At some point in time, I think that most people get fed up with how they look and feel and decide to undergo a body transformation. Initially, the increase in physical activity almost always leads to both weight loss and fat loss. However, at some point, perhaps rather quickly, the fat won’t go away and the belly in the mirror feels like it is just mocking you. It can be extremely frustrating to put forth lots of effort for multiple weeks straight and not see any noticeable change to your body composition. The good news is that if you stick with exercising and focus on addressing the common problems that hinder weight loss, then you can melt that fat away and have the body you want. By addressing the following issues and getting your program in order, you should have no problem with meeting your goals.
If you saw significant fat loss for the majority of the time when you started your exercise and diet program, and now nothing, there is a good chance that you have hit a weight loss plateau. The human body is quite adept at adaptation and as such can get used to the exercise and dietary demands you are putting it through. It can be a good idea, to switch up the exercises you include in your workout routine or try switching up things like the amount of weight, lifting tempo, amount of rest in between sets, etc. For instance, if you lift weights and have a chest/back day, why not throw in supersets to make the routine more challenging? Meaning, you would do your set for the chest and then immediately start a set for a back exercise. This shortens the rest and gives the workout a more cardiovascular element than keeping the two exercises completely separated.
Not Enough Time Spent
In contrast to plateauing, there are people who are way too impatient. They think that because they’ve worked out and dieted for a month they should be totally chiseled. Sorry but it doesn’t work that way. It probably took months or years to accumulate that fat, so why would it disappear in 4 weeks time? I’m not saying that it will take equally as long to lose weight but it does take time to undo all of your mistakes and figure out what the right type of fat loss plan is for you. There have been times where I’ve stopped going to the gym and put on weight and once I got back into the gym, the first month saw very little results and then things started clicking after that. So have patience.
People severely underestimate the importance of sleep in their lives. During sleep, your body releases hormones that repair and build muscle, and some of the major releases only occur during certain parts of the sleep cycle. Meaning that, if you’re not getting enough sleep, you won’t get the optimal level of hormone release. Muscle growth and recovery are highly important in achieving your fitness goals but sleep also helps with your mood. Think about it. Aren’t you grumpy when you’re tired? Do you care as much or feel as motivated to stick with your diet? It’s more likely you don’t really care because your mind is so occupied with sleep and feeling fog that clouds your thoughts. Get enough sleep!
Not Enough Cardio
Cardio can be boring, especially when you don’t want to do it. The problem with that attitude is that it is the most efficient way to burn calories and is great for your overall health. There are plenty of ways to do cardio including sports, exercise classes, hiking, and other activities.
Many people only do one specific type of cardio, such as steady state (walking on the treadmill for example), and then don’t see the results they want. The key is to switch up the intensity, vary the exercises and the amount of time you spend doing it.
Trainer, Rusty Moore, has a great cardio program for fat loss called Visual Impact Cardio. I have been using its principles for the past two weeks (read my review), since I’ve gotten a new gym membership, and have loved the results. It is a full step by step plan that breaks down what cardio exercises you will do each day to maximize fat loss. What I love about Rusty’s program, is that the workout challenges me on each day in a different way. One day will be for VO2 max, another will be interval training, pyramids, and the like. Visual Impact Cardio consists of three 8-week cycles (6 months total) that you can adjust and keep using for as long as you want.
Visual Impact Cardio shows you:
- How to Diet in a way that Maximizes Fat Loss, with little chance of metabolism slow down.
- How to use Cardio Periodization Cycles…the technique where you “take 3 steps forward and 1 step back”…to Lose Body Fat Without Hitting Sticking Points.
- Why there is a Ceiling to How Many Calories You Can Burn with Intervals…and how adding in a Strategic Cardio Routine can take you to the finish line of hitting your fat loss goals.
- Three Complete 8-Week Workout Cycles – taking you from where you are now…ALL THE WAY to your ideal body fat percentage.
Get Instant Access to Visual Impact Cardio by: CLICKING HERE
Too Many Calories
Just because you are working out doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you want and expect to lose weight. In order to lose fat, you need to create a caloric deficit, which can be done through more exercise (burning calories) or reducing the number of calories eaten. Your workouts don’t burn as many calories as you think they do, so yes, even if you work out that piece of cake can come back to bite you. Research online your daily maintenance calories and try to slowly reduce it. Another way to lose fat without counting calories is to switch over from processed foods to good sources of protein, complex carbs, and fats. Green veggies should be a staple in your diet. Be careful not to restrict calories too much because that can make you hold on to fat as your body wants to preserve every calorie, which will lead to a lack of results.
There are a ton of people who head to the gym, do some light cardio on the elliptical for 30 minutes, and then head home. These people may see results, but they aren’t maximizing what they could be doing. Lifting weights helps strengthen muscles, grow muscles (which burns more calories even at rest), and helps to shape your body.
If you want to give your body a certain aesthetic look then you need to engage in weight lifting. Simply doing cardio can make you look skinny and flat. Also, why not engage in something like weight lifting that can help you to burn more calories and also helps to release hormones like testosterone which can help with mood, motivation, muscle building, etc.
You Haven’t Been Consistent
Sticking with the program both by performing each of your scheduled workouts and keeping your diet in order is absolutely imperative while trying to lose weight. Too many people treat exercise and nutrition as something that is temporary and that they can achieve great results by putting forth mediocre effort. I’m sorry but it isn’t going to work very well with that kind of attitude. You became overweight in the first place due to your lifestyle and you are going to try to lose weight and keep it off by temporarily changing some habits? The negative effects of how you have been living your life must be addressed if you are truly going to make a life altering change in your body and health. So if you have been sticking to an exercise routine and diet during the weekdays and then let yourself have free reign to eat like a slob on the weekends you are pretty much letting most of your hard work go to waste.
Be consistent with everything, you can still treat yourself every once in a while but do so in moderation and pay attention to the nutritional content of the foods that you eat. I found out when I was younger that once I educated myself about proper nutrition I became way less likely to eat the foods that would have an ill effect on my health and appearance. As an added bonus I lost over 30 lbs and stay fairly lean year round just by sticking with the plan I have laid out for myself and when beach season starts to creep up I never have to do anything dramatic in order to look my best, just make minor adjustments.
Losing weight takes a deal of effort to accomplish but it’s not impossible. If you searched for an article explaining why you aren’t losing weight, then you were probably getting frustrated with your results. You need to stay positive and stick with it because the changes you desire will come but it doesn’t happen overnight. Address the problems that I have listed above, in a serious manner, either through your own research or by using a program like Rusty Moore’s. Whatever route you take, accept that this is a lifestyle change and not simply a crash course diet where you lose weight and then gain it all back, only to have to start the cycle again.