It’s the summer and we’re all out here trying get our bodies into #SummerGoals shape. However, after shuffling your butts to the gym several times a week, you may find your weight/body staying the same. Simply put, you’re not losing weight. This is known as “plateauing.” Here are five reasons as to why that happens and how to fix it.
Your Diet Sucks
Your diet probably sucks and is more starchy and carby than you realize. In order to lose just 1 pound of fat a week, you need to have a caloric deficit of 3500 calories. By simply cutting just 500 calories from your diet a day (this is easier than you think; a single croissant from Starbucks clocks in at about 250 calories), you’ll achieve that deficit in no time. I’d recommend googling “Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE)” calculator. This calculator shows you how many calories your body needs (based on age, gender, height, weight, and activity level). Once you have this number, subtract 500 calories and aim for that. For example: a sedentary 20-year-old woman who’s 5’5 and 150 lbs needs 1742 calories. If she wants to drop a pound a week, and cuts 500 calories, she needs to eat 1692 calories. I’d recommend trying out a food journal app like the ‘My Fitness Pal’ App to help you log your calories.
You’re Too Sedentary
To quote my dear mother every time she catches me lounging, “get off your ass and do something!” Just kidding! But seriously though, exercise shouldn’t be limited to the sweaty caverns of the gym. Make it a point to move around as much as you can, whether it be taking the stairs, walking, biking, or stretching. Those burned calories here and there will add up and do wonders for your metabolism.
Your Workout Is Boring
All organisms have the same basic objective: to survive, They do this by adapting to their surroundings (thanks, Darwin). Your body does just that while you’re huffing and puffing to Lemonade on the treadmill. Your workout has probably become stale, your body has adjusted and is no longer exerted. Switch it up and make your body work, work, work, work, work. Try HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), plyometrics, crossfit, higher reps, or heavier weights.
You’re Not Lifting Weights
You can usually find me at the gym in the free weights section, bench pressing with my obnoxiously pink weight lifting gloves. I’m usually the only woman, and I don’t mean that in a “special-snowflake-I’m-not-like-other-girls” way (the sisterhood is important, y’all *nails painting emoji in multiple skin tones*). Many women shy away from the weights because they think adding muscle will make them look huge and “masculine” (who doesn’t love some transmisogyny with their creatine shake?). Building muscle burns fat, makes you look leaner, and boots your metabolism (which will mean you can eat more food). Exiling yourself to the elliptical or treadmill will eventually make you frustrated and cause you to plateau. Also, strength training is important in preventing osteoporosis. Make sure your form is on point and you have a spotter to prevent injury.
You’re Too Hard On Yourself
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your #InstagramBodyGoals. Don’t cut too many calories or do too much exercise or your body might have a negative reaction and store body fat (see “starvation response”). Don’t compare your body to that photoshopped fitness model’s or anyone else’s. You don’t want to end up with an eating disorder or body dysmorphia. Take it one day and one step at a time.
Losing weight is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a lifestyle change that requires constant vigilance and adjustments. There is no one size fits all diet, workout regiment, or healthy body. The important thing is make sure that your body is happy and healthy.
Featured Image via Cara Delevingne.