4 Sneaky Surprises You Can’t Burn Body Fat
Show me a devoted dieter or gym rat who can’t get their fat loss moving in the right direction and I’ll show you someone who is guilty of one these culprits.The obligatory comeback I get from a petulant macro counter who’s #1 agenda is fat loss is always the same.
“Bu bu but I do eat smart, my diet is perfect!”
The funny thing is I’ve never met a single fitness minded person who was stuck trying to burn body fat but didn’t think they were doing everything right.
Let me say this very loud and let me say this very clear I’ve never seen anyone who was eating correctly for fat loss but still couldn’t budge their adipose levels in the right direction.
Well actually I have. The only situation where I’ve seen someone eat plenty of healthy food and perform moderate exercise and actually gain weight and body fat was a pregnant women.
Yet I hear it every day, one person after another who insists that their diet won’t work despite the fact they workout, eat perfectly take all the right supplements & count macros. Pleading on hand & knee for me to identify the evil culprit that’s preventing their stubborn belly and thighs from relinquishing those clingy fat stores.
I’m not sure who’s more dumbfounded here, me or them?
Them, because they still can’t connect-the-dots that what they put into their mouth will always be the cornerstone of fat loss.
Or me, because I can’t fathom where they got such false bravado in their program they either copied from a super ripped fitness vixen or they conjured up themselves.
Well actuality I do.
Let me explain.
Even though they’ll solemnly swear on their mommas grave, cross their heart & hope to die and take an oath that they’re doing everything just right, they’re always woefully lacking in more than one area. The first of which is the eating IQ department followed by the exercise IQ department.
They’re not intentionally fibbing. They’re just oblivious to the fact that what they think is helping them is actually hurting them. In other words they don’t know, that they don’t know.
They’ve gotten their info from Instagram feeds of bikini competitors or the glossy pages of Out-of Shape & Carbon Dioxide fitness rags.
In their feeble mind, that’s the gold standard. That’s the final authority on fitness, fashion and you guessed it- fat loss.
But let’s pretend for a minute that your eating really is on point. Even if it was you can still kill its fat loss benefits if you fall prey to one of these common pit falls that run amok in the daily routines of wanna-be fitness models and skinny-fat cardio junkies.
Everyone clearly knows that the way to become a champion is to work harder, longer and with more “intensity” than anyone else. After all, from memes to motivational quotes, that’s the prevailing theme plastered across the fitness landscape of the interwebs. Can’t hack it? Then you obviously don’t have what it takes to achieve that athletic hard body that coincidentally keeps eluding you. You can just mosey back to your neighborhood boot camp class around your own ilk who have accepted their lot in life conceding that figure you so dearly longed for.
Now here’s where the problemo starts. You try to live up to that impossibly high standard of outworking everyone. If 30 minutes, three days a week is good then 2 hours five days week will win you a medal of honor.
When you push the envelope too far in the exercise game and still eat healthy food you can expect to create a significant energy deficit. When you hit the gym pre-breakfast in the wee early morning hours you’re going to dig a tremendous deficit into your energy balance for the day. Throw in a fat burner pill or energy drink and you’re going to dig even deeper.
“Isn’t that the point?”
Go ahead and try it and you’ll be ready to rip & snort through the nearest bakery by 3pm.
So even if you’re eating a balanced, smart nutritional program, you can still wreck it by grinding out a couple hours of weights followed by a spinning class six days a week.
Most folks round’ these here parts know that you can’t out run a bad diet, but did you know you can out run a good one?
And this leads us to Fat Loss Life Principle #19
You Can’t out run a bad diet but you can over-train a good one!
Not that your diet is any good but even if it was it wouldn’t stand a soft-serve cone chance in hell from all the cardio or fifteen sets per body part you grind out. Probably both.
If you follow a healthy, well balanced nutritional program you can actually render it useless by beating it to death with an overdose of exercise.
“Bu bu but what if I want to run a marathon or do a tough mudder for fun?”
