I know I know I know, I have told you this before but I feel it is time for a refresher. I have had a few people lately tell me they just cannot lose weight no matter how much they work out. First I say do not worry so much about your weight, as worry about how you clothes fit. Weight is dependent on a few things, one being how much muscle you are gaining and well muscle weighs more than fat. So you may stay the same weight or gain a little especially in the first 3 months or so of working out. Now if you hit that 3 month mark and have not seen any changes to how your clothes fit, then....
1. Look at how many calories you are taking in a day. Too many, you are sabotaging yourself.. too few you are sabotaging yourself. You must intake 500 less calories a day to lose a pound a week. If you are eating too few calories, your body is going into starvation mode and will keep every morsel you eat stored away, like you are a hibernating bear.. and well bears are not tiny!
Get a tracking app like loseit.com That way even with out a smart phone you can track everything you eat and all of your exercise! Those few handfuls of M&Ms while at someones desk may make all the difference. Tracking your food and calories will make you more accountable to yourself and more aware of what you are eating and how much you are exercising. If you get loseit and friend me I am happy to send you motivational messages (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
2. Work out, even on your off days, go for a walk. Working out speeds up your metabolism. Laying on the couch does not. I know some of you are saying, "I am exhausted, I just want to lay around." I get it. I live with someone who is like that. But I promise you, you will feel sooo much better by going for that walk or bike ride then you will laying on the couch all day. You will feel more energetic and not so much like a lazy slob! Plus you can eat more if you exercise. Hello that is my entire premise for exercising, I love to eat therefore I exercise!
3. Lay of the booze and the sweets! I know I know you hate this one. But I promise you in the beginning of your new lifestyle change and when you plateau during it, the amount of alcohol you intake or how many sweets you eat directly effects your results. Booze is extra empty calories and carbs that have no nutritional value. Sweets are extra calories and carbs that may taste amazing but seriously derail you. I can tell you that from my experience, any time I plateau is around a time when I have had a few glasses of wine that week or have had sweets more than once. Alcohol bloats me, I seriously hang on to some water weight when I drink. I also used to not be a sweets girl but my hubby loves them, so when we started living together I gained, my calories were where they should have been, I was working out, but the common denominator was that I was eating wayy more sweets than i ever did before him. Once I cut those out gain, I lost. I know it is hard but try to limit yourself to one glass a week or a bit of the dessert instead of half or the whole thing. It will definitely help your waste line.
4. Do not skip breakfast! You are running late, you are not hungry, you want to use the calories for later, etc etc etc. Stop with the excuses and eat some breakfast.. Breakfast is seriously the MOST important meal of the day. You wake up from not eating for 10 plus hours, your body needs fuel! Especialy if you are working out that morning. (I eat after my work out as I like to burn off that glucose instead of sugar from my food, though sometimes I will drink some protein before my work out, if it is going to be a long work out or an intense one like Insanity, as I need some carbs/sugar for fuel).
Eating breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day and speeds up your metabolism! Even if all you have time for is a protein shake or a glass of Shakeology, eat your breakfast! If you can make the time to eat more, than do it!. It is actually better for you to eat a HUGE breakfast and a small dinner. If you flip these around and eat a huge breakfast, medium lunch and light dinner, you should see a difference! I definitely sleep better if I do it this way.
5. Make your calories count. Choose the right foods. Choose fruit over french fries, take off the bun when you order a chicken or fish sandwich or just eat the bottom bun. Choose your calories carefully and with thought. Choose baked over fried, non-breaded over breaded. Simple changes and mean big changes to your waist line. If you put garbage in your body you will feel like garbage. If you put good stuff in you will feel good and well who doesn't want to feel good? Oh and cut the sodas.. even diet sodas.. cut them all. Drink water, flavor it with lemon (lemon helps you lose weight) and drink LOTS of water.. Water is sooo good for you, it flushes out toxins, helps with digestions and aids in weight loss.
6. Do not eat 3 hours before bed time: I know this one is hard. We get home late from work, picking up the kids or happy hour (which you are drinking water at of course), have to cook, and the next thing you know it is 7/8 and you are going to bed soon. If you cannot eat as soon as you get home, then make sure your dinner is a light one. A light salad, cereal, eggs or protein shake/Shakeology . Your body slows down when you sleep which means your digestion slows down too. So try to eat early or light before bed!!
7. Stay Consistent: Find a time of day that working out works for you, and that you can sustain. Mine is the morning (old blog post on that here). Do not eat healthy one week, crappy the next and expect to see changes. I slip every once in awhile is actually good for you, it shocks the body. But doing it on a weekly basis not so good. Work out at least 5 days a week, but if you can do 6 to 7 kudos to you. I do mine 7 days a week with one day being something more low key like yoga and a bike ride, though some weeks I do high intensity's every day because I really do love it! Strive to eat healthy every day and never skip a day of counting your calories. Consistency really is the key to sustaining your lifestyle change and seeing/keeping your results!
I could keep going but I think you get the point. Becoming healthy is a lifestyle change not a diet, consistency is the key to success! This is truly my way of life. I changed my outlook on working out and food and got results. After awhile you will not longer crave those french fried, in fact now the smell of grease makes me a little queasy. So , watch what you eat, make healthy food choices, exercise, cut out or down on your sweets and booze, and for the love of Pete.. eat breakfast and eat a light dinner!
Contact me if you have questions on how I did it or need resources to figure out what is best for you, as every person is different. Some people do great on Paleo or Atkins while others do great at just calorie counting and exercise. Finding what works for your body is the best way to sustain your healthy lifestyle! I am always here for motivation and support!
Have a very fit day!