We’re now a little over 1 month into the New Year and for those of us who are still working towards improved health, body composition or fat loss goals, well done us! The benefits to increased physical activity, exercise and improved eating habits is almost endless. If however for some reason you have stopped noticing the scales going down or if the rate of fat loss has slowed down compared to this time last month, it’s definitely nothing to worry about and is definitely not a reason worth stopping for. The purpose of this short article is to highlight the 5 main reasons why the rate of fat loss may have slowed down and to give you some ideas on how to continue progressing. During our Personal Training qualifications and the Nutrition course we deliver at FLM Training, we provide our learners with all they need to ensure their clients will continue and progress.
Tip number #1
Progressive overload! In a lot of cases when clients first start working towards health, fitness and body re-composition goals they usually start a new exercise / training programme. The majority of time this is usually challenging and demanding, this is what forces the body to change and adapt. However after a period of time that programme, class or walk becomes less challenging and no ‘overload’ is experienced. This results in progression slowing down. So… to keep the fat moving, or to keep the muscle building and getting stronger you must progress your training and make sure it is at least challenging. After all ‘if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change’. This is my opinion is one of the main reasons people don’t get the results they want from training.
Tip number #2
Don’t starve yourself! Yes nutrition is a big part and plays a huge role in both fat loss and also hypertrophy. There are however negative effects of starving yourself which include lack of energy when exercising, no room to adapt or modify what you’re eating and low calorie diets over a long period of time can down regulate important processes and functions of things such as your thyroid which is crucial for weight management. As well as this, when you do increase your calories after a long period of time of being low calorie, there is potential for you to re-bound and put on a lot of the weight you’ve lost. Slow and steady is key!
Tip number #3
Recruit a training partner! As I mentioned in Tip #1, progressive overload is key and you need to push your boundaries in terms of intensity to elicit the results you want. Unfortunately, many of us take the easier option and when we train on our own we tend to not work as hard as if we were training with someone. As well as this, training with a partner can be fun, slightly competitive but also rewarding when you see each other progress. Another benefit of having a training partner is having someone to turn to for encouragement, motivation and to help keep you on track when times get tough or when temptation starts to kick in!
Tip number #4
Lift weights! During our Personal Trainer courses we often discuss and outline the benefits of lifting weights or resistance training. One major benefit to resistance training is improving circulation and also increasing lean tissue mass which in turn will result in increased energy expenditure when at rest. Another benefit of resistance training is that if it is structured correctly then you can reap the same benefits as Cardiovascular training, especially with methods such as Tri Sets, Giant Sets or GBC style training.
Tip number #5
Consistency! To achieve anything in life you must be consistent. If you are busting your gut in the gym Monday – Friday and eating really well and consistent with your calories, food choices and water intake is good, but then binge all weekend on fast food, poor food choices, alcohol and no exercise then it’s only a matter of time until your progress slows down, if not stops altogether. If you are serious about dropping the fat or even if your goal is hypertrophy and strength then you MUST be consistent. Top tips for helping you keep on track at the weekend include:
- Train at the weekend (we are less likely to go off track after training)
- Goals…Have your goals or aspiration photos strategically placed in areas where you will see them to help remind you why you’re training
- If you plan a rewarding meal or ‘cheat meal’ then make sure it is only the one meal and not the whole day. Stay away from trigger foods or foods which make you want to eat more and more…
- Socialise with likeminded people…after all if your friends are real friends they will support you and encourage you to stay on track and not try to encourage you to conform to their way of eating etc.
We hope you’ve found this article helpful, for more information on Fat Loss visit our other blog > The Truth about Fat Loss