Then you need to prioritize what your goals are.
If your #1 goal is performance then design your training program first to specifically achieve your athletic goal and then allocate your eating to fit it.
If your #1 goal is fat loss then always design your nutrition program first and then your training accordingly to fit with-in the parameters of your nutrition.
“But don’t I have to be in a deficit if I wanna get rid of my pesky belly fat?”
There’s a world of difference between being in a rock bottom severe caloric deficit than there is gradually transitioning into one over the course of a few days and weeks with built in progressions in your training routine.
There’s a big difference in doing a fasted hour long spinning class pre-dawn several days a week than performing a 5 minute mobility warm up and executing a 10-12 minute ground based metabolic calisthenic session two days a week after you’ve downed a meal or two.
If you start out doing double days or clocking double digit hours a week in the gym then you’re going to short-circuit the benefits of your nutrition program.
Yeah yeah, I know, both these goals can have overlapping benefits but the people who are stuck in a rut between 15-22% body fat while hitting weights & step mill five days a week don’t really fit that category.
Here’s a good example of something I witnessed last month in the gym and leads us to the second sneaky reason you can’t budge your belly fat.
Here’s how it unfolded.
I see a 30- something woman at gym every day I go and she will be riding a bike in the spinning class room all by her lonesome self for up to an hour. After that she will proceed to do walking lunges up and down the aerobics room floor. From there she will jog on the treadmill.
I don’t know how much time she wasted on the treadmill because I’m finished by then and on my way out.
On Saturdays she will be crawling at a snails pace up the step mill with her arms and shoulders draped over the hand rails and front panel as if holding on for dear life.
This usually goes on for up to an hour and a half. Afterwards she whittles away at crunches for- I’m not sure how long, because you guessed it; by then I’ve already warmed up, executed a training session and on my way out.
And those are only the three days that I’m there. No telling what she inflicts on herself the other days of the week.
Now here’s the bizarre part, I would guesstimate she is 5’6″, 170 at over 33% body fat.
All of a sudden I heard her boast something to her cronies that brought everything full circle.
“I workout to eat!”
I had a kairos moment the instant I heard it.
Now it all made sense.
I wonder if she realized that all the chronic calorie burning she clocked so many hours in was actually the culprit of her grizzly bear appetite.
Sadly, this is not an isolated event, nor is it exclusive to the obese. This dysfunctional belief is pushed by fitness celebs & bikini models – “Earn your carbs with cardio!” they squeal from their fb pages and IG selfies. And it’s embraced by the newbie bikini chick and twenty-something emotional eater with a body image disorder.
Anytime someone thinks they must “earn” the right to eat, that’s a blazing red flag that they’ve got a pernicious relationship with food.
The only thing worse than people who do an hour of cardio after they eat a cupcake are the folks who do an hour before.
Whether before or after the reason is the same.
This is why I believe adopting the flip side of this approach is safest solution. In other words you don’t get to do any cardio until you’ve eaten all your assigned meals on time for a full week.
This shifts your focus from burning kcals to correctly fueling your body. It gives your body a chance to actually let food do it’s job.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Going full circle back to the top, the one common trait everyone possesses who is guilty of this self-sabotage, is that everyone who’s trying to lose fat but can’t, thinks they’re eating healthy. They think they’re already doing everything the right way.
Look, your body will fight tooth & nail to hold on to stubborn body fat tighter than AL-Qaeda insurgents! You must have a strategic plan in place to coerce that pesky fat to release its death grip from your belly and hips.
You can’t just pummel your body with a barrage of super-sets and fast twitch classes and expect to chisel out a work of art.
Let me guess, you think that if you can ride it out, it’s only a matter of months until you’re a spitting image of the air-brushed fitness vixen showcased on the cover of your favorite fitness rag.
I’m right aren’t I?
How well do you really think that arbitrary approach will work for you?
Here’s a hint- it won’t!
Don’t believe me? You and the other million suckers out there can try it till your hearts content.
