Do you feel like you’re doing all the right things, but you’re still not meeting your weight loss goals? Or maybe you lose a few pounds, but they come right back on a few months later? Have you started to ask yourself, WHY, despite all your effort at the gym, losing weight doesn’t come a bit easier?
This situation often makes us feel as though we’re the ones to blame…that somehow we’re defective. We figure the problem must be that we’re not dedicated enough, or we’re not working hard enough. We see other women who spend 2 or more hours per day in the gym and think, ‘maybe that’s what it takes?’ Or do we need to starve ourselves?
The truth is that there’s nothing wrong with you at all….but something might not be right with your fitness and nutrition routine. It’s a good time to evaluate your plan to see if there are any potential problems that could be getting in the way of your success.
Here are 4 questions to ask yourself:
1) Am I Overtraining?
More isn’t always better when it comes to fitness. Logically, it would seem to make sense that if we want to lose more weight faster, we should just exercise more. But, this could sabotage your weight loss goals completely.
Exercising too much (such as doing 2 hours of cardio daily or not taking days off) can raise levels of cortisol, our stress hormone. Cortisol can signal the body to slow down the metabolism and ramp up fat storage. And it can also cause muscle loss…not the type of ‘weight loss’ we’re looking for. Here are 7 signs to look for if you think you might be overtraining.
Although it might sound counterintuitive, if your weight loss is at a standstill, it might be time to exercise LESS. The right 30 minute workout can be even more effective than a 2 hour one and will prevent overtraining.
It’s time to ditch the 1980s mentality that doing cardio is the only way or the best way to lose weight. If doing lots of cardio is your main weight loss strategy, it’s time to switch things up.
Long cardio sessions might burn a lot of calories, but they can also make you REALLY hungry. The drop in blood sugar following a long cardio session can cause us to look for quick sustenance, and puts us at risk of overeating.
Here’s the other trouble with steady state cardio. It does nothing to build muscle. Muscle tone provides attractive shape and curves, but beyond that, it puts weight loss into overdrive! Muscle burns calories for you all the time, even while you’re at rest. So the more muscle you build, the more calories you’ll burn and the more weight you’ll lose!
Want to get your cardio and weight training done at once? Try a circuit strength routine like the ones in our Athlean-XX for Women program. By switching between challenging strength exercises and taking little to no rest between sets, you’ll be amazed how much your heart gets pumping!
The experts say that weight loss is 80% diet. This is an important rule to pay attention to…what we eat is indeed the most important factor when it comes to our figure. That doesn’t mean that we should starve ourselves (that would slow our metabolism WAY down) nor does it mean we have to try to count every last calorie (calorie counting is highly inaccurate anyway).
What it does mean is that your daily eating habits are the greatest determinant of a fit figure. If you’re still hanging onto that daily mocha or nightly bowl of ice cream, it could be time to tighten up your nutrition plan. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a cheat once in a while.
In our Athlean-XX for Women nutrition plan, we eat 5 – 6 small healthy meals per day to keep metabolism running in fat burning mode. That comes out to 35 – 42 meals per week. As Athlean-XX for Women creator Jeff Cavaliere says, if you get 95% of those right, that’s a pretty great track record…and it’ll get you the results you want.
4) Is My Routine Unsustainable?
If you take an honest look at your fitness behavior over the course of the past year, do you find that you’re on and off the wagon? Are you sometimes great about your daily workouts for months and then life gets in the way and throws you off track? Has this happened repeatedly?
It’s very possible that you’re trying to adopt a fitness plan that’s really not sustainable for you. It’s not something that fits into your busy life well enough that you can consistently keep doing it day after day, month after month, year after year.
The most important key to success with a fitness plan is consistency. For us to be consistent, the plan needs to be flexible. For example, if your fitness plan requires you to go to the gym and take a class, time constraints may get in the way. Can your workouts be done at home? Can they be shortened on a really busy day? Can you take them on vacation? If not, try a fitness plan that can go wherever you go. One that’s flexible enough that it lets nothing get in your way.
We’ve designed Athlean-XX for Women to be a flexible fitness and nutrition plan that fits into your life no matter what. First, our workouts are short, just 30 minutes, but super effective. They can be done at home or at the gym, and can even be adapted for minimal equipment, so you can take them on vacation.
Our workouts are circuit strength based, so you’ll build lean muscle and burn calories all at one time. The muscle you build will give you shape, and it’ll help you burn additional calories all day long.
Finally, our flexible eating plan will help you choose healthy foods, stay full all day and give your metabolism a boost! You can follow the exact meal plan, pick and choose your favorite meals from it or simply make up your own plan from our lists of healthy foods.
If your workouts haven’t been yielding the results you want and deserve, give Athlean-XX for Women a try. You’ll be amazed what you can do in just 90 days!