Fat loss is something so simple, yet so challenging! After working with over a hundred busy mums who struggle to lose weight, I've put together the 10 most common reasons I've seen!
1. YOU'RE UNDOING EVERYTHING AT THE WEEKENDS
From Monday through to Friday you've worked your ass off in that horrible gym. You've drunk your 2Ls a day, you've eaten your damn veggies, you've done yourself proud
So now it's the weekend you can let your hair down a little right?
You throw your gym bag on the floor, grab a glass of well-deserved wine and conk out on the sofa with a lap full of nibbles and pizza
The problem is this trend sticks around until late Sunday evening
You've now consumed an additional 1,000 calories Saturday and Sunday and sank a bottle of red on Friday night
This puts you back to square one. 5 days at 1,300 calories. 3 days at 2,300. Ah.
By all means, enjoy your weekends and reward yourself for working so damn hard all week. Just don't erase a week's worth of work (:
(This next point will help that)
2. YOUR DIETS TOO RESTRICTIVE
If your current diet is mostly cereals, sandwiches and oven-ready dinners and you decide to "get healthy" but juicing, fasting, food prepping for hours, restricting food groups and working out 5 times a week
The chances of you sticking and enjoying your new lifestyle are pretty damn low
Fat loss is a marathon. Make small changes over time and before you know it, you'll have a really spot-on diet
95% of people who start a diet fail. This right here is one of the main reasons
Take your time (:
3. YOU'RE REWARDING YOURSELF FOR GOING TO THE GYM
This one's surprisingly common
Sally works out for 60 minutes and burns 400 calories. On the way out the of gym she grabs a 500 calorie protein shake to "replenish her muscles"
John does 10k steps in a day, burns 500 calories and because it's Friday has an Indian takeaway, 2 naans and a Cobra beer
"It's fine because I worked out today".. 2000 calorie curry. 500 calories burnt
See the problem?
Sharon does a Zumba class, burns 350 calories and rewards herself with an extra helping of dessert
350 calories burnt. 350 extra calories consumed. Back to square one
I'm not saying don't eat these fun foods. Just don't eat them additionally as a reward (:
4. YOU'RE MINDLESSLY SNACKING
You're watching your favourite program. You've been waiting all week to see if so and so are going to get together and if Hector's been caught cheating on Fiona
You're engrossed with a family bag of crisps in your hand
You know, the really tasty sweet chilli ones?
Corr they're good
Corr Hectors hot
Shit. The bags empty.
As hippy as this sounds, try and stay present when you're eating, it will save you a tonne of calories
5. YOU'RE NOT COUNTING BOOZE
I've seen so many food logs from clients over the years and I've noticed a common theme
Me: "This is looking really good! You've nailed your calories the last few days. Plenty of veg too!"
Client: "It's frustrating though, I've barely lost any weight!"
Me: "Hmmm.. Is this log accurate? Is everything listed?"
Clients: "Well me and my husband do have a couple of glasses of wine with dinner every night"
Liquid calories, in general, add up really easily. For example, a flat white coffee will cost you around 120 calories, beer is 180 and 2 glasses of wine.. 250
*Also as a side note. I've had a client before who drank about a bottle of wine a night. When we started training she decided she wanted to stop cold turkey.. That was the only change she had to make to drop around 8kg in the first 5 weeks. Pretty cool huh!
6. YOUR PORTIONS ARE TOO BIG
People fall for the trap of thinking because it's healthy, it won't cause weight gain
It doesn't matter how healthy your dish is, if too much is going in your mouth, fat loss is going to be slow for you my friend
The moral is keep the portion sizes realistic (: And bulk up meals with plently of veg
7. YOU'RE SETTING UNREALISTIC FAT LOSS GOALS
I'm going to be honest. Fat loss is a slow game
When people first start out on a new fitness routine, they usually approach it with an abundance of motivation
They exercise harder and diet stricter
Short term this is awesome as the scales begin tipping from the word go..
Then when they can't keep up, they start to slow down and of course crave all their favourite foods, which until 9 days ago, they were eating religiously
Now those carrot sticks don't look quite so tempting
Exercise begins slacking and the diet follows suit, now the scales aren't moving quite so quickly and the motivation logically dampens
They go in too hard, burn out and lose any drive
Once again, go slowly and focus on making small changes which will lead to far greater results
8. YOU HAVE ZERO IDEA HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN FOODS
A client of mine wanted to lose around 20lbs in weight
She showed me her food log and it looked really good! Loads of nuts, lean fish, whole grains and a variety of veg
As her goal was to drop fat we were going through her food log together to see what foods we could start reducing
It didn't take us long to spot two peanut bars she had mid-morning and afternoon
She grabbed one of the bars from the kitchen cupboard and we worked out they were 240 calories each!
She was gobsmacked. "that's like an extra meal a day!" I remember her saying
With this newfound information, she took an extra couple of minutes just to check all the other daily foods she way consuming
She soon worked out that her morning porridge with yoghurt and seeds was very high in calories, but she was happy to hear her Becks Blues were only 100 calories, so we factored in 1-2 each day
The point is that you could easily be consuming your daily allowance of calories each day before it's even 3 pm! A quick check could save a load of weight gain
* On a side note. The client I mentioned above has currently lost 14lbs and we're working towards her last 5lbs (:
9. YOU THINK YOU'RE EATING LESS THAN YOU ARE
Its turns out
That 40% of people who struggle with their weight underestimate how much they're actually eating a day
I really wish I knew this earlier in my career..
It would have saved me so many head-scratching moments tinkering with a clients food diary
Want to know the best way to solve this? Write a food log
(Not a very sexy answer I'm afraid)
10. YOU'RE NOT GETTING MUCH OUT OF YOUR WORKOUT
If you've been using the same equipment, at the same weight or speed for more than a few weeks, then you're going to want to be upping the intensity
Your goal should always be to try and squeeze more out of each minute or set in your workout
You should also have at least a vague training plan and know which weight you were doing last time (so you can try and beat it this workout)
Unfortunately, a lot of people go to the gym with the intention of getting a bit sweaty or just going through the motions
I'm afraid this will only get you so far, and you'll find you're just coasting in the gym, not really getting much excitement, stimulus or results
Logically your motivation tails off with your consistency following close behind
Get a good training plan that suits your goals. Aim to beat yourself at least to some extent every single week
I really hope this article has helped and maybe even highlighted a few reasons why your weight gain isn't so consistent
Remember these are the exact conversations I've had with over a hundred busy mums, so the chances are very likely that these are what are setting you back as well!
As always, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any fat loss or fitness questions that I can answer for you
And if this post has benefited you in any way please share to help more people improve their health (social media share icons in this article)
Thanks for reading,