Hello beautiful people!
I have been asked by a few of the readers how I lost weight after my recent post pregnancy post. Three people told me pretty much the same thing…”I work out but I don’t see any change so I get discouraged and just quit.”
First let me tell you that I am not a nutritionist (hopefully one day soon I will be) nor am I a personal trainer. Whatever I share with you has been from my own personal experience, hard work, studying and research and what I have learned over the years. I will list 7 possible reasons why you may be stuck, but usually I find that a lot of people easily fall under the first reason.
1. You’re eating wrong foods If you are not loosing weight, the first place you should look into is the kitchen. I see a lot of people working hard at the gym to burn off calories than using that as an excuse to eat whatever they want. “I just worked out I can eat that,” when in reality you are being counter productive. Diet is 80% of your weight loss battle. The exact foods you should be eating depend mostly on your body type and metabolism, a good rule of thumb is to just stick to all natural whole foods. Eat all your natural sugars (fruits) in the morning. Eat your starchy carb foods (whole grains, potatoes, brown rice) on days you will to a heavy weight training and on cardio or light exercise days eat high protein (lots of lean meats, eggs, etc.) and vegetables. Avoid prepackaged foods and foods with ingredients you can not pronounce 🙂
2. You are eating too much If you already cleaned up your diet and you are still not loosing weight, it may be that you’re simply eating too much. In order to shed pounds your body needs to run a calorie deficit, meaning you need to burn more than you consume. I recommend using a food tracking app like MyFitnessPal to keep you on track.
3. You are doing too much cardio Yes you read that right!! Cardio is necessary and it keeps your heart healthy, boosts your metabolism, and gives you a good sweat (you should break one daily 🙂 ). However, only doing cardio or doing too much of it can actually add to the problem. Longer cardio sessions like staying on the elliptical or treadmill for 90 minutes or going for regular 5-mile runs can eat away at your lean muscle mass, which is essential for increasing your metabolism to burn more calories. Not to mention it dramatically increases your appetite, making you more susceptible to unnecessary snacking or overeating. Instead try doing 20-25 minute cardio then lifting weights or body weight exercises or just a good HIIT session. PopSugar Fitness on YouTube has awesome HIIT workouts you can do at home. They are short workouts but highly effective.
4. You are not lifting weights This one goes in hand with # 3. I am not saying you can not or should not do cardio. If you run purely for enjoyment of running (I DO) than by all means continue. But if your primary goal is fat loss, there are other forms of exercise that give a much better and quicker results. The best way to loose weight and gain lean muscle is to do some sort of strength training in addition to your cardio.
5.You are not working hard enough Your workouts should be intensity dependent, not time dependent. Keep this fact in mind: the harder you work the shorter your workouts time may be. That’s why again I favor the HIIT technique mostly. It’s so important to maximize your time spent in the gym or fitness class so you can achieve that coveted ‘afterburn’ effect which keeps your metabolism revved for 24-48 hours afterward. Don’t waste your time chatting with a friend at the gym and do no rest too long between workout sets.
6.You are not taking time to recover Recovery and rest are often more important than the workout itself. It’s during those periods that your body does most of the actual fat burning. So give yourself that time to fully recover so you’re ready to work hard the following day. Most importantly, listen to your body. Push yourself, but also give it some love, too.
7.Your body is under too much stress
Exercise is a stressor on your body. When you have a good healthy balance of exercise related stress and recovery time, your body is healthy and can loose its excess fat. Not giving your body enough time to recover can also be a negative as you’ll start to produce an excessive amount of cortisol, a stress hormone. However, when your body is exposed to cortisol for longer periods of time, it starts to cause negative effects, like stubborn fat in areas you don’t want. Exercise isn’t the only stressor that can produce excess cortisol. A very stressful personal or professional life can also make your body produce too much of this hormone. Make sure you’re keeping your mental and emotional health in check in addition to your physical health. Always work on total body wellness.
I hope that this post helps some of you get over your weight loss plateau. I love that you guys ask me questions via Facebook, it provides me with great writing material for all of my readers, so please keep the questions coming. If you do not already follow me on Facebook you can do so here.
Til next time ❤ Maya