Have you wondered why you’re not seeing results?? Your doing everything right you’re hitting my macros/calories, Drinking a ton of water, and sleeping 8 hours a night? Your even working out four to five times a week. …. and nothing – is – changing!! You wonder ‘what your doing wrong? Why is this not working?”
Lets look at some possible explanations…
1. It’s been one week-
You have only been trying for one week – give yourself some time. There are 3,500 calories in 1 pound of fat. Its not going to happening in a week, or a day…. Or in 5 minutes.
If you have a plan – Follow the plan!! Your body will lose the fat!!
This whole thing takes time. So relax! Trust the process!
2. Ladies: Your cycle causes a number of things to happen that can impact the scale. –
Dr. Jessica Bachman says that “Premenopausal clients can often experience a HUGE fluctuation in weight right before the start of their period. It’s not unusual to see an increase on the scale of 2-7 pounds a day or two before and the first two days of the menstruation. Increased levels of estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin lead to the increase in water retention. They can also affect your GI tract which can lead to constipation and bloating.
Note: These increases are caused by WATER retention and hormonal changes — NOT changes in body fat.
So, while the scale may be up for a few days, there’s no detrimental effect on your ability to lose body fat! Of course, it can feel a bit defeating. You hit your numbers, exercise, drink water, get plenty of sleep, but the scale is up and not down.”
I encourage you to TRACK when you get your menstrual period. You can use apps like Clue, Flo, or Glow. Then, you can compare your current weight to your weight during the same time last month. – This is a better indicator of weight loss progress versus comparing to the previous week. So, no matter what the scale tries to tell you, don’t let this time of the month make you feel like a failure—you’re still making progress IF you’re sticking to the plan!
3. You workout too much!!!
Wait – What??!!
How can I workout too much???
When you workout you burn calories… Right?! So it makes sense, you want to workout more to burn more calories?? You will lose more weight? – Right??!
More is not always better!!!
Over-exercising can cause changes in hormone levels, including testosterone and cortisol. You can upset your body’s hormone balance with overtraining – overtraining can signal the body to burn muscle instead of fat. We DO NOT want to bun muscle!!! Keep your body efficient at burning fat!!! If you are overtraining, you may notice that lifting the usual amount of weight, running the usual distance and other areas of your training have become more difficult rather than easier. If it has become almost impossible to finish your usual workout routine, overtraining is the likely culprit. If cortisol levels rise too high and stay elevated for too long, the adrenal glands may stop working properly and as cortisol levels drop below normal, weight gain occurs.
4. Stress levels are CRAZY!!!
Sometimes it seems like everything on Earth has been the blame for rising obesity rates:
- processed foods
- grandma’s apple pie -!? (haha)
Lately, more and more people have begun to blame cortisol for our obesity problems. And like a lot things, there’s a misunderstanding about cortisol.
Every hormone in our body has a purpose. Cortisol is an energy regulator. Its primary function is to move energy from fat stores to the cells that need it. This was vital to our survival thousands of years ago. If you were confronted by a growling sabertooth tiger, you had two choices: fight or flight (RUN for your life!!) In that moment of decision – fight or run… your body would kick up its cortisol levels to divert energy to the chosen pathways of either using your fists to punch that saber tooth tiger in its face or into your legs to run and escape.
By definition, cortisol is a fat-burning hormone. And cortisol levels are raised during times of restricted calories, when you get angry, or when you lift weights. So why has cortisol been deemed a fat storing hormone if it actually shuttles energy out of your fat stores?
One reason is that a study at Yale University found that men and women with higher stress levels had increased levels of abdominal fat. But correlation does not lead to causation, unless you’re the media who needs to tout they have ‘definitive proof ‘ that elevated cortisol levels make you fat.
The irony here is that cortisol is an energy regulator that tells your cells to break down fat into free fatty acids for your cells to use for fuel. But here’s the weird thing: while cortisol increases lipolysis (fat-burning) around your entire body, it weirdly enough spares abdominal fat.
If cortisol remains high for too long, it can lead to muscle degradation. And when you lose muscle mass, you slow down your metabolism.
All of this is about to come together, I promise…
The truth of the matter is this: weight gain comes from eating excess calories… period.
So … does that means cortisol is off the hook right?? Well, no. Because everything affects everything, when cortisol is elevated for prolonged periods, your body will elevate hormones like ghrelin — the hormone that stimulates appetite.
Cortisol is high. Now your body up-regulates ghrelin. And now you’re hungry ALL-THE-TIME! But food is comforting. And right now with all the stresses of life, all you want is a little comfort – in the form of food….. so we eat all the best high-fat, high-carb, super high-caloric foods.
This is the reason why cortisol is demonized. Not because it stores fat, but because it stays so high that EVERYTHING else gets out of whack and then we try to make ourselves feel better through food.
