1. You're Doing The Wrong Workout
Many people turn to steady-state cardio workouts like steady state running, elliptical workouts, or spinning, when trying to slim down. The main problem with this approach is, a 45-minute run at a consistent pace may help you shed pounds at first, but soon your metabolism will adjust and you'll stop burning excess calories from this effort. The reason this happens is, your body adapts to this rapid weight loss, so after about two weeks of a steady state cardio your body's metabolism has adjusted and your body will then begin to hold on to what it has left for dear life because it thinks you are starving.
How to fix this: A better and more effective way to tighten up is weight training or HIIT workouts (high intense interval training). Lifting weights creates micro-tears in muscle that take more energy (i.e. burn more calories) in the healing process, which can last up to two days after your training session. Furthermore, recent research has found the most effective workout for fat loss is HIIT, which raises your heart rate while also taxing your muscles. In fact, one study from the United Kingdom found that sprint training helped study participants lose inches from their waist and hips after just two weeks on the program, while a University of Arkansas study found that people who exercised with high intensity experienced a 20 percent decrease in abdominal fat. Boohyah! How about that?
The figureFIT! Lifestyle Program WORKOUTS (#ffworkouts) are built around the premise of HIIT workout sessions. The three (3) workouts that you get each month on this program will create changes in your body so fast; you'll be thanking me in no time! In addition, when you want to step outside and attack that sprint HIIT workout, all you have to do is head over to the HIIT library of workouts and chooses which workout to do that day. For those of you not on figureFIT!, you can sign up here.
2. You're Eating Foods That Your Body Does Not Like
Most people know if they're allergic to certain foods like nuts or shellfish, but many aren't aware of food intolerances. While a true food allergy results when your immune system mistakenly identifies a food as harmful and mounts an immediate response, food intolerances can have a variety of causes, including inflammation in the gut, lack of a certain digestive enzyme (as with lactose intolerance), or sensitivity to food additives.
The most common food allergens are dairy, gluten (wheat), eggs, soy, corn, nuts, shellfish and when you eat them (if you're intolerant to them) it can lead to inflammation in your gut (gastrointestinal tract), bloating, and water-weight gain, among other symptoms. Experts estimate that food intolerances affect as many as 8 in 10 people.
Could this be you? If you regularly have bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation — as well as seemingly unrelated symptoms like mild asthma, eczema, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and fatigue, it's time you get help. You can easily do a 30-day elimination diet to see what happens and I promise you - you'll begin to become very in tune with your body and it will tell you when you eat something it doesn't like. Sometimes it's the trick of finding out exactly what it was, and remember many times it can be an additive that is causing you major issues. Let me know if you need more help figuring this out, we can do a Personal Nutrition Plan for you.
3. You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep
According to a survey conducted by the Better Sleep Council the found that more than half of the US population is not getting enough sleep. And this lack of ZZZ's can have serious consequences for your waistline: A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that women who slept five or fewer hours per night were 32 percent more likely to experience major weight gain over 16 years than those who got more sleep. Plus, according to a study from the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center, when women got four hours of sleep instead of eight, they consumed more than 300 extra calories a day, mostly from fatty foods. When we do not get enough sleep the hormone called ghrelin that stimulates appetite is increased and therefore we graze or gorge on foods that are not good for us. In facts, studies show that we all-in-all make poorer choices when we do not have enough sleep. This is an easy fix, become a sleep-snob like me (After being a single mother to a baby that did not sleep for 2 years, I quickly became a sleep-snob once he started sleeping) and get the expert-recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night. If you have a hard time falling asleep, set a time each night to shut off ALL electronics and grab a book. This "wind-down" time will certainly do the trick after your busy day. Make sure to remove distracting electronics from the area when you're winding down, because that little bugger of an iPhone can certainly pull you back in, the moment you turn it on. In addition, keep your room cool (your body sleeps best at around 65 degrees); avoid caffeine after lunch; and try to maintain the same sleeping schedule, even if it means getting up at the same time on weekends.
