Where were you the last time your car stalled?
I still remember my FIRST time.
I was a senior in high school, it was a Friday afternoon and got in the car to drive home. I put the key in the ignition, turned it to start, and the only thing to turn on was the radio.
Now, my dad taught me well, and I checked to see if the lights or anything else was left on that could kill the battery.
My friend was still around, so I asked if she could give me a jump just in case. We hooked everything up, turned the key again, and still NOTHING.
My dad and the toe truck arrived at the same time. As they were looking my car over, OF COURSE the football team was finishing practice and walking right by my car to get back
into the school.
I was mortified.
How embarrassing to have my car being towed away with all these boys watching!
A stall in your fat loss can trigger similar feelings.
Think about it – weight is dropping, clothes fit better, you’re energized, and you’re seamlessly cruising along.
Then the stall hits or you fall off your plan.
No more progress, less energy, and the compliments from others are gone.
And just like the boys from the football team, everyone wants to know what happened.
There’s no easy answer with your car or fat loss.
Regardless the answer, I’ve felt embarrassed, uncomfortable, and even ashamed.
With every car problem or halt in fat loss, I HOPE it’s the last time.
I swear I will do whatever it takes to not let this happen again.
What if you could prevent future stalls?
Now, for anyone who knows me knows I am NO mechanic, so don’t toss the number for your local mechanic just yet but I can help you prevent future fat loss stalls!
You’re Only Looking at Weight
When’s the last time you took a progress picture?
Checked your measurements?
Body fat percentage?
I KNOW the scale sucks; I face the SAME issues as you.
That’s why you cannot ONLY look at the scale.
It is a GREAT tool, but at some point that number just stops moving.
And when it does, how do you feel?
Frustrated? Disappointed? Straight up pissed?
I GET IT.
When that happens, your fat loss stalls primarily as a result of your mental frustration.
The stress and frustration directed at your weight adds stress to the body, which makes weight loss even harder!
Here’s my recommendation, use the scale as your means for daily measurement. Then, update your supplemental means of progress on a monthly basis.
You’re Doing A LOT of Cardio
Everyone with a fat loss goal LOVES cardio.
It leaves you dripping, short of breath, and with a MAJOR calorie burn on your fitness tracker.
Who wouldn’t love that?
That’s what we all think it NEEDS to be like in order to lose fat!
Unfortunately, if you only spend time on the treadmill or bike, you’re not burning nearly as many calories as you could with the incorporation of resistance training.
Cardio is less effective for fat loss because it induces a lower EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) as compared to resistance training.
Think of it this way, when you stop running on the treadmill, your calorie burn also stops; however, when you stop a resistance training session, your body burns more calories brining in oxygen and nutrients for repair.
You’re Not Thinking About Building Muscle
Now you know that resistance training burns more calories post-workout, but that’s not the only reason resistance training can prevent stalls in your fat loss.
Too often, the individuals looking for fat loss are the same one’s fearful of building muscle and “getting bulky.”
For once and for all, let’s all get on the same page with this.
The simple fact of having more muscle on your frame leads to a greater calorie burn.
Your body uses muscles for both voluntary (walking, exercising, etc.) and involuntary (blinking, breathing, etc.) movements; therefore, the more muscle you have, the more muscles recruited and energy expended.
In addition, the body expends more energy to maintain muscles, and when it comes time to repair those muscles from damage (caused by exercise), the body expends even MORE energy.
Crunches Are Your #1 Core Exercise
Let’s face it; a high percentage of fat surrounds the core and midsection.
It’s also one of the biggest areas of discomfort.
So you do what you know: crunches.
Lots and lots of crunches.
Crunches aren’t a BAD exercise, but they should be thought of as more of a supplement core exercise.
Think about where you ‘feel the burn’ during your crunches.
A little strip right below the rib cage.
Unfortunately, you’re only hitting a small area of the fat in your midsection.
Your focus should be on full body or core exercises (planks, hollow holds, glute bridges, etc.).
Now, it is important to note that you cannot specifically target WHERE you lose fat, so strictly core focused workouts are not something I typically recommend.
My recommendations include a workout routine that targets your entire body, wherein your core is prioritized in every exercise and included as part of your accessory work.
You Think Workouts Are Meant to Bring Pain
No pain, no gain, right?
If you push yourself to the point of pain in every workout, you’re pushing too far.
I definitely believe soreness and that muscle burn to be a good thing, but too much can really stall out your fat loss results.
Your body follows a chain of command.
It’s like a pyramid, and at the base of the pyramid is general health and well being for daily activities.
If your body lives in pain from your workouts, it’s sole focus is restoration to optimal health.
Your body clings to every single nutrient taken in so it can direct it toward physical repair.
Fat loss is at a much higher level of the pyramid. The body downgrades its energy expenditure, thus making fat loss near impossible.
Please do not take this as I am saying that you should NEVER be sore or feel some pain in your workouts. I am simply saying it should not be overwhelming. It should not impair your day-to-day activities.
You Try to Outrun Your Diet
You’ve been really consistent with your gym attendance for the last month or so, but you can’t quite say the same for your diet.
Sure, if you’re just starting out you can get away with a little imbalance, but your luck will run out sooner rather than later.
Your body needs the nutrients to restore it’s muscles and body systems, and when you only fuel it with trash, well, you’re really not fueling it at all.
You don’t necessarily need to do a complete swap of your fitness and nutrition scheme at the same time, but it’s important you don’t completely neglect your diet.
There are plenty of people who get motivated to eat better by working out more often.
But when you up your level of physical activity, think about making one change to your diet that’s easy enough for you to manage.
You’re Going Through the Motions
There are plenty of things PHYSICALLY that you could be doing to create a fat loss stall, but it could come down to something as simple as your workout focus.
Have you been at this for a while? Or are you facing a lot of stress outside of your training?
Quite possibly you could be going through the motions, which results in a decreased intensity for your workouts.
Up that intensity again by freshening up your workout routine, reminding yourself of your reason for improving your health, or give a bit more attention to your current routine.
The stall is a dieter’s and teenage girl’s worst nightmare. It’s embarrassing, disheartening, and frustrating.
There’s no guarantee your fat loss will never stall again, and there is definitely no guarantee my advice will prevent your car from stalling; however, mindfulness of these seven mistakes can really improve your fat loss results.