It might feel like you’re always exercising, always on a diet or both, but still you just can’t lose weight. Well you’re not alone. Unfortunately it’s not quite as simple as putting in a certain number of hours in the gym, skipping a few meals or eating a bit less junk food. And while there are many reasons why you can’t lose weight, this 3-part article is about what in my experience are the most common and what to do about them.
Reason 1 You Can’t Lose Weight – No Specific Goal
If someone asks you what you’re trying to achieve and you can’t quickly tell them what your specific, measurable goal is and when you want to achieve it by, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure. It’s hard to motivate yourself to put effort into your workout or to turn down your favourite calorific treat if the reason why you’re doing that isn’t firmly in mind. This should be the first thing you address before you even begin to exercise or lose weight.
Solution: Be very familiar with your goal. Keep it short so you can remind yourself of it when you’re confronted with a choice between going for a run on a cold winter’s night and flopping out in front of the TV with a tub of ice cream.
For example: My goal is to get my body fat down to 15% by Christmas day and be able to do the Festive Fun Run in under 30 minutes.
Or, my goal is to drop 2 dress sizes so I can fit into the bikini I’ve just bought to wear when I go to Jamaica on August 11th.
Goals can be broken down further so that you achieve smaller, morale-boosting milestones to keep you motivated along the way. A simple example of this is: I want to drop my body fat by 10% and this will be done at a rate of 1% per week.
Reason 2 You Can’t Lose Weight -Lack Of (Obvious) Results
If your goal isn’t specific, or you don’t even have a goal besides wanting to change what you see in the mirror, how will you know when you’ve achieved it? For example, if you kind of think you’d like to lose some weight you might start exercising, only to find that you actually gain some. Especially if you’re lifting weights because the muscle you’ve gained is heavier than the fat you’ve lost. Or you might lift weights or run, but do the same workout every week without attempting to run faster or lift heavier weights. This results in a drop in motivation and therefore a lack of effort and the feeling you just can’t lose weight.
Solution: If you’re not seeing results, first be sure you know what results you’re looking for and have specific goals as I said previously. Also try keeping some notes, like how fast you could run when you started or how much you could lift, and compare it to now. If there hasn’t been any improvements it’s either a lack of effort or a very poor diet.
Reason 3 You Can’t Lose Weight – Lack Of Knowledge
While there are some obvious things to do to lose weight that everyone knows about, like cutting out the junk food, cutting down on alcohol and just generally eating less, there are things that actually have the opposite effect. Eating too few calories causes starvation mode, a slower metabolism and fat storage. Eating less by cutting out meals and only eating once or twice a day has the same effect, as can exercising for too long or too much. The person doing this might have very high motivation and be putting a lot of effort into reaching their goal, but a lack of knowledge is actually causing the opposite results and leaving them baffled as to why they can’t lose weight.
Solution: The obvious solution to this is to do some research. This site has the basics covered and plenty of the more advanced things too. If you can’t find what you’re looking for leave a comment somewhere and ask, or take a look at the products that are available by clicking here.
As always, any questions or feedback leave a comment below.