3 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight
So, you’re not losing weight. You’ve been hitting the gym regularly, putting in hard work while you’re there, and trying to do what you think is right … but, you’re just not shedding that extra body fat.
Don’t worry. You’re not alone.
Countless people are in the same position as you, and there’s nothing wrong with you. No, you don’t have some weirdo condition that prevents you from losing your excess body fat. Chances are you’re just taking an approach to your training that isn’t as effective as it could be, when it comes to losing weight.
So today, we’ll look at three simple road blocks, and the changes you can make to your training, that will help you to start losing weight and getting the results you want.
1.) You’re too stressed
Your body fat is a slave to your hormonal system, and your hormonal system is a slave to your stress. Two of the most important hormones to balance out if you’re looking to lose body fat and maintain lean muscle mass are cortisol and growth hormone.
Cortisol is your stress hormone, it goes up when you have more stress in your life – such as emotional stress, lack of sleep, poor food choices, financial stress etc. When cortisol goes up, it causes you to hold onto and increase body fat, it lowers muscle mass, and increases inflammation – all terrible things for over all health and aging well.
Growth hormone is responsible for helping lower body fat and increasing muscle mass. When you’re stressed out, due to any of the reasons listed above, you lower your growth hormone.
Stress = lowered growth hormone, and increased cortisol … that’s a bad combination.
So what can you do to help reduce your stress and balance out your hormones, so you can improve your body composition? Most importantly, eat real whole foods and get really good sleep. Second, add in time for yourself to meditate, take walks, nap, and do activities that you enjoy personally. Third, make time to spend with loved ones and friends.
Take the time to rest
2.) You’re not focusing on cleaning up your nutrition
Abs are made in your kitchen. You can’t outrun a doughnut. If you’re not losing weight, chances are you’re not paying enough attention to what you’re eating. Here are some very simple nutrition tips that will help you lose weight.
- Eat real whole foods, with a focus on fresh meats, veggies, fruit, nuts/seeds.
- Eat when you’re hungry, stop before you’re stuffed. If you stick with whole foods, it’s difficult to over eat
- Eat protein with each meal. Protein is very satisfying, and helps build new muscle mass.
- Cook your own food and stop eating out so much. Restaurants often use added sugars, preservatives, and poor quality oils. Their foods tend to be loaded with excess calories and are pro inflammatory.
- Eat “clean” at least 80% of the time. Not 75% or 65% … a hard 80% of the time. This means maybe only having 1-2 cheat meals per week, and not going crazy with them either.
It’s easy to over eat fast food, processed/packaged foods, and meals made at restaurants. They’re all loaded with excess calories and, most of the time, are low on nutrients. This is a recipe for over consumption of calories and weight gain.
Also, as we touched on above in the “stress” portion of this blog, if you’re eating low quality food such as fast foods, pre-packed/processed foods, and meals made at restaurants – you’re stressing out your body. You body needs clean fuel, make your own food whenever possible, from the cleanest sources possible, with whole foods. Your body will thank you.
Clean nutritional habits are a must
3.) You’re focusing too much on cardio
If you’re looking to lose weight, don’t focus on cardio. Yes, cardio is a part of a well rounded program. Yes, cardio is beneficial for the heart and circulatory system. Yes, cardio will help you burn excess calories. Yes, cardio is initially highly beneficial for weight loss in very over weight individuals.
Your body adapts quickly to how much cardio you’re doing. Eventually it “expects” the cardio to be a regular occurrence, and adapts to the activity. This means it holds onto fat expecting to need it for later, slows down metabolism, and it also increases stress and inflammation. Eventually you need to do more and more cardio, to produce a similar effect as before, all while increasing stress on the body.
So what should you be focusing on? Resistance training, with an emphasis on building strength or gaining muscle mass.
Muscle is “metabolically expensive”, meaning it uses a lot of energy (in the form of calories) in order to grow and be maintained. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you can burn, during activity or at rest. Muscle also helps “shape” the body and give it that lean, athletic, or “toned” look that everyone is after. Increased muscle mass, often times, is coupled with increases in strength, Increased strength and muscle mass are linked to aging well and reduced risk of injury.
ALL of those models, movie stars, and Instagram personalities that you see (who have bodies you find pleasing to look at) are strength training. This means they’re lifting weights or doing body weight style exercises such as push up, pull up, and squat variations, that are challenging enough to build muscle. They’re not slaving away on cardio machines.
A 35 – 45 min, well planned, resistance training workout be more effective at helping you lose weight and achieve the desired lean look than cardio ever will. So if you want to look great, spend less time in the gym, get better results, age better, and reduce your risk of injury – start putting the focus on resistance training.
Start focusing on resistance training
So there you have it, 3 reasons you’re not losing weight – and 3 simple steps to change that. If you don’t know where to start, or need some help and guidance, please contact your closes Wynn Fitness location and set up a meeting with one of our skilled personal trainers. They’ll be more than happy to help you achieve your goals, in a timely fashion – while having a great time.
For more info on how to lose body fat, you should check out our blog series on “daily habits for effortless fat loss” – it starts with this post (click the link to go to the post)