I’ve had quite a few people email me with sob stories along the lines of “I exercise and can’t lose weight! What should I do!?”. You know what I have to say to you? Bullshit. If you’re exercising and can’t lose weight, you’re obviously doing something wrong. Here are just a few explanations for why you’re not losing weight when you think you should be:
- You’re not exercising enough. I get a lot of complaints from people trying to lose weight that no matter how much they exercise, nothing changes. My answer? Exercise more.Chances are you’re actually not exercising enough, and unless you’re already doing 30-60 minutes a day 5 days a week, you can always exercise more. People come to me with these wild ideas that if they exercise for 20 minutes today they should have lost a kilogram by tomorrow. That’s not how this works people, weight loss is a long, arduous, on-going process, and you can’t and shouldn’t expect instant results.
- You’re not doing the right exercises. Don’t get me wrong, most exercises are good exercises, but some are better than others. For example, doing sit-ups all day long isn’t going to get you a skinny tummy, it’s just going to build muscle which will still be covered by fat.While we’re on the topic of sit-ups, spot reduction, which is the method of working an individual area of the body in the attempt to lose weight from that spot alone, doesn’t work. Spot reduction is a myth. So stop buying those overpriced ab machines and instead focus on losing weight all over, by doing cardio like running, swimming, cycling, or any number of other exercises.
- You’re eating too much goddamn food. That’s right, I’m bringing your diet into this. If you exercise like a maniac 2 hours a day every day, but still eat at McDonalds every night for dinner, chances are you won’t lose much weight, and you’ll probably die from heart disease too. This is where most people come unstuck when they’re trying to lose weight.They commit to a diet, start exercising, slowly abandon the diet while maintaining the exercising, and wonder why nothing changes. You need a calorie deficit to lose weight, it’s as simple as that, and the best way to achieve that is through a healthy diet supplemented by daily, or at the very least, regular exercise. So get your diet in check if you want to lose weight.
- You’re not tracking calories. This one ties in with number 3. If you’re not tracking your calories you’ll have no way of knowing if your efforts are actually going to pay off. You might be exercising properly, and your diet may be top notch, but you might be slightly over-eating and this would cause you to be on a caloric surplus and you wouldn’t even know it. Tracking your calories isn’t hard to do either, just make a free account with My Fitness Pal and you can track all your food and exercise. And guess what? I’ve got a post where I run through all the steps required to create and properly use MyFitnessPal.
- You’re lying to yourself. Whether it be about the amount you exercise, the food you’re eating, or the general healthiness of your diet, you’re probably lying to yourself. It’s tempting to tell your calorie tracker you ate less than you did, but in the long run it’s only going to hinder your progress. Make sure you are honest to yourself about your goals, and also about your current progress. As some wise person probably once said, “when you lie to yourself, the only person who gets hurt is you.”
It might seem like I’m being a heartless asshole telling you how bad you are at losing weight, but this is serious business. For some of you, weight loss IS life-or-death. After reading through this list, if you can still look me dead in the eye and tell me that you are eating properly, you are exercising properly, and you’re certain you’re on a calorie deficit because you’re tracking your calories, but you still aren’t losing weight, then I’d like to hear more from you because you’re a 1/1,000,000 case, email me at [email protected]. On the other hand, if you’ve realized you actually aren’t trying as hard as you thought, consider purchasing a weight loss program that lays everything out for you in simple easy to follow steps, that all you have to do is implement. Personally I’d recommend Fat Loss Factor, because it’s affordable (less than $50 I think) and contains pretty much everything you need to know to lose weight. You can check it out here.