I hear it all the time, “I’m exercising but gaining weight.”
So if you’re hitting the treadmill, rower or the weights room every day and are not seeing the numbers you want on the scale, then you are not alone! You have plenty of mates.
It’s enough to make you think, “I am putting on weight for no reason.”
Plenty of people exercise regularly and yet they still cannot seem to shed the kilos/pounds. There could be a number of possible reasons for this.
Here are some classic examples: lack of sleep, eating more than your daily calorie requirements, not drinking enough water, following the wrong exercise program and eating too many processed junk foods.
It’s true, some people could have a genetic issue – but in a bigger percentage of cases it is not the reason why you are not losing weight. Your environment has a huge bearing on how your genetic issues play out.
Admittedly, there are a variety of genetic issues that can make it harder for a person to shed fat, but, these genetic conditions are rare and it is far more likely it is an issue with your lifestyle which comes back to your diet and or exercise program.
3 common reasons for weight gain.
1) Are you doing the wrong kind of exercise?
You may be exercising regularly, but you have to ask yourself, “Am I doing the right kind of exercise to help lose weight?”
While cardio is an important part of any good exercise program, cardio alone is not really the best way to go about burning fat.
High-intensity interval training combined with some weight training is probably the best way for people to burn fat and grow muscle.
If you aren’t familiar with high-intensity interval training, it’s currently a very popular style of exercising where a person alternates between high-intensity exercises (like sprinting on a bike or rowing machine) for a small period of time and then switches to a lighter level of resistance for a short recovery period, and then alternates between the two until the 20 to 30 minute session is finished.
2) You aren’t cutting enough calories out of your diet for weight loss.
Probably the best piece of advice I have come across is from Dr Michael Mosley when he said, “To lose weight, you need to eat less – not exercise more.”
So if we take the good doctors’ advice, when you break it all down, losing fat is a simple process of calories in and calories out.
It’s not quite as simple as that, but you get the general idea.
Cut the crap and you ditch the fat!
The problem comes when people try to figure out just exactly how many calories they need to cut. You need to be careful when cutting calories.
If you do not cut enough, you will not end up shedding enough fat, but if you cut too much, then you will not have enough energy to exercise regularly!
Generally, you should aim to burn about 500 more calories than you consume each day. If you haven’t already gotten one of the many calorie tracking apps out there, you should get one immediately.
3) You’re not getting enough sleep causing weight gain.
Regarding sleep and weight loss, WebMD tells us we need to sleep more to weigh less.
Sleep and weight gain statistics clearly suggest that there is a close sleep and weight loss relationship.
Lack of sleep may seem like an odd reason to be retaining fat, but believe it or not, sleep deprivation can really set back your weight loss efforts.
There are two reasons for this.
First off, sleep deprivation causes issues with the two hormones in your body that are responsible for controlling hunger (they are called ghrelin and leptin), which means you will be hungrier than you normally would be.
Secondly, sleep deprivation causes your body to store more fat than it would under normal circumstances.
The truth is, sometimes you can be doing everything “right” and still struggle to see results.
Remember, give it time!
And don’t forget, you may actually be gaining weight on the scale thanks to muscle, not fat! And that’s a good thing.
To learn some more about why you might not be losing weight and what you can do about it, have a look at this article: Why running and other steady state exercises don’t (always) burn fat.
Cheers – John (your Active Ageing Mentor and Coach).
P.S. Help a friend…..like and share. Thanks.