If you still are having a problem with insomnia, check out IDLife Sleep Strips. This organic sleep strip incorporates a tri–phasic approach assisting your natural sleep cycle by helping you fall asleep fast, stay asleep, and most importantly, putting you into a deep sleep, all without the grogginess you may have experienced with other sleep aids. I take this when I need to get to sleep fast and stay asleep. I am a night owl and when I decided to make the switch to become a morning person I knew it was going to take some major adjusting on my part. I wanted to become a morning person because of all of the benefits that entails, so I decided to start teaching my Body Sculpt class (at my studio) in the AM, it was an adjustment at first, but these Sleep Strips from IDLife helped tremendously. When I find myself working well into the evening hours I sometimes take a sleep strip to help me fall asleep fast. I don't take them everyday, but I do take them if I need that little extra help. But ever since the switchover, I often don't need the help, because once you've been going strong since 6am, you're ready to sleep by 9pm. LOL
4. A Little Too Much Alcohol,Perhaps?
Several studies show that alcohol can increase appetite and food intake, and certain types of alcohol are associated with belly fat specifically. If you're an ale aficionado, be especially mindful of your consumption: One 2013 study review from Denmark suggests that intake of beer is associated with abdominal obesity, while a German study found that lifetime consumption of alcohol is positively related to abdominal fat in 160,000 women.
Obviously, a binge is bad. Recent research shows that it’s bad for our guts. Acute bouts of moderate-to-high dose ethanol administration (4-5 drinks in a short period of time, or whatever it took to raise subjects’ blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 in an hour) increase intestinal permeability (also known as "leaky gut" and allow endotoxins to slip into the bloodstream to causes systemic inflammation. Ethanol directly increases permeability in epithelial cells. So when you drink a glass of wine (or scotch, or vodka) and expose your gut to ethanol, tight junction leakiness increases. Plus, just like our livers metabolize alcohol into the extremely toxic acetaldehyde, gut bacteria themselves metabolize alcohol into acetaldehyde. This can also cause tight junctions to grow more leaky.
There’s clinical precedent. Moderate wine consumption (1-3 glasses a day) caused relapse and increased leaky gut in patients with inactive inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). That wasn’t me – I “just” had IBS – but it’s relevant because a small amount of wine consumed regularly was enough to hamper recovery.
Moderate (1 drink per day for women, 2 for men) is also associated with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, a common cause of gastrointestinal issues like bloating, gas, pain, diarrhea, and constipation. It's fine to enjoy a glass of wine or clear liquor every so often with a meal, but I wouldn't do it weekly and if you have ANY gut issues, you're best to steer clear of it until you heal your gut.
And to add to #2 above, the latest research, published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, shows that while a nightcap may get you to doze off, you’re more likely to wake up during the night and may not feel as rested following your sleep.
5. Your Magnesium Levels Are Too Low.
Many athletes are in desperate need of magnesium. Our bodies require magnesium for more than 300 chemical reactions, including keeping heart rhythm steady and regulating blood sugar levels, but in addition to its health benefits, this nutrient also aids in keeping your bowels moving, and may aid in weight loss and body shaping. A 2013 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that higher magnesium intake was associated with lower levels of fasting glucose and insulin.
You can get more magnesium in your diet by eating leafy green vegetables, beans, and nuts. Or talk to your doctor about taking a supplement. The recommended amount of magnesium for women under 30 is 310mg, and 320mg for women 30 and over.
Thanks for reading, everyone. Where are you struggling or what have you found to help? Share your thoughts, questions, and wins with me at info(at)figurefitlife.com and maybe your question or victory will be shared in an upcoming podcast or blog post. For more great nutrition tips, free workouts, meditations, and recipes, click here to sign up for the figureFIT! Newsletter so you don't miss a beat and it's the only place subscribers receive exclusive content that will not be posted anywhere else.
DISCLAIMER: This is article is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice and treatment from your personal physician. Readers are advised to consult their own doctors or other qualified health professionals regarding the treatment of medical conditions. The author shall not be held liable or responsible for any misunderstanding or misuse of the information contained in this program manual or for any loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by any treatment, action, or application of any food or food source discussed in this program manual. The statements in this program manual have not been evaluated by the US. Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.