Dieting in Cairo: 5 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight
Often times, we do all there is to do to shred the excess pounds in our bodies; we diet, we work out, we diet some more and we diet some more, only to find that after weeks of hard work and food deprivation, the scale hasn’t moved an inch. There could be any number of reasons that this is the case, but there are some that are easy to identify, isolate and eliminate those stubborn pounds.
1- Overestimating Exercise, Underestimating Calorie Intake
People who work out are prone to getting hungrier than anyone else. They tend to overestimate how much they’ve exercised and underestimate their fat and calorie intake. So, no matter how many hours you spend a day working out, a post-workout meal full of fats and carbs might ruin all your efforts in a matter of minutes. According to experts, this is called “eating back all the calories you spent hours working on.” Next time you exercise, bear in mind that you will not burn more than 500 to 600 calories per day and, that to burn extra calories, you need to eat healthy foods that won’t wipe out your efforts. The best foods to eat after a workout include dried fruits, nuts, bananas, eggs, kiwis and avocados, while the best drinks are water, orange juice, chocolate milk and green tea.
2- You’re doing the Same Workout
A study done on subjects who took on the exact same exercise routines showed signs of weight loss during the first couple of weeks, before coming to a halt. As weeks passed, the subjects’ bodies became more used to the exercise routines which were executed with less effort – think of it as going through the motions or hitting a ceiling. The results even suggested that the same exercises performed on the long run can do more harm than good.
Cardio training alone tends to release what is called cortisol, a stress hormone; however, long periods of cardio training can eat away your lean muscle mass, which in return increases your appetite and your fat consumption.
3- Unbalanced Exercise Program
Trainers recommend that any exercise program should include both cardio and weight training, for the very simple reason that cardio will help you lose calories, while weight training will tone your body. Studies have shown that weight training can also boost metabolism for up to 36 hours after your workout; meaning that you will still be burning fat while in between workouts, while cardio training – even though it burns a lot of calories – will make your body store energy in the form of fat so that your body can endure those extra miles.
4- Eating the Right Foods Wrong
We all know what counts as healthy food and what doesn’t; only what many don’t know is that eating the right food in a wrong can be as damaging as eating unhealthy food. In other words, eating a salad covered in a thick layer of mayonnaise or lots of cheese equals one slice of pizza and they both don’t count as healthy – do the math and let’s not kid ourselves. Other healthy foods, like sweet potatoes, when fried, incubate a large amount of fats and calories. Baked, steamed or grilled foods are a much healthier choice than fried ones and if you need to adding and some flavour, you can use herbs and marinades instead of condiments, for example.
5- Midnight Eating
If you have become accustomed late-night snacking, then it’s all downhill from there. Again, this one is pretty simple; you’ll gain more weight when late-night snacking than you will from daytime eating, as your body’s metabolism is slower during night – especially when sleeping. Avoid eating when you are supposed to be asleep; at the end of the day, it’s not just what you eat, but when you eat it too.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Be Afraid of Seeking Help
Even when you’re doing everything right, it’s not uncommon to find yourself still not losing your desired weight. The human body is one heck of a complex organism – one that we’re still discovering. It’s an uncomfortable process for some, but going in for an assessment at a gym will help you isolate what you need to do to get to where you need to be and push you in the right direction. Consulting your doctor can also bring to light any potential issues.
Compiled from: Daily mail, Fitness Magazine, The Atlantic and Buzzfeed.