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5 Steps To Eliminate Stubborn Fat

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Fat

How to lose stubborn fat. The age-old question. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be called stubborn fat! Whether it’s love handles on your hips, a little belly paunch, or bulges around your butt that is holding on for dear life, some fat can be much harder to get rid of, no matter how healthy your diet or how much you work out. 

Frustrating as it is, it’s not just you. These hard to rid areas of fat are common in men and women alike, although they are typically experienced in different areas of the body. For women, it tends to be the lower body that is prone to stubborn fat, whereas for men it’s around the midriff. This type of fat is so hard to shift because it is physiologically different from regular fat, and doesn’t necessarily respond in the same way through diet and exercise. We cover more on this topic in our post, 5 Facts you Need to Know About Stubborn Fat

Fat is burned when the amount of energy expended from the body through exercise exceeds that which is taken into the body in the form of food. After eating—and the body has absorbed the food’s nutrients—insulin levels will start to decline signally to the body that the energy from the meal is running low. The body shifts to burning fat stores to meet its energy needs. In order to burn fat, it must first be released from a fat cell, and one of the reasons that stubborn fat is so hard to get rid of is that it releases its fat more slowly than non-stubborn fat. 

Despite the fact that this type of fat is harder to get rid of, it’s natural that we still want to know how to lose fat so that we can look our best. These are some tips that will help you eliminate that frustrating fat once and for all! Keep in mind, however, everybody is different and the way your body stores and loses fat is unique to you.

1. Accept that your behaviors must adjust.

First and foremost, you cannot lose weight without a change in your current status-quo. Whether you’re gaining weight or maintaining, your current behaviors are not leading to weight or fat loss. Therefore accepting that you will need to make some changes is step one, and it’s a mental step. You probably won’t be able to enjoy a weekly happy hour that includes alcohol and appies. You might have to introduce more exercise into your diet. Essentially, you will have to start being more aware of the decisions you make. If you are unwilling to make changes to your current behavior, you’ve failed before you’ve even started. 

2. Build lean muscle

To lose stubborn fat, you have to lose fat overall. One of the best ways to lose fat is to build lean muscle. The more lean muscle you have, the easier it’ll be to lose fat, due to the metabolism-boosting effects that come with having more lean muscle. In addition, with leaner muscle, you’ll benefit from stronger bones, better nutrition, better physical function and much more. 

  • Maintain a moderate calorie deficit

To lose fat you should create a moderate deficit in your caloric intake vs output. 

This means no crash diets and no extreme calorie deficits, otherwise, you’ll lose weight, but it will come from losing lean muscle as well as fat. Extreme diets are also impossible to sustain and losing stubborn fat takes time. Consistency is key. 

Tracking your calories is important when trying to maintain a calorie deficit. It’s all too easy to rack up your calorie count by nibbling at something here or taking a mouthful of something there. In order to know—rather than guess—what your body is taking in, you need to track calories. Part of this is reading nutritional labels. This might be a new behavior for you, but, as outlined in point #1 above, to lose fat, you need to accept that changes must be made.

To lose a pound of fat, you must consume 3500 fewer calories than you currently do, which works out to about 500 few calories a day for a week.

Keep in mind, however, that the goal here is to lose fat and build lean muscle, so you need to eat a good balance of foods. You can’t eat a slice of chocolate cake per day at 1200 calories, burn 1300 calories, and expect to build muscle. Sure, you’ll lose weight but that’s not muscle building food. 

  • Eat a good balance of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats

Eating adequate protein optimizes your ability to build and retain lean muscle as muscle burns more calories than fat tissue. Protein also helps you feel full for longer, so incorporate lean protein into every meal to make sure those muscles and cells are properly fueled. Use the rough guide of 0.5-1g of protein per pound of goal body weight.

Fibrous foods like whole-grain breads, oats, vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, and chia seeds help slow your digestion and will fill you up more than foods high in refined carbs and sugar. Fiber is also good for lowering cholesterol, reducing bloating, and avoiding constipation.

Vitamins and minerals are present in most foods, so as long as the majority of your calories are coming from whole foods like vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, dairy, grains, potatoes, and starches, you don’t need to worry about whether or not you are getting enough.

If you want to lose fat, you have to eat fat…but only the right kind. Healthy fats in a meal (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) can help you feel more satisfied with your meals. Healthy fats are found in foods like olive oil, nuts, avocados, fatty fish, and eggs, and, when consumed in moderation, provide a variety of health benefits.  

3. Increase Your Daily Exercise

Walking every day is a simple way to start getting daily exercise if you don’t already have an established exercise routine. Even if it’s only five minutes a day to start with, that’s five minutes more than you were doing before. Start small, and increase the amount you walk by 1-2 minutes a day. It won’t be long until you are walking an hour a day and burning significant calories.

4. Lift more weights (or just heavy things!)

Regular weight lifting builds lean muscle tissue which helps boost your metabolism for better fat burn. You don’t have to be a member of a gym to lift weights, you can easily do it in the comfort of your own home. Either purchase your own weights or simply find something heavy to lift! Proper form is important to make sure you aren’t damaging your body, especially your back, so make sure you know what you are doing. Larger muscles burn the most calories so give your fat burn a kick start by focusing on larger muscles, like those in the legs or buttocks. Eventually, incorporate all muscle groups. Start lifting weights at least two days per week and work up from there.

5. Get enough sleep

Our final tip is important in all facets of life, not just when trying to burn fat. Getting enough sleep is vital and impacts all aspects of our body in one way or another: molecular, energy balance, as well as intellectual function, alertness, and mood. 

