Reprinted from SkinnyMom.com
Exercise can be a great way to feel better, be healthier and reach fitness goals; but for some people who want to see physical results, it can seem like it may not be working. There’s a point in time where the phrase “it takes time” expires.
Weight loss is a simple equation of eating fewer calories than you burn in a day. If you’re not ending the day with a calorie deficit, you won’t be losing weight. Instead you’ll be just maintaining or even gaining weight. Try keeping a thorough food journal with what and how much of everything you eat for a week. You’re probably eating more than you think!
How are you measuring your progress? If your workout routine includes weight training, you’re most likely adding muscle mass and subsequently changing your body composition. Since muscle weighs more than fat, relying on the scale alone may not be giving you an accurate reading of your progress. Taking measurements of your arms, thighs, mid-section and hips on a biweekly basis may paint a different picture of your success!
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.” This well-known adage is especially true of your fitness routine and diet. If you’ve hit a plateau, you may need to change up your routine and increase the intensity, as well as adjust your daily calorie intake. The less of you there is, the fewer calories you need.
Forty-five minutes on the elliptical may feel like a good workout, but without weight training, you’ll never change your body composition by adding more muscle. A greater muscle mass increases your daily calorie burn, leading to a lower body fat percentage and a leaner you. If you love cardio, try a kettle bell class or circuit training in place of typical weight training.
Making too many changes too quickly can be just as detrimental as getting stuck in a rut. Ballroom dancing may be the latest fitness craze, but it may not be the calorie burn or weight-training routine you need. Figure out what works for you rather than for everyone else, and stick with it.
Are you doing or trying? You may feel like you’re eating healthy and exercising regularly, but a well-kept food and exercise journal may tell a different story. Take a close hard look at your food choices and fitness routine and see what is really going on and where you can make improvements.
It’s awesome that you just ran 3 miles, but rewarding yourself with a Starbucks Frappuccino will do nothing but negate all your hard work. Rather than food, try setting a long-term goal and reward yourself with a gift when you reach your goal.
Are you challenging yourself with your workouts? If you’ve found yourself getting through your fitness routine with less or minimal effort, it may be time to take it up a notch. Add weight training, high-intensity interval training or a faster pace on the treadmill to keep your workouts challenging and you seeing results.
As crazy as it sounds, working out too hard can be detrimental to meeting your fitness and weight or body measurement goals. Make sure to take at least one rest day a week, drink plenty of water and eat nutritious foods to replenish your muscles after a hard workout. Remember you want to build muscle, not break it down without recovery.
Few of us can say that we get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night. Although it may be hard to forgo productivity for sleep, your efforts for a good night’s sleep will pay off in the long run. Lack of sleep can lead to hormonally charged weight gain and poor workouts due to fatigue and lack of concentration. Set a sleep schedule complete with a bedtime and wake time, and stick with it.
See what areas you can improve on and start seeing the results you’ve been looking for!
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