9 Ways To Know If Your Drive To Be Thin Will Make You Store Fat

Drive To Get Thin

There is a tendency in this country (especially among young women) to want to be really thin.

That tendency can actually make you look worse.

That’s what this article is about.

Things you might be doing to get thin, that you see everyone else doing, but will actually have the opposite effect.

If you read this article, you may finally realize that while you know a lot about fitness, what you know doesn’t have a chance to work because you are doing too much.

This daily drive to get thin is actually the problem.

It makes you work too hard.

That’s why you feel that although you know way more than most people, it is not paying off for you.

It shows up in your eating in the form of restriction.

It shows up when you go to the gym in the form of doing to much.

It show up for both women and men, who like you, just are the way they are.  They are obsessed getting in shape and they never really take a break from it.

Do you know anyone who is a workaholic?

That’s an example of an “acceptable” addiction.

A person who always seems to be working 24 hours a day and has no time for anything else?

I can think of one such person.

A close relative actually.  They are always working.  They are always late because they are working.  And usually, they are pretty stressed out because they think the way to success is to do more.

The obsessive drive to get thin is much like that.

It’s acceptable.

If you are still pissed at yourself because you only made the gym 5 days last week instead of 6 or 7, you have this drive.

If you are depressed on your off-day because you feel like you should be working out, you have it.

There is an entire multi-billion dollar industry built to support it.  Its top products are treadmills, diet plans, fat burners, monthly subscriptions to dance cardio programs, body fat monitors.

You name it, you can buy it in order to support this drive.

The crazy thing is that you probably think it’s normal.  You just wake up with this constant drive.  Like if you don’t do it then something bad is going to happen.

You feel that any day you are not doing it you are actually backsliding.

And that, my friend, is what actually keeps you from getting the results you want.

90% of the people that I speak with would not be satisfied even if they reached their body fat goals.

They are basically chasing the horizon without knowing they can’t possibly get there.

It’s because they have simply become addicted to the process of getting thin, not the actual results.  The result is just an excuse for their addiction.

You need to always feel like you are doing something to improve your body.

That is your problem.

Here’s the scary thing…

Many of the same signals are evident in both the dangerously thin skin and bones young woman with anorexia who actually thinks she’s fat, and the man or woman obsessively going to the gym because they think they need to do more.

It’s the drive.

I know that I have it.

I’m guessing that you probably do too.

It’s pretty much a given if you are reading this.

For men, sub 5% is starting to get to that point where negative side effects start to kick in.

Here’s how this applies to you even if you are not that lean…

… Obsessive training can bring them out also.

If you are doing any of the 9 things I list below you can have these negative effects.

Now, if you are a guy, you are probably not even close to this.  I mean, most guys are not.  But still, they develop unrealistic expectations because they see the bodybuilder who is 5% on the cover of a magazine.

Here’s what they don’t realize though…

Being super-thin… I’m talking approaching that 5% threshold is just not sustainable.  It actually backfires.

Quoting Georgie Fear, R.D. in her acclaimed book “Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss“:

“Male bodybuilders typically go below 5 percent for competition, but don’t stay there in the off season.”

The reason is simple…

It’s just not sustainable.

Even with steroids!

Yet, if you are a guy, you somehow think that a low body fat should be the ultimate goal.

It’s no secret that the professional circuit is riddled with steroid use and other performance enhancing drugs.  But no matter how effective these things are, the human body still begins to decline at such low body fat.

In other words, if you want to be Mr. Olympia… it isn’t going to happen by maintaining a constant 5% body fat percentage.

In her article for Men’s Health called 15 Negative Effects Of Having A Low Body Fat PercentageAleisha Fetters gives a very accurate answer to why fitness professionals have learned not to try to maintain insanely low body fats:

…Because body fat is integral to keeping your entire body—including your cardiovascular, endocrine, reproductive, skeletal, and central nervous systems—in check. Without enough body fat, they all go haywire

Here’s a chart that gives you and idea of what different body fat percentages look like (both male and female charts courtesy of http://www.muscleforlife.com)…

For women, it begins to happen around 12% body fat.

Women need to hold more body fat than men.

What you may have found if you are a female is that your obsessive training actually messes with your regular menstrual cycle.  This is not always the case.

