If you’re trying to lose weight but have areas of body fat that won’t go away no matter what you’ve tried, it can an incredibly frustrating experience. Part of the problem is that everyone has very unique reasons why they gain fat deposits in the first place, so to get rid of that fat you need to address the initial causes correctly. That’s why certain diets, exercise routines, weight loss programs and treatments work for some people but not others.
If you want to get rid of your stubborn body fat for good, you can look through our four main tips for getting rid of body fat. If you’ve already tried it, move on to the next tip and see if that is relevant to your circumstances.
Change Your Diet
If you’re sick of hearing about changing your diet, you should still read on. Counting calories is an effective way to start losing some weight but at some point, if you aren’t consuming the right calories, what happens is you lose muscle but not the deposits of fat still remaining. It’s not that you have to go on a specific diet that tells you to cut out all fat or all carbs — it’s about changing your eating habits to consume moderate amounts of good fat and carbs.
Let’s start with fat and protein. Protein is what helps maintain your muscle, so if you aren’t getting enough protein each day you’ll start losing muscle mass. You want to consume lean protein from sources like fish, white meats, beans, and nuts. Things like steak, burgers and processed dairy should not make up the majority of your protein intake, as they have a high amount of saturated fats that don’t help your muscles as effectively. You should aim for 1 gram of protein for every 2 pounds you weigh.
When it comes to carbs, it’s more a matter of switching to good sources of fiber-rich carbs. Unlike bad carbs, fiber cannot be broken down by your digestive system so it doesn’t affect your blood sugar levels. Our body uses either fat or glucose (sugar) as fuel for energy, so if you avoid spiking your sugar levels, your body burns fat instead. Studies have shown that eating good fiber-rich carbs — oatmeal, nuts, beans, berries, and moderate amounts of whole grain bread, rice or pasta — will help your body burn more fat over time.
Change Your Exercise
Similar to dieting, when it comes to getting rid of those stubborn deposits of body fat you can try looking at different types of exercise that are better at burning fat. When you start losing weight, you can do so by doing any moderate amount of exercise like walking, light jogging, and so on. However, at a certain level that stops being enough, and you need exercises that help you burn more fat while also maintaining or increasing your muscles.
There is no consensus about whether cardio or strength training exercises are better for burning fat, so it’s generally a good idea to have a balance of both. The key is in getting into a good, regular habit of doing some type of exercise every day with at least a couple of high-intensity exercises per week. So if you go out for a walk every day, you should switch to something more intense like running at least twice. Or if you do yoga or resistance exercises every day, then twice a week increase the intensity to use more resistance, higher weights, or more body weight and balancing.
Improve Your Sleep & Stress Levels
If you’ve already tried to make changes to your diet and exercise with no success, the next thing you should look at is your levels of stress and the amount of sleep you get. When it comes to weight loss, the two have a strong link and can form a vicious cycle — not sleeping increases stress, and being more stressed makes you sleep less.
When you feel more stressed your body produces two hormones. The first is cortisol, which makes you feel more hungry than normal so you consume more calories than you should. The second is serotonin to calm you down, but studies have shown it does so in a way that makes you look for quick and easy foods like junk food or fast food.
When it comes to sleep, when you don’t get enough sleep a number of things happen that can prevent you from burning fat and losing weight:
- The cells in your body that digests fuel (fat and sugar) start to lose their productivity, which causes sugar and fat to remain in your blood.
- Your fat cells become less able to handle insulin.
- Your body makes more ghrelin, which is a hormone that tells you when you’re hungry.
- Your body makes less leptin, which is a hormone that tells you when you’re full.
- Your metabolism slows as your body thinks it needs to retain more energy sources (fat and sugar) to compensate for the lack of restful sleep.
There are many ways you can improve your levels of stress and the amount of sleep you get, depending on the causes of your sleep deprivation. Diet and exercise help, as do changing jobs, going on stress and anxiety-reducing medication, getting sleep disorders treated, and so on.
Get Body Contouring Treatments
Lastly, there are all the other reasons why you can’t get rid of body fat that no amount of diet, exercise, sleep, or stress reduction will get rid of. This includes things like hormone issues and genetics that can’t be overcome by medication or other lifestyle changes. For these causes of stubborn fat deposits, the only way to get rid of it for good may be fat removal or body contouring treatments.
This doesn’t necessarily mean invasive surgeries. There are a number of non-invasive treatments that help get rid of the stubborn surface fat in your stomach, back, thighs, buttocks, chin, upper arms, and so on. Here are some of the better examples:
- CoolSculpting uses special applicators to deliver cold temperatures to surface fat, causing them to freeze and die over a period of months while your body naturally absorbs and removes them.
- Radio Frequency treatments use radio waves and heat to disrupt and kill fat cells close to the surface of your skin.
- Laser treatments use a variety of laser types and methods to kill fat cells so they are removed naturally by your body over time.
You should always consult with a doctor or specialist about any fat removal and body contouring treatments. They have low levels of risk, pain, and recovery but may be unsafe for people with certain health conditions.