“Why am I not losing weight?” Through periods of eating healthy and exercising regularly, it’s likely a question you’ve asked yourself if you’ve struggled to shed stubborn body fat. The unfortunate truth is you can do everything right and still have your progress hampered by factors beyond your control—your genetic makeup, hormones, body composition, and more can play a role. Let’s talk about some of these factors, as well as your options for combating them.
Ladies, have you ever wondered why you and your male partner may follow the same rigorous health routine, but he’s the only one making noticeable progress? It’s not because he’s working harder! It’s simply because he’s, well, a he. Men’s and women’s bodies are built to serve different purposes and thus have different fat distribution.
Women generally have high levels of estrogen, which increases fat storage in estrogenic fat areas (the hips, thighs, breasts, and buttocks). Compared to men, women tend to have much lower levels of testosterone (about 1/10th as much). Unlike estrogen, testosterone promotes muscle growth and may inhibit fat gain.
After menopause, women stop producing a host of hormones that help promote fat loss, testosterone being just one of many. However, because women tend to be estrogen-dominant (they have a higher estrogen count than testosterone or progesterone), they’re more likely to retain extra fat in the parts of the body with a lot of estrogenic cells, like the breasts, belly, thighs, and buttocks. This all creates a perfect storm that may make it seem impossible to get the last bit of fat out of your problem areas. Your hormones are quite literally working against you, no matter how hard you exercise or what new diets you try.
Since men have less fat, they have more muscle and burn more calories, making it easier for them to lose weight. However, more fat doesn’t necessarily mean poorer health. Women can have 20 to 25 percent body fat and still be healthy, while men typically should have around 15 percent.
Women’s extra fat cells store energy their body can use during pregnancy and childbirth. Even though additional fat, to an extent, serves a purpose, we know that some diet- and exercise-resistant fat simply has to go. Along with a low-calorie diet, plenty of exercise, and a healthy lifestyle, HD Body Sculpting can be a great solution for both men and women seeking to get rid of stubborn body fat. Our process removes cells that hang onto fat, changing not only your appearance but your whole body chemistry. Your body will seek to draw energy from other parts of the body it wouldn’t have pulled from before, leading to a more even and aesthetically pleasing fat distribution overall.
This one seems obvious, but the truth is you can maintain what appears to be a healthy diet and still consume too many calories—even good calories.
Oftentimes, we change our eating habits by cutting out fast food, carbohydrate-heavy foods, and high-fat foods, but we still struggle to shed pounds. Simply switching to a plant- or plant-and-protein-based diet doesn’t mean we’re consuming fewer calories, since many healthy foods have high calorie counts too.
Another culprit could be the calories you’re drinking. Sugary drinks, like soda, can pack on the calories and spoil an otherwise healthy diet, and alcohol creates a host of issues in the battle against stubborn body fat. While liquors and spirits, like vodka and tequila, are less caloric than beer and wine, all alcohol is high in calories, and sugary cocktails are especially threatening to weight loss. Like anything else, your best bet is to enjoy alcohol in moderation, if at all.
If you’ve cut out some of the obviously unhealthy things mentioned above and you’re still not seeing results, it may be time to be more honest with yourself about what you’re actually consuming. Keeping a food journal with an accurate count of your daily calorie intake is a great way to understand what you put in your body every day and why it may not be helping.
A food journal will help you log not just what you’re eating but also how much—the quantity matters just as much as the substance. If you can’t help yourself from overeating, it may be because of low levels of the hormone leptin in your body. Leptin is like an internal fuel gauge—it tells your body if you have recently been eating at a surplus or dieting at a deficit. When leptin is high, it’s a hormone that can inhibit hunger to help your body achieve energy balance. It also promotes the metabolization of fat in the body. When leptin starts to decline, the urge to eat can become greater and your cravings more intense.