“Nice try jerk but I know exactly what I’m eating! I track every thing I eat by writing it in a food journal after I eat it.”
This leads us to the third sneaky reason you and millions of other unsuspecting over-zealous gym junkies can’t burn stubborn body fat despite your most valiant efforts.
Fat Loss Life Principle # 14
Never write down what you eat after you ate it, because by then, it’s too late!
Too many folks use a food journal to track all their meals in hopes that it will some how flick a magic fat-loss switch.
They’re still waiting.
Listen up junior. Not only do you need a balanced, progressive training program that fits with-in the confines of your nutrition but you also need a calculated, methodical eating pattern to keep you satiated, nourished, & well fueled while coercing your pesky fat pockets to let loose bit by bit.
And this isn’t going to happen after the fact.
You’re not going to like what I say next but if you ever want to arrive at your target destination you’re going to need a map. If you have any desire to reach your goals then you’re going to need the right program to get you there.
When the New England Patriots played the Seahawks in the Super Bowl do you think they just showed up with some random plays & formations in hopes that they might score a touchdown? Did they just magically hope they would stop Russell Wilson?
Heck NO! They had a GAME PLAN!
–Customized specifically to score on the Seahawks
—Which they executed close to perfection.
Same thing applies with you and those thighs of yours. If you think that Seattle defense is tough to move the chains on just wait until you line up in the trenches against those hips of yours and try budge them an inch! They aren’t going to just magically start to shrink by eating salad and tuna no matter how hard you work. You gotta have a Game Plan!
“If I have dedication, commitment and hard work I can lose fat!”
If I had a nickle for every time I heard the compulsory “hard work” excuse I could buy lifetime supply of Protein Powder.
You can be dedicated & extremely committed to watching a sunset but you’ll never see one as long as you’re running east no matter how hard you run.
Same thing applies to what you put in your mouth. You gotta have the best possible route, map and directions laid out in advance so you can arrive to your desired body fat destination.
Look here, you gotta know your program like the back of your hand, trust your program, follow your program, obey your program and then watch it work. And ain’t no way that’s going to happen if you’re scribbling down what you wrote on your bib after each meal.
The last sneaky reason people can’t burn body fat isn’t really a reason at all, although for some reason people turn it into one.
Had a young confused girl tip toe up to me at the gym last week.
“I’m not going to start cutting body fat for another month. What should I do until then?”
Why a month, why not now?
“I’m injured and my doctor said I need another another month to heal.”
I immediately assumed she must have some sort of injury in her jaw or had recent dental work or perhaps her tonsils removed as this would prevent her from chewing & swallowing certain foods.
But just to make sure I asked her what her injury was.
“Oh I sprained my ankle.”
This was most confusing to me as the food you eat will not hinge on the health of your ankle.
How does your ankle affect what you put in your mouth? I asked her
She gave me a baffled look then said “Because I can’t train legs or do cardio.”
But why do you have to train your legs in order to eat correctly?
Her face now resembled that of a lobotomy patient as her brain drifted further into confusion.
In the mean time she used her injury as a meal ticket to snack on cereal bars, eat Chipotle and sip cocktails at girls-night-out.
And this brings us to Life Principle #4.
Having an injury does not affect what you put into your mouth. Just because you can’t exercise doesn’t mean you can’t follow smart nutrition.
Folks tend to embrace the belief that unless they are fully healthy & injury free they need not strive for fat loss; when in reality, this is the time when you need smart nutrition the most.
The bizarre part is that once they are patched up and injury free they still don’t adhere to healthy nutrition.
Rewind back and check out reason numero dos if you need a refresher course. That’s right, even when physically at full speed they over dose exercise to indulge in garbage but as soon as they get a boo boo they use it as an excuse to slack off and eat junk. Heck even common sense would clue you in that if you’re injured and can’t exercise then by default the ante just doubled on everything you put into your mouth.
Damned if they do damned if they don’t.
It’s just another day in the life of a fat loss fanatic.