Note to scale: I work out all the time! If you are frustrated in your journey to lose weight, read on. I’ll discuss the top 10 reasons the scale isn’t moving along with your best efforts.
Top Ten Reasons the Scale isn’t Showing Numbers You’re Happy With.
You work out all the time, but the number on the scale isn’t budging. Or, worse yet, it’s moving in the wrong direction!! Your weight loss journey has hit a snag and you don’t know what to do about it.
- You’re not eating enough to fuel that exercise. If you’re not eating enough, your body may compensate by consuming a greater percentage of muscle than fat for energy—-the exact opposite of the effect you’re looking for! Long cardio sessions without enough fuel (carbs) will not help you lose weight. Although it’s true that you need to create a calorie deficit in order to lose weight, too much of a deficit will slow down your metabolism making everything you do eat count for more, and making your workouts count for less!!
- You’re not eating the right things to fuel that exercise. Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats. They are all necessary to maintain energy and build muscle. Steering clear of any one category is never a good idea. Ideally you want to eat carbs to fuel your exercise, protein to build muscle and healthy fats to maintain internal symbiosis. Your caloric needs will vary both in quantity and quality depending on the nature of your workout.
- You’re being too rigid about the wrong things! Stop focusing on what NOT to eat and start focusing on what TO eat. Vegetables and whole grains are optimum carbs to feed your energy needs. Focus on adding greens and other veggies to what you’re already eating. Look for delicious ways to include healthy options at every meal. See eating as an opportunity to create energy. Think about all of the wonderful choices out there and how you will add them to your meals and snacks. Put health at the forefront of all of your food decisions.
- You’re eating too much post exercise. If you haven’t given your body any nourishment pre-workout, you will be ravenous afterwards and likely consume more calories than you’ve burned. While it’s critical to refuel within an hour of exercise, don’t overestimate the calories you’ve burned during a workout and use it as an excuse to overindulge, thinking you’ve earned the right to “pig out.” If your food choices are nutrient dense, you will feel satisfied.
- Your workout needs tweaking. Maybe you’re doing too much cardio, and not enough weight training. Muscles burn fat for energy! Weight training speeds up your metabolism, during and after a session. Weight training will also improve your body composition because the more muscle you gain, the less the percentage of fat you’ll have in your body. The easiest way to reconfigure your body fat percentage is to add more lean muscle. You must eat properly and weight train to build that muscle. As you age, weight training becomes more important and long duration cardio much less.
- You’re not drinking enough water. Your body needs water for all metabolic processes and when you don’t consume enough it affects your mood, your energy level and your cognitive functioning which can contribute to lack of progress in the gym as well as lack of will power in the kitchen. In addition, drinking water will help fill you up so that you don’t eat as much. Trust me on this one, you’re not drinking enough water.
- You’re not working out with INTENSITY. If you don’t have enough energy to hit it hard at the gym, it may be best to skip it. Seriously. You need to get proper rest, enough of the right kind of fuel and be properly hydrated to be able to work out with the intensity needed to make some noticeable gains.
- What you do MOST of the time matters more than what you do sometimes. Even though you spend an hour most days engaged in intense physical activity, you are sedentary the rest of the time. After sitting for more than an hour it is important to get up and walk around to increase blood flow, rev up your metabolism, and burn a few calories. When your circulation increases, it is also good for mood, and brain activity. 3-5 minutes of activity every hour is enough to change things.
- You’re eating out too much. The best way to be in control of what goes into your body is to cook your own food. Period. You can make the best choices possible when you eat out, but preparing your own healthy food is the only way to be sure exactly what you’re getting.
- Your timing is off. If you’re not eating to fuel your day, then your body is hoarding calories rather than letting your fuel rev up your metabolism. If you’re working out on an empty stomach, you may want to reconsider. You need energy (calories) to burn fat. Period. Fuel your workout properly. Working out more than once in a day will only get you twice the results if you’re eating enough protein and healthy carbs to fuel that workout.
In short, you haven’t found your balance. It’s important to respect your bio individuality. While it’s not always a bad idea to try something that worked for a friend, the best idea is to listen to your body, and be open to new ideas. Don’t be afraid to admit that your latest approach on your weight loss journey isn’t working well for you right now. Not only are you not the same as your friend, but you’re also not the same as you used to be. Respect where you’re at right now and make changes in your approach until you begin to see results.