Do you ever experience a bittersweet moment when you see a friend transform from fat to fit?
You feel happy for them and at the same time; you feel sad about your own self. It’s not like you aren’t trying hard enough. You have changed your diet for good, and you are a regular gym goer. Why is it that they can see drastic results in weeks when you can barely lose a pound in months?
In fitness terms, this is called a plateau. Some people hit the plateau after a few months of working out and some might find themselves struggling right at the start.
If this situation sounds familiar, there’s nothing to worry about. It is completely normal. There is nothing wrong with you or your scale; there is a lot you can do to take control of the situation. However, it all starts with knowing why you are in this situation in the first place.
Let’s start with five of the most common reasons you are not losing weight.
1. You Are Not Eating Enough
There is always a chance that you are eating too much or too less. Either way, your progress will suffer. When you restrict too many calories, your body falls into a starvation mode, which means it won’t be functioning at its full potential. This also means that your metabolism will be slow and you will burn fewer calories than you are supposed to.
Note: fitness is not about eating less – it is about eating right. You need to take a higher amount of protein and nutrients that build muscle. You will need calories to build lean muscles, and that will naturally burn fat in the process. So, focus on what you eat more than how much you eat.
2. You Are Too Stressed Out or Tired
A healthy body needs a healthy mind. Our physical health and mental health are interconnected. This means chronic stress can put all other organs at risk. There a number of studies that prove how lack of sleep can ruin your weight loss effort.
Stress affects your weight in more than one way. It increases the production of cortisol, which increases the appetite for sugary food and carbs. Also, stress kills your motivation to work out and you won’t even have the energy to exercise. Even if you do, your body would be too tired to respond to it.
So, get proper sleep and seek professional help to deal with stress or any other mental health issue. Meditation is a good stress reliever. Do try yoga poses to get rid of the stress.
3. You Are Too Consistent with Workouts
This may sound strange. All your life, you were told it is important to be consistent with your workout. That is not the kind of consistency we are talking about. Yes, you need a regular workout to see results, but you also need variety. When you follow the same exercise routine, your body gets so used to it. Eventually, it stops reacting.
So, the key to avoiding a plateau is to mix various exercise such as cardio, cycling and running in your routine. Change the routine from time to time. Try to increase the intensity gradually over time. And if you aren’t already training with weights, get yourself a dumbbell. A great tip to get the most out of your workout is to use aids such as body shapers or belts.
4. You Have a Medical Condition
Most of us often overlook the fact that there can be many underlying reasons behind our stubborn weight issue. Yes, genetic is just one of the factors and it is not like you cannot beat it with consistency and hard work. However, it is tougher when there is an underlying medical condition blocking your weight loss. Hormonal issues are the most common culprits but other diseases such as diabetes are also known to prevent weight loss.
It is important to note that some medical conditions may have an indirect effect as well. Sometimes it is not the disease but the medicine to blame. Anti-depressant, corticosteroids, and beta-blockers fall into that category.
If you are on the right track with exercise, diet, and rest, discuss your weight loss challenges with your doctor to see if there is an underlying condition to deal with.
5. You Exploit Your Cheat Days
There is this one thing every fitness expert will tell you: “You’ll have cheat days.” Cheat days are great we agree, and they are also necessary. We have already told you it’s not good to starve or deprive yourself. However, that does not mean you can use cheat days as an excuse to wash down your whole week’s efforts with a bucket of greasy food. It is one reason people fail to see lasting results. So, you are not losing weight probably because you are reloading yourself with all the calories and fat you burned.
Remember, weight loss is a commitment that takes a drastic change in eating habits. This means you have to make healthy choices even if it’s your cheat day. You can consume more calories than you usually do. You can even indulge in some carb-filled food, keeping in mind that there is a difference between healthy and unhealthy carbs.
One Last Thing…
This one is important. You might not lose weight because you don’t need to! Sounds strange but body weight isn’t always the best way to measure fitness and health. There are just too many factors that can make two seemingly similar people weight completely different. Some people have more muscle mass than fat and they look leaner despite the weight. If you need a killer body, you must lose inches more than pounds. What you see in the mirror is more important than what you see on the scale.
So, don’t get distracted. Even the busiest people find time to exercise. Chase your fitness goals, remove all obstacles, and don’t let anything weigh you down.