Sometimes it's in your control... Sometimes it's not.
Let's be honest. We could all stand to step our game up a notch, especially when it comes to shredding the belly fat. But the reality is, no matter how much work you put in, not accounting for these elements is a major mistake. In many cases not only will they slow your results, they will bring you to a complete halt.
The bad news: If adjustments aren't made the problems will compound and only get worst with time.
The good news: They are easy to fix and you can start today.
Age is a huge factor in fat loss. Your nutrition & training should be calibrated for where you fall on the age spectrum.
As you grow older, your metabolism slows down which means the number of calories you need to function fluctuates. In menopause for example, women produce less estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, and this shift means you'll hold more weight in your stomach. Keeping a diet high in magnesium will counter the negative effects and help level hormones. This is why eating dark leafy greens daily is key (spinach, kale, broccoli, or asparagus).
In men, the depletion of natural testosterone takes major dips after 30 and again after 37. A smart nutrition program with lean red meats can dramatically boost testosterone naturally.
We're not just talking about stress eating. One of the reasons that we hold weight in our stomachs is excessive amounts of cortisol. This is the stress hormone that plays a part in laying down central adipose tissue (belly fat).
Stress can come from many sources; emotional strains, employment conflicts, financial woes, and turmoil with relationships.
The most immediate step to take toward stress reductions is to audit your circle. Surround yourself with people that lift you up and support your goals. Remove toxic relationships and watch your stress begin to evaporate.
3. Lack of Sleep
This is no secret, if you don't get 6-8 hours, your body's metabolism will slow dramatically. Lack of REM sleep will cause an increase in cortisol.
One recent study, which took place over 17 years, showed that people who slept five hours or less per night were 30% more likely to gain at least 30lbs compared to those who slept a minimum of seven hours.
Supplement Sleep Combo: 5-Htp & Gaba. Natural aminos that will help you knock out and recover. They are also cheap!
4. Body Shape
Ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph. No, these are not from the latest Transformer movie - they are the 3 main body types. It's vital that your nutrition & training matches your body type. If you're training or eating without optimizing for your body shape - you can not only stop results but cause asymmetrical body changes.
The above video is the RE Fitness Body I.D. Quiz. When you have a few minutes I suggest taking it to find out which type of program will best suit you. This is another reason a custom program can be a total gamechanger.
5. Wrong Workouts
Hitting the elliptical for hours on end is a waste of your time. If you want fat loss , especially in the lower stomach and other main problem areas, focus on intense training styles over inferior methods.
For example, training with weighted ab movements will cause your waist to thicken. This will expand your midsection over time and you'll store more mass on your core - the direct opposite of what you're trying to achieve.
Stick with HIIT workouts like the one I've added in the PLANK DEMO VIDEO I've included above.
*Always emphasize good form. No matter what you're training - form is key for proper sculpting and toning.
6. Lack of Magnesium
Magnesium is an important mineral that your body needs in order to function. It helps you do a variety of important things including produce energy, regulate blood sugar, and cause necessary chemical reactions in the body.
Magnesium helps your body conduct nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm by playing a role in the transport of calcium and potassium.
A 2013 study found that taking higher amounts of magnesium helps better control insulin and glucose blood levels. This same study also showed magnesium helps with bloating and water retention.
I always include a few of these (if not all) on my custom programs. All great sources of magnesium:
- Dark Leafy greens
- Lean beef
There is no greater adversary to fat loss results than too much daily sugar intake. A high processed food/sugar diet will not only cause belly fat, it will make it nearly impossible to lose.
All the tricks of calorie restriction will do nothing if you do not hyper-regulate your sugar intake.
Sugar cravings come from two places:
- Physiological Craving - Your body needs energy. If you don't have a balanced nutrition program your body will crave sugar endlessly, making it virtually impossible to resist simple carb cravings.
- Psychological Craving - You're craving emotionally. This will take, not only a balanced fitness program but consistent discipline. Each day you resist your willpower gets stronger. Eventually habit takes over and before you know it - you'll be able to easily resist cravings.
I added a quick vid to visualize the damage of sugar.
Make The Changes Now
These several reasons will stop you dead in your tracks when trying to burn belly fat but what will hold you back even quicker is not getting started.
I love this quote "winning at life is 80% just showing up." The person who decides to get started is lapping everyone sitting on the couch.
Applying smart tactics will take you to the next level for sure but it's up to you to get started.