WHY AM I NOT LOSING WEIGHT?! It’s the age old question and one I’ve been asked HUNDREDS of times as a trainer. During weight loss, people expect it to be a steadily declining line. When you eat right and work out, why wouldn’t that be the case? Well, unfortunately, it’s not like that. At all.
I decided I’d go over the top 5 weight loss roadblocks you may experience in your journey, and how to overcome them. Let’s get to it!
1. The Scale NOT Moving!!
Common Reasons Why:
1. You’re Eating Too Much Sodium
You may be under or right at your calorie allotment, but have you checked out your sodium intake? Are you eating more processed deli meat than normal? Turned to soups because they’re super low in calories?
Lets go over an example of how that whole soup idea is probably not the best:
A can of Progresso Chicken Noodle soup has 690 milligrams of sodium. For one cup. And I’m guessing you eat the entire can cause who can really eat half a can of soup. Not this girl. That right there is 1,380 milligrams. I’m also gonna bet that you have saltines with it. I’m good at this game, huh? Well, 5 of those babies is another 135 milligrams. So even if you don’t double up on those bad boys, for that one meal, we’re looking at 1,515 milligrams. For one meal. ONE.
According to the American Heart Association, the ideal number for sodium intake is NO MORE than 1,500 milligrams of sodium. Yikes. Good luck trying to find anything that has negative amounts of sodium.
Why is sodium such a big deal when it comes to weight loss? Have you ever eaten like at a Mexican restaurant and felt like a beached whale afterwards??? That’s because it’s LOADED with sodium! And guess what sodium does. It makes you retain water. It’s even worse when you don’t drink enough water.
Having a high sodium diet with just an additional 400 milligrams extra can potentially cause a temporary gain of 2 pounds! It’s important to have sodium in our diets, but let’s keep it around that 1,500 milligram number to see that weight come off! (find out more about it here)
2. Your Muscles are Soaking Up ALL The Water
I’m going to give you the real simple version of this because the scientific-y stuff is juuuust kind of complex. So here we go. When you work out, you tear your muscles. Plain and simple. Bet you never thought that, huh? It’s kind of weird if you think of it! But, it’s what happens. And! It’s what makes your muscles get all toned and beautiful!
Now, they’re just micro-tears (little guys), and it’s also one reason you get sore. When your muscles tear, they immediately want to start healing (as do all parts of your body, hence blood clotting as well!). When that happens, your muscles use whatever water they can find to try to start the healing process. This causes water retention because your body holds it where it needs to heal. In my mind, and I can’t be 100% sure about this, but I think it goes something like this: “um, yeah….no, I’m not letting this water out of my sight, I need ta heal!” and then you gain 5 pounds. But just remember, it’s water weight, you haven’t gained 5 pounds of fat overnight. Promise.
3. Your Fat is Being a Punk
AKA the fat cells are filling with water before actually releasing it, see below
Tips To Overcome:
- Make sure you’re monitoring your sodium. A lot of apps also calculate how much you’re consuming and try to stay under that 1,500mg range
- KEEP WORKING OUT. Don’t let the scale not budging keep you from working out. Check out that graphic ^^^^. You might gain at first, but then lose
- Drink ALL the water! (see below on how to get ALL the water)
- Use non-scale victories for rewards
- Use more than one means of measurement to keep you motivated. Are your measurements going down? How about your clothes looser. Do people tell you they can see a difference? The scale is not everything, I promise you.
2. Getting Enough Water
Getting enough water in the weight loss journey is crucial. It helps those pounds just mellllllt away. Sort of.
But if you’re going from drinking 8 Dr. Peppers a day to now having to drink a ton of water, it can be difficult. Here’s some tips to get that water intake up
Tips To Overcome:
- Set a timer to drink a certain amount of water
- Get a reusable water bottle and calculate how much you’ll need during the day
- Download a water app!
- Mark on your water bottle how much you need to drink every couple hours and stay with it
- Put the amount of rubber bands on your bottle you need to reach your intake and take them off as you drink
3. No Motivation/Time to Exercise
As Mel Robbins puts it, “motivation is garbage”. And she’s 100% legit in saying that! You’re not always going to be motivated but you just have to do it. So suck it up, remember your WHY and go slay like you’ve never slayed before.
“Just do it. The only person you’re letting down is yourself” -Phil Knight, Founder of Nike
Tips To Overcome:
- Find a workout you enjoy! Dancing, boxing, horizontal running, etc. If you enjoy it, you’re more likely to be consistent!
- Start where you are. If you haven’t worked out before, take pride in doing your 2-3 days or whatever you can do and make it a goal to increase as you go
- Exercise doesn’t have to be hours upon hours during the day, it can be in small increments throughout the day.
- Have a break? Do 15 squats. Go climb the stairs. Do some jumping jacks.
- The important thing is to move
- Also recommended is Tabata. It’s literally 4 minutes of intense exercise and there are tons of different combinations that you can do. Look it up on Pinterest and you’d be amazed. If you’re too busy to spare 4 minutes, you’re too.busy.
4. Sugar Cravings Up the Wa-Zoo
You’re going to have sugar cravings. It’s like your body asking if you reeeeeeeally want to shed the pounds. Maybe it’s testing your will power, maybe you’re just addicted to sugar (more common than you think!).
If you’re starting out a clean eating program or anything of that effect and are completely eliminating sugar, first off, hats off to you! I’m so proud!
You may experience some not so fun symptoms like headaches, moodiness, lethargy, etc. But don’t let that sway you! Stay strong!
Tips To Overcome:
- Flavored sugarless gum!
- Grapefruit essential oil
- If you have the self control, have little pieces here and there. This is a lifestyle change, not just the diet. How are you going to cope with the sugar cravings after your diet challenge is up (if you’re doing one)?
- Dark chocolate
- Fruit leathers
- Apple chips
- Flavored water—some of those are really sweet like grape (try to find aspartame free)
5. Wanting to Snack All the Live Long Day
I swear you could be eating the same amount of calories but when you eliminate sugar, processed foods and high carbs, your body rebels. And it makes you think you’re hungry ALL.THE.TIME.
If you’ve decreased your calories, you’re going to be hungry because your body is used to the other caloric amount. Don’t give in!!!
Tips To Overcome:
- Sparkling Flavored water (try to find aspartame free)
- Eat every 2-3 hours, that will help blood sugar levels
- Get BUSY…occupy your mind and body. When you’re busy, you’re thinking of other things
- Take a swig of water, you might just be thirsty
Do you have any tips or tricks that keep you on the wagon when you’re on a weight loss journey? I’d love to know!
Your Friend in the Journey,