Wednesday, February 25, 2015

7 Hidden Reasons You Are Still Fat

When I tell you that I deal with a lot of people wanting desperately to lose weight I am not exaggerating. In 2010, I trained, coached, consulted with and designed diets for over 700 different people around the world and well over half of them are on some kind of weight loss/fat loss program.

The vast majority of questions I get about fat loss are ones that come out of frustration. Frustrated people who have tried what all the magazines told them to do, they've eaten frequent small meals, they've reduced their simple carbohydrate intake, they've tried almost everything but they just can't get the weight off.
Well here are seven (7) major fat-loss preventions that you should know more about. Work to minimize the effects of these factors and you'll soon find you have more free time, your body functions better, you're more motivated and your body fat is dropping as it should.

Reasons You Are Still Fat

1. You are married

Yea this is a big one! Once two people tie the knot it seems they tend to gain weight. This comes primarily from the sudden change in your daily habits. When you were single you could eat how you wanted and no one thought a thing about it. Now that you live with and eat with your spouse (and possibly kids), you have other people making decisions, or at least requests, regarding what to eat. Since most people prepare meals for the entire family and not just one person they tend to eat what everyone else is eating. Sticking to a "clean" eating plan can be a major challenge if the people in your family have no problem with eating pizza and chicken nuggets three nights a week. Yep! It's true. From my experience, I have noticed that married clients have a much more challenging time getting lean than my clients who are single. Work to make your entire family health-conscious and you'll find it much easier to live fit.

2. You Eat "Healthy Foods" Without Doing Your Homework

So many foods deemed "healthy" have been given this label as a marketing ploy designed to trick you into buying their product. The problem is that a lot of these foods are not only trash, they can be down-right bad for you. If your goal is fat loss you need to be aware of this.

Bisphenol-A is just one type of chemical in the Obesogen (I didn't make that word up) category. These chemicals are found in just about all canned foods, non-stick pans, plastic bags, stain-resistant clothing, carpets, baby teething toys and zillions of other products we use in and around our homes every single day.

Many scientists call these chemicals, "endocrine disrupting." Bisphenol-A can cause some pretty serious health problems even in small amounts. Many of the FDA's safety recommendations on it are nearly two (2) decades old. That's twenty years! A lot has been learned since Atari ruled the video game world. Being lean requires a clean internal environment, so go with fresh or frozen foods that you may normally buy stored in a can. Cook using healthy oils to keep your food from sticking and avoid storing your foods in plastic containers. Use glass whenever possible but be careful, even some glass now contains plastics to resist breakage. Wow, it's a tough world for the healthy eater isn't it?

MSG is hidden in so many packaged foods it's almost impossible to keep up with it. Studies show that people who regularly eat foods containing MSG or monosodium glutamate are three times more likely to be obese whether they exercise to balance their calories or not. MSG is found in a lot of snack foods including flavored chips, so if you think the single-serving of chips isn't setting your weight loss efforts back, think again.

Milk and other dairy products (except organic) are derived from cows that were regularly injected with antibiotics that are passed on into the milk they produce. These antibiotics kill the good bacteria found in your digestive tract making digestion a real challenge for your body. As your gut struggles to digest foods without the proper amounts of healthy bacteria, inflammation sets in causing discomfort, bloating and additional fat storage from compromised digestion. Buy organic milk, Greek yogurt and cheeses if you eat dairy. I recommend limiting dairy products whenever possible.

3. You're on Medication

A huge number of prescription drugs cause an increase in appetite, water retention and weight gain. Be sure to read the insert paper that comes with your medication to see if any of these are associated with the medication(s) you take. If they are part of that medication's side-effect list, have a chat with your doctor. He/she may be able to do something about it. Of course I am not a physician so be sure to follow your doctor's orders, but a healthy conversation about your medication is a smart thing to have.

4. You're "Busy" Instead of Productive

If I had a dime for every person that ever said, "I want to workout and eat right I just don't have time," my riches would make Bill Gates' look like a puny little penny-pinching runt. The fact of the matter is we all have the same amount of time in a day. For every person that has four kids, three jobs, two mortgages and one bad case of allergies you could probably find another person with the same obligations who also has one heck of a healthy, fit body. I'm here to tell you that the "I don't have time" excuse is done, no one buys that anymore.

