Many people hit the gym and get into fitness and healthy eating to lose weight. But often these measures aren’t enough – or at least they don’t seem like enough to remove that dreaded belly fat.
Here are some of the top reasons you’re not losing weight and what to do about it.
You Don’t Eat Whole Foods
People think that losing weight is all about calorie intake. But with discoveries like the fact that insulin action is affected by the level of inflammation in cells, as well as the finding that the bacteria in our gut play a role in deciding whether we’re fat or thin, clearly calories alone aren’t enough.
This is why so many people, including authoritynutrition.com, are now recommending that people eat whole food – foods that remain in their original, unprocessed state. Things like whole beans, whole fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Scientists believe that the reason whole foods are so beneficial is that they contain a bunch of stuff that helps our bodies achieve healthy weight synergistically. For instance, whole blueberries contain lots of phytonutrients which is really good for reducing inflammation at the cellular level. And foods in the allium family, like garlic and onions, are really good at providing food to the bacteria in our gut, encouraging the growth of bacteria that produce compounds that help us stay a healthy weight.
You Don’t Lift Weights
Many people who want to get fit are stuck in the 1970s. Back then, doctors and scientists were recommending that people go on long jogs to lose weight because it was the most calorie-intensive activity that they could think of, and it was supposedly good for the heart.
But over time the science developed and people slowly starting figuring out that for most people, running or jogging isn’t a good option. It doesn’t help weight loss all that much by itself, and for the majority of people, it’s painful, if not downright dangerous.
Building muscle, on the other hand, was a different story. Muscle building helped to reduce the amount of dangerous fat people carried around their organs (so-called visceral fat) helping them get healthier. Today, people aren’t focusing so much on their weight, according to sites like fitnessmusthaves.com. Instead, they’re buying scales that tell them how much of their weight is healthy muscle, and how much is visceral fat.
By targeting visceral fat, you can improve your metabolism and increase the likelihood that you’ll end up losing weight in the long term.
You Binge On Healthy Foods
Binge eating is a common side effect of dieting. We humans have developed intricate calorie-sensing machinery over millions of years of evolution, so when we try to restrict calorie intake, our bodies remind us that we have to eat. These signals are incredibly powerful and few people, if any, can resist them over the long term. It’s easy to binge eat as a result, even on ostensibly healthy foods like nuts.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure that you never get into a situation where you’re starving hungry. Keep meals full of starchy whole foods, like beans, and you’ll stay fuller for longer.