Molly McNamee | Why You Can’t Lose Weight Even Though You’re Exercising
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Why You Can’t Lose Weight Even Though You’re Exercising

Weight loss is tricky and can be very frustrating. I know how annoying it can be to look at the scale and see the same, or worse a higher number after a week of (what you thought were) great workouts. What are you doing wrong? Does the scale hate you?

The scale does not hate you. But you could be doing something wrong. Here are a few things that may be affecting your progress.

You’re doing the wrong type of training

If a workout routine isn’t working, try something else. Chances are the routine is not right for you. Your workout routine needs to align with your goals and your body type. A long distance runner does not train the same way a basketball player does. You will not lift the same amount of weight Arnold Schwarzenegger lifts. The amount of weight you lift, the exercises you do, how often you workout, and how much and what cardio you choose to do should fit your needs and yours alone.

You are under eating

Eating in a calorie deficit is necessary for weight loss, but eating too little will hinder your progress. Eating too few calories puts your body in conservation mode. Here your body will hold onto every last calorie and slow down your metabolism. Track your calorie intake and make sure you are eating enough.

You are overtraining

I struggle with this myself, but rest is very important. Overtraining increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. This can prevent you from losing weight, or worse, gaining weight. Rest days keep hormone levels in check.

That high carbohydrate diet

Some people say you need carbohydrates to fuel a workout; this is not 100% true. Your body can produce energy with the other macronutrients you consume. Eating food high in sugar will make you crave more sugary food. These cravings will almost always lead to a binge when left unaddressed. Occasional binging will certainly halt your weight loss. Carbohydrates also require more water to process, this extra water weight will make you look puffy and feel bloated.

You are overestimating calories out and underestimating calories in

It is very difficult to accurately track calories. Food labels can be up to 25% off and still be approved by the USDA. Even with the advancements of technology, you FitBit does not know exactly how many calories you burned on the treadmill. And let’s be honest, you haven’t been tracking all of those “just a bite” calories. Those few French fries you stole from your child’s plate, that small sip of red wine, that tiny piece of chocolate you ate at work… those calories add up. I can say with 99.9% certainty that your MyFitnessPal does not have the correct calories count listed for the day. Almost everyone I meet assumes exercise burns more calories than it actually does and claims to eat less than they really do. Don’t fall into this trap.