You’re standing on the bathroom scale, hoping to see that you’ve finally lost a pound. But, lo and behold, it turns out you’ve actually gained one. How’s this possible? You’re trying so hard! Lately, you’re fitness personified.
Trust me, I’ve been there. As a matter of fact, I found myself there only weeks ago, even though I’m a trainer with more than fifteen years of experience and should know better. But it’s so easy to slip off the wagon, especially if you only have a few pounds to lose (like me after a summer of too much food and drink).
There are a few reasons you might not be losing weight and I’ll list them in no particular order of importance below:
1. You’re not working out as hard as you think, thus burning fewer calories than you’re taking in. A lot of people overestimate the amount of calories they burn when working out. Cardio machines at the gym are notorious for showing more calories burned than actual calories burned. Check out this article for more on this.
2. You’re not considering your age and current muscle mass when choosing your form of exercise. A typical 22-year-old woman and a typical 54-year-old woman cannot approach their workout routines the same way. The younger woman will have a much higher amount of muscle mass than her older counterpart, which is why her focus should be on doing cardio. The -54-year-old should do mostly resistance–strength–training to re-build the muscle mass she has lost to increase her metabolism. Check out this article to learn more.
3. You’re not counting your calories, just working out, thinking that it’s enough to lose weight. Unless you’re an olympic-level athlete like Michael Phelps, who burns about 10,000 calories daily, this approach will almost always fail. It’s sooo easy to rack up those calories, and sooo hard/painful to burn them. Check out this article for some examples of this.
4. You’re only doing cardio because that’s what burns the most calories. Cardio does burn the most amount of calories. But what type of cardio are you doing? Steady-state cardio like using the elliptical machine for thirty minutes won’t make a huge dent in your calories burned, especially not if you’ve been doing the same type of cardio over and over and over. Use these rules of thumb to get the most out of your cardio sessions: 1. as soon as it starts getting easy, switch to another form of cardio, meaning, if the elliptical is now easy, start spinning. 2. If you’re not drenched in sweat when your cardio session is over, you’re not working out hard enough.
5. You’re weighing yourself far too often. If you weigh yourself every day, you may find that you’ve gained a pound or two compared to yesterday. People’s weight can fluctuate four-five pounds daily due to different bodily functions. Therefore, only weigh yourself once a week at the same time to get a more accurate view of your progress. Check out this article to learn more about weight fluctuations.
6. You’re not willing to suffer. Yes, you read that right. It’s the truth. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but then I would be doing you a disservice. Losing weight requires for people to be uncomfortable and a little hungry every now and then. Think about it. If it was that easy to lose weight, everyone would be skinny, right?