But it can be a sign that you are doing to much and/or are too skinny.

Negative side effects of extremely low body fat include…

  • You become prone to serious health problems.
  • Your energy levels plummet
  • You suddenly get cold all the time
  • Your workouts suck
  • You don’t recover fast enough
  • Your testosterone levels drop
  • Many many more.

Do you have any of these?

Keep in mind, you don’t have to be extremely thin to experience them.

They can result from simply doing too much.

For example…

Exercising 6 days a week can certainly cause them.  Especially if you are super intense about it.

Hell, even 5 days a week can have negative effects if you are overdoing it.

It’s like you are addicted.

It’s basically the equivalent to a heroin addict who will literally do anything for her next fix.

If they don’t get it, they get all pissy!

The secret is simple…

… you need to do less.

If you are a guy then stop shooting for 5% to 7%… go for 10% to 12%.  (Again, take a look at the chart above to see what that looks like.)

You can take off-days from working out.

The effect will be that your results will be way way better.  You will get stronger.  Burning fat will actually get easier because your body is recovering.

Same thing goes if you’re a female.

Women tend to hold fat better.

It’s just nature.

You don’t need to shoot for 12% to 15%.

Shoot for 17% to 21%.

Chances are you wear yourself out by believing you need to do more.  You believe you need to do more because you have a warped sense of what good body fat percentages actually look like.

You have developed a routine that is not sustainable as a results of a goal that is just not realistic.

Most people, in their obsessive drive to get thin, develop a routine that wears their ass out and backfires.

Eventually everything falls apart.

You need to design your routine to be sustainable and it almost always starts with doing the exact opposite of what that drive to get thin is telling you.

It says more more more.

In reality less less less is better.

This begins by being aware that most of what drives you is probably chasing a body fat percentage that is not even possible to sustain.

Here’s 10 ways to tell if your obsessive drive to get then is becoming way too out of control and is probably making you actually store fat and look worse…

1. You Workout 6-7 Days a Week, Because You Can’t Fight The Guilty Urge.

(Too Much Gym = Fat Storage)

I’m telling you right now, you don’t need 7 days a week in the gym.

You don’t need 6 either.

This is so counter intuitive that it may be hard for you to swallow, but the idea that those who workout more are somehow healthier is total bull shit.

The actual truth is that you can and will completely drive your body into the ground.

I suspect that if you are reading this you are doing just that.

I know it, because I am very prone to do the exact same thing.

If you are lifting and/or doing cardio almost every day of the week because you feel you must, then I guarantee it’s one of the single biggest issues you are having.

I can’t be the judge of your body, but from what Iv’e seen it’s hard as hell to convince a person who has this ingrained obsession to get thin to stop working out so much.

They are so habitual.

Part of them knows that doing less is probably better, but when they try they get so antsy that they just can’t fight the urge to go to the gym.

My experiment that I propose is simple..

… cut your workouts back to just 3 days per week.

Yep.

3.

4 max.

At least for the next month.  This will help you to see, with your own eyes, that less is actually more.

2. You Won’t Leave The Gym When You’re Done, Because You Fear You Haven’t Done Enough.

(Too Much Gym = Fat Storage)

Woman doing pushups

When your workout is done, it’s done.

Getting fit is a compounding endeavor.

It’s like compound interest.

It really adds up over time.

Take 1 normal piece of notebook paper and fold it once.  Nothing much happens.  Fold it twice, nothing to write home about.  Fold it 42 times and it’s high enough to reach the moon!

That example is a bit outrageous, but it proves a point:  Working out is not an isolated event.

You do it.

Your body needs to recover.

You do it again.

Your body needs to recover.

You do it again.

All the while the benefits of each workout are building on the next.

It’s not an isolated event.

Part of you probably thinks that if you go to the gym and bust your ass you have just helped yourself burn fat and look better.  Then, if you happen to miss the gym the next day you have just cancelled out all your results from the day before.

This is not how it works though.

If you come back and do it again before you’re recovered you get a little worse.

That’s why it’s important to just leave when you have done your workout.  If you keep working out you are treating your routine like an isolated event.

Eventually it catches up with you.

3. You Cut All The Time, Because You Never Think You Are Thin Enough.

(Too Much Restriction = Fat Storage)

This is the tell tail sign of an over-obsessed drive to get thin.

