This five-minute read will help explain what might be holding us back from seeing those long-forgotten abs!
There is a difference between losing weight, and losing bodyfat. A lot of the time the numbers on the scale don’t reflect how we think we should look, and that is usually down to how much bodyfat we are carrying for our weight.
If you are happy with the weight you have achieved but would still like to see yourself become a little leaner, here are a few things that could help:
Cut down on alcohol.
Apart from the fact that alcoholic drinks tend to be full of empty calories with no nutritional benefit, drinking alcohol can have a negative effect on our ability to burn fat. There are several reasons for this, including changes in liver function, and impact on our body’s hormones. Studies show that people who drink regularly will have more bodyfat (in particular around the waist) than those who don’t.
Alcohol consumption is strongly linked to increases in bodyfat, especially abdominal fat.
Get more sleep.
How much sleep we get on a regular basis is a massively overlooked element of our general health. One way poor sleep can impact our health is by impeding our ability to lose fat. Several studies suggest that even among people who lose weight, those who sleep longer hours will lose more bodyfat (people with poor sleep habits will tend to lose more muscle mass than bodyfat if they are losing weight). Poor sleep is also linked with higher cortisol (a stress hormone) which can affect loss of bodyfat.
People who get less sleep have a harder time losing weight, and even if they do lose weight it will be less likely to be bodyfat. More Sleep=Less Bodyfat.
Eat better food.
The most important factor in losing weight is simply eating fewer calories than you expend. This is a physical fact. However, the quality of the foods you eat has a huge effect on how much fat you will or won’t lose, even if the number on the scales is going down.
Highly refined, processed foods with poor nutritional value will have a very different effect on our body than a good quality diet with lots of fruit, vegetables and unprocessed protein sources. Nutritious, real food is broken down and absorbed differently to poor quality junk food, and should be stored as less bodyfat compared to the same amount of energy eaten as junk food.
Better quality food choices should help maximise fat loss.
Cut down on stress.
As mentioned above, cortisol is a hormone that gets produced by our body when we are under stress (both physical and mental). Our body needs it at the right times to maintain normal functions, but problems occur when too much of it is produced, too often. High cortisol levels are linked to obesity and can make it very difficult to lose weight and fat.
Manage stress levels to enjoy a low bodyfat percentage along with a healthy bodyweight!
So there we have it. A few easy, practical tips to help us shed those stubborn inches! We hope they help.
Personal Trainer & Fitness Coaching
Conor has worked in the field of strength and fitness coaching full time for 8 years, and has single-handedly coached over 8,000 sessions (both group sessions, and one-on-one).
Read more about Connor Kennedy