10 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight

I'm usually not a fan of the word weight preferring Lean instead...but it gets people's attention. Obsession with the scale is not only disastrous and toxic to the mind but not a fair assessment of body composition. Getting a percent body fat reading is the key, not the number on he scale. That said, here are 10 things to think about and employ into your health and fitness journey to get to your ideal body frame.


1. You Think You're Eating Clean But You're Not

Low Fat, Low Calorie, Sugar Free, High Fiber, Heart Healthy, Lowers Cholesterol, and Gluten Free, are deceptive and meaningless terms. Most of those products just use some other crap, usually cheaper and worse for you. Rice, corn, or soy instead of wheat, cane sugar instead of HFCS, cheap vegetable oils like canola or soybean. Read the label. If it has more than 3 pr 4 ingredients, think twice. If it has chemicals you can't pronounce, leave it on the shelf. Then, open up your pantry. Are there crackers, chips, bread, peanuts, granola, cereal, or 'health' bars full of grains? Soups full of salt? Pastas? All of these foods are examples of refined, rapidly digestible carbohydrates. Meaning, they get broken down and converted to glucose quickly and are no better than table sugar. A diet loaded with refined carbohydrates and the resulting high blood sugar with the constant influx of Insulin is the leading cause of weight gain.

Always seek foods from the Paleo Lifestyle: meats, vegetables, fruits eggs, nuts/seeds, and healthy oils, sprinkle in some creativity in the kitchen and you can't go wrong.


2. You're Not Doing Enough Low Intensity Exercise

As described in the Fitness Pyramid, the cornerstone to your workout arsenal should be allotting 3-5 hrs per week of walking, hiking swimming, cycling, or some other low level cardio that keeps your heart rate below 70% max. You wanna burn fat and not get injured, you gotta do low intensity. Did you hear that chronic cardio people?


3. You're Not Getting Enough Sleep

Here's the thing, we have a Biological clock called a circadian rhythm that demands we follow the suns ritual. It gets dark you prepare to sleep. It gets light, you get up. It’s that simple. But food stimulants like caffeine, electronic disturbances like lights, tv, sounds, Facebook, computers, and cell phones are all wreaking havoc on winding down and preparing the body for a restful sleep. Starting about 2 hrs before bedtime or even a couple hours after dark, you should prepare the body for sleep by dimming the lights, staying away from the computer, not eating, and getting into relaxing clothes. A little organ at the base of the brain called the Pineal Gland is receptive to darkness and starts to release the chemical Melatonin to relax you and prepare for sleep. The sleep cycle itself is full of things like REM, hormone manufacture, cellular regeneration, and organization of cognitive processes like memory and learning. Not getting enough continual and restful sleep is responsible for elevated Cortisol leading to increased insulin, sugar cravings, and decreased ability to reduce oxidative stress which accelerates aging. It is hugely important to get quality and restful sleep to maintain a well functioning body.


4. You're Stressed and Impatient

Emotions, negative thought, kids, work, relationships can all wreak subconscious stress on the body. Even if it's not on the front of your mind, it's eroding you underneath 24-7. Worse, is the constant release of Cortisol, a hormone produced in the adrenal glands which is really only for a fight or flight emergency situation. Too much Cortisol too often leads to fat storage, keeps you from burning calories efficiently at rest, and raises your cholesterol. Impatience with not losing weight in the timeline you expect feeds the whole process exponentially. Workout Efficiently, Eat Right, Be Happy and Patient.


5. You're Not Eating Enough Fat

If you still think fat makes you fat you need to read THIS. Then, head to the store for some coconut milk, coconut oil, some nice California olive oil, some nut & seeds, and a sack of avocados. Fat is the preferred fuel for the body along with wild meats for so many reasons. Avoid bad fats like soybean oil, salad oil, grain fed beef, and canola. They're loaded with rancid, inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids which inflame and pollute the body.


6. You're Still Eating Dairy

A little sheep's milk cheese and some butter once in a while is fine, but the white sludge rolling down the highway from 1000 cows tied up and kept pregnant to produce milk is garbage. How do you really feel Bill? Cows milk is for baby cows and humans are the only animal on the planet to eat another species milk and have it after they've been weaned. Read more on Dairy HERE


7. You're Eating Too Much Grain Fed Meat

So cows, (ruminant species), aren't meant to eat grains, you knew that right? Michael Pollan, in his book The Omnivore's Dilemma, describes and follows the life and process of a calf from birth to a McDonald's burger. Including the costs, supply of oil, and life in a feedlot, you get a glimpse of how economically nonviable commercially fed beef really is. Grain fed meat itself, just like those cheap vegetable oils, is full of inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids, which keep the body swollen, fluffy, and retaining fluid. Wild and grass fed meats are far superior.


8. You're Not Doing High Intensity Sprints and Intervals

If you can't jump rope, sprint stairs, do box jumps, or sprint all out for 15-30 seconds [yet], then find an activity that will raise your heart rate to around 90% max. Exertion and Progression is different for each person. Walking a flight of stairs, putting an incline on the treadmill, or peddling fast on a cycle may be your choice of a heart-elevating interval. High Intensity stuff should be done at least every 10 days. Check out the Pyramid.


9. You're Doing the Same Thing Every Time You Exercise

Ugh, if I had a dollar for every person I see at the gym heading to the same piece of cardio every time they go there, or do legs on Sunday then.... Seriously though, Variation is the essential to your exercise plan. As spelled out HERE the same exercise can be done a dozen different ways. And, it's not only about changing it up, but constant and renewed challenge is how the body thrives and progresses.


10. You Haven't Given it Enough Time

Playing off stress, having the right mindset, enjoying the journey and watching your body transform should be exciting, not punishment. If you don't like the type of exercise you're doing, find a modality that you do look forward to. If your clothes aren't fitting better after a couple of weeks, check out and check off the other tips in this post. Also realize that the chemical processes involved in bodily transformation are immense and Physiology likes to take its time. Better known as Gene Expression, resetting DNA, chemical messengers, the ability to enter Ketosis, neuronal transmission, and hundreds of other Biological goodies do not happen over night.  Life is a long haul...Be Patient, enjoy the journey, and focus on Exercising Efficiently, Eating Right, and the other 11 Priorities listed HERE.

-Leavitt 3.14.13