If you regularly visit the gym, you expect the numbers on the scale to go down as you trim and tone your body. Yet a plateau can happen. If you feel like you are putting in the hard work, yet are not seeing results, you may have a behaviour that is working against you. Review these five common reasons for not achieving the results you want at the gym and change any habits as necessary. A few lifestyle modifications could spell the difference between staying stuck and finally slimming down a size.
1. You chow down before or after a workout
Fitness buffs recommend that you have a snack before a workout to have enough energy to work hard. A snack after your workout helps your muscles initiate recovery. The key word here is “snack.” If your pre- or post-workout snacks are more meal-sized, losing weight is difficult. Cut portion sizes to achieve more results.
2. You hit the gym, but spend the rest of the day sitting
An hour at the gym won’t compensate for 23 sedentary hours. If the gym is your only source of physical activity, you simply are not active enough to see results. The more you move, the more calories you will burn in your day. Incorporate spurts of physical activity to nudge a sluggish metabolism toward weight loss. Try walking on your lunch break, lifting weights during television commercials, or jogging in place while microwaving meals.
3. You’re not getting enough water
If you are not getting enough water, your kidneys and liver are affected. Over time, your liver ends up storing more fat so it can help the kidneys function. This means that you keep more fat on your body. As a general guideline, you should drink half of your body weight in ounces of water, every day. Double check your water consumption. If you are not getting enough water, upping your hydration can help your body lose weight.
4. Your workout is barely work
While a workout may have been challenging when you first started at the gym, have you outgrown it? If you are no longer pushing yourself on the treadmill or elliptical, your body is not going to burn enough calories. Try a new workout, or increase your intensity to put the challenge back in your cardio time.
5. You’re super stressed
Exercises is a known stress reducer. If you are stressed, it is all the more important that you take time to visit the gym. Stress can also increase your cortisol, which can lead to cravings of bread, chips, and other starchy snacks. If you suspect extra stress is pausing your weight loss, keep up your healthy habits. As you destress, you should be able to resume weight loss.
When it comes to reaching your gym goals and keeping it off, you are the ultimate judge of your progress. It can be helpful to keep a fitness journal that outlines your workout routine, mood, food, and even water consumption. This way, you can readily track your performance and make tweaks to your gym routine. Be persistent and you will see success.