Weight loss should be simple. Expend more calories than you consume and you will lose weight. However, it’s not always easy. Breaking habits and forming new ones is a very tough thing to do. From 8 years experience specialising in this section of the personal training industry, here are the most common reasons why you’re not losing weight. A lot of them seem simple, but it’s amazing how common they are.
1. EATING TOO MANY CALORIES.
Very obvious, yet the most common reason.
If your weight is not shifting, then you are eating more calories than it requires to lose weight. Start recording your food intake on My Fitness Pal – I guarantee you probably eat way more than you think. After a week of recording, work out your average, set yourself a target of a 300 calorie deficit each day and see what happens by the end of the week.
2. INCORRECTLY RECORDING CALORIE INTAKE
This happens in two ways; either by subconsciously selecting the lower estimate of foods on my fitness pal so you can eat more or by missing out small things throughout the day. Heres an example, you forget to include the butter you had at breakfast – 50 cals. You forget the protein shake you had after you trained – 150 calories. You’re starving (or you feel that way because you are in a calorie deficit) so you have a spoon of peanut butter – 100 calories. You steal some of the kids’ sweeties – 50 calories. All easily done and that is very small example but all of a sudden that is 350 and your no longer in deficit.
3. NOT CONSISTENT ENOUGH AT BEING IN A DEFICIT
Let’s say your target deficit is 300 cal per day. You hit that Monday to Friday, then you decide to treat yourself at the weekend. You have a large Dominos (2400 calories), a side (600 cal), and some ice cream (500 cal). Wow!! 3500 calories in one meal, plus whatever else you ate that day… This easily puts you in a surplus and can nullify your 5 days of good work. Any way you look at it, if you reward yourself with excessive food, you lose. So if you’re ‘treating’ yourself, keep it within some parameter that keeps you in a deficit.
Not for one second would I advocate that anyone completely remove anything from their diet, but moderation in the key, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Let’s look at some popular drinks.
So let’s not mess around. If you go out and binge drink, you can probably drink close to 10 drinks (that’s a rough number and let’s face it, there are times we’ve all had more than 10…).
Here are the totals:
Beer x 10 = 2300 calories.
Kopparberg or cider x 10 = 2400
Large glass wine x 10 (if still standing) = 2000
Vodka x 10 = 700
Rum x 10 = 700
Gin x 10 = 700
Again, I’m not saying exclude alcohol, but if you’re drinking and also trying to lose weight, moderation is the key. Not only are your drinks high in calories, you lose your inhibitions and that money you’ve been saving… who cares, you’ve got your bank card… those calories you’ve been saving… who cares?… You do, in the morning when you check your bank balance or you jump on the scales.
You don’t have the same routine as you do the five other days of the week where you are forced to wake up early for work. Or have breaks at set intervals. Now you have freedom. If anything it should be easier, but we all want to relax at the weekend.
For this, I would recommend that you encourage yourself to stick to routine. If you are really not going to do it at the weekend, just make sure no matter what you choose to eat or drink, you do it under your calorie goal. It’s easy to go overboard picking up things on the go.
6. THE “TO HELL WITH IT” MENTALITY
This one usually occurs after you have already slipped up on the plan, and it goes a little something like ‘oh well, I’ve messed up today anyway, why not…’
You’ve just taken yourself from a break-even day calorie-wise to setting yourself back a week. As easy as that.
7. NOT TRAINING HARD ENOUGH
Getting to the gym, looking at the phone too long in between sets, leaving out hard exercises or conditioning at the end of sessions. The bits you don’t enjoy will get you the best results. Do them.
8. NOT TRAINING OFTEN ENOUGH
There are 168 hours in the week. You work 40, you sleep 56 – that leaves you 72 hours. Plenty of time to get all your sessions in.
9. HAVING A SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE
Remember – if you are going to the gym three hours per week, that is three hours out of 168. Be as active as you can outside of this time. Take the stairs, walk more – the more you move the better. If you get a break, get out and go for a walk. It’s also great for clearing the head.
Bad influences, partners, groups, family.
If you are already on the verge of falling off that wagon, that is when you need the support the most. You need a strong voice in your ear telling you, “you can do it”.
It’s too easy to quit if someone is saying, “let’s just get a takeaway and start again tomorrow.’ ‘One won’t hurt you.’ ‘Go on, you deserve it.’
If you’re starting a plan, tell people about your goal. Tell them why it’s important to you and get them to help you. Make them know how serious you are. And if that fails, you’ll need to find that inner strength to either say no. Or do things in such a way you don’t blow your calories.
Get yourself into a routine and have a plan of action.