Feel like you’ve been training harder than ever but the scale is just not budging?
We feel you. But sometimes losing those extra niggly kilos can be a lot easier than you think, because there’s probably a few things you might be doing in your every day life, that seem “healthy” or “normal” when in fact, they’re the most detrimental to your weight loss journey.
Here are our top 5 reasons why you may not be losing weight and a step-by-step guide to help you combat these common mistakes.
1. YOU'RE NOT GETTING ENOUGH Z's
Do you find yourself feeling a crash at 330PM? Maybe that afternoon meeting isn’t the most productive because you’re dozing away. Girl, it’s so simple, but you’re probably not getting enough sleep!
As humans, sleep seems to be one of those things that we forfeit first. We’re just “too busy” or we find our minds ticking away late into the night and think being successful, means staying up later than others. But getting 5-6 hours a night just won’t cut it and is a huge contributor to weight loss.
Yep, not sleeping enough makes you tired, so you’re more likely to skip exercises as a result. Sounds simple huh? Being tired can then urge you to unhealthy meal options or sipping on multiple cups of coffee throughout the day. It’s a vicious cycle!
But when you’re not sleeping, your body cooks up a cocktail of cortisol that ultimately leads to weight gain – which is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve! If that wasn't motivation enough, sleep deprivation drastically reduces the body's ability to digest glycogen... resulting in even more weight gain.
So to combat this, we suggest making use of your alarm clock to develop a consistent sleeping pattern that ensures you get your 7-8 hours of precious sleep. Turn off your electronics 30 minutes before your bed time, stretch for 10-15 minutes or try your hand at some meditating. Once your body feels this rhythm of “winding down” you’re more than likely to switch off completely and recover fully.
2. NO MOTIVATION? THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!
If we could write down how many excuses we hear a day for not training, we’d write a novel. Girl, you’re not alone. Finding the motivation to be consistent with exercise is difficult to most! Especially if you’re new to exercise, you probably don’t know where to begin.
By having a fitness plan to follow, you’ll be less likely to avoid exercise because you’ll know exactly how to attack your session and make the most out of your workout!
Teaming up with a buddy / workout partner is an easy and effective way to stay accountable and there’s nothing wrong with a little competitive streak.
3. HIT A WALL? YOU MIGHT BE PLATEAUING
So maybe you’ve been committed to a healthy diet and exercise routine for a while now, but you’re not noticing any more weight loss improvements? You started your fitness journey with a bang, but suddenly you’ve hit a halt. Yep, we reckon you’ve begun to plateau.
Relax girl, this is completely normal and is more common than you might know!
Plateauing occurs when your progression stalls despite doing all the “right things” like eating right, exercising consistently and getting adequate sleep every night.
Firstly, we would like to point out that it’s much easier to drop weight when you’re at your heaviest, than it is when you start losing more and more weight. However, there are potentially a few common mistakes you make that could be contributing to your plateau.
YOU’RE REPEATING YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE
It’s important to keep a consistent routine for exercise, however in order to keep progressing, your routine will have to steadily increase in difficulty and variability in order to keep challenging your body. Maybe try mix up your workouts with a new challenge or class?
If that's not enough, we suggest giving your body a volume shock. This means that you amp up your repetitions or weight significantly (without causing injury) for a few sessions. This method is a good little trick to wake up your body and get it firing red hot again!
YOU DON’T KNOW THE LAST TIME YOU TOOK A WEEK OF REST
Like cars, our bodies need a little TLC and servicing every now and then to keep the wheels moving! Over-training can have the opposite effect too. Occasionally, if you’re feeling like you’ve hit a plateau, a week of rest (or even a few days) can totally reset your system. Try not to make it too long though (we suggest 5-7 days max) as you want to try and maintain your fitness levels and get back into the swing of things straight away.
HOW CONSISTENT ARE YOU?
You may need to ask yourself if you’re REALLY consistent. Sometimes, we might believe we’re being consistent with our diet, exercise routine and getting a regular 8 hours of sleep… but if you were to sit down and track your consistency over a 2 week period, you may notice some gaps.
If this sounds like you, don't stress just yet. We have the perfect solution to combat your plateau! Our 8 Week Bundle is the perfect fix. This bundle provides you with a detailed 3 phase exercise plan, decked out with a nutrition guide to keep yourself accountable and educated. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll be provided with every piece of equipment you need to achieve your goals, without signing up to a gym! Oh and an awesome Facebook support group that helps you stay motivated, with access to our trainers, team members and other girls on their FitazFK journey all around the world!
4. LET'S TALK HORMONES
Do you find yourself constantly feeling stressed? Feeling anxious? Maybe a little bit stressed? Unfortunately, this is affecting your weight loss BIG time!
When you stress, your cortisol levels increase in order to provide your body with glucose (energy) to help fight stress. It’s like, if you were to meet a large, hungry, tiger. To him, you look like a tasty morsel on the food chain. But to you, all you’re thinking about is how the fk you’re going to survive… cue fight or flight mode. The real question is though, how many tigers do we really encounter in our day to day?
Elevated cortisol over a long period of time eventually leads to an increase in bloody sugar levels because your body is producing unnecessary levels of glucose. So how do you tackle those tigers and lower those cortisol levels?
Caffeine increases cortisol at rest and the levels of cortisol experienced after consumption are similar to those reached during acute stress. Basically, caffeine equals stress, which equals weight gain. Try kick starting your day with green tea or lemon water instead!
Meditation is all about slowing down the breath and clearing your thoughts. We suggest trying 5-10 minutes every morning to really benefit from the results. FitazFK co-founder, Aaron McAllister, loves a good meditation session to relieve stress and practices daily.
Try this beginner meditation technique before you start or end your day…
- Find a comfortable place to sit cross legged.
- Close your eyes but stay alert to your surroundings
- Acknowledge how you’re feeling
- Focus on your breath - A simple mantra to help you achieve this could be: “I'm aware of my breath in, I’m aware of my breath out.”
- Acknowledge whatever thoughts you may have during this time, before focusing back on your breathing.
Meditation isn't about being good or bad at it, it’s all about the consistency! Aaron recommends meditating at the same time and place every day. Whether it’s one minute or an hour, mediate for as long as you feel necessary.
WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER HORMONES?
For women especially, trying to lose weight can be especially frustrating and your hormone levels could definitely be contributing to your lack of weight loss.
So how do you improve your hormone imbalances?
One way to help with hormone imbalances is to try and include magnesium rich foods into your diet to increase adiponectin levels. Adipon-what? Adiponectin is the hormone that regulates your glucose levels and boosts your metabolism! Try feeding your body whole foods, healthy fats and proteins.
5. ATTENTION UNDER-EATERS
MYTH: The less you eat, the skinner you’ll be. Let’s get this one straight guys and gals. Your body needs fuel to burn energy, and under-eating can actually have the opposite effect on your weightless goals.
What happens when you deny your body the right amount of food? You’re metabolic rate begins to slow down in order to reserve body fat, because it thinks you’re not getting enough nutrients to survive!
This in turn actually makes you PUT ON WEIGHT. That’s right guys, substituting a nice big healthy meal for a tiny packet of chips does not mean you’ll lose weight faster. Struggling with a nutritious but appetising food plan? We’ve got just the thing! Head to the FitazFK cookbook for some major food inspo and a dietician approved nutritional plan now!