Thursday, January 14, 2010

5 Reasons You're Still Fat

You claim to be sticking to your new fitness plan. You're eating better than you were and you're exercising, but those pounds aren't coming off! Here's five reasons you're holding onto that body fat:

1. You drink too many calories - Jamba Juice, Roebecks and fruit smoothies look and sound healthy, but many of them are packed with tons of calories. Not to mention that your Starbucks, soda and most juice drinks will tip past 150-200 calories a cup, even on the conservative side.

Quick Fix: Turn to drinking mostly water or tea without added sugar to keep you hydrated without derailing your new calorie intake plan.

2. You mindlessly snack on the "little things" throughout the day - You will definitely be guilty of this if you sit down next to some treats while watching television because your mind is distracted. A lot of people do change their eating habits and begin making better meal choices at their main meals, but forget to take into account the handful of almonds here, a handful of Cheetos on break there or "borrowing" snacks from co-workers. Sure your meal plan might be dialed in, but once you have several "little" handfuls of the stuff you're not supposed to eat you're adding "big"calories to your day without even noticing.

Quick Fix: Account for EVERYTHING that goes in your mouth throughout the day into your daily food plan! If you know you are prone to snacking, adjust your calories to include some healthy treats sprinkled throughout the day.

3. You're sandbagging your workouts - Sandbagging means you are lagging and holding back! I know it is tough to hold yourself accountable, but it is important you PUSH during your workouts. All too often I see people doing the same exact routine at the same exact intensity week in and week out. If you've been running a ten minute mile for the last four years, it's probably time to increase your workload a little bit!

Quick Fix: Integrate some performance goals into your workout plan like increasing the amount of intervals you do on a weekly basis, increasing the weight you lift week to week or bettering your three mile time. Setting performance goals are great ways to help you keep yourself accountable when it comes to working out at the high intensity that is needed to see changes.

4. Your eating is "pretty good" - When clients tell me they have been eating "pretty good" this just means they THINK about eating better and they FEEL guilty after they eat poorly. Eating "pretty good" doesn't mean clients are making better food choices, eating consistently and holding themselves accountable when it comes to the food that goes in their mouth. So if you think you're eating pretty good, you need to double check your work with an objective source.

Quick Fix: Keep a food journal and have a health or fitness professional take a look at it. I've had clients tell me they eat well and bring me a food journal full of skipped meals, over sized portions and total void of vital nutrients. Keeping a food journal of everything you ingest daily and having it checked is a great way to keep you on track.

5. You do too much cardio - Hours of cardio ranging from four to seven days a week is simply too much cardio. Ever noticed how everyone in spin class is there three times a week and is still fat? This is because their body has become extremely efficient at aerobic performance. Therefore, their body uses oxygen for energy very well and this is what fuels their exercise; not carbohydrate or fat metabolism.

Quick Fix: Short, intense bouts of cardio that force your body to work anaerobically as well as aerobically. Performing intervals, strength based cardio and sprint training are all great ways to create a metabolic disturbance that will help you burn fat more efficiently!

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