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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 December 9, 2019

                          5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                          5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                          Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                          Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                          Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                          1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                          Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                          This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                          In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                          The result: no more mental stress.

                          2. Unplug

                          Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                          How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                          It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                          Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                          3. Easy on the Caffeine

                          Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                          Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                          4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                          That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                          How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                          • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                          • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                          • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                          While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                          5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                          This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                          The result: mental stress will be gone!

                          So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                          Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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