You belong to the gym, and you even make time to go, but still the scale isn’t budging. What gives? While your intentions should be applauded, here are some reasons you’re not seeing the slimming results you’re after.
Total-body wellness is a lifestyle. Fat loss happens when you ditch the scale, find an activity you enjoy, and start to see food as fuel instead of something to feed your emotions or occupy your time.
While we have all been under the impression that going to the gym helps with dropping a few extra pounds, a new article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, written by three experts, claims that exercise does not actually aid in weight loss. “Regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and some cancers by at least 30%. However, physical activity does not promote weight loss,” states the article.
The claim rests on statistics that show that average weight has increased in the past few years, while rates of exercise have remained steady. This proves that the one factor behind weight gain is, perhaps not shockingly, a bad diet!
The article takes issue with all kinds of modern claims, on the part of food manufacturers, which mislead the common consumer, including the claims that all calories are of equal value no matter the source, that high-carb diets are better for exercise, and more.
But don’t throw out your gym clothes just yet! While regular workouts are certainly good for you, in order to lose weight the two ships of diet and exercise must be sailing in the same direction. Practically, this means examining your diet, possibly eliminating processed foods and synthetic drinks and generally eating less.
If you fall in that category of exercising and not losing any weight see what are some of the most common mistakes or what you could do better:
You Don’t Drink Enough Water
We’ve all heard how important H2O is when it comes to shedding pounds. It helps to suppress appetite, so you’re less likely to overeat. But that’s not all: When you’re dehydrated, your kidneys can’t function properly, so the body turns to the liver for additional support. Because the liver is working so hard, more of the fat you consume is stored rather than burned off.
You Skimp on Protein
Several studies show that high-protein diets result in more pounds shed, at least initially. Protein enhances the feeling of satiety and prevents your losing muscle as you lose fat. You also have dietary thermogenesis, which is the energy you burn to process and use the food you eat, on your side. “Your body expends more energy to metabolize protein than carbs or fat,” says Cari Coulter, RD, the program director for Wellspring Weight Loss Camp in Kenosha, Wisconsin. “So higher-protein diets make you burn slightly more calories.”
You Sit at a Desk All Day
I log a solid hour of exercise almost every day, but outside of that, my time is mostly spent sitting in front of a computer. In order to lose weight you need to do the kind of cardio that gets your heart pumping. That means brisk walking on the treadmill or leisurely biking while perusing through a magazine just won’t do the trick. Kick it up a notch and run on the treadmill or take a spinning class. Getting up and walking for just two minutes during each of those hours burns an additional 59 calories a day, according to recent research from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Your Numbers Are Off
“The BMR calculator already factors in the calories you burn with your workouts, so you shouldn’t add them in again,” Coulter says. Math club membership revoked! All this time I had thought my daily needs were 500 calories higher than they really were. No wonder I’d been maintaining instead of losing. You definitely need energy to get through or recover from your workout, but it doesn’t make sense to eat a 400-calorie snack when you’ve only burned 300 calories. Stick to snacks that are around 150 calories.
You Do Same Workout, Different Day
There’s something nice about getting into a routine, but if you’re constantly repeating the exact workout day in and day out, you’re more likely to reach a plateau. Keep you body guessing by mixing up the equipment you use and the order of the exercises you do. Also try out new fitness classes, and work different body parts on different days. It’ll not only challenge your muscles, but you’ll get a more effective workout, which translates to a leaner, more sculpted bod.
You’re a Stress Case
Exercise is a stressor on your body. When you have a healthy balance of exercise-related stress and recovery time, your body is healthy and can lose its excess fat. However, not giving your body enough time to recover can also be a negative (see above) as you’ll start to produce an excessive amount of cortisol, a stress hormone.
If you are doing all the right things with diet and exercise but you are struggling to lose the weight and probably notice that you are putting on weight then it may be good to consult your doctor or a medical professional. There are a number of health conditions which could influence your weight, with thyroid and hormonal imbalances such as menopause being two examples. Apart from health conditions, it could other things such as medication, vitamin deficiencies or dehydration which could lead to excess water retention or other weight related problems.