If you’re most people, you are struggling to lose weight. Simply going to the gym and picking and choosing what exercises you do isn’t going to be enough. If that unwanted weight just doesn’t want to come off, you’re going to need to understand why the fat is sticking around.
Here are the main reasons people have difficulty losing weight:
1. Eating Empty Calories
If you eat a lot of snacks, especially processed ones, you’re essentially eating empty calories. Eating things like chips and candy throughout the week will make it very challenging to lose weight. When you don’t track how many calories you’re eating, you may be eating more than your body can burn off. This means you will probably not see the scale show you that you’re losing any weight.
You want to go for eating nutritious and healthy portions that contain adequate ratios of carbs, proteins, and fats. For example, try to stick to eating 35% carbs, 40% protein, and 25% fat. Make sure you’re getting a healthy portion of fresh vegetables and lean proteins, along with healthy fats.
2. Not Knowing the Difference Between Complex and Simple Carbs
All carbohydrates are not created equal. That means eating a piece of bread and eating a sweet potato are not the same thing. There are simple carbs and complex carbs. Simple carbs get digested quickly, while complex carbs take longer to get digested.
Simple carbs include:
- Soft Drinks
Complex carbs include:
- Whole Grains
You should be eating these two types of carbs at different times of the day. For instance, you can eat simple carbs when you’re planning to start a workout, but only 2-4 hours before working out. These simple carbs will provide you with some extra energy.
Complex carbs are a good idea to have 30-45 minutes after working out. This is important so that you replenish glycogen levels. You’ll feel satisfied after your workout without resorting to eating empty calories.
3. Not Engaging All Muscle Groups
When you’re thinking of losing weight, you have to work out more than your abs. Doing cardio won’t be enough either. You’re going to have to hit every muscle group 2 to 3 times every week to lose stubborn weight. Ideally, you will be starting out with compound movements where two or more muscle groups are targeted.
An easy way to make sure you engage all your muscle groups is to do 1-3 sets of 10-12 reps. You should take a break lasting 30 seconds to 1:30 minute in between your sets. In order to work out all your muscle groups, you’ll want to target your lower body with squats, glutes and hamstrings with the glute bridge exercise, front upper body with dead lifts, push-ups, upper back with single arm rows, and your core with plank. In fact, plank, when you do it right, will engage all your core muscles simultaneously.
4. Having a Cheat Day Instead of a Cheat Meal
We’re all human, and don’t always want to eat healthy. Sometimes, we want to indulge. However, you want to make sure you don’t overindulge. Feel free to have a cheat meal at some point during the week.
That won’t destroy your weight loss goals. On the other hand, if you have an entire cheat day, you’re going to find that you are struggling to lose weight for much longer. You’ll notice you feel more bloated and are even gaining weight.
5. Skipping Meals
Your body likes to keep a level of consistency when it comes to eating meals. That means that you shouldn’t be skipping meals. If you do, your body will take it as a sign that there are changes in your body. Whatever your next meal is will be the meal that your body will go to first to use for energy.
You should avoid skipping meals, even if you’re struggling to lose weight. The only times you can forego a meal is when you’re doing intermittent fasting. However, even while fasting, you should know which foods you can eat without your body storing them as fat.
Your initial thought is probably that you should skip a meal to lose weight. Instead of skipping meals, plan out your day, or even week. Portion out your meals and design well-balanced meals with proper ratios of proteins, carbs, and fats. Also, remember to go easy on the sugary drinks, while drinking plenty of water.
6. Drinking Too Much Alcohol
If you’re regularly drinking alcohol, especially beer or wine, you’re going to notice stubborn weight won’t be leaving your body. Drinking socially and on every weekend is going to hold you back from seeing weight loss progress.
Alcohol has calories like everything else. Depending on what kind of alcoholic beverage you are drinking, and how frequently, the amount of calories you’re ingesting may be more than your body can burn.
7. Not Sleeping Enough
After working out, and even after a normal day at work, your body needs to recover. The majority of your recovery occurs while you’re sleeping. You want to make sure you are getting quality sleep and not waking up frequently at night.
What can help you get a good night’s rest is to avoid drinking caffeinated beverages after 2 PM. Also, turn off all electronic devices, like your phone, an hour or two before bed. You can also avoid eating anything too heavy 2-3 hours before bed.
If you have been struggling to lose weight, you are probably making at least one of the mistakes mentioned above. If so, you can easily address them. Soon enough, you will notice those persistent pounds coming off. When you stick to keeping these common issues in mind, you will be well on your way to that body you have been wanting, without the excess weight coming along. If you need further help in understanding nutrition and training and need help with your goals, book a free consultation with us or come and see us at our Canary Wharf studio.