There are few things in life that compare to the level of frustration one with an inability to lose weight will experience. And I’m not talking about people who skip the gym, eat junk food, and go on bi-monthly diets. Sorry to say it, but if this sounds like you, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself. Right now, I’m talking about the people who have a pretty good idea of how to lose weight, eat cleanly, go to the gym, and STILL can’t drop the excess body fat. You’ve heard it over and over again; fitness is simple. But despite your best efforts, fitness is anything but simple and understandably so. How can fitness be called simple when you do what you’re told and still don’t look how you know you should? Read on as we look at what even the most disciplined individuals can do to speed up their fat burning potential and finally achieve the body they so badly deserve.
Are you really doing everything you can?
The majority of people who come to me and tell me they’re doing everything perfectly, but still can’t lose weight, almost always have a little bit of, shall we say, “mis-remembering”, going on.. Are you REALLY doing everything you should be doing? Until you are certain of this, you can’t claim you are unable to lose weight like “everyone else”.
Some often overlooked things you should be mindful of:
- Sugar intake. How much sugar are you taking in each day? Each cup of coffee or banana really will add up.
- Meals out. How often are you really eating food cooked by someone else? Sugar, fat, etc. are all hidden in restaurant meals.
- Missed workouts. A missed workout here or there doesn’t seem like much, but they add up quickly.
- Workout schedule. How long are you actually at the gym? Going 6 days a week but for 20-minutes a session isn’t as much work as it seems.
- Alcohol habit. Even if it’s only on the weekends, how much are you drinking? These empty calories can wreak havoc on an otherwise picture perfect health plan.
- Late night eating. Are you eating late at night? Even worse, are you eating late at night after you’ve been drinking?
- Workout intensity and variety. There is no such thing as “the perfect workout”…but there are damn hard workouts. Are your workouts on par with the “lucky people” who don’t have excess weight to lose.
If you’re sitting around wondering how to lose weight faster or why you can’t seem to lose weight at all, I’d take a look at the above bullet points. These seven factors are almost always what’s throwing a wrench into the equation. One small (but habitual) slip up can be enough to throw your metabolism out of whack, slow down your calorie burning potential, and leave your body in a constant state of “average”.
Need a little extra help figuring things out? Check out the top 10 ways you’ll know your workouts aren’t working.
How to Lose Weight and Burn More Fat When Nothing is Working
Let’s pretend you’ve passed that checklist above. EVERYTHING is spot on and you’re just not making any progress. Most often, simply turning up the heat on your workout is going to help get you over the hump. Whether you’re stuck on a damn plateau or your body simply burns fat at a slower rate than other people, increasing the intensity of your workout plan is an almost guaranteed way to increase your caloric burn (and improve your body). When we work out alone, as most of us do, it becomes way too easy to fall into a rut, or simply half-ass some of our workouts.
If you’re leaving the gym and not feeling exhausted, it’s no wonder your progress is slowing down. You’ve GOT to push yourself hard. If you think you’ve been working out at max effort for a while now, I’ve got a little test for you. Give this treadmill interval workout a try to see how you stack up.
So how ya feelin’ after an hour of that treadmill interval? If you’re absolutely exhausted, then good, that’s how you’re supposed to feel after a workout. Not able to make it through the whole thing? Now you see what a real cardio workout should be like. Got through it no problem? Ask yourself if you feel this way after most of your workouts. The moral of the story is, the fittest and healthiest people are those who have found out how to push themselves. Do whatever it takes, but be your own personal drill sergeant. Get yourself to go faster, do another rep, and stay a little longer in the gym. Putting in an extra 15 minutes may not seem like much, but if you’re used to doing an hour, that’s an extra 25% of work everyday. What if you were burning 25% more calories everyday….that would add up in a hurry wouldn’t it?
The one thing you absolutely must realize is no two people are created alike (identical twins notwithstanding). Just because workouts X, Y, Z and the _____ diet work for Joe, doesn’t mean they’re going to work for you. Yes, it’s true that some people can eat what they want, workout half as long as you do, and have a body that just blows yours away. Genetics certainly plays a role, but it’s not a foregone conclusion as to what you can or can’t achieve. You’ve got to understand that some people simply have to work harder than others. Your body may “want” to keep that fat around your stomach, and if you’re going to lose it, you’re going to have to put in more minutes doing cardio, or lifting weights, or whatever the case may be. The point is, don’t compare your personal workouts to another person and assume because they work for them they will automatically work for you. Prepare to push yourself harder, longer, and faster if necessary to reach your goals.
At the end of the day, you’ve also got to understand that while a lot of your health and physique is under your control, some of it is not. Not everyone has the genetic makeup to bench press 500 pounds. Every woman doesn’t have a Victoria’s Secret model body hiding inside of her. The happiest and most successful people are the one’s who realize what they’ve been given and do everything in their power to improve upon it.
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