A couple weeks ago we addressed The Top 4 Reasons You Are Not Building Muscle, and this week we’re tackling The Top 5 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight. Just with the previous article, some of the reasons might surprise you. Which ones are holding YOU back?
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If you focus on burning calories accomplished by long bouts of cardio, you are holding yourself back. A lot of people take this approach. They hop on the hamster wheel, go for 40+ minutes and think they are good. The good feelings from the workout allow them the luxury of an extra bite or two at dinner. That extra bite or two will end up negating the calories burnt in the workout. Your focus should be on the right type of exercise to accomplish your goal. If your goal is fat loss, spend more time on weight lifting and interval training.
Lack of Consistency
A good program you do regularly will get you more results than the perfect program you never do. Whatever your goal, you need a plan and you need to stick to that plan. For some, working out 5 days a week is not possible, but you can get pretty far consistently hitting 2-3 days. If your workout schedule is all over the place, your weight will be too.
Lack Of Sleep (Yes, This Can Prevent You From Losing Weight)
You need to let your body rest and recuperate. Most of us need 7-8 hours per night. Not sleeping enough zaps energy, motivation, and our body’s immune system.
Pro Tip: Stay away from blue light up to one hour before bed. That means cell phones, TV’s, or tablets. Blue light does not allow our brains to properly shut down and can disrupt sleep.
You’re Eating Too Much Healthy Food
Just because the bread is whole wheat does not mean you can have an extra slice. Eating ‘clean’ does not grant you the ability to eat more quantity. On the most basic level, weight loss is about calories, the sources of the calories do matter but if you overeat you will hold your fat loss back.
WAIT! You just said if you focus on calories you hold yourself back and then you said weight loss is about calories, which is it?
On a most basic level, losing weight is about calories. Eat more than you burn? You will gain weight. Eat less than you burn? You will lose weight. So the trick is burn more calories right? Running on a treadmill will help with that. Yes you are right, but keep in mind your body will adapt to the stresses placed on it. So at first running 30 minutes will give you great results, eventually you will have to bump that number up. So you may start from running 30 minutes twice per week, then three times, then bump up the time to 45 minutes, and so on. As your body adapts to the stress you need to find new ways to stimulate change. An alternative to this is adding muscle.
Adding muscle increases the amount of calories you burn throughout the day and keeps it requiring a steady source of calories. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn on a daily basis. If you do not do resistance exercises, you will not optimize your body’s ability to build muscle, which will not make losing body fat any easier.
You’re Always ‘Cutting’
Remember how we already went over how your body will get used to whatever conditions you place it under? Well this happens with diet too. You cannot always be in a caloric deficit. Even bodybuilders and fitness models cycle between bulking and cutting. Periods of caloric surpluses are great for building muscle and can be cycled in with periods of caloric deficits when the goal is fat loss.