You are always trying to drop a few pounds.

If your mental mindset is always focused directly on losing weight, and it has been that way for as long as you can remember, you need to smack yourself!

Listen to how stupid this is…

… if you actually were able to lose weight every day then eventually you would be so thin you’d drop dead!

Your obsession is not realistic.

In fact, it hurts you.

People who do this always have basically seared off their common sense regulatory membranes and are operating like a zombie on autopilot.

They freak out at ever meal. Always count calories.  Are constantly hungry.  And never in a good mood because they are wound so tight they are cutting off the oxygen to their brains!

Stop cutting.

Getting in shape is a simple as this…

… Every time you go to the gym you had better feel at least 80% totally recovered from the previous workout… if you are not, don’t go.

4. You Fast Every Single Month, Because You Are Paranoid About Toxins Making You Fat.

(Too Much Restriction = Fat Storage)

There is a reason that fasting is not sustainable.

Because your body actually needs food!

Seems like common sense to the average person, but somehow this fact can actually be brought into question through clever marketing.

People read how Christ himself fasted for 40 days and 40 nights.

They want to try it.

Look.  Fasting does in-deed have true to life benefits.  I wrote an article on how intermittent fasting can help you burn body fat and build muscle.

I am a huge believer in fasting and it’s health benefits.

Huge!

I am not a believer, though, in doing it for long extended periods of time… all the time.

The key phrase here is “all the time”.

You have to question your motives.

If you are doing it to satisfy your neurotic drive to get thin, you are probably going to be set-up for disappointment when you discover it does not prove to be at “magic pill” solution.

If you are doing it to flush toxins and enhance your health once in a a while, you will probably be quite satisfied.

Fasting is not a fast track to burning off all of your body fat.

5. You Freak Out If You Eat Even One Bread Stick, Because You Think It Will Make You Fat.

(Too Much Restriction = Fat Storage)

Do you really think a bread stick on Italian night is going to make you fat?

Total bull shit!

Nor is a slice of pizza.

Nor is a piece of cake.

Nor is a beer.

Nor is the Oreo you are craving.

What will actually make you look skinny fat is your obsession with working out and also not eating enough.

This is usually the fat of disciplined dieting.  What happens is you develop this idea that you need to eat less and you start restricting everything.  Eventually it gets to the point where you totally start depriving your body.

If you are exercising hard it all begins to backfire and you start storing body fat and looking soft.

6. You Won’t Go Out To Eat, Because You Are Always On A Diet Trying To Get Thin.

(Too Much Restriction = Fat Storage)

Have you skipped going out this week because you were afraid it was not healthy?

It seems like the right move.

I mean, the last thing you want to do is eat shit that isn’t good for you.

I used to be this way and still am to a great degree.  I literally would not go out to eat because I was afraid it wasn’t good for me.  I learned that “not being good for me” took on several different meanings.

One of those meaning was almost always that it would make me fat or some combination of that and something else.

Here’s the crazy thing…

… although I wasn’t fat… I definitely did not have the six pack abs I wanted!

I obsessed about it, but it actually did not serve me at all.

This obsession drive to get thin was so stupid because the shit I was doing (like not going out to eat) did not at all help me achieve it.  In fact, it made it worse because I was being too damn restrictive.

As Kalli points out in her article titled “Orthorexia: When Clean Eating Goes Too Far“:

Although the commitment to diet is crucial for both competitors and athletes, there’s a fine line between success and obsess, and I can’t stress the importance of balance and moderation enough.

I now have no issue going out to eat.

I also have no issue dropping my discipline from 100% back to a way more manageable 80%.

I’ve learned that perfectionism is a recipe for disaster.

It’s actually way easier to see the results I want when I am not so restrictive.

7. You Check Yourself In The Mirror 10 Times Per Day, Because You Fear You Gained Weight.

(Neurotic = Unrealistic)

You probably just did this less than an hour ago.

Do you really think your body somehow magically changed since then?

People do this shit so much it becomes a fricken’ obsession!  It just get’s habitual.  It’s like weighing yourself every day.  It’s the stupidest thing to do because shit doesn’t change in a day.

It changes over time.

It would change faster for you if you actually played the long game.

The long game is built on doing realistic things every day to achieve your goal.

