This ONE WEIRD TRICK Can Make You a Better Pistol Shooter! (The Trick Is Weightlifting)

Pistol shooting has never been my strong suit. I have always cottoned more to gravelbelly-style traditional American marksmanship than I have to running and gunning with a fantastic plastic piece. Pistol day for me has always been more on the side of a chore I undertake to keep my skills up to par with the weapon I’m statistically most likely to use, rather than my favorite time at the range. I’m sure many of my readers feel exactly the opposite way, and that’s great; it would be boring if everyone was enthusiastic about the same things in our hobby.

Where traditional rifle shooting is a discipline of finding the right bone structure to be as stable as humanly possible, pistol shooting is a discipline of muscle isolation, trigger control, grip strength, and more trigger control. Shooting a pistol well is a much more muscular activity than digging into the ground in the perfect prone stance.

As someone with a weight problem, exercise has always been a priority for me, since I’d rather not die at age 40 of a failed, fat-clogged heart. Various health problems and the always-interloping “schedule” have interfered with me becoming an athletic Adonis like James Reeves, but in college I discovered weightlifting, a discipline I turned out to be pretty good at. After the end of my education and a few moves, I left weightlifting behind, only to pick it back up again earlier this year.

It’s the damnedest thing, too, the more 25-plates I stack on the barbell for squats, the heavier my overhead presses, and the more arm-destroying my barbell rows, the better and more natural my pistol work has gotten. It’s not just me, either; my SO has been my gym buddy for this year, doing the exact same program I have been doing, and she’s noticed the same kind of improvement – she’s more deadly accurate than ever with her Blackhawk. So take notes, ladies: Want to get better at pistol shooting? Try lifting heavy things and putting them back down!

It’s a simple (and for some, obvious) message, but well worth writing about: Weight training will help your pistol shooting, as well as make you an expert grocery-hauler.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Brick

    In addition to working their targeted muscle groups, things like barbell rows and deadlifts will help build grip strength. Helps in a bunch of ways.

    • Barbell row is what my girlfriend calls “the devil exercise”, hahah. We do it every other gym session, alternating with deadlift.

      • Robert w

        Stronglifts or starting strength?

        • Hah, you got me. StrongLifts, cuz of that guy’s wild accent. 😉

          • Robert w

            Not gonna lie, didn’t hurt getting me on board.

          • You just ‘ave to du eet wit proppuh fuuuuuum!

        • SimonSays

          I also did Stronglifts for 8 months, it is a killer workout that gave me a good novice baseline to continue training (150% Squad, 100% Bench, 150% Deadlift). But I noticed that my progress was losing its momentum. I decided to add more variety and now I alternate my workouts between Stronglifts or completely different exercices on machines and loose dumbells. Progress is great again.

          On the calorie discussion, bear in mind that with the three different bodytypes (Endomorph, Ectomorph and Mesomorph) also come different micronutrient balances. As I am a mesomorph I look bulky but I gain fat very easily, as such my diet is 50% protein. My brother who is an ectomorph was born with a six pack and can eat burgers all day long, but he will not look very bulky.
          Read into the bodytypes to see if your nutrition fits your bodytype.

          Also, since I am a short guy I also had to reduce my meals to less than the average portion as my BMR is only 2000 kcal, which would be the standard for women.
          I can only eat regular portions if I do an hour of cardio every other day.

          • iksnilol

            The somatype thingy has been a debunked/neglected science for a while.

            It’s a shamefully simplistic view on genetics and environment.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    You know… It’s not using ironicly when you use click bait titles like that, it’s self-referential.

    On a more serious note… As someone with a weight problem, exercise has always been a priority for me, I’m finding it tougher and tougher to believe that people still think weight is an exercise problem. Weight is an eating problem. The entire solution is Calories In < Calories Out, end of story. Exercise is just increasing cal out.

    To the topic… Being fit helps lots of things, shooting included. However, I've seen fat trolls go out and rock a USPSA… They'd fall flat on their face in a 300y run down drill or something tho, so they just don't do that. The sport would be drastically different if I designed gun competition stages.

