7 Reasons why you can’t lose weight
Category > Fitness
“I’m destined to be fat”; “I’m just big boned”; “My mom is heavy, so naturally I’m genetically predisposed”; and my favourite one of all time…(drum roll please)…”I don’t have time”; if I had a nickle for every time someone gave me one of those excuses while telling me how they can’t lose weight, I’d be rich!
Losing weight can be life altering, but the path to get there doesn’t need to be. I’ve narrowed down the most typical reasons why many people aren’t attaining their weight loss goals.
1. You’re being unrealistic.
So you woke up one morning and made the decision to pursue a more healthy lifestyle in order to lose some unwanted weight. Your first step is to set a goal. You’re going to lose weight 20 lbs by the end of June! Well, let’s break that down. It’s June 13th, that leaves you with 17 days to lose the weight and when you don’t reach that goal, you’re going to pack up and go home, sulking about how “it’s impossible to lose weight”. Okay, okay…maybe I’m being dramatic to get my point across. The point being, you need to be realistic with yourself if you’re serious. Look at the things that have inhibited you in the past. Look at what changes need to be made to your lifestyle and eliminate anything that would hold you back. Next, for the love of mercy, PLEASE don’t expect to lose 5 lbs a week. This isn’t NBC’s ‘The Biggest Loser’ where you are in a completely fool proof, isolated environment surrounded by professional trainers for a grand prize and the sake of entertainment. It took time to put the weight on, be patient when taking the weight off. Don’t set yourself up for failure by thinking you can lose 20 lbs in 6 weeks. A safe, realistic goal is about 1-2 lbs per week.
2. You’re on a diet.
The problem with “going on a diet” is that it’s restrictive, it subconsciously makes you feel like you’re devoiding yourself of things, it’s almost like punishment. When I hear, “no thanks, I’m on a diet” my skin crawls because what I really hear is “I really want some of that cake covered in icing made with hydrogenated oil, but this horrible diet plan says I can’t have that”. Rather than relying on a regimented diet plan, learn how to eat properly and what foods to eliminate from your diet all together. Over time, you’ll realize it isn’t a ‘diet’ at all, it’s making the lifestyle change.
3. Eating too little/Skipping Meals
Not many admit to doing this one, but the worst, most unproductive thing people can do is eating too little and skipping meals. I think the rationale for doing this is that “you’re banking all your calories for a big meal later on”, or you just think you’ll lose weight faster the less you eat. This method is soooo counterintuitive! Skipping meals or eating less than you should will only slow down your metabolism and retain fat. Not eating sends a message to your brain telling it that you’re going into starvation mode and to stop using fat as energy and retain it so that you can “survive”. Naturally, the first thing that you eat gets stored quickly because your body doesn’t know when it’s going to get food again so it needs to store it…as fat.
4. You don’t drink enough water.
I can’t even get into the multitude of benefits that water delivers. Keeping it short and sweet, drinking water throughout the day will ensure you keep hydrated (which ultimately helps the fat burning process and maintains a healthy metabolism as seen in my last post), perform better when working out, removes toxins etc etc. Don’t even question this one pretty please :)
5. You cheat.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge proponent of cheat meals, however if you’re set to lose weight you need to be strict and consistent. In my opinion, I would completely eliminate any cheats until you’ve reached your goal and then you can reintroduce a cheat MEAL (hence not a cheat DAY). The main reason behind this is because I find it hard not to crave “just a little bit more” once I have the taste in my mouth. Slowly over time that cheat meal becomes a cheat day, then you need to have a little taste every day…over time it gets so hard to clear your palate and back on track. Sugar is like a drug and can be addicting, don’t put yourself through constantly falling off the wagon and trying to jump back on over and over again.
6. You don’t understand portion control.
Like I said earlier on, changing your diet to reflect a healthier lifestyle shouldn’t be torture. You can still have some of your favourite foods but you just don’t need to eat 10 servings of it. Be conscious of how much you serve yourself and always remember it takes 20 min for your brain to register that you’re full.
7. You have no idea how many calories you’re consuming
I would say keeping a food journal will make you the most successful. If you’re just starting out it helps show what you can cut out. For example, I was working with someone 2 years ago and I had her do a food journal. She was brutally honest with it and wrote everything down. When we reflected on it, she thought she was doing pretty good with her calories, but looking into it there are usually a few things that you eat mindlessly and those are the things that set you back (i.e. how cute are those Birthday Cake Pops from Starbucks? Yeah…170 calories and a whopping 9g of fat…). You won’t need to log for very long. I would suggest 1 month until you really get into routine and train yourself. There are so many apps out there right now with all sorts of foods in a database so it’s easy to find them. My favourite is ‘MyFitnessPal’. Its gotten so much better in the last year too. I can literally find everything in there.
I give you my personal guarantee that you will be successful if you simply follow the above. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it! Hope everyone has an amazing weekend.