Have you felt like you are just DOOMED to always have those stubborn areas of fat that will never go away?
The simple answer is YOU AREN’T!
But by no means is the fat loss process easy.
However, I’m going to share with you 3 tweaks you can make to your workouts and diet to finally lose that last frustrating bit of fat from YOUR abs and hips.
But first I want to discuss why certain areas are harder to lose from and how our body fight against the fat loss process so you fully know why the struggle is real and you aren’t alone!
Why Are Certain Areas Just More Stubborn?
It isn’t your imagination, there are areas that are harder to lose from.
And these areas are often the ones we want to change first that end up being the LAST to go!
Fat loss from these areas, like specifically our love handles, belly and hips, thighs and butt, can be harder partly due to our genetic predisposition, so where we genetically tend to store more fat, but also because there is generally less blood flow to these specific regions.
Less blood flow makes it harder to mobilize and utilize fatty acids from these areas.
And not only that, but there are different types of fat cells in our body – alpha and beta – and both respond differently to the fat loss process.
Alpha cells respond better to lipolysis, or fat loss, and accelerate the process while beta cells don’t respond as well and make it harder to lose the fat.
And guess what areas generally have greater numbers of those beta cells?
Those stubborn areas like our belly, hips and thighs!
A greater concentration of beta fat cells in these areas is why they are so hard to lose fat from!
So not only do the different types of fat cells make it easier or harder to lose from certain areas BUT especially as we get leaner and leaner our body is going to fight back against the weight loss process more and more.
Why Does Our Body Fight Back?
Simply put, our body fights weight loss in general out of our survival instinct.
Our body perceives a calorie deficit as a threat to survival. We have less energy coming in than we are expending and our body doesn’t know when our next meal is coming.
Of course we have our fat stores our body can tap into for energy, but, even when we have more than enough fat for survival, our body doesn’t want to do this. It wants to store that energy as much as possible for later.
So our body does things to try to conserve energy and even get us to eat!
And as we get leaner and leaner, and have less and less stored energy to draw from, not to mention we may have been in a deficit for longer and longer, our body is going to resist losing more and more – triggering us to crave salty and sweet foods even more.
When our body is continually under fed, ghrelin (grel-lin) increases, which is the hormone that triggers hunger, particularly for sweet and fatty foods while leptin decreases, which is the hormone that regulates energy intake by telling the brain to stop eating.
Basically, your cravings are going to increase and try to fight against you staying in that consistent deficit.
And not only are your cravings increasing, BUT your daily energy expenditure often decreases.
Because you have less energy coming in, and your body isn’t sure of when it will get more fuel, it will find ways to expend less of your stored energy.
This may be why you see a decrease in your workout performance or you even find you’re less motivated to move and fidget throughout the day.
It’s also why metabolic adaptations occur. Your body is finding ways to maintain energy for survival over everything else.
It is why it is so key we are conscious of not just trying to do MORE and out exercise or out diet time.
When we turn to more cardio, a bigger calorie deficit, we can actually make these metabolic adaptations WORSE and further slow down our fat loss process from these stubborn areas.
This happens because it causes our body to try to conserve energy even more or find energy from other sources, like our muscle mass.
Muscle is metabolically costly, making it super valuable if we want to get lean.
More muscle means more calories burned at rest.
But because muscle requires more energy to maintain, it is something our body will catabolize when low on fuel.
It’s why we want to avoid doing more activities that put us at risk for losing muscle.
It’s also why we need to avoid creating too big a calorie deficit and focus on our macros to try to prevent as much muscle loss as possible as we seek to lose that last bit of stubborn fat!
Now what are the three key tips to help us lose that stubborn fat?
3 Key Tips To Finally Lose That Stubborn Fat:
I’ll tell you first what is NOT a tip to get better results faster…and it’s often the thing we WANT to do most…
We want to do this because it makes us feel more in control…
We want to do MORE.
We cut out more types of foods. We cut our calories way lower. We train longer and add in more reps, sets and rounds…heck even a second or third session in a day.
But all of this so often is what truly backfires.
The annoying answer is you can’t out exercise or out diet time.
It’s why these 3 tips are so key to help you build something that you can do to allow TIME to actually create the results you want!
Tip #1: Track Macros NOT Just Calories. And Track PRECISELY.
I’m all for a focus on what is sustainable. I’m all for finding a balance and focusing on progress over perfection.
I think we need to remember that one size doesn’t fit all and to build off of our currently lifestyle to create a balance.
BUT I also don’t want to lie to you.
To lose from stubborn areas, to get that last little bit off and reach a level of leanness you’ve never achieved before, you have to get ready to embrace being SUPER precise in your tracking.
And often you do need to implement more aggressive tactics in your macros and calories.
You also can’t be lax in your tracking.
Precision is truly key.
