There could be many reasons why you’re not making progress and seeing the results you want. Each person is different, but there are usually a few key areas of our lifestyle that contribute to losing body fat and getting the appearance we want.
We've come up with a few reasons why you might not be seeing the results you want.
1. You eat too much. If you want to lose fat, you need to stop eating as much. It's that simple. Eat healthy foods over junk foods to curb your cravings and get plenty of water too. Manage the amount of calories you consume by checking portion / plate sizes or tracking what you eat.
2. Your sleep could be better. 7 - 9 hours, every night. That's your target. If you don't, you're more likely to suffer with tiredness, fatigue and low mood. This will send your hunger hormones into a spiral and trigger food cravings. You then start to eat more, which is the key contributor to gaining weight. In addition, lack of sleep will slow your metabolism down, so the excess food you do consume cannot be processed as well.
3. You don't have consistency. Results take time to achieve. Whether it's reducing body fat or building muscle, sustainable changes take time. Dieting for a week or 2 won't cut it. Exercising for a few odd sessions here and there might make you feel good, but realistically you need a consistent routine if you're going to get anywhere. Eating a healthy diet Monday - Friday but binging at the weekend isn't consistent either. Look at making small changes for long term results.
4. You lack self belief. This is a huge one. Believe in yourself and have the confidence to chase that goal. Self doubt is one of the biggest killers of ambition. Don't care about what anyone else thinks (people won't be watching you anyway). Don't believe in your ability to achieve that goal? Break it down and work towards a smaller one. It doesn't matter how big the steps are, just take them.
5. You don't consume enough protein. Protein is a powerful macronutrient when it comes to both fat loss and muscle growth. Consuming protein 3-4 times per day will improve your satiety (keeps you fuller for longer and less likely to over consume) and will support any exercise and subsequent recovery that you need.
6. You aren't setting yourself goals. The power of setting goals cannot be underestimated. Do you think the most successful people in the world got there by mistake? They had goals and got to work. You should be no different. Set yourself 1 - 2 small goals to achieve every single week. Hold yourself accountable by making small changes and creating new habits to reach these goals.
7. You don't rest and digest enough. Give your body a chance to catch up and understand there is more to the 'getting healthy' process than just exercise. Rest more and take time to digest. Let your parasympathetic nervous system take care of you!
8. You are chasing someone else's goal. Is the goal you're working towards really yours, or are you simply following a friend or something you've seen on social media? Make sure your motivation is intrinsic and comes from within you.
9. Your training intensity isn't right. The body only adapts and changes when we stimulate it properly. This typically comes from progressive overload (running slightly faster, lifting slightly heavier, changing the training method to challenge us more). Doing the same thing you've always done without change might be a reason why you're no longer making progress.
10. You lack carbs. Carbs fuel us. Too little carbs could mean we won't be able to exercise at the right intensity (think about putting fuel in a car). Healthy carbohydrates support both body and mind and are nutrient rich. Cutting out bad carbs (biscuits, cake, pizza, junk food, etc..) will be beneficial to our health and fat loss goals, but we still do need a certain amount of healthy carbs. Low carb diets can work for fat loss, but it is not a sustainable option as it usually only lasts for a short period of time. Finding a balance of healthy carbs will be sustainable for health and training purposes.
11. You consume too many liquid calories. Calories in the drinks we consume can be the worst ones to identify. They are extremely palatable and for this reason they are very easy to consume. For example...
- 1 x latte = 150 calories
- 1 x 250ml orange juice (small) = 130 calories
- 1 x medium glass of red wine = 160 calories
- 1 x can of coke = 130 calories
- TOTAL = 570 calories
We have used small serving sizes and only 1 serving of each in this example. For those who have multiple lattes, orange juice, fizzy drinks and alcohol every day, you could easily double this number. Try having smaller glasses of juice at first, switching to zero sugar fizzy drinks, cutting down on alcohol and reducing the amount of coffee you drink.
12. You don't value your health. What are your priorities? Our health should be high on the agenda. If it's not, don't really expect to see results. Valuing other areas of your lifestyle (such as work, family, social life, etc) is fine, but if you don't value your health as highly as other lifestyle factors, you'll likely neglect it. Ultimately, we all want to look good and feel good. But learning to be healthy will get us to a position of looking and feeling good. Instead of thinking 'I want to lose weight' start to think instead 'I want to be healthy'. You'll probably find fat loss is a by-product of being healthy, as well as better mental health, better physical and social wellbeing.
13. You're too stressed. Pressures of modern day life can result in stress overloads. The last thing we need is to put extra pressure on ourselves to get in tip top shape. So think about cleaning up your immediate environment. Remove negative factors, be organised and keep your head space as clear as possible. Don't overcomplicate things and focus on the basics; hydrate often, sleep well, move more, eat less. One small habit and lifestyle change every day makes a huge difference.
14. You're not happy. What really makes you happy? What is stopping you from being happy? Being happy is one of the best cures and reasons we can make progress in all areas of life. Unhappy people tend to self-sabotage, so if you're not sure why you binge eat and skip exercising all the time, have a good think as to why this could be. Find a reason to be happy, then be happy and allow yourself to move in the direction you want with a positive routine and without dragging yourself backwards.