Are you working out like crazy, but the pounds just won’t disappear? Is eating healthy making it harder for you to eat fewer calories? Losing weight is tough. Here’s some guidance on what you might need to work on to help you reach your goals.
YOU HAVEN’T SET A WEIGHT LOSS GOAL
“I want to lose weight” might be a great starting point if that’s your end goal, but if you really want to make it happen, you’re going to have to be a little more specific. How much weight do you want to lose? A pound? Ten? Twenty? Or maybe you want to be able to fit into a certain pair of shorts by next summer. Give yourself a time limit and a way to measure how you’re doing. That’s going to help motivate you to eat right and work out even when you don’t want to.
YOU’RE NOT EATING NUTRITIOUS FOODS
Believe it or not, working out alone doesn’t help you lose weight. It’s about what you eat just as much as it is about how much you sweat. Just because you work out doesn’t mean you can technically eat whatever and however much you want – not if you’re trying to lose weight, anyway. Lose weight by balancing regular exercise with healthy eating. Look up healthy recipes online that you think you’ll actually enjoy. Cut back on junk food, energy drinks and large portions.
YOU’RE NOT VARYING YOUR WORKOUTS
If you mostly do only cardio or only lift weights as part of your workout routine, you have that to blame for your weight loss troubles. If you keep trying to work the same muscle groups doing the same types of fitness training, you’re not technically working your whole body. You’re also not giving those same muscle groups a break while you work out other ones. Different types of workouts burn fat and calories in different ways. Mix it up.
YOU’RE NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER
There are several possible reasons why drinking more water helps with weight loss, besides the most obvious one: hydration. Drinking water before or alongside meals can help you eat less and better control your portions. If you’re big on snacking, and you tend to snack only on junk food, try replacing at least one unhealthy snack per day with a glass or two of water. Drinking water might also be able to help you burn more calories. Trying can’t hurt.
YOU’RE BEING UNREALISTIC
A common barrier to weight loss in both men and women is thinking you’re going to get instant results by making a lifestyle change. Not so. It’s hard enough to change the way you eat, or to start exercising when it’s not part of your normal routine. Results take time. You’re going to get discouraged if you weigh yourself after one week and think you’re doing something wrong. Be patient. Weight loss, for any body type or size, takes months.
Also consider whether or not you actually need to lose weight. If you are at a healthy weight, there are other ways to continue to improve your health besides trying to lose weight when your body doesn’t need to. Focus instead on getting stronger, or building muscle. Weight is just a number, and doesn’t always tell you how healthy you are.
Be patient and keep at it. Experts say losing about one to two pounds per week is both healthy and realistic. You can do this. Just keep your end goal in mind. Eat as well as you can, find workouts you enjoy, drink water and hang in there. Results may be slow, but they’re worth it.