You workout and you think you’re eating right but why won’t the scale budge? Here are a few common reasons why your weight loss may have gone stagnant:
You haven’t changed your workout routine in months: Once you get a routine into your muscle memory, it’s easier for your body to complete that exercise and doesn’t use as much energy (or burn as many calories) to do so. If you’ve been attending the same cycle or barre class for months, you don’t have to leave your fave in the dust but do add in few new workouts each week to start seeing results again. Ideally, if you’re a cardio junkie, you’ll bring in a few strength-based workouts and vice versa to really maximize results.
You’re not working out hard enough: Just like we lose track of how many calories we’re consuming, we also often feel like we’re burning more calories than we are so strap on a fitness band or enter your workout online to discover how many calories you’re actually burning. Keep in mind that when you lose weight, your body will start to burn fewer calories per workout so don’t be disappointed when this happens. If you’re getting in better shape, your body is also becoming more efficient and will start to require less calories as well.
You’re all about working out…and ignoring your diet: This might have actually worked when you were younger and had a super-speed metabolism but there’s some truth to the phrase ‘You can’t out-work a bad diet.’ The average woman must run approximately 2.5 miles to burn off the average brownie so there just simply isn’t enough time in the day for your workouts to keep up with a junk-filled, high-calorie diet. You don’t even need to be on a special ‘diet’ but you can’t ignore what you eat all together.
Check your calories: No, you don’t have to count calories long-term but use a food dairy for a few days to get honest with yourself about what you’re eating. Jot down your meals and snack on an app or with old-school pen and paper to open your eyes and help you determine if the amount of calories you’re consuming is contributing to weight loss, maintenance or even weight gain. Once you feel like you’ve gotten a grip on your diet again, you can ditch the food dairy but know you can always go back to it for a little check-in whenever you need!
You’re stressed or not sleeping: Maybe you are paying attention to your diet and exercising regularly but if you’re experiencing a lot of stress or not sleeping enough, your efforts might not be reaping the rewards you’d like to see…which could add even more stress! If things just don’t seem to be adding up after you reassess your meal plan and workout regimen, check in with your stress levels and sleep quality. If you’re frazzled, try adding a yoga class to your weekly routine or a nightly bath or cup of calming tea before bed. If you need more sleep, try gradually putting away the electronics 15 minutes earlier each week and going to bed just 5 minutes earlier each week until you reach the number of hours you need.
The weekend : A cheat meal here and there is a healthy way to indulge and keep your overall diet in check but to go off the rails for two of every seven days is enough to not only halt weight loss but it can even shift your body into weight gain mode. Don’t give up your social life but do make sure that you still have some balance in your routine, even on the weekends. Choose one main indulgence when eating out (chips & salsa or dessert instead of both), drink a full glass of water between any alcohol-based drinks and get moving. You might not meet with your trainer or attend group fitness classes on the weekends but get outdoors with a friend or do a workout video together as a family.