Leptin can also make you feel like you don’t want to move, subconsciously encouraging you to walk around or exercise less. Ever feel like you don’t want to get up from the couch or out of bed when dieting? That could be leptin at work. The more you diet, and the longer you keep it up, the more your leptin tends to plummet. During an HD Body Sculpting procedure, we can remove cells without reducing leptin levels and leave behind leptin-heavy cells so the hormone makes up a larger percentage of your body chemistry, and will therefore be more effective in controlling your appetite and encouraging you to stay active so you can not only keep but improve on your newly sculpted body.
There are a number of medical conditions, as well as some treatments for medical conditions, that can cause weight gain or impede weight loss. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and sleep apnea could be the reason your body isn’t burning fat cells.
Among the treatments that can inhibit weight loss are medications that control diabetes, some antidepressants, beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure, corticosteroid medications used to treat issues like arthritis, lupus, asthma, and allergies, and some antipsychotic and anticonvulsant medications.
If you know or think you might have any of these conditions, it’s important to seek medical treatment before focusing on weight loss. If you depend on any of the medications above, HD Body Sculpting might be the solution for maintaining both your health and your physique, as long as your doctor clears the procedure.
Going to sleep allows our bodies to replenish what they’ve spent throughout the day, but when our minds won’t cooperate, rejuvenation can feel more like an elusive goal than the staple of our well-being it is. The effects of insufficient zzz’s can be felt immediately: sluggishness, dark circles under the eyes, and moodiness. Over time, a lack of sleep can also take a major toll on weight loss efforts. If you struggle with a condition like sleep apnea, your body’s systems may not be fully balanced, meaning you’ll find losing weight to be difficult.
If something else, like stress, is impacting your sleep schedule, then developing mindful habits to find calm and balance may be the answer—more about that below!
Where do we begin to talk about stress? It might be the most difficult roadblock to weight loss on the list. Unfortunately, some stressors, like pressure at work, chaos at home, and a whole host of other issues, may be beyond our control. However, we can control our response to those stressors—and we should, for our health. Stress is more than just mental—it takes a physical toll on our bodies, most notably in forcing them to hold onto stubborn fat cells.
In order to address stress that may be impeding fat loss, we have to find ways to balance the hectic parts of life with calm and relaxation. Set aside time every day to shut out the rest of the world and do something you enjoy, whether it’s a walk through your neighborhood, reading a book, or playing a game with your family.
Subcutaneous Fat vs. Visceral Fat
To effectively target stubborn body fat, you’ve got to know exactly what you’re targeting and how to do it. Understanding the difference between subcutaneous and visceral fat is fundamental to that goal.
Subcutaneous fat is the fat you can see and feel right below your skin’s surface. It’s the kind of fat you’re probably noticing when you wonder, “Why am I not losing weight?” The best way to tackle subcutaneous fat is through a low-calorie diet, lots of cardio, aerobic exercise, and lifting weights.
Visceral fat surrounds your vital organs in your abdominal cavity, and for that reason, too much of it can negatively impact your health. Decreasing the amount of visceral fat in your body can improve your overall well-being and help you maintain it for longer.
Ultimately, your greatest defense against stubborn body fat is your brain: It’s what you know about your body and the factors at play, and how you use that information to achieve a slimmer figure. Sometimes, though, the smartest and most dedicated defense still isn’t enough. If you’re trying to shed those final few pounds or looking to get a head start on some major weight loss, Belle Medical is here for you.
Schedule a consultation with us today if you’re curious about HD Body Sculpting, a minimally-invasive, nonsurgical, and permanent treatment for stubborn body fat, no matter the cause.
McKay has a love and passion for health and physical aesthetics. He went to Utah State on a full-ride academic scholarship, majoring in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Exercise Science and Sports Nutrition. McKay is currently the CMO of Belle Medical, a competitive bodybuilder, and a Certified Personal Trainer and Dietitian. When he’s not reading up on the latest breakthroughs in health and fitness research, he’s working hard to set trends of his own. Most importantly, McKay truly believes that with proper eating habits, training, and the right medical interventions (a la Belle Medical), no physique or personal body goal is out of reach for ANYONE.