Exercise should never be treated as a means to an end, but rather just a means – a means to a healthier lifestyle with the potential benefit of losing some weight, not the other way around. Many will say exercise failed them because they didn’t lose any weight while others will continue to search endlessly for the “magic” pill or program. The fact is, weight loss or more specifically fat loss, is attainable for most if not all individuals and in most cases it’s not the exercise that failed them, but their overall approach to the task at hand. So if you have found yourself frustrated over the years with exercising and not losing weight, or worse, gaining weight, here are some of the potential 10 reasons why.
- You’re Not Very Active To Begin With. Joined a gym? Great. Started walking at lunch? Good job. While the mentality is something must be better than nothing is true, exercising here and there does not have long term benefits. Get consistent and realistic with it, but don’t expect to climb Everest by crawling. And perhaps your expectations and aspirations keep things comfortable for you but no progress is ever made until you step out of the comfort zone.
- You’re Focused On Total Bodyweight. People seem to be obsessed about it yet it’s so meaningless. Bodyweight can change as much as 3-8 pounds in a 72 hour period. Real success is about fat loss. If you’re losing fat, you’re doing great. Put the scale away and get your body fat checked.
- You’re Eating Too Many/Too Few Calories. Calorie counting is a tricky and tedious subject and eating too few calories is just as bad, if not worse than eating too may. The diet “trick” in most programs is a calorie deprivation that shows a quick drop in weight but you need to understand that you need calories, and just as important – nutrients, if you expect your body to let go of its fat.
- You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep. The research has repeatedly shown that we need 8-9 hours and with our fast paced, driven society that may be hard to come by. But if you’re getting less sleep than that, your weight loss goals will be much harder to reach. Sleep affects everything from appetite to glucose metabolism, two critical steps in the weight loss game.
- You’re Under Too Much Stress. Your “mental fitness” is an often overlooked part of a fitness program, yet there is such a strong connection between mind and body. Stress affects hormone levels, motivation, and weight loss.
- Your Workouts Lack Intensity. Are you just going through the motions when you exercise? Give your body a reason to change. You need to be pushing yourself to your limits when you work out. Don’t expect your body to drop the fat if you don’t physically show it it needs to.
- You’re Not Really Eating Healthy. There’s so much conflicting information out there that it makes it hard for one to determine if they’re eating healthy or not. But for those that think they are and are struggling with losing weight, chances are your choices have not been the best. It’s time to overhaul and rethink the approach.
- Your Metabolism Has Adapted. For the chronic dieters, prolonged calorie restriction can wreak havoc on your metabolism. Your body adapts to calorie restriction by slowing its production of many hormones, including the ones most beneficial to metabolizing fat. That’s something no diet program will tell you.
- You’re Over-Snacking. Ifsnacking goes hand-in-hand with sitting at your desk, or watching TV, be warned – these calories add up fast. In addition, many of the 100 calorie snacks from the stores are just empty calories that do nothing to help you lose weight.
- You Still Haven’t Changed Your Lifestyle. Successful long-term weight loss doesn’t come from dieting, it comes from changing your lifestyle. If you’re the person who jumps on and off diets, you need to take a different approach to weight loss – one that focuses on lifestyle changes. Weight loss is a side effect of living a healthy lifestyle.
Weight loss, or again more specifically, fat loss, is not an overnight step that can occur successfully and long term without a wholistic approach to taking care and being aware of all the little things consistently and with purpose. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much of the power you had all along.
Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.