    • Madcap_Magician

      True to a point, but if I were to not exercise, it’d be hellishly hard to lose weight, because cutting calories is pretty hard if you have to start from the baseline 2000 or so that I burn just living. 1500-calorie days require a stupid amount of willpower.

      For me, at least.

    • Robocop

      I shot a match in Tucson, I know the guy has videos on here and such (can’t remember the name right now), but anyways the match involved some kettlebells. It was brutal, and fun. More matches should be like that IMHO

    • Yeah, that’s not really accurate. I know their are some people who lose weight with the thermodynamic model, but I can’t without going on dangerously low calorie diets (<1500 kcal/day) that leave me with no energy to do anything.

      Humans process food differently as part of a ludicrously complicated process that we're just beginning to understand. That's not an excuse for me to be fat or anything – ultimately being healthy and losing weight is my responsibility – but it does mean the "calories in calories out" model is far too simplistic. I have tried those diets, and they destroy my productivity while making only modest progress.

      I guess in short I think back to when I was in college eating 1500kcal/day, according to my diet journal, and still overweight. I had been doing that for over a year at that point and was almost as fat as I am now, but unlike now I had no energy and struggled to get up in the morning. Maybe eating 1300kcal/day would have made me lose weight even faster, but when you're talking about intake on that level and no progress, you're no longer talking about an "eating problem".

      • nadnerbus

        It is far easier to cut calories if your base calorie budget is higher, in my experience.

        I lost 40 pounds over six months or so, but I only had to “cut” back to 23 to 25 hundred calories a day, since I work a job where I am on my feet moving and lifting all day, and hike pretty regularly on my off days. If I had a sedentary job, my daily calorie budget would be more like 1800.

        Phone apps that monitor steps and caloris burned, as well as allow you to input calories consumed, are very helpful to get you to where you have a good feel for just how much you should eat, and how active you need to be to maintain a certain goal.

        But yeah, if the end, it is completly a matter of calories.

        • There is always a caloric balance; the problem with what I call the “thermodynamic” attitude is this flow chart:

          You are fat, therefore you are taking in too many calories, therefore you have an eating problem.

          What does “taking in too many calories” mean? Does it mean, as it seems to for me, that I process calories more efficiently than other people (my 120lb father included) do? Or does it mean as it seems to always be intended that I “over-eat” and must necessarily be consuming 2,800 calories a day (I don’t)?

          I have to work really, really hard to lose weight. Why, I don’t know, but that doesn’t change the fact that I need to count calories and do rigorous exercise to lose weight (I do both). Even then, it’s slow going.

          For someone with an actual eating disorder, “eat less” may be exactly the right advice. For me, who has some other kind of problem that I don’t understand, even eating a heavily rationed diet only helps a little (and makes me substantially non-functional in my daily life). Therefore, to lose weight I have to add an aggressive exercise regimen.

          Maybe Jump didn’t mean it this way, but there’s a substantial number of people who believe that weight management is merely a matter of “one size fits all” caloric intake. It’s very obviously not, as anyone who has met one of those people with bottomless stomachs who never gain weight can tell you. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t manage calories, in fact I would say everyone should unless you’re one of those bottomless pit people. But let’s not assume that because someone is overweight they must be stuffing down 2.5k+ kcal per day, because there are a lot of people with other problems.

          • Madcap_Magician

            I think this is also true… to a point. There are people with goofy metabolisms on the high and low end, and all kinds of metabolic disorders, but I suspect the majority of people carrying more weight than they want are doing so as a result of the habit of eating just a little bit too much every day because of how easy it is to underestimate your caloric intake and overestimate what you burn in exercise. I think that’s how the pounds come on.

            I’m probably extrapolating too much from my own experience, though. I was always skinny up until the middle of high school. Because I was skinny I got used to bad eating habits since I never gained weight. All the sudden… I gained weight. A lot. At my highest I was 210 and having sleep disturbances bordering on apnea. I looked in the mirror, and man… had that epiphany moment where I couldn’t deny it anymore, I was just plain fat. I’ve lost 40 pounds in six months since then, and all I changed was that I keep track of what I eat, stop eating when I am not really hungry, and weigh myself regularly.

