When Weight Loss Goes Wrong

If you’ve been following the Diet Free Life System and your weight loss has come to a halt or you aren’t losing it as fast as you’d like, read the following to help you evaluate and optimize your outcome:

  1. Not eating often enough. Are you eating every 2 to 3 hours, and up to 1 to 3 hours before you fall asleep? If not, you may be encouraging your metabolism to slow down and letting your blood sugar drop too low so that your body is more prone to store fat. If you are eating in the proper time frames, move onto #2.
  2. Exercising less. Have you been exercising consistently, and stopped completely or you’re exercising less often for some reason? If so, you may have lost some lean body mass and consequently slowed your metabolic rate (how many calories you burn naturally). Remember, lean muscle tissue burns calories more quickly than fat does. Getting back to your regular routine is how you solve this problem. If your exercise and consistency has not changed, move onto #3.
  3. Eating and exercise. If you exercise, are you eating at the proper intervals before and after your workout? Except when doing light cardio first thing in the morning, are you eating a snack before and within an hour after your workout? If you are eating a fat burning meal within an hour of completing your exercise sessions, move onto #4.
  4. Not eating enough protein. When you eat a meal, make sure you’re consuming an adequate amount of protein (15 grams for men and women). Protein slows down the rate at which carbs are metabolized and, therefore, helps your body maximize fat loss and keeps your blood sugar from spiking too high. If you’ve been getting enough protein at meal times, take a look at your snacks. If most of your snacks are primarily carbs (like an apple), consider replacing one with something (such as an energy bar) that has at least 10 grams of protein. It’s true that you can snack on just about anything as long as it doesn’t exceed the recommended number of calories, and there is certainly nothing wrong with an apple. But everyone’s body is different, and some of us require more protein than others – particularly if we are exercising regularly. If you feel you’re getting an adequate amount of protein, move onto #5.
  5. Not eating enough carbohydrates. Surprisingly, if you’re not eating enough carbohydrates during the course of the day, you are more likely to see a drop in our lean body mass, which results in an increase in body fat percentage. Carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel for your body and your brain, and when your body isn’t getting enough fuel, you are less likely to maximize your fat burning potential. Review your carb intake during your meal and especially following your workouts. The Diet Free Life guidelines suggest you consume no fewer than 30 grams of carbohydrates at every meal. If you know you are getting adequate amounts of carbs in your meals, revisit your snacks. It’s not uncommon for people to go from one extreme to the other when it is the proper balance of nutrients that is actually the key to fat loss. If you feel you’re consuming an adequate amount of carbohydrates, move onto #6.
  6. Not eating enough calories. If you have lost weight but your percentage of fat has increased with relation to your lean body mass, you’ve probably been eating too little. Your body thinks there’s a famine coming and is thus starting to store fat instead of burning it. While long-term calorie counting can be tedious, it can be quite helpful to track your calories for a week or two and make sure you are consuming enough – 1,200 a day for women and 1,500 for men. The best way to add calories is to increase your protein intake until you see your percentage of body fat begin to drop. If you are consuming an adequate amount of calories, move onto #7.
  7. Eating too many calories. If you have gained weight and haven’t lost inches, you are eating too much food for your body weight and activity level. If this is the case, I recommend you consider counting your calories for a couple of weeks so that you can track down and eliminate the excess calories that may have been sneaking into your daily intake without your being aware of them. When you do this, you will discover how much of an impact a few little tweaks can have on your ability to drop pounds quickly. If you are not eating too many calories, move onto #8.
  8. Not drinking enough water. How much water are you drinking? Your muscles are made up of more than 70 percent water, and since muscle is primarily responsible for your body being able to burn fat, it is to your benefit to keep your muscles hydrated so that they burn fat more efficiently. Make it your goal to work your way up to 8 to 12 (8-ounce) glasses of water, and add an additional 8-ounce glass for every 20 minutes of exercise you do. Also, if you live in an area where it is humid, drink more water. Finally, although this may seem paradoxical, the more water you drink, the less likely you are to retain water. The last thing you want is to do everything right and still see your total body weight increase because you are retaining water. If you are consuming an adequate amount of water, move onto #9.
  9. Begin carb stepping. Everyone responds to carbohydrates differently and there’s quite a bit of evidence that suggests weight loss is not solely about burning more calories than you consume. The amount and types of carbohydrates you consume is the primary culprit for why people gain weight and have a difficult time losing it. For this reason, Robert Ferguson created the super simple carb stepping method to help individuals discover their personal carb threshold (the amount of carbohydrates you can consume without gaining weight). Once a person knows their carb threshold, they can then customize their carb consumption to how their body best metabolizes and responds to carbs. The good news is that as a person lowers their body fat percentage (lose weight), their carb threshold increases, which means they’re able to eat more carbs without the side effect of weight gain. If you have carb stepped and still having a difficult time losing weight, move onto #10.
  10. If after ruling out the aforementioned suggestions and not able to lose weight, it is recommend to consult one’s physician and investigate possible side effects of medications. This would also be a good time to have your thyroid checked.

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