A lot of people feel frustrated because they put a lot of time and effort into exercising, but don't lose weight. You may be wondering why you spend hours walking in the park or going to the gym, but when you get on a scale feel like you have nothing to show for it. There are many possible reasons that you are not losing enough weight or inches, and the top three are:
1. You may not be exercising enough. First of all, you need to burn about 3,500 calories to lose a single pound of fat. So if you are taking your time walking or jogging around the park or doing just 10 push-ups every day, then you might not lose even an ounce.
The best way to lose weight by exercising is to do medium to high intensity cardio work-outs for about 30 minutes a day and combine these with strength training exercises (lifting weights) for at least two (non-consecutive) days a week. These will burn calories more effectively than doing long but slow-paced exercises. These types of interval training exercises will not only help you lose weight faster, but they will also increase your muscle strength, endurance, agility, and balance. You will develop lean muscle mass and lose body fat faster than light, regular paced exercises. However, you should do these exercise routines only for a maximum of 3-4 non-consecutive days a week to give your muscles time to recover.
2. You may be losing sleep. Not getting enough sleep is a common weight loss inhibitor, since it can affect your metabolism, which can lead you to eat more. This happens because sleep deprivation can influence cortisol secretion, a stress hormone that increases your appetite. Another factor is that when you lack sleep you tend to be less active and burn fewer calories. This is another reason why may not burn enough calories even if you exercise.
To make your weight loss regimen work you must make getting enough sleep a priority after work. Try to aim for at least eight hours of good sleep, but if you cannot, supplement this with power naps during the day. This will help boost your energy to work out more and reduce your cortisol levels to normal, in order to prevent you from overeating.
3. You are constantly under stress. Being under pressure and constantly worrying also stimulates the body to produce more cortisol, the hormone that helps the body cope with stress. However, cortisol also increases your appetite and may cause overeating. Many people seek comfort in food and sometimes they are not aware that they are doing it. Even with exercise, the balance between calorie intake and expenditure is tipped towards increasing weight. This is an important cause of weight gain despite exercise.
Take some time to relax during the day to give your body time to recover from stress. This will help bring down your cortisol levels and reduce your urge to eat. That way, you can avoid gaining weight and burn more calories when you exercise.
People Who Successfully Lose Weight
No matter who you are and what your situation in life is, you can make a decision to lose weight by combining a healthy diet and regular exercise with an improvement in your lifestyle, just like the following people who have successfully lost weight:
- Diane wanted to lose weight badly, in time for her 50th birthday. After being overweight since childhood, she made a pact with herself to look better than ever before, so she started an exercise and diet program based on Jillian Michael's book "Making the Cut." Since then she has never looked back, lost 40 pounds, and is now living a healthy lifestyle. http://www.jillianmichaels.com/lose-weight/success-stories/diane-loses-40-pounds.aspx
- Jeffrey started to diet at age 47, when his wife was diagnosed with cancer and he feared that his children might be left as orphans, since he was severely obese. However, he only started to go to the gym and do regular exercises two years later. After 5 years of determination to stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan, he has achieved his goals, is now down to 175 pounds, and is enjoying life with his recovering wife. http://weight-loss-story.blogspot.com/
- Kris is the CEO & founder of ShapeFit, LLC, and at 33, he is enjoying life after losing 50 pounds and maintaining his weight for 10 years. As an overweight kid, he started to do a lot of cardio and strength training and maintained a strict nutritional plan to be able to join the high school football team. Today he manages ShapeFit.com, which aims to help people get in shape and live a healthy life. http://www.shapefit.com/success-stories-weight-loss-kris.html
- Alicia weighed 230 pounds on her 25th birthday and experienced the chronic aches of someone 3 times older. She gave up being vegetarian, ate chicken and fish, and jogged one block at a time. Within a year and a half, she was able to run up to 13 miles, and her weight dropped to 152 pounds. After consulting a weight loss expert who advised her to eat small meals that included carbs, instead of starving herself, and to use energy saving tricks to be able to run more, she lost 11 more pounds and was able to finish her first marathon. http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/success-stories/makeovers/bust-weight-loss-plateau/
- Chris, 34, ate foods loaded with carbohydrates as a child, was forced to start a diet at a young age, but reached 250 pounds after he got married. When his daughter was born he decided to lose weight by doing cardio training, lifting weights, and started a protein-rich diet. Now at 180 pounds, he works as a part-time personal trainer. http://fitbie.msn.com/men/becoming-father-motivated-him-lose-70-pounds
- After 2 pregnancies, 35-year-old Mandy gained a lot of weight, and at 248 pounds she decided to live a healthier life by starting a Medifast diet plan. She started losing weight and continued to lose more as she became more active doing cardio and weight training exercises. Now at 145 pounds, her husband and kids share the same happy, healthy lifestyle that she started. http://fitbie.msn.com/lose-weight/now-i-can-bare-my-legs-beach
- Donia, 43, weighed 228 pounds as she went on a yo-yo diet, turning to comfort food after experiencing divorce and several pregnancies. She started to lose weight after joining her office's Biggest Loser challenge and avoiding carbohydrates. She is a regular biker now, and minus 35 pounds later, she has enrolled her own daughters in kickboxing class. http://fitbie.msn.com/lose-weight/she-lost-35-pounds-biking
- After seeing her wedding pictures, in which she weighed 185 pounds at a petite height, 27-year-old Krystal knew that she had to clean out her pantry of unhealthy foods and hit the treadmill six times a week. She also did strength training and added weights to her workouts until she finally reached her desired weight. She still goes running, hiking, and biking with her husband and is now at peace with her appearance. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/65-pound-weight-loss
- Inese, 29, lived with a chef-boyfriend who cooked her delicious meals and worked an office job, which led to her sedentary lifestyle. Realizing that she needed to lose some weight she tried several diets and was later able to learn how to cook her own healthy meals. She also became more active by hiking, walking stairs, and doing squats in her own office. After a 17-pound loss, she still continues to live a healthy life by using Weight Loss Resources. http://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/weight_loss/success_story/inese.htm
- Charles weighed 360 pounds when he was only 17 years old and suffered from many health issues related to obesity. Using diet, exercise, and a positive mental attitude he was able to lose 160 pounds in 2 years and has managed to maintain good health for a decade. He is now a health and fitness coach, as well as the author of a book entitled Think and Grow Thin, which is endorsed by former President Clinton. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-d/weight-loss-success_b_1575979.html