            Amazing how many fewer calories I eat when I stop before every bite and ask myself if I’m eating because I’m hungry or because I’m bored, tired, sad, stressed, or whatever.

          • Right; it’s good advice for people who just eat too much. But when people use it as a beatstick for anyone who’s fat… Well, it was a giant waste of my time, I tell you.

            I note that folks generally don’t do this to people with other diseases, for the most part. Obesity is a symptom of disease of some sort, and like I would hold off diagnosing people who are suffering from any other symptom because I am not a doctor, I think that is also the best course for obesity.

            Which absolutely is not me saying that obese people shouldn’t seek help or whatever “fat shaming” activist nonsense that is, but that obese people like me need to find out what their actual problems are, and solve those, instead of listening to “one size fits all” advice.

            Just like if you had chronic chest pain, you wouldn’t make assumptions about what it was, you’d see a doctor!

          • nadnerbus

            Fair enough. I am not a physician, so I’m not qualified to speak on metabolism and how calories are processed and stored. But I will say that when I was heavier, I WAS eating 2500 to 3000 calories a day. I could buy a bag of Reeces and eat them in less than two days. I could kill large pizza by myself in 24 hours, with a pint of Ben and Jerrys as a chaser. I suspect many more overweight people are like I was than are in your situation.

            Regardless of any of that, seriously best of luck. Fighting weight is a biach, and the fight us never over.

          • n0truscotsman

            Most overweight people have their blood sugar constantly spiked, due to eating said reeces and whatnot. Not a *hard* thing to do either in our society, considering how *EVERY DAMN THING* has HFCS and processed sugars and starches in it (which aren’t the devil themselves, its just about portions and frequency).

            So naturally, when they make a change away from ‘business as usual’, they enter a slump thats hard to get out of. Sugar, fat, and salt are evil that way. Worse than heroin 😉

            I think its the relationship with food thats causing rampant obesity rather than what it *is*. Rather than treating it as nourishment, it is akin to a spiritual experience for many. (shrugs shoulders). Just ask a family that socializes around food frequently.

          • Edeco

            How frequent are your bowel movements? Ha, just kidding. Yeah I think the 2,000 calorie/day thing is BS. One-size fits all, designed by committee. I’m not sedentary and I’d gain weight if I ate that much.

      • A Fascist Corgi

        There’s no way that you could only eat 1,500 calories a day for over a year and still be obese. Don’t use estimations; stick to packaged food that has the calorie numbers listed. Or maybe you put your body into starvation mode by cutting your calories too much. Try 1,800 calories a day and see how that works. And if you feel like you don’t have enough energy, then go up to 2,000 calories a day and use caffeine pills.

        • Edeco

          Well, the people without famine resistant constitutions probably died early.

        • Ben Warren

          Of course there were fat people. They were the senior Party members.

        • iksnilol

          Well, from personal experience with fasting your body does have an anti-starve-to-death-mode.

          What happens is that your body stores most of what you eat due to the low frequency of meals. Best way to lose weight is to actually snack on stuff (whilst forgoing big meals) because this keeps your brain thinking that you actually aren’t starving and keeps your metabolism going normally (full throttle). When you eat few meals (IE only at night due to fasting) your metabolism slows down to keep it going for as long as possible (think cruising/coasting with your car).

          No fat people during the Holodomor is perfectly logical since they had nothing to eat. Your body can only conserve so much energy.

      • Lee

        Id strongly recommend you guys look into the ketogenic diet. This is the diet bodybuilders from the 70s used to aquire a nice v tapered, lean frame.

        The diet is simple. High fats, moderate protein, super low carbs…less than 40 carbs a day. All carbs come from fiberous vegetables. The problem with the american diet is people eat 10 times the number of carbs needed for daily energy, and then people slam their body with sugar which raises insulin and stores more fat.

