HELP, I’m not seeing results and I’m frustrated!!!
There are few things worse than working extremely hard, feeling like you’re doing everything right, yet failing to see changes take place in your body; beyond disappointing and frustrating!!!
There are three preliminary simple, yet major reasons you may not be seeing results:
1. You’re eating too much.
2. You’re not eating enough.
3. You’re not active enough.
These culprits are the first things to assess.
If your training is on point and you’re hitting it hard, then it is likely that your diet is your problem.
If your nutrition and eating is on point, then you’re likely not training enough, or your workouts lack intensity.
How many calories are you consuming? Do you know your BMR based on your level of activity? Are your serving sizes too large? Are you overdoing it with snacks? Are you overeating in the evening?
Are you eating too little? If you’re under-eating as many people who are desperate too lose weight often do, your body response will backfire and instead, this will crash your metabolism to a grinding halt as a survival response. The “I’m starving” mechanism kicks in and the body will respond by slowing down to preserve your body’s fat reserves. If you drastically reduce your calories, your body will quickly respond in the manner outlined. I’ve met many women who seem to think that being on a 1200 calorie diet will get them to drop fat but sadly, that is an extremely restrictive diet that should only be considered in severe cases of obesity and is a number that is only permissible if you are in bed all day doing nothing. Lean tissue and activity account for more than the bare minimum but sadly, many people fall into this trap due to desperation. I caution you to not fall for it.
One pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. To lose weight and do it soundly so you can keep it off, you don’t want to lose it too fast or you’ll consequently put it all back on, and then some, to account for the drastic measures you took. A deficit of 500 calories per day will enable you to lose 1 lb. per week. The combination of clean eating plus exercise is the most ideal course of action to yield optimal and long lasting results. There are a plethora of other reasons that prove fast weight loss is not the best course of action and as I often say, “whatever comes fast, won’t last.”
How often are you training?
Consider that the bare minimum for maintenance is three days per week. If you want to make progress and see results above where you’re at, you need to plan to exercise beyond the maintenance of 3 days and strive for 4-5 training days.
Sticking with your training regime is crucial for success. If you aren’t sticking with your workout plan, you’re going to be frustrated, feeling like you’re taking one step forward, two steps back. It is important that you choose an activity, or series of activities, that you stick with. Try to choose an activity you enjoy for the most part, and intersperse those with the ones you may not enjoy as much (weight training should be among your choices even if you don’t “like” it).
Overindulging and having too many ‘cheat’ meals or full cheat days
Just because you exercised, doesn’t mean you should stray from your eating plan. Stick with your clean eating and pre-plan your indulgent treat(s) ahead of time in order to help you stay on track. It’s very easy to lose track of those small nibbles here and there (think Costco samples) so writing down and journalling everything you eat, can help considerably with this.
Macros - Getting Specific
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a fan of counting calories and macros however, if you feel like your diet and training are on point, this is something that will be required in order to ensure you’re truly hitting the mark with your eating. Counting calories for a short amount of time and tracking is the only way you’re going to dial it in to the next level. Once you do it for a season, you’ll get to know amounts, what to eat and when to eat it.
Protein, carbs, fats - Eating the right foods at the right time and in the correct quantities is a science and if you don’t have any idea about macro nutrient amounts, you need to invest in hiring a registered holistic nutritionist (mine is a wiz). Your health, success and the knowledge you gain are so worth it!
Eliminating or severely restricting food groups
This is bad news! Any fad diet that tells you to eliminate carbs, protein or fat is one that you should walk away from. Vital nutrients are found and required by the body in all the food groups and is necessary for optimal function in the body. The only exceptions you should ever be okay with eliminating is processed foods and yes, alcohol can also be ditched. The rule to practice for the exceptions are moderation, moderation, moderation!
You may be in a state of dehydration which can cause your body to hold on to more toxins and fats due to insufficient water intake. Inadequate water intake can cause bloating which adversely hinders fat loss. You should be consuming half your weight in ounces in pure plain fresh water (yes, by all means, add a splash of lemon and cucumber for flavour if you wish) at the very least; more when training and in intense heat.
Intensity-this the NUMBER ONE CULPRIT!
Ask yourself, “are you training with enough intensity?” Are you breathless throughout your workouts. Have you tried incorporating HIIT (high intensity interval training) circuits or plyometrics? Are you frequently in the ‘discomfort zone’? Are you monitoring your heart rate to ensure you’re training hard enough or are you using the perceived exertion scale? A loose calculation is 220 minus your age multiplied by the intensity level; upper zone being 85%-90%. Do you occasionally visit the “I feel like I’m going to throw up ” or ‘I can’t talk and I can’t sustain this for very long’ and feel like I’m going to die zone? Rest assured, if you’re in good health, you won’t.
