Why You Exercise But Don’t Lose Weight from Why You Exercise But Don’t Lose Weight
Why You Exercise But Don’t Lose Weight
Why You Exercise But Don’t Lose Weight
Counting on the scale as an indicator of whether you’re making progress during your weight loss journey is a tricky move. Seeing the same number doesn’t mean lack of success. Chances are you losing fat but it’s being replaced by with muscle or water, or a combination of both. Fluid retention is the most common reason for losing fat but not weight. Slimming down is not rocket science, and, for the most part, is unnatural.
Ban energy drinks
Energy drinks are the worst thing one can do for energy, Svetlana Kogan, MD and Author of Diet Slave No More!, says. “Energy drinks have synthetic caffeine equivalent of 1-2 cups of coffee (depending on the brand) and the same amount of sugar that one derives from 7-8 teaspoons of white sugar (depending on manufacturer), artificial flavors and colors, and the diet version has sucralose (splenda) which research reveals is plain toxic to the body.” Energy drinks also have a horse dose of B vitamins and Taurine - energizing vitamins, Dr. Kogan adds.
Keep snacks to 2-3 a day
“My book Diet Slave No More!, which is based on almost 20 years of clinical research, states that eating 3 meals and 2-3 snacks per day keeps your metabolism working at its best,” Dr. Kogan says. “If the person is exercising regularly, I would say this should be an almost religious eating schedule which will actually feel totally native to the body because that’s the way we were wired at birth: To eat every 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours.”
You’re not doing resistance training
Strength training can help build lean body mass, which boosts metabolism while supporting fat loss, Lisa Mikus, RD, CNSC, CDN of Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition and co-author of Everyday Diabetes Meal - Cooking for One or Two, says. “Skipping meals and snacks can cause disturbances in your metabolism.” So, do more resistance and metabolic training. Combine short fast runs with weightlifting, for example.
You don’t pay attention to metabolism
Your metabolism slows down as you’re losing weight. “To boost it, don’t skip meals, include protein containing foods at each meal on the plate, or in the pour with TruMoo Chocolate Milk, spice it up with chilies or cayenne pepper, have enough fiber as part of meals through produce and whole grains, and definitely move more,” Registered Dietician Leslie Bonci and owner of Active Eating Advice says.
Food after a workout
Sports bars are the best post-workout snacks, Dr. Kogan says. “I love anything from Organic Pro-Bar Bite in Coconut-Almond flavor to Go Macro Protein Bar in Cashew Caramel.” Granted, you can also prepare the apportioned tablespoon of nut butter with 1/2 apple in a container the night before, but it is more time-consuming, though fun to do if you have time, she adds.
Fuel the body properly
It’s important to refuel your body after a workout as soon as possible – try to eat 15 minutes after a workout, Mikus says. “Replenish your energy stores and repair muscle tissue by eating a post-workout snack that has carbohydrates and protein.” The carbohydrates will help your muscle replenish glycogen which was just lost during the workout while the protein will help not only build, but repair your muscle tissue, she adds. Good post exercise snacks include, according to Bonci, Greek yogurt with berries, peanut butter on an apple, TruMoo Chocolate Milk, a small tortilla with hummus and Muenster cheese, and a trail mix of popcorn - 1 cup with 2 TBSP each dried fruit and nuts.
Don’t go crazy with salmon and avocado
Everything is healthy in moderation. Eating a serving of salmon once a day for dinner, 4-5 times a week is very healthy, especially in terms of Omega-3 fatty acid boost. “However, eating more salmon will increase your blood mercury to toxic levels.” Avocados are considered a healthy fat since they contain monounsaturated fatty acids. They are also a calorically dense food, Mikus says. One cup of sliced avocados is around 230 calories. “Be mindful of the portion size if your goal is weight loss.”
Adjust meal portions
Eating healthy organic food in small portions every two-three hours will stimulate weight loss, Dr. Kogan says. “Once you hit a plateau, it is time to just adjust the size of the portion.” The next plateau should lead one to reassess when is the last time in the day they eat. “Is it too late at night? The last meal should become a small snack 1 and 1/2 hours before going to sleep,” she adds.
You’re lifting the wrong weight
Picking up dumbbells and other weights that are either too light or too heavy is another common mistake Benjamin Boudro, strength and conditioning specialist, says he sees at the gym. “Ask an expert for help,” he says. There is no shame in needing advice. Getting stronger is all about adding load to the body and stressing it. Most people, especially women, don’t realize they can go a lot heavier. Latissimi dorsi, commonly known as lats, are among the strongest muscles in the body.