        After a month of keto your liver will produce ketone bodies which convert fats into energy. I started this diet at 6’2, 230 lbs and now im down to 205 lbs in just 3 months. I kept track of my major lifts in a log book. I doubled my leg press. Doubled my squats. Gained 15% on bench press and i now sit at around 12% body fat. I currently work out 4 days a week. Maybe 1 day on the weekend. I do zero cardio. Im guessing a little cardio a week will drop me in the 10% range. I eat more now than ever before. Cutting calories and doing cardio is not the way to go. You need to eat good foods, train your body to burn fat, and gain muscle.

        • st4

          “Cutting calories and doing cardio is not the way to go. You need to eat good foods, train your body to burn fat, and gain muscle.”

          This. Relying solely on calorie cutting and steady state cardio will only build a bad body (see “skinny-fat”), a state I plateaued at for over a year. Despite dropping some unwanted fat, the results were not what I desired.

          The key is definitely resistance training, proper nutrition and recovery. After figuring that out, a year later I’ve gotten great body recomp results and for the first time in my life, have the coveted six-pack along with lean mass. Now people be ‘mirin. 😀 I still do cardio, but have switched it to HIIT, which is significantly less boring that all the hours of walking I used to do.

        • iksnilol

          That nice v tapered lean frame isn’t efficent. It’s for looks. Not much core support.

          Sorry to say that.

    • nadnerbus

      He was trolling his haters. I thought it was funny.

    • kyphe

      More muscle = more calories out. The fallacy of exercise is one of burning calories during exercise to balance caloric intake. The truth of exercise is that a healthy strong body burns more calories every second of every day than an unfit obese body and is better able to burn fats which requires good cellar health to do efficiently. The diets of my Athletic friends especially my weight lifting friends are insane and I could not eat all that in a day.

  • John Yossarian

    Nice to see that you’re invested in the big, compound exercises. Not only do they provide more bang-for-the-buck – working more muscles per movement – but they also help cushion against injury by allowing more joints and muscles to pick up the slack should any one structure reach its point of failure.

    To whit, my 20 minute, total-body workouts consist of the following:
    1. Bench Press – Horizontal push
    2. Bentover Row – Horizontal pull
    3. Overhead Press – Vertical push
    4. Pull-up – Vertical pull
    5. Squat – Quad dominant (push)
    6. Deadlift – Hip dominant (pull)

    And that’s all I ever do in the gym, other than some stationary biking at 170 bpm heart rate for 15 to 20 minutes to improve cardiovascular fitness.

  • Gidge

    Strength and fitness are going to improve your grip, recoil management, stamina and blood oxygen levels, all of which will aid your shooting. However there are other things to consider, fitness is only ever part of the answer.

    If pistol training feels like a chore have you considered that you may be using the wrong gun? Perhaps something better suited to you that’s easier and more natural to shoot and possibly more charismatic would change this. Remember the best gun on paper or the best gun for your pears may not be the best gun for you.

    Alternatively have you critically assessed your training practices? Perhaps there could be more effective ways to go about it. Training under stress and adverse conditions is important but too much of it works against you and reinforces bad habits.

    The bottom line is if training feels too much like a chore you’re almost certainly not being as productive with your time as you could be

    • Pistol training is not going to be for everyone. It’s not my “thing”, but I keep proficiency with it because I need to do so to safely and effectively carry a gun.

      I’ve tried most handguns types out there. I’ve owned DA/SAs, SAOs, striker-fired guns, etc.

      It feels like a chore because it’s just not my thing, not because it’s especially hard.

  • Strength training can improve handgun accuracy in many ways; increased grip strength helps control recoil, better hand/eye coordination and breathing control improve aim, and the ability to focus on a specific physical task is a skill with broad application in general. Also, the more accustomed to heavy work your body gets, the less jittery and shaky you’ll be in other situations that involve elevated heart rate and high adrenalin levels, like armed self defense, or trying to shave seconds off your competition times (or just get tighter groups than the guy in the next lane over).

