I have tried so many fitness programs and diets since I lost weight in 2010 and man, some of them really have surprising effects on me. It’s shocking how sometimes I can be exercising and eating like as if I have a fitness modeling competition coming and YET still gain weight. And then there’ll be times that I don’t exercise, and eat a little dirtier than I normally do and still lose a little bit of weight.
While I was personal training in the past, I hear from my clients how their weight fluctuates every so often. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to lose that few extra kilos.
It is frustrating but there are reasons behind it. And with every reasoning, there is a solution. So here’s some of the reasons why you’re still not losing weight and what you can do to change that.
1. You don’t want it bad enough
Let’s put this into perspective. There are times when I feel like my body is okay, but I still want to try out that new program I saw on Women’s Health just cause I’m curious. Even better, it promises that you can get abs in three weeks. First instinct of any human beings? Oh wow that sounds awesome. Let’s do this.
So you wake up the next day and start on Day 1.
Then Day 2. Day 3. And so on.
Things go well, you were following all that is said and by Day 20 when you’ve got only one day left of the plan, you stare into the mirror.
Wait a minute. WHERE’S MY ABS?!
It’s not there and you start swearing and cursing and think all these stuffs you were reading is wasting your time. Only to find yourself getting on a new fitness plan out of the magazine the next month.
Problem? You don’t want it bad enough. It’s simple. You were curious to see how you’ll look like when you follow the plan. You do want abs but somehow it doesn’t seem to take up the number one spot on your priority list. Our mind works in a wonderful way. If you’re into something bad enough, you will get it no matter what the obstacles may be. That’s human. And that’s the way to go in life.
Solution? Write down THE plan on a piece of paper with a pen. I know, the magazine (or whatever print, media, blog here) has beautifully written out the steps, reps and form but writing things down for yourself forces you to adhere to the plan. It is quite an effort but it also tells your brain that you want it bad enough to take that effort to write it all out again. Win.
2. You are not eating enough.
This is what happen when you’re trying to lose weight:
Month 1-3: Things are going superbly well. You are losing at least 3-4 kilos a month and it’s keeping up. You’re happy, your body’s happy, your partner is happy and life is good.
Month 3-4: All of a sudden you feel there’s a drop in energy. Worse, you constantly have sleepless nights, you lose your libido, you’re not motivated to do your favourite things. Something even worse? Your weight only seem to go down as slow as a snail. You start to worry.
Month 5-6: That’s it. Like an ECG machine yelling beeeeeeeeeepppppppppp, your weight stopped going down. You still have 4 more kilos to go, it’s driving you nuts and you’re panicking.
Let’s cut the chase here and go straight to the point.
Problem? You are not eating enough.
Our body works in a complicating way. It serves to protect you and make sure you have enough reserves to not only survive, but to go on with life doing your normal activities that you do.
Losing weight is great, you will feel energetic and lighter but your body doesn’t. If you’re only consuming 1200 calorie a day, your body will definitely slow down due to the loss of metabolism. And because of that, everything that lies internally slows down to keep up with the energy coming in which by now will be definitely totally low. Combine that with the lack of feeding and calories, and your weight loss slows down.
Solution? Slowly increase your calorie intake while increasing your calorie output. What this simply means is that, by Month 3, you should be slowly increasing your calorie intake by about 5-10% each month and increasing your total calorie burn by the same amount.
3. You’re not drinking enough water.
What is it about water that makes it so special?
Number one. It increases your metabolism if you drink enough of it. In layman terms – you will burn more calories when you drink more water everyday.
Number two. It provides a platform for your body to excrete all the nasty waste and by-products of food from our body. In layman terms – if you drink more water, you will need to go to the toilet more which means you get rid of the bad stuffs more. Something like detox without the fancy schmancy name.
Number three. It is free and universally available (how much is available varies but you get the idea). Unless of course you’re stuck in a desert. But I hope you’re not.
The problem is, not many people like drinking water. Somehow the tasteless natural nature of it does not appeal to many. It’s boring and of course if you compare water to coke or sprite, the latter is way tastier (and sweeter and a little less boring depending on how often you drink it.)
But the lack of water will have devastating effects on your health and weight loss goals over time. Your body starts to slow down due to the lack of food, and now put it under more stress with the lack of water, your weight loss starts to slow down too.
Solution? Drink up! It’s easier said than done I know, but start off with drinking at least one glass more than usual everyday and follow this through for a week. If you like drinking your sugary stuffs, replace a couple a week with water. If you don’t like the taste of water, add in some lemon or orange peel for a sweeter taste.
4. Your body has gotten used to your training plan.
One reason why I change my clients training program every 8-12 weeks, depending on goal, is to make sure that they don’t get used to it. Like point number two above, our body has extremely awesome ability to get used to a habit and after some time, there’s no longer a shock to it that triggers an effect such as weight loss or getting more toned.
Changing your program doesn’t mean it needs to get harder or more intense too. It can simply mean taking a week off any high impact exercise, replacing them with walking or Yoga and then resume with the same plan that you were on.
All you need to do is confuse your body, make it known that you’re changing something here so it will be left with no choice but to change again and again. This continuous shock will bring about a more positive result physiologically and physically as you continue to lose weight over time.
5. You’re not listening to your body.
If there’s only one thing you should take home today, this will be it.
My dear friends, listen to your body.
Really. Take five minute off your crazy day and sit down in a quiet place with absolutely no distractions and close your eyes. Take three deep breaths in and out and try to be aware of what you feel. If you notice, I’m not telling you to think about what you feel but simply be aware of it.
The whole reason behind this is I want you to feel yourself and listen to it. Do you feel great? Do you feel more energetic than ever before now that you’ve lost a great deal of weight, even if you still have a couple of kilos to go? Do you feel fresher, younger and more exuberant now than when you started on your weight loss journey?
If you answered yes to those questions above then that’s it. You have really fulfilled your body’s desire.
We are so hard on ourselves sometimes that we don’t think about how we truly feel. Feeling great does not need to be 5 kilos lighter. It does not need to be fitting into those skinny jeans you owned from 10 years back. It’s just how it is, it’s how you feel inside. Ignore the physical reasons, if you feel great inside then your body is really not taking the fact that you’re trying to lose more weight when you don’t have to.
That’s why it’s not responding. That’s why you’re not losing more weight. Cause you don’t have to.
Sometimes we are healthier than we think we have to be. And working against that fact can be detrimental on our health.
Have you ever tried going on a new fitness plan and not lose any extra weight? Let me now by commenting below.