Why is it hard to lose Fat?

Hard but possible by making little changes everyday.

In this piece I am offering you a glimpse of why it’s hard to lose fat from an anatomical and social perspective.

Read time: 10 mins

2 ways to look at fat loss problem

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Nelson Mandela

Before we begin, I want to set this straight.
A problem needs a clear definition to arrive at a optimal solution.

To that end, when you say weight loss, it always means Fat loss.

I wonder why the health and nutrition experts and those who write about losing Fat still refer to it as weight loss. This has to change. Why? keep reading.

To answer the question: Why is it hard to lose weight?
We need to approach the matter from 2 perspectives.

  • Anatomical (how the body accumulates or loses fat)
  • Social (how lifestyle affects fat loss efforts)

Fat loss hurdles from an Anatomical perspective

Let’s admit the fact that we take our body for granted. And our busy tech driven life leaves us with less time to cater to our well being, be it nutrition or work-life balance.

Here are 3 major reasons that compromises
Fat-loss efforts or promotes Fat gain.

1. Inadequate nutrition.

2. Inadequate sleep.

3. Inadequate relaxation.

Inadequate Nutrition

By definition, nutrition is the act of providing a balanced nutrient rich food necessary for health and growth.

When input is bad the output is obviously bad. The human body requires a certain amount of nutrition for its optimal working. Without nutrition the body suffers the risk of malnutrition meaning deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.

The body is constantly burning energy even while at rest including while you sleep.

So an adequate amount of nutrient rich food is a must.

Inadequate Sleep

Sleep is a natural state of rest and recharge for the body.

After all the body is a biochemical machine with a mind that goes through wear and tear of cells and proteins. And moreover important repair and maintenance activities happen during sleep.

The brain needs this quiet time to service the neurons, rewire them and fix unwanted memories. A good quality of sleep is thus inevitable to maintain health.

Also a lot of fat is burnt during a good sleep! 

Inadequate Relaxation.

No, “relax” is not a gentle way of saying shut up when one freaks out.
Relaxation is something you do between work and life when you are awake. 

Stress on the brain is good for mental well being, it’s an exercise to keep the brain active.
Similarly stress on the body is good for physical well being.

And when you over do physical stress in a repeatable pattern you build muscles.

What’s bad are depression, anxiety and worry.
These have an adverse effect on one’s health that disturbs the normal working of the body and mind.

High blood pressure, elevated stress hormones level, Elevated blood sugar are some of the side effects of worrying. And this can get into a vicious cycle which affects well being.

Relaxation is all the activity one does that helps to overcome depression, anxiety and worry.

Activities like meditation, reading, writing, listening to music, cooking, outdoor activities and games, social activities like parties, family and friends gathering improve well being and lead to relaxation.

So make it a habit to relax your mind and body as often as possible.

Problems are forever, never let that interfere with your relaxation.

The Side effect of lack of nutrition, sleep and relaxation: Metabolism.

A lack of good nutrition, sleep and relaxation results in poor metabolism, the body’s natural ability to convert food and drink to energy. The same energy used to power cells, tissues, muscles and organs and the overall working of the human body.

When metabolism suffers, not all food gets converted to energy, some or most of it goes straight to storage as Fat.

Also when metabolism is weak, a person feels hungry often since the brain doesn’t receive the signal of feeling eaten or the stomach being full. A common problem seen in diabetics.

Fat loss hurdles from a Social perspective

Blame our social nature which makes us dependent on others. Man has always sought company to share his emotions, to seek inspiration. And to get motivation, moral support, to learn from a role model for encouragement and such.

Inspiration and Motivation

Inspiration, motivation and willpower are all thought processes evoked by speech and visual stimulus. But, for most people that doesn’t translate to any meaningful action because of various reasons.

Besides, motivation and inspiration must come from within and not from a stranger or a support group, if your actions are to be sustainable.

My bad, if you find me motivating or persuasive.

It’s your body, the only place for you to live in?
In my opinion, this fact is sufficient to inspire or motivate one as it did to me in my personal Fat loss journey.

Few reasons why people fail to sustain their fitness
or Fat loss journey.

  • Lack of support from family, switching to a healthy eating habit.
  • Lack of access to nutritious food.
  • Work keeps one busy.
  • Pre Existing medical conditions.
  • Unrealistic expectations.

Lack of Support from Family

One major reason why people fail to get fit and or lose Fat is the lack of support especially if you are dependent on your parents or spouse.

I’m talking about changes to food habits. Because it’s not going to be easy to change one’s food pattern and have everyone in the family agree to it. This will take time since family members need to take part in this journey to accept small changes like choosing healthier food and supporting you.