Intensity is a huge factor in your exercise program to ensure you’re pushing yourself enough to continue to make progress and see results.
You’re overdoing cardio and not weight training
The effects of weight training and lean muscle tissue outweigh the singular cardio effects. Cardio develops your heart and burns calories while resistance training aids in the development of lean tissue which elevates your metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories at rest) and changes your body composition. Lighter is not the same as leaner. Body composition rules over the scale. Skinny fat is not what most desire. Don’t neglect the heavy weights for fear of turning into Hulk; it just won’t happen ladies. I’ve written about this before.
You’ve been doing the same thing in your training for quite some time and it isn’t yielding results like it once was. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and operate on automatic pilot; not good in the world of training. Your body adapts fairly quickly to what you do over and over again and you’ve got to make changes to shake things up and resist adaptation. Hire a reputable trainer or embark on a new training program (I have several options along with coaching available for purchase online http://susanarruda.com/training-rates). Either way, the investment is worth it to get outside yourself and your comfort zone and gain some more insight and knowledge.
This is another important factor that people frequently neglect. Your body cannot exercise hard and be able to repair itself unless you’re getting ample sleep. The correct amount varies with everyone but generally, 6 hours is the minimum amount. If you’re training with intensity, you’re definitely going to need more; likely 7-9 hours of quality sleep. There’s really no way around this one. Failing to get minimum sleep requirements will put you at risk for injury and have you spinning your wheels working really hard but not seeing the payoff. You can’t fool Mother Nature. Insufficient sleep will sabotage your fat loss goals.
There are two important hormones that are related to sleep called leptin and ghrelin. These go haywire and cause confusion in the body when you’re in a sleep deficit. Leptin sends signals to your brain when you're full. and it is intricately involved in the regulation of appetite, metabolism and calorie burning and it is during sleep that leptin levels increase. The purpose of ghrelin is to tell your brain when you need to eat, when it should stop burning calories and when it should store energy as fat and during sleep, levels of ghrelin decrease because sleep requires little energy.
Sleep deprivation has also been found to not only increase levels of stress hormones, but can also trigger a resistance to insulin (think diabetes), both of which contribute to weight gain.
If these points don’t motivate you to become more disciplined to get more 💤, I don’t know what will!! Your fitness success depends on it!
If you’re constantly tired, refuse to take rest days despite all the signals your body sends you, and have lost your zeal for exercise, you’re likely suffering from overtraining syndrome (adrenal fatigue) and burnout. Confession; I have been through this myself. It is difficult for me to lay off training for more than a day. Being in an overtrained state increases your levels of stress, inflammation and cortisol in the body, which can seriously impair your body’s ability to burn fat, in addition to putting you at risk for injury, or perhaps you’re already injured as a result.
Chronically elevated cortisol levels which are associated with overtraining will consequently lead to suppressed immune system function and reduced exercise capacity. You’ll find yourself going through the motions without that oomph you once had.
Cortisol levels in the body increase in response to mental and physiological stresses, in conjunction with the release of epinephrine, aka the ‘fight or flight response’ hormone. Athletes typically experience this fight/flight response on competition day. The role of cortisol is to mobilize stored carbohydrates, catabolize proteins into glucose, and to mobilize stored fats. Your body responds with the release of these hormones to deal with the perceived ‘dangerous’ stressor, whether it’s a fierce tiger, a competitive race or an intense training session; your body cannot differentiate.
Chronically elevated levels of cortisol can cause fat stores to go up – Elevated cortisol levels lead to a perpetual catabolic state where muscle is broken down, and fat is stored. These effects are further exacerbated when an athlete is depleted of carbohydrates.
(or any other medical condition such as hypothyroidism)
I’m specifically referring to the tumultuous condition that occurs during menopause. Between the hot flashes, the insomnia, horrific & no sound reason weight gain… just to name a few, it can prove to be extremely discouraging and debilitating. Symptoms vary in all women, but the fight is very real! I strongly recommend you attempt to treat as much of these conditions naturally and see a reputable naturopath.
Once you’ve identified the area (or areas) that may be hindering your progress, take action to make changes and you will break free from the frustration of working really hard and not seeing gains or results.
Please reach out to me and let me know what areas you discovered to be your problem and how the changes you made have helped you.
You can message me here or message me in the chat box at the bottom of rouy screen.
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