Today in our 52 Weeks to Wellness challenge, we are going to answer the question - Why Am I Not Losing Weight? For many of us who have gone on a weight loss journey throughout our lives, it can be frustrating when you find yourself at a plateau stage. Whether the scale won't budge, or the inches aren't falling away like you want, weight loss can stall out at times and create an emotional and physical frustration you don't know how to repair. There are a multitude of reasons behind why you are not losing weight, and we hope to help you pinpoint some of the more common reasons.
Why Am I Not Losing Weight?
You aren't eating enough. Yes, it sounds absurd, but it can be true. If your body is working extra hard burning calories because you have increased your exercise, but you aren't feeding it enough it can go into a mode where it conserves and holds onto calories instead of burning them. Yes, there is a point where your body says, "No! I need those calories to survive!". Have you checked what your BMR is yet? We wrote about it and why it is important last week. Start by figuring out what your BMR is, then consider what your next goal is. Adjust your calories in 150-300 daily increments. It may take a few weeks to figure out your zone, but you may simply need to increase your calories because your body is hungry and trying not to burn the few you are putting into it. This is especially true if you are working out longer hours and more than the average 30 minutes a day 3-5 times a week.
Your workout routine has stalled. Doing the same thing over and over again in your workout can actually stall out your weight loss. Why? Because as you lose and grow in fitness, your body isn't having to work as hard with that routine. Thus, you aren't burning as many calories. When you first started out, you may have only been able to walk a moderate pace at no incline for 30 minutes. Now you can do that with ease, and your body isn't working as hard to make it happen. Your exercise routine should get your heart pumping to a healthy level. You should be able to carry on a conversation with minimal difficulty, but still need to pause for breath and feel like you are working at something. It may simply be time to increase your exercise routine and add in a bit more cardio to the routine.
You aren't building muscle. You don't have to be a weightlifter to build muscle. For your body to continue burning calories, you need to build strength and muscle as well. Adding just a few short routines each week focused less on cardio and more on muscle strength can really help boost your metabolism up to the next level. 5-pound weights are under $5 each at most Walmart locations. For under $10 you can invest in weights that will help you as a beginner. Simple bicep curls, triceps curls, and things like calf lifts or squats and lunges can help build your arms and legs. Crunches and other abdominal workouts can help build core strength. You don't have to lift a lot or do a lot to make a difference. Even one or two 30-minute weight and strength training routines each week will make a huge difference.
For some more help when it comes to exercise in your routine and helping you to lose more weight - check out our other great exercise related articles!