Then there is the pressure of indulgence in unhealthy food during a social gathering and that’s a hard task of convincing them to support your goal.

However challenging this may be, a proven method to achieve the much needed fix to nutrition intake is by starting with small changes.Replacing empty calories with nutritious alternatives and steadily progressing until the plate is almost nutritious.

On the other hand, singles will find it hard, at first, to cope with the fact that nutritious food is hard to find. And preparing a nutritious meal involves a lot of effort, starting with finding the right ingredient.

Not only one has to learn to cook, at least simple meals to begin with, one has to dedicate time to be sustainable in this journey.  That’s a premium to pay in the hustle and bustle of a tech driven life.

Access to Nutritious Food

If you have all the resources to buy healthy food in your neighborhood, anytime and anything you want, regardless of season, you are enjoying great access to food, in other words, food security.

By that definition, we are in some way food-insecure given our economic situation and short supply of ready-made nutritious food.
Ironically, it’s the same potato for the ultra rich and the homeless,
thanks to Capitalism’s profit focused intentions.

Access to fresh vegetables and fruits and affordability is an ever present challenge.


Making time from one’s busy routine is often challenging. No wonder, grabbing that breakfast from your favorite joint on the way to work seems logical.
Irregular working hours means eating at unconventional times and this could mean your dependence on particular food which is more convenient than nutritious.

Work from Home is another trap where the possibility of binge eating remains. Also, one is likely to work more hours from home than working at the office given the anxiety of missing deadlines or improving one’s performance for the upcoming appraisal.

Unfavorable home environments with constant interruptions may demand more of one’s time since it affects quality of work.

All this means your fitness or fat loss goals may end up sidelined.

Pre-existing medical conditions.

A common cold or fever can send one’s enthusiasm to work spiraling down,  even to do a simple task.

Conditions like Hypothyroidism, PCOS, Cushing’s syndrome, Depression and Sleep apnea directly causes a reduction in metabolism (ability of the digestive system to convert food and drink to energy).

Hormone imbalance and low energy levels are often associated with these conditions hence making fat loss more challenging.

Unrealistic expectations.

Pheidippides ran from the city of Marathon to Athen, a distance of 25 miles, to announce the defeat of the Persians. He did deliver the message to the Greeks but collapsed and died of exhaustion. While that may be a legend, it’s interesting to note Pheidippides was a trained long-distance runner! It was his job.

I recall the marathon story to emphasize that sometimes we have to take it slow even if you think you are good at something.

“A piece of cake” they say.
I ask, what if, you have to make that piece of cake? Every piece, before you could eat one. Not a piece of cake any more eh? Fat loss is more like baking the cake.

Be it making money or losing Fat, many people, especially young adults, expect that to happen sooner. Unrealistic goals often lead to disappointments because your body cannot work as fast as your intentions.

You may think you are well prepared mentally to take on fat-loss as a challenge, thanks to all the motivational stories out there, but often your body may beg to differ.

Fat loss is a slow journey that needs to be sustained forever. It’s like the moon falling endlessly towards the earth or simply baking a cake.

Better late than never

It’s important to understand that once your health deteriorates, putting it on top of the list becomes inevitable at any cost.

And no, the adage “why fix? if it ain’t broke” doesn’t work for health.
You have to fix it once you have realized it’s breaking apart.

Then why wait to put yourself in such a situation? And it’s never too late.

Today is a good day to start and I totally agree with Mark.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Mark Twain

Every “Body” gains/loses Fat on its own terms.

You invest time and do your best. When you attain success, you take pride in showcasing your hard work.

Similarly, invest in your unique body, give it the best nutrition you can and let your body take the time it deserves to see meaningful results.

Wrapping it up

Fitness and Fat loss have always been a rigorous endeavor, demanding more time and effort than one would like. Youngsters and those desperate  to lose fat should accept this fact and make necessary commitments towards this journey.

Making small changes over time will encourage your family to support you, which is the right step not only towards health but also wellness.

All work and no nutrition is unsustainable, so start playing for your health and wellness by finding the right food to eat.

Sleep & nutrition is essential, never bargain sleep and nutrition for making money or fame.

Relaxation is not a weekend hiatus where you wander off to a lonely place by abandoning your real life. It’s what you do in between work and life.

Make it a routine to relax.

Start by relaxing the tension in your facial muscles,
you will look more beautiful than ever.

Looking to adopt a strategy for losing fat? This might help.
Fat vs weight, which do you want to lose? Find out.

Thanks for taking time to read this. I hope it was useful.
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Share your thoughts in the comments, that’s the type of encouragement
I will ever need to come up with better stories that resonate with you.

I will see you in another post.
Good health.


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