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Published on April 26, 2019

Why You’re Struggling to Lose Weight (And How to Fix It)

Why You’re Struggling to Lose Weight (And How to Fix It)

Many years ago, I struggled with obesity. It was a time where I was on the 2 for 1 Burger King diet.

The first 30 lbs were quite easy to lose, the remaining 90 lbs were extremely hard to shed off. The reason why it was so hard? Because I didn’t know what to do. This is when I decided to copy what people were doing at the gym, starving myself, over consuming on certain meals and the list goes on.

Eventually, I came to the realization that I was struggling to lose weight and needed to learn how to fix it. And when I learned how the right way to lose weight, I could lose 110 lbs of body fat:[1]

    Why I was struggling? Because I lacked the knowledge of what to do.

    How to fix it? By learning what will work. Not what I think might work, but what actually works.

    Based on experience, I can honestly tell you that 7 out of 10 personal training clients share the same problem. They’re struggling to lose weight. When this situation arises, it’s all about analyzing the amount of output and input in our bodies.

    Going to the gym and doing random exercises is not enough anymore. It’s all about building a customized plan that works for you. Same with nutrition, someone else’ diet may or may not work for you. Finally, we need to consider lifestyle behaviours as well.

    1. Over Consuming Protein

    There was a time when protein shakes would have 50 to 100 grams of protein per shake. It wasn’t until this study came out that it was determined that per meal we can only ingest 20g to 30g of protein every 3 to 4 hours.[2]

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    Every person varies on timing and needs. Instead of having 2 chicken breast per meal (which has approximately 62 grams of protein), have 1 chicken breast per meal (31 grams).

      2. Confusing Complex Carbs vs Simple Carbs

      Eating a slice of bread is not the same as eating 4 cups of sweet potatoes. Simple carbs are digested quicker by the body leaving you hungry. However, complex carbs take time for the body to digest.

      Simples carbs are found in food such as fruits, milk, soft drinks and more. Complex carbs are found in food such as whole grains, beans, vegetables and more.

      Simple and Complex serve different purposes.

      Eating simple carbs is recommended before starting a workout if you have not eaten anything for the past 2 to 4 hours. This way you have a boost of energy.

      Eating complex carbs is recommended at least 30 to 45 minutes after a workout so you can replenish your glycogen levels. Eating this way will you feel satisfied after workouts, so there is no craving.

        3. Not Hitting All the Muscle Groups

        It’s not only about doing abdominal workouts and cardio. It’s about hitting all muscle groups 2-5 times a week for significant impact in the body. Beginners should start with compound movement (which target more than one muscle group).

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        A simple guideline would be 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions, with a 30 second to a 1:30 break in between sets.

        Squats target the lower body, while the Glute-Bridges primarily targets the glutes and hamstring. Dead Push Ups target the upper body (front) and Downward Dog targets the upper back.

        All exercises above target the core muscle, which is why I love to leave the plank for last. The Plank targets all muscle groups if done correctly.

        Squats

          Dead Push Ups

            Downward Dog

              Glute Bridge

                Plank

                  4. Confusing a Cheat Meal for a Cheat Day

                  It’s not bad to break your diet from time to time. After all, we’re humans! The problem is when we over indulge ourselves.

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                  Planning for one cheat meal a week will not cause major impacts to the body in regards to gaining weight. However, a cheat day will have an impact on the body to gaining weight and feeling bloated.

                    5. Skipping Meals

                    If your body is accustomed to eating a certain times during the day but you skip a meal, the body identifies this as something in the body is changing; therefore the next meal you decide to have will be stored in to our bodies as fat as a mean to survive.

                    Unless you’re doing intermittent fasting, you shouldn’t skip meals. Even then, you have to know what foods to eat so the body does not store it as fat.

                    What you shouldn’t do is skip a meal for weight loss purposes. What you should do, is plan out your day or week of the meals and snack you’re going to eat and focus on portion control, balancing your proteins, carbs and fats, and drink lots of water.

                      6. Eating till You’re Full

                      We need to be aware of the amount of food we put on our plate. There needs to be healthy portions of carbs, fats, and protein on our plates.

                      Instead of having 85% of your plate full of pasta (carbs), only put in 35%. Fill the rest up with as much green vegetables as you desire, then have 40% of protein (chicken breast) and 25% of fat (avocado).

                      Below you will find an example of a portioned sized meal:

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                      • Asparagus: 50% (Green Vegetables)
                      • Grilled Zucchini: 30% (Green Vegetable, Low Carb)
                      • Grilled Salmon: 20% (Protein & Fats)

                        7. Insufficient Sleep

                        The bodies needs to recover and process everything that it has gone throughout the day. Not only does sleeping help you fight night cravings, but it also helps to increases physical activity output because you’re well rested.

                        Can’t sleep at night? Here are a couple of solutions:

                        • Don’t bring your phone to the bedroom
                        • Put a timer so you can remind yourself to go to bed early
                        • Don’t eat anything heavy before going to bed

                          If you’re struggling to lose weight, these are some potential causes that you should check in with yourself.

                          Follow the above weight loss hacks, and gradually you’ll find yourself losing some weight and leading a healthier lifestyle. Keep it up!

                          Featured photo credit: Zach Rowlandson via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          More by this author

                          Sergio Pedemonte

                          CEO and Certified Personal Trainer of Your House Fitness

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                          Last Updated on January 3, 2020

                          The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

                          The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

                          Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

                          The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

                          1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

                          Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

                           I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

                          To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

                          And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

                           2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

                          Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

                          3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

                          Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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                          4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

                          The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

                          5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

                          Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

                          6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

                          Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

                          7. Positive people smile a lot!

                          When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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                          8. People who are positive are great communicators.

                          They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

                          9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

                          One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

                          10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

                          Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

                          How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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                          I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

                          Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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