You slave away at the gym nearly every day, huffing and puffing through your 5-mile run, your spin class or your favorite bootcamp routine, and yet nothing is happening. You are not losing weight, you are not gaining muscle, and you look no different than when you started exercising. What do you do? You could give up, but that would certainly yield no results at all. The better way to go is to sit down and really look at what you are doing (or not doing) and make some adjustments.
Here are the top 10 reasons you are probably not seeing results and how you can fix them:
Do you do the same thing day in and day out, or stick to such a strict routine that you do not even waiver from your spot in class? The problem with doing the same thing all the time is that your body gets so used to it that it no longer has to work hard, which means your body will not be going through any changes. Rather than sticking with the same classes or machines over and over, vary your cardiovascular exercises so your body will wake up from its exercise-boredom coma.
If you are neglecting weight lifting, then you are missing out on the most important part of body transformation. While cardio is good for heart health and losing weight, lifting weights is good for turning your body into a lean, mean, muscle machine. In fact, weight lifting is actually more effective than you think. If you are lifting heavy weights where reaching eight reps is almost impossible, your body will be burning calories for hours after you are done. You do not get that same benefit from doing cardiovascular exercise. Once you are done running, that is it. So start picking up some weights and lift.
Do you always set your treadmill on the same speed and incline? Do you always use the same weight for your chest presses? If you do, then you are not giving your body a challenge that it desperately needs in order to see results. Start adding sprint intervals to those jogs or using heavier weights for those presses. It’s OK if you cannot run for long or can’t lift as many reps — that is good. Your body is being challenged, which means it will have to work harder.
Let’s face it — you can work out like an Olympic athlete, but if you go home and gorge on pizza, pasta and cake, all that hard work was for nothing. Exercising is not a license to eat whatever you want. Be mindful of what you are eating throughout the day, including those little bits of your kids’ leftover food. Every bite adds up. Also know that eating healthy doesn’t mean sacrificing taste. There are plenty of delicious, full-flavor recipes that are mindful of calories, fat, carbs and more. For family-friendly and healthy recipes, click here.
Just like food, what you drink can also have an impact on your results. Your favorite café mocha may be like heaven to drink, but it is probably packed with lots of sugar and carbohydrates. Some juices, smoothies, flavored teas and coffees have many calories, along with the added sugar and carbs. Enjoy them at your own risk or opt for something better like black coffee, herbal tea or lemon water. For other healthier alternatives, check out our great skinny drinks recipe index.