When you are in a calorie surplus, you store fat. When you’re trying to lose weight, you need to be eating less calories than you are burning. Seems simple enough, right? However, it takes time and consistency, which can be frustrating. We live in a world of instant gratification and when we don’t see the numbers dropping in relation to our efforts it’s easy to feel like it’s not working. To be cliche – you’ve got to trust the process.
1. Here’s the thing: fat cells don’t want to shrink.
They want to stay fluffy and happy. They are stubborn. Our bodies want to stay in homeostasis, which is a fancy word for hating change. Once you’ve put on the weight, your body gets used to it and wants to keep it. In order to get your body to change you must be taking in a smaller amount of fuel and working out regularly. One pound of body fat is equal to roughly 3,500 calories, so you are going to have to put in the work.
2. Did you know that you lose fat mainly through breathing?
As we trigger our systems to break down the fat stored in our body it goes through a chemical process that releases carbon dioxide and water. While the majority is released as CO2, you also sweat and urinate the fat out. The best way to release a lot of CO2 and sweat? Exercise.
3. Fat cells never disappear – they grow or shrink depending on our lifestyle choices, but they are always there.
A fat cell can increase exponentially in size (about 10x bigger) and the typical adult has about 30 billion fat cells. Excess fat not only makes us feel self conscious, it’s harmful to our health. It can increase our chances for cancer and tumor growth, so working towards a state in which we have low body fat content can literally save our lives.
4. Let’s not vilify fat entirely. It does serve some really important purposes!
Vitamins such as A, D, E, and K are fat soluble, which means that they require fat in order to be absorbed into our body. Fat also contains vital hormones and regulates our glucose and cholesterol. It protects our organs, stores and releases energy, and even stores toxins. Yes, you read that right! Our livers are only able to process a certain amount of toxins at a time, so when we use beauty products on our skin that contain phthalates, eat foods that were exposed to pesticides or BPA, or ingest poisons such as alcohol, our body fat holds onto the toxins until the liver is able to safely process and remove them from our body.
5. Trusting the process and staying consistent is the only way to get past the difficult part.
The process of losing weight and changing your habits can feel overwhelming at first because you are used to doing things a certain way, however, as you implement new habits it gets easier. You’ve got to ask yourself, “what do I want for myself?” and then make the choices that support your answer.
Do you know how much body fat you have? A healthy amount for women is to stay below 30% and for men, 20%. If you’re not sure where you are at, or if you know and would like help to make changes, CFCC Nutrition is here to help.
Schedule your free No Snack Intro to see what we can do to help you reach your goals.
Katie Onufer is a certified Precision Nutrition Coach and CFCC Nutrition’s Head Coach.