If you can’t lose weight, there is a reason for this and you have more control over than you think.
You’re not strength training. This is an absolute must. More lean muscle tissue raises your metabolic rate during rest. If you have the choice between “cardio” and weight lifting and you have a goal of fat loss, do the weights in circuit style.
You’re not exercising in a way that forces the body to adapt. Your body needs to be challenged. Specific Adaption To Imposed Demands, called the SAID principal, explains that a certain type of training will produce an adaptation to a specific energy system, muscles used, neuromuscular activity. For example, an ice skater who practices her skill becomes more adept to ice skating. Someone who does 45 minutes of treadmill jogging at 6.0 mph becomes very adept at treadmill jogging! The body sees this as status quo and it won’t change – it will become very efficient at jogging at 6.0 mph and with efficiency comes a weight loss plateau.
If you’ve been strength training and the weight hasn’t been coming off, it’s because you’re not doing much more than merely going through the motions.
There’s the story of a woman who was doing lat pull-downs with 70 pounds. A trainer came over, knelt beside her, said “Hi” with a smile, then moved the machine’s pin to the 100 pound mark.
The woman’s mouth fell open, but the trainer said, “You’re going to do 100 pounds for your next set, and eight times.”
“I can’t do 100 pounds!”
“Oh, yes you can. Trust me. You’re going to complete eight reps.”
The woman said her goal was to lose weight, but nothing was happening despite regular workouts. She began pulling down the bar, and it wasn’t easy. She had to fight her way to the eighth rep, but she completed eight full repetitions.
The trainer said, “Now that’s the way every set should feel. Apply this effort level to all of your sets for every exercise. You won’t lose weight if you keep doing something your body is efficient at. You must do something that forces you to struggle. ”
A month later the woman reported having dropped an entire dress size!
Moral of this true story: Exercises that require struggling will burn fat and cause weight loss, especially when coupled with sensible eating.
You eat mindlessly. Every little sample and nugget counts. One tablespoon of gravy is 100 calories. A “little bit here and there” adds up. Avoid eating due to cues not related to sustenance, such as watching TV.
You drink diet sodas. Artificial sweeteners often trigger hunger.
Too many processed foods. These trigger hunger, and too much white sugar and high fructose corn syrup will get stored as fat.
You skip breakfast. Breakfast tends to tame later-day appetite. Skipping it can make you feel entitled to overeat later on. Missing breakfast also causes an increase in the stress hormone, cortisol, which can lead to belly fat.
You hold onto the treadmill. This has got to be one of the most weight-loss-sabotaging habits out there. The body has absolutely no reason to burn more fat in response to make-believe walking.
You don’t do HIIT: high intensity interval training. This form of cardio intervals blasts fat!
Inconsistent exercise habits. Weight loss won’t go hard and deep if your workouts are not consistent. Even if you’re doing everything right in the gym, consistency is still very important.
Poor sleeping habits. Research shows that under six hours of sleep and over nine are strongly linked to excess body fat. Also, going to bed too late is linked to weight loss resistance.