Your cardio sessions are too long
Performing cardio exercise, which is important for your backside, at a low intensity can be beneficial for those just beginning a fitness program. But the problem for people with a significant amount of weight to lose and for those seeking basic overall heart health is that long cardio sessions burn relatively few calories, oftentimes less than what the display reads at the end of the workout, exercise physiologist and Bowflex Fitness Advisor Tom Holland says. “The mistake therefore lies in people overestimating the weight loss value of low-intensity cardio. Mix it up! Add variation into your cardio sessions including short, harder speed intervals and change the incline to add in hills,” he adds.
Stick to what’s “natural” for you
“What is not natural is when we try to do things that are foreign to our body and we cannot sustain, Dr. Kogan says. “For example, for a non-athletic woman it would be unnatural to become an Intensity Workout dieter.” This regimen is self-limited in time and cannot be sustained by anyone other than professional athletes who enjoy it and this is their livelihood.
You’re counting calories
“I stopped counting calories long time ago because you can achieve healthy and permanent weight loss by simply having an understanding of caloric value of food and why we need it,” Dr. Kogan says. If you know that a dinner portion has thousands of calories and you are supposed to eat approximately 1,600 calories, you can make a healthy decision either not to eat or to eat a tiny fraction the meal, she adds. “It is all about understanding concepts and executing common sense since you are equipped with knowledge. “Calorie counting becomes redundant if you know that.”
You never change your routine
“If you end up hitting a weight-loss plateau, it’s important to change up your physical fitness routine,” Mikus says. The body is a very intelligent machine and “adapts” to the stressors people impose upon it, including workouts. Challenge yourself with different types of exercise to target different parts of your body. “Setting up specific goals for yourself while in the gym can help you feel engaged and get the most out of your workout.” Sweating and feeling sore are also signs that you’re challenging your body, she adds.
You’re doing too many sets
There is an inverse relationship between sets, repetitions, and intensity, Russell Wynter, Personal Trainer & Co-owner of Madsweat, NASM- Master Trainer, CPT, CES, PES, says. “You’ll usually perform fewer sets when performing higher repetitions at a lower intensity (endurance adaptations) and more sets when performing lower repetitions at a higher intensity (strength and power adaptations). Muscular endurance and stabilization is best developed with 1 to 3 sets of 12 to 20 repetitions at 50 to 70 percent of 1RM intensity.
You don’t cut back on alcohol
“Alcohol is one food I would cut back on,” Dr. Kogan says. “I hate restrictions so I would never say ‘no more alcohol.’ I would just say ‘drink the minimum, maybe one glass a week on Friday night.’” Alcohol causes fluid retention, heartburns, increased acid production, foggy brain, and lack of focus, she adds. “Why would anyone want to do this to their body on the daily basis?”
Reconsider the concept of “cheat days”
Allow yourself to have what you are craving, in moderation, both Mikus and Dr. Kogan adds. “If someone has a food they are going to indulge, have it, and move on,” Bonci says. “A cheat day can become a cheat weekend or lead to starvation Monday, which is not great for the body.” Also, consider the tactic of swapping – have the glass of wine instead of the potato, or the serving of ice cream in place of the rice. “Or, go dual duty: A glass of TruMoo Chocolate Milk provides the sweet and feels like an indulgence, but is not too high in calories,” she adds.
Your workout is not intense enough
The specific training phase and an individual’s training goal, as well as the training status of the person will determine the number of sets and repetitions for an exercise, according to Wynter. You should not do what the person next to you is. Muscular endurance and stabilization is best developed with a training intensity of 50 to 70 percent of 1RM. Hypertrophy is best achieved by training with 75 to 85 percent of 1RM, he adds.
You focus on only one muscle group
“Unless you are a professional bodybuilder you want to maximize your workout time to maximize your results by performing multi-joint exercises, like a push-up or a squat,” Holland says. These moves engage numerous muscle groups at the same time, giving you the best results in the shortest amount of time. “Doing a few targeted exercises like a biceps curl or triceps kickback is perfectly fine, but you definitely want to mix in other multi-joint/multi/muscle moves to really make the most of every session,” he says. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to spot-reduce your problem areas. “It is a myth and cannot be done.”
You skip meals and snacks
“Restriction to the point of skipping meals and snacks while working out multiple times a day is not only unsustainable, it is also very dangerous,” Mikus says. An appropriate energy intake for weight loss is totally dependent on a person’s metabolism, she adds. “Don’t rely on a fitness app or computer system to calculate your energy needs. Speak with a Registered Dietitian to help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals.”