When seeking to better understand how to lose stubborn fat, a study compared two groups of overweight non-smokers on calorie-restricted diets for 14 days. One group slept for 8.5 hours per night, and the other for 5.5 hours per night.  At the end of the study, the people who got more sleep lost more fat than the group who had less. People literally burned fat while they slept. With less sleep, the body seeks to meet the increased metabolic needs of longer waking hours by burning fewer calories and less fat.

With these five tips you will have a better understanding of how to lose fat. When it comes to your particular fat loss journey, it’s important to remain patient as changing habits takes time and hard work. Hard doesn’t mean impossible, however. Keep your expectations realistic, and know that small, maintainable changes are better at first rather than drastic changes to your diet or fitness routine that just won’t be sustainable. Eventually, you will fall back into your old unhealthy diet and exercise routines. Instead, focus on creating healthy habits and making lifestyle changes to build lean muscle while ensuring you are still enjoying your life. 

Want to have the body you have always dreamed of? Check out our custom body sculpting service and book your consultation today!

5 Facts You Need To Know About Stubborn Fat

Stubborn Fat: 5 Facts to Help You Better Understand It

Most people have an area of stubborn fat in their body, an area that has resisted all efforts through diet and exercise and just won’t go away. This stubborn fat is usually the fat just under our skin that you can pinch, the subcutaneous fat, as opposed to the visceral fat that attaches to internal organs like your liver and pancreas. Stubborn fat is incredibly frustrating especially when you eat healthily and exercise regularly, but can’t seem to shift it. However, there are actually many possible reasons as to why that last bit of fat isn’t coming off…and it’s not always to do with exercise and diet. 

These 5 facts about stubborn fat will give you a better insight into what it is, and why you might be having trouble getting rid of it: 

1. Stubborn fat is physiologically different from regular fat

There is a physiological difference between stubborn fat and regular fat. Fat cells have all kinds of different receptors for different purposes, but in the case of stubborn fat, only the alpha-2 receptors and the beta-2 receptors are relevant. Alpha-2 receptors hinder fat burning and beta-2 receptors accelerate fat burning. The ratio of the two receptors determines the rate at which fat is burned, and stubborn fat regions have much higher alpha-2 receptors compared to beta-2 receptors which are why they are so hard to get rid of. One of the ways to inhibit alpha-2 receptors is to keep insulin levels low, and this can be achieved with a low-carb diet. However, as we mention in the next point, it’s not possible to spot-reduce areas of fat, and while a low carb diet will help reduce overall levels of body fat, but the stubborn fat might remain. 

2. We rid our body of some areas of stubborn fat faster than others 

You may have heard that it’s not possible to spot-reduce fat, and it is true. You can’t do crunches just to lose stubborn fat around the abdomen. Exercise increases the amount of calories burned, and with a calorie deficit, you will lose weight from all over your body, not just the part you are working out. So, while crunches are good for building strength and working out the muscles near the belly, they won’t burn off stubborn fat in that area. 

That being said, some people will lose weight at a faster rate from some parts of their bodies compared to others, and where the fat melts off first is totally different from one person to the next. So, while we can’t choose which areas of the body we would like to lose weight from first, some areas will slim down at a faster rate than others, and there’s not a lot that can be done about it.

3. Hormones can increase stubborn fat

When stubborn fat continues to cling to areas of the body even with a healthy diet and regular exercise, hormones could be the culprit. In females, fat that is primarily stored in the lower body is often due to the impact of the hormone estrogen. Higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) can also cause your body to hang on to fat. Hormonal belly fat, in particular, is commonly associated with visceral fat, and as we get older, even a slight disruption in our hormone levels can cause stubborn belly fat to stick. 

Bottom line: If your waistline is getting bigger, but you’re eating right and exercising regularly, hormones could be to blame.

4. Women are more prone than men

Women generally have a higher percentage of body fat than men—body fat content is approximately 25% for normal-sized women compared to 15% for men. Women tend to have more alpha-2 receptors in their stubborn fat regions than men in theirs. In fact, female subcutaneous fat in the lower body has about 9 to 10 times more alpha receptors compared to male lower body fat. Many women trying to lose weight say that fat around their hips, buttocks, and thighs are the last to shed (if at all). Bear in mind, however, that this is very normal, and it’s because women’s bodies are designed to carry children—extra fat in these areas is crucial for childbearing.

5. Stubborn fat can be removed non-surgically

Liposuction is a procedure that most people will have heard of. A thin tube called a cannula is inserted into areas of fat through small incisions in the skin and the fat is suctioned out through a vacuum. The process is surgical, and you may have to stay in hospital depending on the type of surgery you had. With liposuction, you can expect bruising, swelling, and soreness for at least a few weeks. 

However, people who have noticeable fat bulges in certain areas but want to avoid surgery can consider other procedures such as CoolSculpting that can remove the fat cells giving a slimmer silhouette without having to go under the knife. Coolsculpting involves freezing fat cells so they become crystallized and die. The dead fat cells are then naturally processed and eliminated by your body.

Stubborn fat is frustrating, especially if you are eating healthily and exercising regularly. However, as these 5 facts show, it is actually very different to regular fat, and depending on genetics, gender, and hormone levels, it can be almost impossible to shift. However, if you’ve tried everything to rid your body of those stubborn areas of fat to no avail, there are non-surgical procedures that can give your body the helping hand needed to get the shape you want. 

To learn about nonsurgical options to non-surgical ways to combat stubborn fat, contact our office to schedule a complimentary consultation.