Being fit and living healthy are choices and only you can make them. For every commercial break you sit through mindlessly staring into space, you could be on the floor using that wasted time to improve your body and life without having to join a gym, hire a trainer or do much more than think and move. Think about the time you'd save if you only checked your e-mail and Facebook accounts four times a day instead of forty.

Those messages aren't going anywhere, let them pile up a bit and use a great tactic called "batching" that I learned from a book written by the very cool (well he seems cool) Tim Ferriss. The book is called The 4 Hour Work Week and I learned a lot from reading it, but one of the best things I was able to immediately put to work in my life and therefore teach my clients is the tactic of "batching."

Batching tasks means you allow them to pile up a bit. This won't put you behind because tasks you would batch are things like e-mail, social media messaging and returning phone calls. For instance, if you only checked and replied to e-mails at 9:00AM and 4:00PM you would save all the time of clicking and minimizing that screen dozens of times throughout your day. So instead of checking, reading and replying to emails twenty or more times a day, you'll do it twice and increase your speed and efficiency, saving tons of time in the process. Learn to batch tasks.

One item I batch two or three times a week is the task of cooking my protein sources like chicken, beef and turkey. Instead of cooking a little bit every night I cook a lot twice a week and have it ready anytime I need it without having to do the unnecessary task of cooking one chicken breast and washing the dishes associated with the mess I would have made. Batching takes practice and you'll need to resist impulses, but you'll soon find that you are more productive and have more time to do the things that matter, like exercise and eat well.

5. Baby You was Bottle Fed

It's a little too late now, but if you were a bottle fed baby, it may be time to take an extra-long look at your nutrition and go the extra mile to tighten things up a bit. People who were breast-fed tend to have a lower incidence of obesity than those who were bottle fed. Just make sure your diet is ultra-smart now and you'll be just fine.

6. You Starve For Sport

Starving your body is a good way to lower your metabolism and initiate a super-fast fat storing process. Of course you can deprive your body of calories for a week or two and maybe drop a good amount of weight.

But soon your body figures out what is happening and goes into survival mode. In order to preserve itself, it slows your engine (metabolism) down and stores everything it can get a hold of. So when you decide you can't keep the starvation up (and you know you can't), your body goes crazy grabbing a hold of all those calories and packing them into your stomach hips and butt for the next time you get lazy and decide you'll try to take the easy way out. There is no quick-fix way to get lean. Do it right my friend and you'll love your healthy, fit body.

7. You Associate Bad Food Choices with Having a Good Time

This is one of the absolutely most absurd phenomena I have ever come across but I have heard some form of this reason cross my ear drums at least once a day for the past twenty years. "But when my friends and I go out, I have to be fun to be around." What in the world is that? I have no idea where this idea came from, but there is absolutely no evidence to support the notion that eating crap-foods equates to having a good time. I don't care who you go out to dinner with, there is no sane person who will condemn you for eating fish with vegetables and a sweet potato.

No one has ever made an issue of the fact that I am eating grilled chicken with beans and a salad. I've never had a person make a remark about my food choices except to say, "I wish I ate like that." Remember! The majority of excuses we make to eat poorly are made-up by ourselves to justify our less than ideal food choices. Most other people could care less what you eat because they are too busy justifying their bad eating to themselves. If they do give you a hard time for eating well it's probably because you look better than they do and they can't stand it. So let's be honest with ourselves. Hey if you want to eat for taste only and load-up on high calorie, fatty foods you go right ahead. Just don't blame it on your friends. Chances are they want to be thin, lean and fit too. Break the cycle and make the right choices and you'll feel amazing afterward.

So there are seven (7) of my reasons why you are (or may be) carrying around more weight than you would like. Of course there can be many reasons for having a body fat level that is not what you desire, but these are some of the reasons I've found that we tend to overlook.

The cool thing about these "hidden" reasons for being fat is that almost all of them can be changed or improved by making just a couple smart decisions. That's a pretty cool thing if you think about it. All you have to do is make a choice and suddenly reasons for being fat become extinct and all you have left are reasons to be thin, lean and happily living in the body of your dreams.

Jared Meacham, MS.Ed., CSCS.
Jared is a fitness entrepreneur, personal trainer and recognized weight loss expert. He is creator of the Body Fat Meltdown weight-loss program for women. He is also owner of Precision Body Designs, LLC., and creator of the Dirty Fitness Training Program.

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