You go to the gym five days per week, run on the treadmill, lift some dumbbells, and try to eat healthily. But at the end of the week, the number on the scale hasn’t budged. Some weeks it even goes up. Sound familiar?
If you’re struggling to lose weight, you aren’t alone. Millions of people with good intentions find themselves fighting the scales every week. Believe it or not, it’s possible to win. You just have to fix a few things.
6 Factors That Might be Holding You Back
If you’ve been trying to lose weight for weeks or months and you just can’t seem to do it, there’s something wrong. Losing weight is possible for everyone – it’s just a matter of implementing the right techniques and eliminating incorrect and unhealthy habits.
Here are some of the factors that could be preventing you from losing weight:
1. Not Tracking What You’re Eating
Weight loss has everything to do with calories. You can burn thousands of calories per day, but if you’re consuming more than you burn, you’ll never lose a pound. In fact, you’ll gain weight. The question is, do you know how many calories you’re consuming on a daily basis?
It’s important that you track what you eat. This will help you understand how many calories you need to burn. It also lets you know when you’re consuming more than you should be. Meet with a nutritional weight loss expert to set a calorie limit and develop a meal plan that keeps you within this range.
2. Not Having a Workout Plan
Most people go into the gym and have no idea what to do, so they just stroll around and do a few sets of “this” and a couple of sets of “that.” But this is a big mistake. It leads to inefficient exercise that leaves you feeling exhausted without actually providing many benefits.
We recommend hiring a personal trainer to give your workouts more of a strategic purpose. You can either work with a trainer at your local gym or hire an online personal trainer that allows you to work out anywhere.
3. Not Eating Enough Protein
Everyone knows that you need protein if you want to gain muscle mass, but did you know it’s also important for losing weight?
If you can get 25 to 30 percent of your daily calories in protein, it’ll boost your metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day. It’ll also make you feel fuller, which can reduce your caloric intake by several hundred calories per day. (Protein affects your appetite-regulating hormones, like ghrelin.)
For best results, load up on protein early in the day by eating a substantial breakfast. People who do this are shown to be less hungry throughout the day and experience fewer cravings.
4. No Accountability
No matter how disciplined you might be, you need some level of accountability to ensure you don’t veer off the tracks in pursuit of your weight loss goals.
The best thing you can do is form an accountability group with one to three other individuals who have similar weight loss or fitness goals. Give these people permission to check in with you and hold you accountable for whether or not you reach your goals.
5. Cheating Too Much on “Cheat” Meals
If you’re dieting, something is motivating and freeing about giving yourself one cheat meal per week. It gives you something to look forward to and prevents you from wearing down and giving up. However, just because it’s a cheat meal doesn’t mean you can eat anything you want.
For example, a burger on a whole wheat bun with french fries and ketchup is an example of a cheat meal. Eating three cheeseburgers with fries and an ice cream shake, on the other hand, is excessive. Make sure you know where to draw the line.
6. Not Lifting Weights
Don’t underestimate the importance of lifting weights. While cardio exercise, like running on the treadmill, will make up the bulk of your weight loss routine, resistance training also plays a role.
Lifting weights helps burn body fat and build muscle mass. It also prevents metabolic slowdown and helps your body look toned and muscular.
Putting it All Together
While good intentions are important, you can’t lose weight just because you want to. You need a plan. And as we’ve shown in this article, it’s often the smallest little things that prevent you from getting results. Eliminate these factors and you’ll have a much greater chance of being successful.