The short “quick fix” game is built on trying to do stupid unrealistic non-sustainable things every single day.  Like dieting.  Or running 10 miles.

Do yourself a favor, stop the neurotic obsession.

If they diagnosed checking yourself out in the mirror as a disease,

8. You Spend Money Each Month On Fat Burners, Because You’re Terrified If You Stop You’ll Get Fat.

(Too Much Adrenal Fatigue = Fat Storage)

If you do this you are being stupid.

The reason is simple…

… eventually your fat burner is going to have the opposite effect you want if you are taking it all the time.

That means, that $50 per month you’re spending is basically worthless.

I know this, because I learned the hard way.  You find yourself wondering what the hell is going on.  You can feel the jolt you get, but the belly fat is no longer going away like it used to!

It’s because fat burners do work, but they are not sustainable.

What is the number one ingredient in almost all fat burners?

Cheap cheap cheap caffeine anhydrous.

It’s an awesome supplement and actually my favorite fitness enhancer, but it is not something you want to take every single day for extended periods.

Caffeine eventually catches up with you and throws your adrenals out of whack!

You actually begin to store more fat as a result.

A female friend of mine was desperate to burn fat.  She is always obsessing about it, as so many women do.  There is a never-ending pressure to be thin.

Well, she was over-doing it with her fat burner which contained approx. 300 mg of caffeine anhydrous and then she was mixing it with CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid).

CLA can be quite effective, but one of the side-effects is it actually dehydrates your brain.

Once again, I learned the hard way.

Imagine every time you squat getting dizzy all of the sudden and not knowing why.

Well, thank God I finally wised up!

This sounds terrible and it is.  When taken the way the product is supposed to along with lots of water, it actually is a safe supplement.  CLA, after all, is what they call a “safe” trans fat.  It is actually a fat that is found in good quantity in grass fed meats.

Anyway, she was taking the CLA and the fat burner together because some owner of a supplement shop told her to.

If she would have asked me I would have told here that she better be aware of what will probably happen if she over does it and is not drinking a lot of water.

She eventually found herself getting so dizzy and having these extreme adrenal “highs”.

Like jolts of energy.

Both the caffeine and the CLA were dehydrating her body, which made the jolts of energy way way more pronounced.  She actually ended up missing her period because they messed with her hormones so much.

That, as you can imagine, caused her to freak out even more!

What was cause of this?

Here obsessive drive to get thin made her do stupid shit!

I can’t tell you how common her story is though.  It happens to more than you can possibly imagine.

9. You Have Made Yourself Throw-Up Even One Time This Year, Because You Felt Guilty After Eating.

(Neurotic = Unrealistic = Backfires)

Enough said.

Dumb dumb stupid!

If you actually do this (many more than you think do) you need to seriously check your motives.

You are probably a totally normal looking person.

That’s what makes it feel ok.

You think “well, I wanted to get the taste of that cake, now time for a bathroom break”.

The excuse you use is that doing it a couple times each week won’t hurt anything.  You know, it just might not.  But what is happening is that your drive to get thin has begun to control your actions.

You are restricting.

All of this neurotic type of stuff backfires because it eventually sends louder and louder signals to your body to hold food.  Then, you workout and that is a stressor.  You’re body will store more.

Then, when you do eat… it will store.

All of this neurotic stuff boils down to restriction and it is virtually all the same result.

If you have gotten to this point you are beyond obsessed with getting and/or staying thin.

You are also incredibly naive because you’re not realizing there is a far better way to stay fit.

It’s called exercise.

It’s called food.

It’s called learning to combine them the right way over time.

Conclusion

Have you skipped directly to the conclusion?

If so, then the main point of this article is as follows…

… do less and get better results.

Do you fear taking off days from the gym?

Are you scared that eating anything bad will make you fat?

Do you wonder why you workout all the time and still can’t seem to get thin?

You are doing too much and it is backfiring.  It is purely physical and totally explainable.

Your obsessive drive to get thin is making you do too much and the result is that your physically wearing your body out and making it hold fat.

Working out too much actually causes you to store fat.

Obsessive food monitoring usually has the same impact.

An obsessive drive to reach low body fat almost always brings about a feeling like you need to do more.  You actually need to do less.

I would love to get your thoughts on this article, leave a comment below and share.

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