“Why am I training 2/3 times a week, eat healthy and my body is not how it should be?” “What am I doing wrong?”
“When will the weight come off?”
“Is this even worth it?”
I know the frustration. I can feel it. And in that moment, although I’m a nutrition coach and a trainer and have the science, the tips and the tricks, I just want to shake my fist at the gods of fitness and nutrition right along with her.
But I can’t accept the “I just can’t lose weight” proposition.
So, here there are 4 reasons I believe could explain why you are stuck. These aren’t the reasons you’ve heard a million times, so I hope you will finish reading this article with something to take away.
Consistency is the most important factor in weight loss. Full stop.
Why? Sit down. This is a hard pill to swallow:
Because you ARE what you CONSISTENTLY DO.
If you spent the last 5 years of your life eating sugary desserts a few times a week, getting poor sleep, getting your drink at happy hour instead of exercising, and getting stressed out at work, your health, your weight, and your energy levels reflect those actions.
Your total weight and body composition are a direct result of thousands of different factors that have adapted over your total lifespan.
Now imagine yourself there.
You want to change and you work hard and after a couple of weeks you expects results that aren’t there. You want a few weeks of effort to undo years of bad habits.
Your need to come to the realization that undoing years of these lifestyle habits takes time.
It’s surely my role to give you the motivation and encouragement to keep going and stay on this long journey.
In my experience as a trainer I expect a true, lasting weight loss transformation to take about 1/4 of the time that it took to gain the weight in the first place.
In other words, if you spent the last 5 years in an unhealthy spiral of weight gain and crash dieting, then expect it to take at least 1 year to get back to a healthy weight.
That can be hard to hear, but I want to be always realistic with my clients about the time frame that will be required to reach their goal and make it stick.
It’s discouraging. I get it. That’s why I help my clients focus on the small wins in the meantime, like training regularly, avoiding that cookie after dinner, sleeping at least 7 hours every night etc.
Speaking of sleeping. Recovery is the second most crucial factor that impacts weight loss. Yes: in an optic of weight loss, you need to rest as much as you need to move.
The MAGIC of your WORKOUT happens during the RECOVERY from that WORKOUT.
Recovery it’s about how long and deeply you sleep, how well your hormonal system bounces back from daily stressors, you refuel your nutrients and your body fixes after working out.
So if you workout 4/5 days a week, for at least 60/90 minutes and you follow an appropriate diet, you should lose weight. If you don’t, recovery may be the problem.
3. Carb Tolerance
Who doesn’t love carbs?
Are carbs good or bad?
The right answer can be murky, although on average the guidelines I shared in one of my recent articles work well.
But some bodies GENETICALLY do a better job of regulating carbohydrates than others.
If you are on the “gifted end” of carb-genetics, then a slice of pizza registers as lower on the glycemic index in your body than most AND you may be satisfied for a week after just that one slice.
If you are instead at the “not so gifted end,” that one slice of pizza has a HIGHER glycemic index and it goes right to your butt or love handles, not to mention that you’ll dream about that pizza every day then, and chances are that you’ll binge on carbs in the near future.
In other words, life isn’t fair.
Being carbohydrate intolerant could be what is derailing your weight loss. If you suspect this is the case, try these simple guidelines:
- Don’t cut out carbs totally.
- Get carbs from veggies and other foods low on the glycemic index.
- Take a probiotic supplement.
4. Hormone Therapy
They affect every system in our body in some way, but thanks to modern medicine we can manipulate them.
Hormone-replacement therapy is a multi-million dollar industry but, in my opinion, not so good for our body, unless there is a real, medical reason for it.
I am not anti-hormone replacement therapy, but I highly recommend that my clients see what lifestyle, nutrition, and exercise changes can accomplish for weight loss for at least six months before trying hormone therapy.
You introduce external hormones into your system that should be adapting internally, so you may disrupt or derail the natural adaptations that are a result of your nutrition and exercise, meaning that your body won’t respond normally.
So if you are under Hormone Replacement Treatment, and the weight is growing, just know that you are navigating widely uncharted waters and that weight loss is unfortunately not even on the map!