    • Mike Price

      I’ll add this comment. My daughters husband is an MMA fighter with extremely strong arms and shoulders. While shooting with them I handed him my 380 Ruger subcompact that I carry to see what he could hit with it and while he has never really fired a gun more than a couple of times he shot a 3″ group of 5 rounds at 20 feet with that subcompact Ruger. I was totally stunned. I actually couldn’t believe it. How could somebody that has only fired a handgun once or twice in his life shoot this good with a subcompact that I am lucky to hit a 8″ target at 15 ft? It has to be his arm strength. The gun didn’t hardly flinch any. It was like in a vise and the accuracy showed it.

      • Giolli Joker

        I do not doubt that his strength helped him, but consider that a boxer/martial artist training in punching gets very good hand-eye coordination… he may not be a shooter but he’s very well trained into hitting targets. I’m pretty sure he would have an edge with a handgun on any weight lifter with the same strength.

  • Pastor Dan

    Who remembers Raquel Welch being taught to shoot by Robert Culp in “Hannie Caulder?”. Sure you do. First thing he did was work on developing her arm, shoulder, and hand strength. Better flick than some of us remember.

  • A Fascist Corgi

    I don’t know how it’s possible to be obese these days now that the internet has made a scientifically proven weight loss plan available to the masses. All you have to do is consume 1,800 calories a day. It really is that simple.

    • “You don’t know” is quite right.

      • A Fascist Corgi

        I can understand how someone can be 30 pounds overweight. You eat a few hundred extra calories a day and it accumulates over the years. But to be obese you’d have to consume several thousand extra calories per day for over a year. You’d have to eat an entire box of donuts at every meal to do that.

        • Well, buddy, if you’ve got a medical degree, I’d contact your institution and ask for your money back.

    • iksnilol

      Not really.

      just like guns, people wary.

      I know people that’d get fat from 1,800 calories. People always forget genetics and environment (tall people need more weight than short people, and different childhoods instill different thoughts about food/excercise).

  • David Harmon

    Lifting improves rifle shooting as well. You get better with breath control, as it’s a primary training point for lifting heavy weights.

    • Some Guy

      I sort of see where you’re going with this but the core tension needed to lift heavy weight is exactly the opposite of what is typically taught when shooting rifles (relax as much as possible)

      No doubt it’ll help you hold a rifle on target better, longer, and in unconventional positions though.

      • David Harmon

        It’s easier to relax if your spectrum conditioned stress is far broader rather than narrow. This is why training is supposed to be harder than actual competition or soldiering or whatever.

    • n0truscotsman

      Lifting is just *generally* an improvement on pretty much everything. Not only with shooting, but also stress management, muscoskeletal strength, and weight loss.

      • David Harmon

        Exactly, which is why any serious shooter should be doing it. No matter why they are a shooter, they should be doing it.

  • Rusty S.

    I couldn’t agree more, Nathaniel. Excercise is key to improving a lot of shooting fundamentals. Even when I have time to watch a movie, I’m usually holding weights or water jugs out in front of me to aid in holding firearms on target for long periods of time. Some great hand/grip strength exercises can also be executed while driving. Now I just need a tricep pull down rig like Stallone in over the top….

  • Reed Cz

    Being the first person on here to post about the importance of physical fitness when it comes to performance with firearms you have rocketed to the top of my list of favorite contributors.

  • Mike Price

    Here is my one interesting story of how to be a better shooter. I was going to do some shooting with my daughter who carries a Glock 26 handgun and shoots about twice a year. She said she was having trouble with jams in it the last time she fired it. Owning 3 Glocks myself I told her that they don’t jam from I have ever seen. I took my Glock 17, my Canik Tp9 that I have never seen jam and my Ruger 380 that has never jammed, shooting with her. She fired her Glock and sure enough it jammed on about the third round and again a couple rounds later. I handed her my Canik and sure enough it jammed. I’ve never seen a jam in it. I handed her my Glock 17L and sure enough it jammed and that is with factory mags not KCI that I use a lot. It has never jammed. I handed her my Ruger 380 and sure enough a jam. I fired it with same magazine and ammo and no jam. I fired her glock and ran a mag out with no jams. I stuck a KCI 33 round in and fired it all. No jams. She had a hard time hitting target good. I noticed she had her arm bent quite a bit and the gun was recoiling back a lot. I told her to straighten her arm out stiffer and really hold on to the gun. Low and behold no more jams and she started hitting the target. Same ammo same guns and no jams with any of the guns and her accuracy totally improved. I would not have believe that just arm hold would have made a gun jam but it did. From physics point of view apparently her arm was taking the normal recoil away from the recoil spring and making not fully extract the round. Some of the jams were a stovepipe jam.