No bites, licks or nibbles can not be logged.
Everything must be tracked so you can truly move forward.
And focusing on that protein will be key.
High protein ratios have been shown to help us build and retain lean muscle while in a deficit and even help us avoid unwanted fat gain while in a surplus.
So increasing your protein gives you a bit more wiggle room in your calorie intake while helping you prevent and avoid metabolic adaptations.
We want to do everything we can to keep burning more calories even at rest.
Think ratios where you’re even keeping protein over 40%, playing around with carbs and fats based on your activity level and even what you function best off of.
And avoid those extreme calorie deficits. Start with even just a small deficit of 200 calories.
If you do hit a plateau, instead of just dropping your calories more too, switch macro breakdowns! Sometimes a slight switch in your source of energy can get things moving!
The more we can use those macros to adjust, the more we can not only allow a greater diversity of foods to prevent ourselves from feeling restricted and avoid more cravings, but we can also mentally help ourselves not just feel more and more deprived from having to drop calories lower and lower!
Tip #2: Stop Doing Too Much In Your Training!
Too often we just view our training as a chance to burn more calories.
And I know it’s tempting to try to burn more calories to create that greater deficit through your training, but ultimately all that does is cause us to be hungrier and lose muscle mass.
It can actually even lead to greater metabolic adaptations as our body finds ways to conserve energy over the course of the rest of the day DUE to the fact that we trained extra.
Not to mention it can just make us hungrier, which mentally only makes repeating our healthy habits and eating the way we need harder!
So ultimately that extra hard work may simply be backfiring and causing us to exert a lot more effort that is sort of just wasted.
It can ultimately make us feel like we’re doing so much work to only GAIN weight while even being in a calorie deficit.
It’s why, if fat loss is our goal, we need to focus on doing what we can to build muscle over just burn calories in our training.
By focusing on strength work, we can create the stimulus to even BUILD muscle while in that calorie deficit, especially if we’re focusing on higher protein macro ratios.
And more muscle means a higher resting metabolic rate and more calories burned even at rest!
One key thing to note though too is, we don’t just want to turn our strength workouts into cardio so that we feel more worked in our sessions.
Don’t cut out rest. Don’t add in a ton of wasted volume.
Focus on lifting heavy weights or doing movement variations that challenge you.
Think about quality over quantity.
And then add in small tweaks to use every tool in your tool box.
No we can’t spot reduce an area by doing 1000 crunches to lose fat from our abs.
But as we get leaner, and once we have our diet and strength work dialed in, we can focus on ways to utilize more of the mobilized fatty acids from those stubborn areas.
Because areas like our belly, hips and thighs have less blood flow, we can help mobilize more fatty acids from those areas by working the muscles near the fat tissue.
So by including isolation exercises to target those areas in our strength work, even say as a finisher at the end, followed by some low intensity steady state cardio like walking, we can help improve the fat loss from those regions.
We used the isolation moves to mobilize more fatty acids and then utilized those mobilized fatty acids with that low intensity cardio.
And that low intensity cardio is helpful because it burns a higher portion of calories from fat while also not really fatiguing us further!
More movement but in a way that doesn’t detract from future training sessions or put us at risk of losing more muscle!
Tip #3: Embrace The Suck.
Mindset matters most when it comes to achieving any goal we have.
And while it is way more “fun” trying to search for another action or habit to do, ultimately our mindset is what dictates our success.
To give ourselves the best chance of succeeding, I think it is key we go into any goal knowing the positives and negatives.
And the more we even OVERSELL the negative and recognize the challenges we’ll encounter, the more we set ourselves up to succeed.
Because then when we do encounter something hard, we are mentally, and physically prepared over being caught off guard and feeling like we’re the only one that struggles.
So I just want to remind you to embrace the suck.
It isn’t easy reaching a level of leanness you’ve never achieved before.
It will take you embracing being hungry at times. Embracing not necessarily indulging when you’ve had a stressful day or are out with friends.
It may take you training on a day when all you want to do is curl up with the pups on the couch.
The key is reminding yourself of why this goal truly matters to you and even having enough of an incentive to keep going at that time instead of just pushing things off!
So get ready to embrace the challenges and be willing to push through.
Set a strong why, or WHYS, and set a firm end date that really keeps you invested in the process so that you can’t just say “I’ll start tomorrow.” Or “One this one bite, skipped workout, won’t hurt.”
So if you want to lose that stubborn fat and achieve your leanest physique, remember you can’t out exercise or out diet time.
You’ve got to embrace the process and realize your body will fight against you at points.
Be ready to embrace the suck as you dial in those macros and calories with precision while focusing on that strength work!
Ready to create the right “recipe” for results so you can achieve your leanest, strongest body WITHOUT creating metabolic adaptations that sabotage you long term?