds, many find themselves at a loss.
Stubborn Body Fat
When eating, the body breaks down the food through various processes turning it into substances used to fuel it. One of those substances is glucose or sugar. When the body releases insulin it signals to your muscles, liver, and fat tissue to store glucose. As the sugar burns out, the fat cells burn. While the liver and muscles convert the stored blood sugar into glycogen which helps to expand the muscles, the fat tissue converts it into triglycerides that expand fat cells creating stubborn body fat.
Causes of Stubborn Fat
There are several reasons that someone might be struggling to get rid of excess fat in certain areas. Some, are directly related to diet and exercise while others could be attributed to genetics, hormones, and pre-existing medical conditions.
Age – As you get older, the number of calories your body needs to properly function decreases. For older women, there’s also menopause which causes a hormonal shift that can cause a pooch or stubborn belly fat.
You’re not varying your workouts – Running, aerobics, and Zumba are all great activities for staying fit, but they’re only half the equation. In order to get rid of stubborn fat, you must combine cardio and strength training.
You’re still eating a lot of sugar – You may have said goodbye to the cakes, cookies, and ice cream, but these aren’t the only sources for sugar. Some foods break down into sugar like refined carbs which can increase your insulin levels and your weight.
You’re stressed out – To live a life without stress is impossible, but to live a stressful life all the time is bad for your health. The more stressed you are the more your body produces a hormone known as cortisol which can increase the amount of fat your body stores.
Other health issues – Sometimes, your inability to lose weight is your body’s way of letting you know something is wrong. Those who suffer from diabetes, thyroid, or hormonal issues, for instance, may have a hard time getting those pounds off.
What to Do About it?
Now that you know the common causes of stubborn body fat, what can you do to correct your weight loss problem? There are a couple of options you can try:
- Cut Back Refined Carbs – It’s time to let go of the white bread, french fries, and potato chips. Replace them instead with sweet potatoes, vegetable pasta, and whole wheat bread.
- Coolsculpting – Facilities like Metropolitan Dermatology offer a new, non-invasive, procedure for getting rid of stubborn fat called coolsculpting. The concept is to freeze fat cells in targeted areas so that they eventually die off giving you the body you’ve always desired.
- Targeted and Varied Workouts – It is not only imperative that you switch your workouts between cardio and strength training, but also that you choose exercises that work on the areas you’re most concerned about.
- A Visit to the Doctor – If you believe you could be suffering from some medical condition or have a history of things like diabetes, high blood pressure, and thyroid disease you should visit a doctor. Proper diagnosis will provide the doctor with insight on how to help you take care of your health and lose the weight.
There’s a lot involved in maintaining a healthy body weight. Though a healthy diet and exercise are at the top of the list of lifestyle tips, if they’ve been ineffective, you may need to consider other factors. Keep in mind that if you start to see results from cutting back on refined carbs, coolsculpting, varied and targeted workouts, and/or a visit to the doctor you’ll still need to make positive lifestyle choices to keep the weight off.