(Fremont County, Wyo.) - Many people commit to losing weight at the start of the year. Whether the unwanted pounds sneak on between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve, or they’ve been around for years, you may find the pounds more stubborn than anticipated when you finally ask them to leave. Much like figuring out how to get the last guest to leave the party, you’ll need to pre-plan and consider all angles to help them gracefully exit! Here are a few reasons your scale might not be budging.
You think working out to lose weight is easier than cleaning up your eating habits! - Exercise and activity certainly help when you’re on a weight loss journey. But as the old adage goes, “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” Exercise burns calories, but depending on the activity, intensity, and duration, it might not result in a big enough caloric deficit to melt the pounds—or it could take much longer than you want. Not to mention, beginning an exercise routine or becoming more active can inadvertently lead to more calories being consumed, because you may experience an increased appetite. If you’re not considering the choices you’re making in the kitchen, simultaneously, you could be sabotaging your efforts!
Making better meal, snack, and beverages choices can easily reduce your overall caloric consumption, which will lead to weight loss. When you combine healthy eating with increased activity, weight loss accelerates.
You think there are “good” foods and “bad” foods! - It’s important to ease into healthy eating by analyzing the food choices you make and then start considering food swaps. Really…eating healthy isn’t half bad! You just need to become more aware about nutritional facts and fiction, and find some great recipes. Eating healthy doesn’t mean denying yourself occasional pleasurable foods or food experiences because you think they are “bad.” Everything in moderation—just don’t indulge in everything all the time.
You think cardio is king! - It makes sense: Cardio workouts burn calories. You see it, right there on the screen. It’s easy to monitor and makes you feel good about your journey. But cardio alone will not help you lose weight or keep it off. It’s important to invest in increasing your lean muscle mass by adding strength training sessions to your workout program.
This doesn’t mean eliminate cardio. Your heart needs exercise and cardio is a great way to do it. Plus, it does burn calories! But, cardio alone will not speed up your weight loss progress. Combine cardio and strength training for best results.
You think you must go hard or go home! - You may be inclined to give it all you got now that you are on your way. That could mean long sweat sessions and high intensities, all the time. But it’s not helpful. “More” does not always equal “better” when you’re trying to get fit and lose weight.
Continuing to increase your workout duration, frequency, and intensity actually has consequences. You may see short-term gains, but in the long run you will be fatigued, and potentially, lose interest, as it’s impossible to continue to always up the ante. Not to mention, when your body doesn’t get the time it needs to recover, you may feel like you’re working hard, but are actually not burning as many calories as you think.
Aim to work your way toward 1-2 shorter, intense workout sessions each week. Then, include a couple of longer, less intense, workouts as well. And take days off! Be active and enjoy activities that are fun, light, and easy, like a walk, family bike ride or dancing in your living room! Find a balance that you can maintain, not a routine that makes you want to abandon ship all together.
You think there’s a quick fix! - If a true quick fix existed, weight loss wouldn’t be a struggle for so many. No, there are no magic pills, pieces of equipment, diets or workouts that will help you achieve the results you’re seeking in a super simple way and short period of time. The truth tis, accumulating pounds didn’t happen overnight, so it won’t go away overnight. While you may initially see this as a blow, take a deep breath and keep reading!
Weight loss is a journey, not a destination. It consists of small adjustments, decisions, and new habits that will occur day after day, week after week, and year after year. You will lose weight, the scale may not budge for a few days, and you may see your weight go up ever so often during your journey. But if you remain consistent, you will find the success you are after.
Ultimately: Avoid setting unrealistic goals. Avoid having unrealistic expectations. Simply do the work, day after day after day. Eventually, it won’t be work, it will simply be a way of life. You got this!
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