We have all been there... Training hard, eating healthy but all of a sudden the results come to a grinding halt and our fat loss goals are at a standstill. What changed? Why aren't our failsafe methods working anymore? If you're wondering why your weight loss has suddenly stopped, here are a few questions to ask yourself.
1. Are you getting enough sleep?
Sleep is when our body repairs, regenerates and produces growth hormones which helps us to maintain a lean physique. Lack of quality sleep has been linked to obesity due to its effect on these hormones and disruption of insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a fat storing hormone so when it is out of balance our fat loss can stagnate. Lack of sleep also hinders our ability to make good decisions and over-stimulates the 'reward centre' of our brain making us far more likely to reach for the chocolate bar rather than the salad. For most people, 7-9 hrs of quality sleep will optimise fat loss.
2. Are you under-eating?
Even though we now know that the age-old adage 'calories in V calories out' isn't quite right, sometimes it's hard to escape that nagging voice that just says, "eat a bit less and train a bit more". The problem with this is that extended periods of caloric deficiency (therein, nutrient deficiency) can cause our bodies to stress and think that we are in a famine. Historically, if food were scarce and there were a famine our body would store fat to prepare for this. Not only can our bodies stop fat loss but we can even see weight being gained. Fuel properly, make sure you are eating enough food, keep your nutrients high and incorporate plenty of good healthy fats in your diet to keep your body happy.
3. Are you over-training?
Sometimes more isn't always better, it's just more. Exercise is a stress on our body and, done well that stress acts in a positive manner to keep us strong and lean. However, when over-done it causes an over-production of cortisol in our body which can inhibit fat loss and increase fat storage. If you're not recovering well from your training, you are injuring yourself, your strength or speed has stalled or your sleep is out of whack it might be time to dial back the training and swap some of the intensity for more gentle movement for a while. Resting and repairing are just as important as training on your weight loss journey.
4. Are your hormones out of whack?
If you are doing all the right things, training well, fuelling well, minimising stress, getting sufficient rest and you are still not seeing results maybe it's time to get those hormones checked. Regardless if you are male or female, our hormones have a huge impact on our bodies ability to lose or gain fat, gain muscle, train to our potential and recover. We would suggest seeing a naturopath or nutritionist specialising in gut health or a holistic GP to get the necessary tests done to identify the root cause of what's going on. There's no point in taking synthetic medication to band-aid the problem without addressing the underlying issue.
5. Is your gut bacteria in order?
Every day more and more science is coming to light about the importance of a healthy gut microbiome and the many roles our gut has to play in our overall health and wellness. Our gut is largely responsible for modulating our immune system, serotonin production, melatonin production, nutrient assimilation and absorption and hormone regulation. Additionally, an over-abundance of bad gut bugs can produce toxins that trigger inflammation, insulin-resistance, diabetes and obesity. Making sure that we are feeding our good gut bugs with a variety of vegetables, some fruits, fermented foods and good quality fats will help ensure we have a healthy gut microbiome. If you feel like your guts could be the problem we would suggest seeking out a good naturopath, gut-health focused nutritionist or holistic GP to have the appropriate testing done.
Eat well. Train smart. Take time to recover. Remember that food can be our greatest medicine or our greatest poison.
Information from this post has been referenced from the below websites: