What stops you from losing weight despite exercising regularly?
Probably every one of us who ever tried to lose weight expected to see some results soon if not right away. You found yourself in a position where you followed an intense training program but didn’t see any results after a month or two? Here’s some of the reasons what might be happening.
It’s not a secret nutrition is the key when it comes to weight loss. Although it might look a bit off putting as we don’t see the results straight after lunch, (not like with training - muscle aching, raised heart beating, sweating). This is one of the reasons why we often neglect nutrition whilst training. We just simply don’t believe it’s that important.
You don’t eat enough
I often come across clients who reduce their calorie intake to the bare minimum whilst training intensively 3-4 times a week. Despite constant exhaustion and reduced performance they keep doing it and obviously don’t see desired results.
Our organism is one smart piece of mechanism that we have to maintain correctly and fuel appropriately. Imagine you have a car that you want to drive to the shop and back but you only fill it up a bit so you make your grocery shopping but there isn’t enough fuel to get back home. Or at the petrol station you filled your car with the wrong fuel and upset the engine so you have to take it to the garage. The same happens with our body, fuel it minimum - enjoy the minimum, eat less nutritious foods - reduce performance.
Find out your energy balance
There’s plenty of information online on how to calculate your Total Energy Expenditure (TEE), I normally use Harris-Benedict Equation to calculate my client’s Basal Metabolic Rate and then multiply it by Physical Activity Level index. (I’ve even recorded a webinar on youtube about it, so you have all the appliances provided). Make sure though to get it correctly. Formulas are not very accurate, they only give us an approximate value, the important thing is to not go below the Basal Metabolic Rate!
You eat too much
After calculating your TEE, it will be easier for you to understand the energy balancing. You might be eating just enough to cover your TEE which won’t let your lose weight but instead - maintain it:
Energy Intake = Energy Expenditure ← Weight maintenance
Energy Intake > Energy Expenditure ← Weight gain
Energy Intake < Energy Expenditure ← Weight loss
To track your energy intake you can use an app like myfitnesspal which can be very useful and easy to track your foods. Another option would be to run a food diary where you write down everything you eat during the day, at what times, mood, etc. This will help you keep track of your nutrition, notice possible eating patterns and learn your habits.
Intensity of training
As mentioned above, the intensity of working out sessions plays an important role in weight loss as well as future performance. Why despite consistent training you don’t lose weight?
You found your favourite workout class online and you do it every day. What happens next? Your body shows some visible changes at the beginning, but then the progress stops. This is the moment when your body got used to certain types of exercises and learnt how to utilise the energy accordingly so it doesn’t overwork. This unfortunately means we stop losing weight. It becomes too easy (even if it doesn’t feel this way).
Good news - it’s easy to fix with Progressive overload.
What is Progressive Overload?
When overload is applied effectively, the body is forced to work harder. This allows exercise sessions to be more challenging forcing our body to continually adapt and improve.
Factors contributing progressive overload are:
4. Range of movement
Increasing at least one of them can help you improve your performance So maybe it’s time to mix your working out routine? :)
Rest and recovery
Let’s just clarify what rest and recovery in training means. It describes the period of inactivity between training sessions and it is an essential component of the recovery process. Recovery on the other hand refers to the length of time it takes for the body to repair, heal and adapt to the damage caused to the body during training. During this time, our body makes numerous anatomical and physiological adaptations necessary to support improvements and progression.
If you don’t let your body recover enough, it won’t respond positively. You are more prone to injuries, your exercise performance will decrease and there is also a possibility of metabolic dysfunction.
What are the signs of overtraining?
1. Lack of progress
2. Lethargy, decreased motivation
5. Difficulty in concentrating
6. Susceptibility to colds, illness and infection
7. Elevated resting pulse/heart rate (particularly in the morning)
So please, take care of yourself!
I hope you found this post useful and gave you some thought to rethink your training :)