You’re going to the gym, you’re watching what you’re eating and yet you just aren’t seeing the scale move.
You’re getting frustrated. You’re getting tired. Why put all this work in for nothing?
Trust me, I get it! I used to spend hours in the gym, hours in the kitchen meal prepping, and just felt like I was spinning my wheels. The weight simply wasn’t coming off.
Here are 6 of the most common reasons I see people not losing weight despite working out and eating right.
1. Under reporting food intake and over reporting activity level. While weight-loss isn’t as simple as calories in verse calories out, it’s still a foundational part of weight-loss. Unfortunately, on average 30% of people are under reporting what they eat. While tracking apps are helpful, calorie estimations on those apps are off by as much as 20%. Plus, you know that “tablespoon” of peanut butter was more like 2 right? Or is that just me!
2. Consistency. You follow your meal plan Monday thru Friday to the tee but then on Saturday and Sunday you let some things slide. It’s only 2 days though, and the other 5 days you were on point. Here’s the thing, your metabolism doesn’t think in days, in thinks in weeks, in months. Your body is looking at the net gain or loss of calories in verse the net burn of calories. So if Monday – Thursday you are in a caloric deficit of 500 calories but then over the weekend you have a couple drinks, a second slice of pizza, brunch with friends… and you add an additional 1000 calories.
Deficit: 500x4 = 2000 calories Excess: 1000x3 = 3000 Net gain of 1000 calories
3. Over exercising/ chronic cardio: If it’s all about calories in verse calories out then burning more calories is the key, right?! Well, here again is where it can get tricky! While cardio and workouts do burn additional calories, there is a threshold to where it can become too much. Exercise is a great stress to the body, but it is still a stress. Anything that stresses the body will also push out cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol unfortunately can also make the body more prone to hold on to fat or to even store excess glucose as fat. If you are doing an abundance of cardio or working out for hours a day, your body is going to feel like it’s in danger and will start to work against all the effort you are trying to put in.
Find a good balance with your training schedule. Get in a mixture of strength training, cardio, and flexibility training. If you need help figuring out a good plan for your specific goals, sign up for Transform with SP.
4. Hormone Imbalances: Underlying hormone imbalances can interfere with your goals. One of the main hormones to pay attention to is insulin! Insulin resistance affects 70 million Americans and that number is only increasing. Insulin helps to control and regulate blood sugar and has a direct impact on weight. If a person is insulin resistance, they are not able to get glucose into their cells because the cells have become resistant to insulin; so the glucose goes on to be stored as fat instead. Stabilizing your blood sugar is essential for weight-loss. Eat balanced meals that contain fat and protein to help minimize insulin spikes, and choose carbohydrates that are complex like sweet potatoes, yams, oatmeal.
Other hormone imbalances, like high estrogen (known as estrogen dominance) can impact weight as well. However, insulin must be balanced FIRST before these other hormones will balance out. Insulin and cortisol are two hormones that will drive weight gain or weight loss.
5. Are you struggling with toxins? Toxins do not get enough attention in the weight-loss industry but they play a huge role, especially in terms of fat/fat-loss. While most toxins can get detoxed by the liver, if the liver is bogged down or slow, fat comes to the rescue. Fat will envelop the toxin in order to protect the body from damage. Yep, fat is actually protective! Until the toxins are addressed and eliminated, the fat isn’t going to go anywhere. This is NOT when you need to go run and do a juice cleanse though, that’s not going to address the toxins. However, it is a good time to address the toxins in your life – food, air, water, cleaning products, personal care products. Unfortunately, there are toxins everywhere but you can start to eliminate or reduce your toxic load.
6. Sleep. If you are doing everything above but you aren’t getting good sleep in, then you are going to see a stall in your progress. Sleep is critical to weight-loss, actually lack of sleep is associated with higher weight and BMI. Sleep is when your body is able to repair itself so that all the work you’ve been putting in at the gym can be seen! The body also clears any damaged cells when sleeping which is important for reducing cancer risk. Be sure to make sleep a priority; 7-8 hours a good, solid sleep is needed for a healthy weight and a healthy life! So put down the phone, shut off the lights, and get to bed!
With all of this said, also keep in mind one other critical point… It’s not all about the scale. The scale is only one metric of progress. Be sure to take measurements, see how your clothes are fitting, track your weights. The number on the scale does not define you! It’s just a reflection of your gravitational pull to the Earth, that’s it. Your worth and your value cannot be found in it!