Bodies by Design: Why you are not losing any weight – Austin American-Statesman

If losing fat were easy, then we’d all look like fitness models. Right?
Unfortunately, the fat loss game is more frustrating than most care to admit. The scale quickly becomes a dreaded enemy — a constant bearer of bad news.
If the number on your scale won’t budge, then read on for an explanation:
This only happens in cases of severe calorie restriction, so don’t take it as a license to eat whatever you’d like. When you’re trying to drop a few pounds by eating next to nothing, it actually counteracts your efforts.
There’s a base number of calories that you should be eating to maintain your proper bodily functions, including fat loss, so check with a doctor or nutritionist to make sure that you’re eating enough.
Processed carbs will promote fat storage quicker than you can say the alphabet backwards. Blood sugar and insulin levels always respond the same to processed carbs – whether those carbs are in the form of a Fiber One bar or a Twinkie.
You’re fooling yourself, but not your scale, if you think processed carbs should be included in your fat loss diet.
If you’re doing hours of steady-state cardio, it’s going to end up working against your fat loss efforts. All that cardio promotes the release of stress hormones in your body, which counteracts your ability to lose fat.
See me about designing your ideal exercise routine for maximum fat loss. I’ll let you know how much cardio should be included in your routine.
You may not see the connection between your sleep patterns and the number on your scale, but it’s there. Sleep patterns have an impact on your hormone levels, and hormones are a huge factor when it comes to losing fat.
Be sure to get a full eight hours of sleep each night to boost your fitness results.
Small, whole foods snacks throughout the day can help maintain your metabolism and encourage fat loss, but it all depends on what you’re snacking on. Fruit-only snacks quickly break down to sugar, which causes insulin to be released and potential fat storage to occur, much like when you eat processed carbs. Sure, the fruit will make less of an impact than a candy bar, but you could be snacking smarter.
Only eat snacks that contain more protein than carbs, and also some fat. This will help to stabilize your blood sugar levels while also keeping hunger at bay longer.
I get it, you have a fat loss goal so it’s tempting to fall into the trap of purchasing foods that claim to help dieters. The problem lies in the fact that these “diet” products have been highly processed and contain potentially harmful chemicals and artificial sweeteners that will confuse your hormones and promote fat storage.
The best diet strategy, when working toward a fitness goal, is to stick with real, fresh, whole foods. Steer clear of anything fake or processed. Keep things simple by choosing foods that are whole, organic and tasty. Once you have identified those foods, become resourceful and find a good cookbook and start creating tasty dishes that you and your family will enjoy.
We didn’t forget about the elephant in the room … your stress levels.
Sure, life can be overwhelming and stressful, but understand that mismanaged stress will have a negative impact on your hormones, which can promote fat storage. However, there are stress factors that can be extremely helpful such as running, lifting weights, swimming and hiking, just to name a few.
When you put your body through the temporary stress of exercise, your body has a positive effect and will help you adapt and eliminate the negative stresses that comes with the daily grind.
Find your favorite ways to work up a sweat daily to unleash your endorphins and give your body a chance to work the stress out of your system. Not only will you feel better, look better and become less stressed, but you will sleep better. It’s a win-win combination.
Taking the first step is always the most difficult. Once you get going, you will ask yourself why you didn’t start sooner.
You’ve got this.
Fred Sassani is the founder of Bodies By Design in Pflugerville, a nationally certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist. For comments or questions, you can reach Fred at or visit

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