Four surprising things that may be stalling your fat-loss progress
You’ve been hitting the gym or fitness classes regularly yet you’re not seeing the results you want. That weight is not shifting. Here are four things that you might be doing that will be preventing you from getting into those beloved skinny jeans:
1) You change your exercise programme too much
Getting 'in shape' isn’t an immediate thing and it needs some amount of dedication. Unfortunately many people get bored after doing the same routine a couple of weeks and change it up far too soon. The first few sessions are where your body is making all the neurological changes that help your body master the movement. So by changing exercises too quickly, you’re just going to confuse your muscles and they’re just not going to work correctly and efficiently enough.
What should I do? Stick to a programme for a few sessions, then gradually change the variables – add more weight, more reps, longer time etc – rather than completely changing the exercises.
2) You’re not in the fat burning zone
If you’re doing low intensity activity, then you need to work out for a long time to see the fat loss. Doing higher intensity means the body burns more calories and continues to burn them after your workout (the 'afterburn effect'). And by high intensity, I don’t just mean doing explosive jumping and leaping moves (high 'impact'). Anything that gets the heart rate up is good and lifting weights will give you a similar effect.
What should I do? Vary the type of workouts you do. They don’t all need to be high intensity and I’m certainly not saying there’s no value in going out for a long run/swim, but try and add in one or two strenuous workouts a week to see the results.
3) You’re eating the results
You have to do a LOT of exercise to cancel out, say a chocolate bar, so using the ‘I’ve earnt it’ statement is a misnomer. Exercisers tend to eat more calories after their workout than they've actually burnt off, so ruining the effort they’ve just put in. You need the exercise and nutrition to work hand in hand.
What should I do? Try and resist the temptation to overeat. Your body does need protein to repair the muscles so opt for something healthy like chicken breast, eggs, nuts/seeds, rather than 'treat' foods.
4) Your lifestyle factors are off
Yes there's the food and the exercise to think about, but it may be that your stress levels are high, you're not getting enough quality sleep, you're overdoing things..... All of these 'pillars' are the foundation of a healthy lifestyle and often if any of them are out of whack, they can lead to elevated cortisol levels and in turn weight gain (among other issues!). When I'm training people, I look at all elements of their life, as you can have the exercise regime of dreams and a diet that's rich in nutrients, but if your stress levels are through the roof, you're not going to help yourself, either mentally or physically.
Admittedly this isn't an exhaustive list and there may be other factors at play, but do give these a go as a starter!
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