Are you doing everything “right” but not getting the results you are seeking? Or maybe you are seeing change but it feels really stressful and overwhelming.
Could it be possible that you are focusing on the wrong things or possibly too much of the right things?
I went through a phase where I was working out consistently, counting every calorie, saying no dessert and nothing was changing. It was frustrating and it felt a little unfair at the time.
But, looking at it from the perceptive I have now, it was a great learning experience and a great source of information for what does and does not work for my body. Start paying attention to this for yourself and you too will be able to start to collect a plethora of information that will help you achieve the results you desire.
If you are looking to lose fat/lose weight and change your body in a specific way you need check out 3 surprising crucial factors you may be missing.
You are skipping the weight training.
Weight training is crucial for fat loss.
If you find yourself on long cardio expenditures, lots of group exercise classes or boasting your 900 calorie burn on the elliptical it’s time to change direction if you are not seeing results.
When you add lean muscle mass to your body, your body becomes more efficient and your body composition improves ( more muscle, less body fat). Your goal is for your body to use fat as its fuel source, not muscle.
What to focus on: Instead of focusing on getting smaller, burning calories or losing weight, focus on building muscle and getting strong ( this is not the same as increasing size). The rest will fall into place beautifully.
Without training or coaching you individually, the simplest way to get you started is to pick 4 exercises.
A push, a pull, a lower body and a single leg lower body exercise.
So let’s say DB Bench press, DB Row, Goblet Squat, and a DB step up are your exericses.
Perform each exercise for 10 repetitions. At 10 you should be able to only do 1 or 2 more. If you can do 5 more it is too light. Repeat each exercise for 2-3 more rounds.
Your diet and exercise routine is either too strict or too lax and that is causing you stress!
Sometime the more you do, the stricter you are, the more you restrict, the more your body fights back.
If you are going to ramp up your workouts you need to eat enough to fuel your body to do so.
The worst thing you can do is commit yourself to an intense 6 day a week training schedule and start restricting calories. Other than throwing your metabolism out of whack and sending your hunger, energy and cravings out of control you are also boosting your cortisol levels (stress hormones) by mentally stressing about food and physically stressing your body.
This is a bad combo if fat/weight loss (and sanity) is the goal.
What to focus on: Realize your eating does not have to be black and white. It can be gray. This is actually really, really exciting news. There can be a balance and you do not have to spend hours in the gym, while consuming egg whites, chicken and broccoli forever.
If you have no idea where to start.
Step 1: Start by adding one workout to your current routine. If you are at 0 times a week, bump that up to one. If you are at 3-5 and feel you have a solid routine go to step 2.
Step 2: Reduce your calories just slightly. This is not drastic. Think one less caloric beverage a day. One less piece of bread. Don’t go back for seconds.
Step 3: Evaluate by week by week in a couple different ways. Are you getting results? Does it feel like a routine you can do for ever?
You need more sleep.
Have you ever had that feeling where you feel really sick and as soon as you get a good nights sleep you feel so much better? Sleep is crucial to our well being and this sole factor could prevent you from getting results even if you are doing everything right.
Lack of sleep can raise you cortisol levels as well as your appetite and hunger levels. All these things can obviously have a negative effect on your physique.
What to focus on:
Listen I know not everyone can just get more sleep if you have a demanding job or are a parent or both.
If you can’t get to bed early or sleep in a little later try focusing on the quality of your sleep. Put your phone away before bed, create a relaxing night time ritual and if you are just plain exhausted in the morning choose sleep over exercise.
Keep in mind lasting change takes time. Going to extreme measures may produce quick results but it keeps in you in the dreaded diet cycle of losing and gaining weight. Be consistent, be conscious with your choices and have some compassion for yourself. That right there is the magic bullet.