    • Bill

      As you saw, limp-wristing will cause malfunctions in nearly all types of pistols. You can demonstrate it by holding the pistol with essentially the thumb and trigger finger and trying to fire multiple rounds.

  • Bill

    I put basic trainees on a grip strength program: everyone is issued a tennis ball, when they can squeeze it until it pops, they can stop. (It’s a little more complicated than that)

    You need to be cautious with weight programs and balance it with something like plyometrics to balance out slow- and fast-twitch muscle development.

  • garymac66

    Heck, I’m 61 and started lifting again (among other things) to get back into shape a couple years ago. I was surprised how much my shooting has improved

  • Mike Price

    I wonder how many semi auto guns are called ” piece of junk” due to operator error and handling? I’ve read Taurus handguns have problems and some do but my Taurus PT111 handles and feeds everything.

    • Twilight sparkle

      A lot of Taurus pistols have issues, they’ve only recently upped their quality and even that’s questionable with the fairly recent huge recall. Is your pt111 a gen 2 model? I’ve heard mostly good things from those for what they are

      • Mike Price

        Yes, the Gen 2 gun. Works fine in my book. Now I purchase a Taurus 17 HMR that was a nightmare. Really defective chamber on the gun and they said they fixed it when I sent it back in to them but they didn’t. Said they replaced the cylinder but it had the same light scuff mark I put on it trying to pry the empty case out. It made a 17 HMR case look like a 22 mag case when it came out. Correct bullet cylinder but chamber expanded the neck part of the case to almost straight. Didn’t look like HMR when it came out. I read of others having the same problem. They have 3 generations of the 17 HMR on the market. Case was so tight in the cylinder I had to knock each one out individually from the front. That WAS a piece of junk. The seller refunded my money back, then relisted it on gunbroker. Good luck on that one.

  • Lee

    Strength training improves every single aspect of your life, regardless of your age. Ive seen grandmas with walkers deadlift their way to not needing a walker anymore.

  • John

    I don’t understand, I have been lifting tons of beer and donuts after every match and my groups are getting worse. What am I doing wrong?

    • Cytoxan

      And the, there’s this… “accuracy through volume of fire”

      • THE_manBEar

        ‘ it’s milsim bro! ‘

  • smartacus

    come to think of it; Jerry Miculek does look rather solidly built for a guy in his…40’s

  • n0truscotsman

    russian kettlebells and free weights.

    Squats and power cleans too.

  • Sasquatch

    Lets just face it working out helps you in every part of your life.

  • Wolfgar

    The more muscle the more calories one burns. The more cardio one does the more fat one burns. I lifted weights for years and was quite big and strong but always had a little fat. I joined a full contact martial arts school while still weight training. In one year I was ripped. I noticed I ate less and was full with smaller portions. My bench press actually got better after loosing 50 pounds. You need to do both types of training if your serious about loosing weight and increasing strength. Good luck!

  • jay

    How much improvement have her kegels done?

  • Kitsuneki

    “Do you even lift?”

  • Vitor Roma

    Grappling arts like wrestling, judo or bjj should be great too. Lot’s of core and grip strength.

  • stephen

    Sure some people find it harder to lose weight than others & visa versa but there are many other things that come into play that most people don’t even consider…

    1. You’re sleep-deprived. According to a Gallup poll, 40 percent of people get less than 7 hours of sleep each night. Without good quality sleep, the stress hormone cortisol— as well as blood sugar and insulin— all rise, which can make you feel hungry. Lack of sleep also causes insulin resistance, which makes it easier for your body to store fat.

