Having a weight loss plateau? Wondering if you’ll ever lose those last 5-10 pounds? Do you hear yourself saying, “But I’m doing everything right. I’ve tried everything.” Here’s some hard news for you: You can’t possibly be doing all you can do, because there are limitless possibilities. You are simply doing all you know how to do to lose weight from your personal experience.
1. You’re doing the same routine for longer than 21 days. It is scientifically proven that it takes 21 days to create a habit and /or a routine. Therefore, if you are continuously doing the same exercise routine, your body will become comfortable with it and you’ll stop seeing dramatic results. This is fine if you are at your goal weight or body and are maintaining your weight, but not when you are trying to shed those last few pounds. Have you heard of P90x? I do not personally use it, but I do use the concept which is muscle confusion. This is the idea that every 3 weeks (21 days) you change up your routine because your body is getting used to the last routine and therefore you will create confusion in your body leading to new weight loss and/or muscle tone, whichever it is that you are going for.
2. You’re being a pretty, pretty princess at the gym and not exerting enough energy. You’ve got to sweat! Sorry princess. I consider myself a modern-day princess too, but all that goes out the door when I’m at the gym because the sweat shows how hard I am working. If you are able to read while cruising on the elliptical, then don’t expect to see major results. It’s similar to studying enough for a B- on your test instead of studying to get an A. So strive for a higher heart rate and with the extra umph in your cardio workout, you will continue to burn calorie long after your workout.
3. Do a 180. You’re wondering why you can’t change your body. You think you’re doing all you can yet you aren’t seeing the results you so desire. Do a 180* turn on what you normally do a the gym and do the opposite. If you usually run, why not run with hills or do the stair stepper at a fast pace that is almost jog-like. If you usually lift weights using the machines, use the free-weights, because they cause you to use each muscle of each arm, as opposed to the weight machines that sometimes (unconsciously) cause us to use more of our stronger side.
4. You are consuming too many “naked” calories. I was having a conversation with a young woman at the gym and she was telling me how she hit a plateau and couldn’t figure out what she as doing wrong. I looked at her right hand and in it was a large can of Rock Star energy drink. I told her that was part of her problem because the entire can has 2.5 servings at 150 calories per serving, yet she thinks she is only drinking 150 calorie total. It’s like eating a Big Mac before working out.
5. Too many carbs, too little cardio. I am a carb freak. I love bread, tortillas, pasta, cereal, cookies, you name it, but I also run a lot. Carbs are necessary for energy but many of us consume more than necessary for the amount of cardio we do at the gym. Too many carbs without the cardio to burn them will lead to a big belly bloat.
6. You aren’t eating often enough. I am a big believer in snacking. I graze throughout the day to avoid being grumpy from hunger and also from preventing pig outs. Anyone who has a kid knows that they get grumpy when they get hungry. They are no different than us. That little bag of snacks you keep for your kid in case of a hunger meltdown is the same method you should be using for yourself. Make small baggies of snacks and have different ones so you have a variety to choose from. I have one with almonds, one with gummy bears (a low calorie sweet treat), and one with crackers.
7. You are not taking time to enjoy food. I do not believe in dieting because in my experience, both personal and as a bystander, I have seen that diets work only temporarily. What does work is eating your favorite foods in moderation and lifestyle changes. What that basically means is portion controlling your foods so that you can enjoy the treats and indulge (in smaller portions) those foods you are truly craving.
8. You are not exercising enough. It’s a simple math game. If you only go to the gym 3 days a week and do light cardio but are not watching your portions, you are basically working out to burn off the foods you are eating, not the fat on your body. If you can’t make it to the gym more, take walks, do other activities that involve movement, watch your portions and above all MAKE YOUR TIME AT THE GYM REALLY COUNT!!!! I would rather go the gym 5-6 days a week and eat whatever I want then diet every day but never have to work out.
9. Attitude. Think of your body as the body you realistically see it becoming, not the supermodel you see in your fashion magazine. Stop comparing yourself to other women and compare yourself to your best self.
10. Lastly, what you weigh isn’t as important as how you feel. If you feel great and look great, maybe that “magic” number in your head is not really realistic.
Stay motivated! Working out should not be a chore but an enhancement to your life. When you don’t feel like exercising remember how disappointed you feel when you don’t work out and most importantly, think of how energized you feel after having met your goals at the gym! =)