“It’s just water weight.”
“You’re building muscle.”
“It takes time.”
“Everybody is different.”
You’ve heard it all — the reasons you’re not losing weight. But these responses that imply you’re doing everything right are extremely frustrating. If you were doing everything right, wouldn’t you be losing? You need to know what you’re doing wrong so you can tweak your weight-loss plan.
While we can’t tell you exactly what you’re doing wrong, we’ll do our best to help you figure it out by giving you some questions to ask yourself:
#1. Am I actually hungry, or just thirsty?
Many times, our stomachs feel empty not because they need food, but because they need water. Next time you think you’re hungry, drink a glass of water. Then reevaluate your appetite.
Also, get in the habit of drinking of a glass of water before you begin your meal. You’ll feel less hungry as you delve into your dish, which will help you slow down and eat less.
With that said, make sure you’re reaching for water when you’re thirsty. Drinking a sugary beverage can be just as bad as eating a high-calorie snack. Just because it’s liquid doesn’t mean the calories are free.
#2. How much am I eating?
What did you eat today? Seriously, tell me everything! For many, there’s a huge disconnect between how much we feel like we’re eating and how much we’re actually eating.
Think about the handfuls of peanuts you tossed in your mouth the moment you got home from work. Sure, peanuts have great health benefits, but those calories still add up.
Are you sampling your dinner as you prepare it? Snacking now should mean you’re eating less at the dinner table later. If you can’t get your brain to think that way, then cut out snacking and see if you have better results.
#3. Does my activity level match my calorie intake?
“I’ll just run it off later.”
How many times have you said that before digging into a massive bowl of ice cream or piece of chocolate cake? While it would be nice if a two-mile run negated last night’s indulgent meal of shrimp alfredo, red wine and cheesecake — it doesn’t.
Most of us greatly overestimate how many calories we burn during a workout and underestimate how many calories we eat. You can do a lot of more damage in a 30-minute meal than you can repair in a 30-minute workout.
#4. Is there variety in my weight-loss plan?
There’s something to be said for switching things up to “confuse your body.” You can accomplish this through what you eat and how you work out.
Variety in Your Diet
If your diet is so strict that you’re constantly hungry, but yet you’re not losing weight, then your body may have defaulted to starvation mode. That’s when the body holds onto calories instead of burning them. In other words, weight loss comes to an abrupt halt.
If you think your body has gone into starvation mode, don’t just eat more — eat differently. Switch things up. Eat six small meals a day instead of three big ones, or vice versa. Make different foods. The body needs a variety of nutrients to function properly. Don’t stick to a chicken and rice diet for too long. You may get great results initially, but as time progresses, your body will become less responsive. Pay attention to that and adjust your weight-loss plan accordingly.
Variety in Your Workouts
Are you a runner? Lifter? Yogi? Why not be all three? You’ll have better results if you “confuse” your muscles and switch up your workouts.
While there’s endless debate about how weight lifting is more effective than cardio or why yoga is better than running, the fact is different workouts have unique benefits. Cycling makes you stronger in ways that kickboxing doesn’t, and doing a little bit of everything increases your calorie burn.
While these questions offer a great start for pinpointing holes in your weight-loss plan, you can always contact Balance Fitness and schedule a consultation. We pride ourselves on being experts at getting you the healthy lifestyle you need. Give us a call at (650) 348-1259 for our San Mateo location, (408) 244-3010 for our Santa Clara location, or just contact us online.