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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 October 20, 2020

                          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                          You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                          We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                          The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                          Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                          1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                          Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                          For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                          • (1) Research
                          • (2) Deciding the topic
                          • (3) Creating the outline
                          • (4) Drafting the content
                          • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                          • (6) Revision
                          • (7) etc.

                          Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                          2. Change Your Environment

                          Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                          One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                          3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                          Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                          Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                          My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                          Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                          4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                          If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                          Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                          I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                          5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                          I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                          Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                          As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                          6. Get a Buddy

                          Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                          I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                          7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                          This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                          For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                          8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                          What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                          9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                          If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                          Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                          10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                          Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                          Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                          11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                          At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                          Reality check:

                          I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                          Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

                          More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

                          Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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