Let’s imagine this hypothetical scenario.
You’ve just started a Fitness Program, exercising 2-3x week and you’ve even hired a fitness professional to help but after 2-3 weeks, that scale just isn’t moving yet and you’ve started wondering what it might be that you are doing wrong. You’ve been limiting yourself from certain foods and want to see some progress already! Now you feel desperate and want to quit. Before that, you want to make a final check on the internet and find an answer to your “failure.”
Lucky you, I might have it for you.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes that you might be making that prevent you from losing weight:
- Overeating Without Even Knowing It
The most common reason for the scale to stay at the same place or even go up, might be that you are overeating and dont even realize it. “But I’ve been on a “diet” the last two weeks; that’s impossible!” This is a common trap that new beginners fall for. Even though you’ve started eating “healthier,” it doesn’t mean that you are eating in a deficit.
The primary ingredient (no pun intended…sorta) to lose weight, is for you to be in a calorie deficit. Meaning, you have to burn MORE calories than you consume. You can eat TOO MUCH “healthy” food (don’t worry, its common), causing you to spin your tires at the gym and in the weight loss game.
What this means is that you have to burn MORE calories than you consume.
Sure, you may have started making healthier food choices, but are you sure you are eating the right amount?
If the answer is no, you might be consuming more calories than you burn, which means you are NOT GOING TO LOSE WEIGHT. Try to start tracking your food for a few days. This doesn’t mean that you have to do this for the rest of your life but at least for a few weeks so you can really get a gauge of what you’re actually consuming and make adjustments with your Coach.
- Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol is not only famous for its delicate taste and scent lolololol! Alcohol actually has hidden calories… quite a lot actually, and EMPTY calories at that!
One gram of ethanol has seven calories. You read that right.
Now, if you do the equation, if you drink two beers for the night, that’s around 300 calories extra for the day, depending on the beer. If you’re drinking heavier beer, its quite a bit more. Now, 300 extra calories a day=2100 additional calories a week. That’s IF you’re only drinking TWO.
300 calories (minimum) a day or more or 2100 a week or more, out of which ZERO go towards constructive processes like the calories you get from other foods. All you do is store it as FAT!!!
Need I say more?
- High Stress
Being overburdened by work, chores, meeting deadlines, etc. has a price. When your cortisol levels rise, you might experience difficulties in doing specific tasks such as focusing.
What do you think happens with your body when it’s being put into an enormous amount of stress? Even if you are training and following a proper diet, your performance will suffer if you have a high amount of stress.
Its possible you won’t lose any weight, and you may experience other problems such as headaches, tiredness, lack of concentration and muscle cramps. Most importantly, high levels of stress may lead to emotional eating which gets you even further from your weight loss goals.
Take time to focus on recovery and stress management just as much as you focus on exercise and healthy eating patterns. Get a massage, listen to some soothing music, meditate, take a recovery class, might I suggest our Rest.Recover.Rejuvenate? You wont regret deciding to focus on the mental as much as the physical.
- Decreased Physical Activity
Not enough physical activity can slow down the process of losing weight. In fact, it might even stop the whole process. And I dont just mean your 1 hour of exercise every other day. Even if you are already hitting the gym a couple of times a week, your physical activity might still not be sufficient for your goals.
If you are the type of person that goes by car to the office, then to the gym, and comes back home, then guess what, you lack physical activity! When was the last time you checked how many steps have you made during the day? If you are not even close to 8-10k, then you have something to work on! Exercise session only account for 7-10% of our TDEE or Total Daily Energy Expenditure. Other factors include our BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) TEF (Thermo Effect of Food) and NEAT or Non Exercise Activity Thermogenics, which is what we’re talking about here and can account for up to 15-30%. The more you move, the more calories you burn. This can be done pretty easily. Stand during your office hours, dance while on the phone, tap your legs or even squeeze a stress ball, any movement produced by the body requires energy (and burns calories!)
Some valuable tips for making more steps:
● Park as far from the supermarket as possible
● Use the stairs instead of the elevator
● Take a quick 10-minute walk after a meal
● Walk to the office if possible
● Implement some cardio in your program
- Not Giving Your Program Enough Time
Sometimes, getting obsessed with the scale might have the opposite effect. It’s ok to weigh yourself every day (in this professional’s opinion); however, some people feel bad if they see the scale has gone up and can get discouraged.
Most of the time, that’s water retention. For example, that can happen if you’ve consumed more salt or carbs on the previous day or even if you’ve had an exceptionally hard workout and have had an inflammatory response (good thing btw).
However, after seeing that, you may panic; but don’t worry, its going to be ok. Have patience and give yourself enough time and consistently follow the plan that your coach has created for you. You will only see the benefit if you are dedicated enough. Don’t give up and don’t let a scale scare you from achieving your goals.
The most important factor for losing weight is for you to be in a calorie deficit. Being put under pressure raises our stress levels, which may slow down the process of losing weight. Being physically active is vital for maintaining optimal health and losing weight and that means more then just the gym. Move your body as much as you can. Take the stairs, park far away, squeeze a stress ball 😉
Most importantly, be patient and find something sustainable that feels seamless, and the results won’t be far behind. Remember, if you’re not where you want to be, it didnt happen overnight!