Updated: Jan 14, 2020
I received a message this week from an old client who had taken some time off (as we all do occasionally), however she is now back at the gym, training frequently and also watching her diet. She's been at it for a while now but unfortunately to no avail. She hasn't seen many physical changes in her body and as you'd expect, she is pretty miffed off.
So what do you do if what your trying isn't working? Well in response to this message, I thought I would elaborate on some of the most common reasons people don't see any changes in there body, when everything they're doing seems to be right.
When I hear stories like this, my first response is "how long have you been exercising?". A month or two just won't cut it. Commit for at least three consistent months. The body needs time to adjust. Hormones and metabolism, which have been dormant for a while, take time to start firing. Be patient and trust in the process.
INTESNITY & VARIETY
The act of going to the gym doesn't burn calories. Too many people sit on a machine for 10 mins, doing a bit of pulling, a bit of pressing and expect miraculous results. TRAIN HARD. The body needs to experience stress is order to adapt. Be sure your muscles are burning and/or your heart rate is high. Always leave sweating knowing you couldn't give anymore! I also recommend varying your workouts regularly. Change the order of exercises, try new exercises, even try something out of your comfort zone i.e a class, new sport etc.
If you're body is stressed, making any physiological changes within the body becomes difficult. It struggles to maintain muscle mass and can hold fat stores in fear they may be needed. Stress comes in many shapes and sizes. The most common I find with my clients are related to work, relationships, family and friends. But occasionally there are deeper routed issues from a persons history. If stress is something you've experienced for long periods of time, I advise seeking professional help. You will be amazing how it puts your mind at ease and makes reaching those goals a lot easier.
Sleep deprivation is yet another stress on the body. Most people I work with don't get enough sleep, mainly due to work. Aside from the stress factor, lack of sleep also affects your performance in the gym. If you can't give 100% in the gym the quality of the sessions drops, less calories are burnt and you're often back to square one.
A few hours in the gym each week won't counteract a sedentary lifestyle. You'll be amazed what the power of walking can do in your fight against fat. Make sure you hit at least 5000 steps every day. If you can do more, even better!
FRESH & HOMECOOKED
Don't rely on sandwiches and quick meals to get your thorough the day. The quality of your food is very important. Make meals at home which can be taken into work for breakfast and lunch.
Some people can get away with a few drinks at the weekend whilst trying to lose weight. Others unfortunately can't. As acceptable as alcohol is, don't forget it's essentially a poison to the body. Reducing if not eliminating it from your diet will see those results increase dramatically.
Occasionally I will take on a new client who eats a fantastic diet, high in nutrients, well balanced yet they still can't lose weight. Nutrition is a numbers game and if you're eating too much (even the good stuff) you will gain weight. Try a calorie counter to make sure you're within a decent range for your age, weight and height. Check out my previous article on calorie counting for more info.