Everything affects everything!!! So pay attention to your habits.
5. You’re not drinking enough water
This is what water does for our body –
- dispels toxins
- regulates body temperature
- aids in digestion
- promotes healthy skin
- dissolves water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C, B6, B12, Niacin, & more.
Water plays a huge role in every chemical reaction that happens in our bodies. When it comes to fat loss, proper hydration will help your body burn fat more efficiently.
Good hydration helps your liver break down fatty acids to use as fuel. And it also keeps your kidneys running in tip-top shape.
When you’re dehydrated, your liver has to pick up the slack from your less efficient kidneys to rid the body of toxins. This means that the fat burning capabilities of your liver take a hit.
Dehydration can even cause you to have poor workouts. Drinking enough water could be the difference between hitting those last 2-3 reps, adding an extra 5 or 10 pounds to the bar, or erasing a few more seconds off your record run time.
6. Not getting enough sleep
Sleep is super super important! There are MANY reasons why… For one, your body builds muscle when you sleep!!! Yep – Its not spending MORE time in the gym – (that is important if done correctly) Without adequate sleep, time in the gym could be, to a large degree, wasted. The following are important functions of sleep.
“As we sleep, energy consumption is lowered, allowing us to use the high-quality food we eat during the day to more efficiently build muscle. Growth hormone is naturally released, improving muscular recovery and regeneration. Also, as we sleep the brain recharges. This is important for building muscle because a rested brain is a motivated and focused brain. In simple terms, when you sleep, you recover, and when you recover you replace, repair, and rebuild—all of which are needed for optimal progress.”
In 2016, the Center for Disease Control found that nearly 35% of Americans get less than 7 hours of sleep a night. Depriving yourself of sleep raises your risk of hypertension and weight gain, weakens your immune system, wrecks your hormones, and prevents your body from having ample time to rebuild and repair all that hard work you do in the gym.
Sufficient hours of sleep — 7-9 hours of sleep a night for adults over 26 — will keep you mentally strong and alert, and helps maintain good hormone health. Plus, during the deeper parts of sleep, your body releases growth hormones which you need to rebuild your body’s tissues.
You probably know that experts recommend exercise to improve your sleep. But there are other things you can do to get more shut-eye.
Here’s an easy acronym to remember, S-L-E-E-P.
- Sleep in a cold room – cold temperatures help you fall asleep faster.
- Leave yourself 30 minutes to of no screen time before bed – the blue light of your phone or computer confuses your brain by making it think it’s still daytime
- End any caffeine consumption before 3 PM – caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours, drinking it late in the day can keep you up later
- Establish a relaxation ritual to wind down your mind before bed – a 2009 study from the University of Sussex found that reading for 6 minutes before bed reduced stress by 68%.
- Purposeful about the bedroom. Treat the bedroom as a sacred space; never allow electronics of any kind to breach that space. Leave your phone, TV, or tablets outside of your bedroom.
7. Check your medicines – some “can” affect your ability to burn fat efficiently.
Here’s a short list on some medicines that may affect fat loss – For more information on how these drugs interact with your fat loss goals, talk to your doctor and see if there’s another option you can take that may not cause weight gain.
Medications for Depression:
- Tricyclic antidepressants — Amitriptyline; nortriptyline; imipramine; desipramine
- SSRIs — Paxil; Celexa; Lexapro; Prozac; Zoloft
- SNRIs — Effexor; Cymbalta; Pristiq; Savella; Fetzima
- Mirtazapine (Remeron)
Mood Stabilizers & Anticonvulsants:
Blood Pressure Medicines:
- Toprol XL
*weight gain can occur with long-term use of these medicines; short-term, not so much
Before taking these medications your doctor should have warned you of the possible side effects. If not, talk with you doctor to see if there are other options you can take that may be more weight neutral or that don’t affect your fat loss efforts.
8. You’re not following the plan – even though you say you are …. ONLY YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE!!!
Be honest with yourself! When you look at yourself in the mirror at your soul, no matter how painful that reflection may be, you always—always—have a chance to be better. And you don’t need to imagine a complete makeover.
Small steps lead to huge leaps.
So if you know you’re not following the plan, the first thing you should do is text your coach. Let them know that you’ve been lying to yourself (and maybe to them as well). Confession will heal your soul. You will be back on track as soon as you can recgonize and identify this.
Find the smallest and easiest thing in your life – and gain control of! Maybe its as as simple as making half your plate veggies, having a great breakfast, planning your meals for the week, hitting the gym, or drinking more water, etc…..
Whatever it is that you’re trying to gain control of, make sure that it’s something you have direct control over. You can’t control the scale. You can’t (really) control your waist measurements. You can’t control the people you work with and the foods they bring in. But what you can control are your actions. And it’s what YOU control that leads to the results you want.