    2. You use a hard workout as an excuse to eat. Just because you torched 700 calories at the gym doesn’t mean it’s a free ride to eat whatever you want. You also can’t eat something with the intention of burning it off later, because too much exercise can lead to overtraining and weight plateau..

    3. Your thyroid is out of whack – this is a big one! Thyroid function is important for metabolism and experts agree thyroid problems are one of the most un-diagnosed problems that can get in the way of weight loss. What’s more, what many traditional medical doctors consider the norm for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels isn’t and they also don’t consider other symptoms when looking at thyroid function; your TSH should be between .5 and 1 and an integrative or functional medical physician is your best bet.

    4. You eat small, frequent meals. You might think eating mini meals every 2 to 3 hours will help stabilize your blood sugar and prevent you from overeating, but it can actually drive your insulin up so you can’t access stored fat for fuel. If you eat a combination of lean protein, low-carb fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats, you’ll feel fuller longer and still lose weight.

    5. You’re eating too much sugar and you don’t even know it. Blatant sugar isn’t the only problem, it’s the sneaky sugars in so-called healthy smoothies, yogurt, and processed foods that can wreak havoc on your waistline. Fructose is by far the worst because it goes straight to the liver where it makes fat. It also elevates your sweet tooth so you want more and bypasses satiety signals so you eat but you’re still hungry = cut down on sugar & fructose.

    6. You’re stressed out. A recent study found that women gain 11 pounds a year when they’re under stress. Stress raises cortisol, which breaks down muscle and lowers serotonin, so you crave more sweet foods. What’s more, because cortisol lowers stomach acid, you don’t digest effectively so you’re left even hungrier.

    7. You train too hard. You’re a cardio queen but too much can actually backfire. Interval training is best for weight loss and you can also train less in a shorter amount of time. Be sure to keep cardio to 2 or 3 times a week, because it’s psychologically and physically demanding.

    8. You don’t eat enough fat – most people try to totally rid themselves of fat but don’t. Your body needs fat to burn fat but the key is choosing the right type of fat to eat. Healthy fats like those found in fish, avocado, grass fed butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and nuts and seeds are best.

    9. You’re vitamin D-deficient. Vitamin D is actually a pro-hormone that is responsible for many of the body’s functions and without it, you can’t burn off fat. So ask your doc to check your levels and eat vitamin D-rich foods like salmon, sardines and cow’s milk.

    10. You eat too late. You might have a bedtime snack habit, but it can prevent your body from burning fat at the ideal time at night so try to eat dinner at a reasonable hour and then close the kitchen. One of the key things you can do to lose weight is extend your fasting period when you go to sleep.

    11. You go on fad diets
    You try to “be good” or hop on the latest diet craze, but this isn’t a good way to sustain weight loss and studies show it can even increase the chances for cardiovascular disease. Instead, put the focus on your health, not your weight and your self-image.

    BTW this is not my information but from an old article (I don’t have a link) that helped me and the wife; just thought I would pass this along.

    • stephen

      P.S. here is an example of some things that a lot of doctors miss…

      My wife is 5′ 3″ and weighs 120 lbs (yea she is a hottie) however she noticed that she was gaining fat. Its not because of her diet either – lots of veggies and good healthy foods. This happened even though she runs 5 days a week (runs about 10-14 miles per week). Well long story short she did have some vitamin and mineral deficiencies so she started fixing that – still had same problem. Also found out that draining the lymphatic system helps in losing fat too – while that helped a bit still had same problem. Then after seeing a slew of doctors for a cancer scare we found out she had thyroid problems (no cancer = yea, but does have Graves disease). Even though she was eating good, healthy foods, some of these foods had too much iron and that would exacerbate her thyroid problems which messed with her levels and made it harder for her to lose fat.

      Anyway if your finding it hard to lose fat and you have tried diet, exercise, sleep and your still not losing, time to do some more tests.

  • Peter Andersen

    Well… in most cases, beeing able to run a bit, get off the ground fast, lift something heavy and move it is skills that can come handy in so many situations.