5 Reasons You're Still Not Losing Weight
Posted by Casey Nicole on July 8, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Still struggling with those last 5 pounds that just won’t budge? You try to eat healthy and exercise regularly, but results aren’t showing. I have been battling this problem lately, and just got a huge wake up call, when the restaurant I work at part-time switched to a menu that lists calorie counts. I'm sure the look on my face was priceless when I read the calorie count for my favorite chicken wrap was 1500 calories. I thought it wasn’t too bad that I’d indulge there a few times a week, especially since I eat healthy every other day, but once I realized I was clocking in over 1000 calories each “splurge,” I realized it was the hidden culprit that’s more than likely ruining all my hard work.
We’ve rounded up a few more lesser known reasons that are keeping you from losing those last few pounds.
1. You Don’t Have Enough Muscle
More muscles means more calories burned. Studies estimate that “a pound of muscle can burn anywhere from 30-100 extra calories a day.” Have you ever noticed how men burn more calories much quicker than women? It’s because they have more muscle. Try incorporating strength training along with your cardio. Jillian Michaels does this well in all of her exercise videos, specifically focusing on legs, since those large muscles will burn a lot of calories for you, even when you’re not working out.
2. You underestimate portions and calories.
Clearly, this was the crime I was committing at my part-time job. It may take a little extra work, but counting calories and portioning your meals could save you hundreds of calories a day. Start following the portion guidelines at mypyramid.gov until you can easily eye-ball portions yourself, and force yourself to start reading every food label for serving sizes and calories, too. You’ll likely find yourself making healthier, more filling choices, once you realize your favorite snack is higher in calories than imagine.
3. You eat mindlessly or when distracted.
How often do you eat dinner in front of the TV or computer? Are you aware of when you’re actually full or do you just stop when the show ends? Are you mindlessly snacking during The Real Housewives, and before you realize it, you’ve finished the entire bag of pretzels? Start making it a rule to only eat from a dish, and while sitting down without distractions. If you have a cramped apartment and always eat at the coffee table, just make sure you turn off the TV while dining. By doing so, you’ll be more aware of your portions and you’ll be more aware of when your body is full.
4. You’re usually good, but…
You do everything right all week long. You fill your plate with veggies and nosh on fruits and grilled meat. But, then comes the weekend, or a mini vacay, or it’s your friend’s birthday, or you had a stressful day, or you trying a new restaurant. We could keep going. There’s always going to be an excuse to splurge on a tasty, but likely, very high-calorie treat.
Derail your diet every week and you’ll never get anywhere. It’s true that everything is okay in moderation, but find ways to keep those splurges to a minimum. Instead of devouring that entire piece of cake, split it with your beau, or save half that fancy meal for lunch tomorrow. You’ll not only feel proud of yourself, but your hard work will start to show more quickly. Consistency is key for staying healthy. You don’t need to diet constantly, just start making small changes a part of your healthy lifestyle.
5. You overestimate your calorie burn.
Machines at the gym are notorious for miscalculating the calories burned during a workout. They often don’t take many factors into consideration, like weight, age, etc. Use online tools or apps to more closely track your calories burned for your body-type. If you’re constantly overestimating the calories burned during each workout, you can’t accurately judge how many calories to consume either.
Hopefully these tips will help you get past any fitness plateau you’ve hit. I’m feeling much more in control after discovering my hidden culprit. Have you noticed any hidden mistakes that derail your otherwise healthy lifestyle? Let us in the know by sharing in the comments below!