I train but I cant lose weight. For many losing weight is not dropping 50-60kg its about dropping 5-10kg. As we age and we begin to let work and family priorities get in the way of looking after ourselves we end up putting on a few extra kilos overweight. I hear this statement all the time, I just want to lose 5-10kg and I will be really happy. And if we link this back to my limiting belief post you would know that a persons happiness does not depend on their weight. It goes deeper than that.
So you have been training for a while and the weight just doesn’t seem to be moving. Why?
There could be a number of reasons that you weight is not shifting and I will explore those with you in this post.
There are three different body types of human beings. No one person is exclusively one type but most people show a dominance of one type over another. You may show some characteristics of all three but one will be the dominate type. The three types are ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. Nope they aren’t power rangers either.
As you can see the three types a rather distinct in the shape and size. So lets go through them.
Ectomorph. Typically a lean build. Low body fat percentage, lean muscle mass, flat chested, delicate joints, high metabolism. Finds it more difficult to put on weight and build muscle mass.
Mesomorph Typically a more athletic and muscular build. Higher body fat percentage, bulkier muscle mass, harder body, finds it easier to put on weight and build muscle mass. Can put on weight faster than Ectomorph. Good muscle definition
Endomorph The endomorph body type is solid and generally soft. Endomorphs gain fat very easily. Endo’s are usually of a shorter build with thick arms and legs. Muscles are strong, especially the upper legs. Can put on muscle and weight very easily. Slower metabolism and finds it harder to gain muscle definition in comparison to the other two body types.
So depending upon what body type characteristics you have, it may also contribute to your weight loss/gain struggle.
Diet is the key to shifting those unwanted kilos. Without adhering to a healthy eating plan your success on a scale will be difficult and will be limited. Some programs suggest deprivation diets (no carbs, high protein etc) and others are calorie counting or even meal replacement shake plans. It really doesn’t have to be that difficult. Eat less processed foods, eat more raw foods (natural), reduce the amount of added sugar and watch your portion size.
As a trainer and coach I do not place a huge focus on the kgs on the scales. There are several other key indicators that are better tools to keep you on track. Measurements such as hip, tummy, waist, thigh, chest and upper arm. These measures show the difference in size. Weight loss is not only about dropping kilograms. Its about changing the shape of your body or changing your body composition. The goal should be about removing as much excess fat and replacing with lean muscle. This does not mean if you do train or lift weights you will become bulky. It means you are stripping your body of the toxic fat that is slowing you down and will eventually cause health issues. Think diabetes, stroke, hypertension, heart attack, all things that are major killers in society today. There is a huge amount of information available on the internet and through millions of publications about the healthy diet. I found it overwhelming and confusing. I can only imagine to the novice how difficult it can be to wade through the mountains of information. I will do a post soon about the diet industry.
One thing to also consider is the amount of time you are sitting still ie at work or in the car. Training once a week for an hour is going to help you on the journey but it will be painfully slow.
Lets look at the average person who works Monday to Friday, has to commute to and from work and only trains once a week for work. Ok so the commute to and from work is about 1 hour (2 hours each day) work lasts for 8 hours five days a week. Don’t forget TV time or sitting down with the family, and then of course sleeping. The time you are not moving is 50 hours just in the commute and work time.
Add in all those other moments when your not moving and all of a sudden that one hour you are training during the week seems very insignificant. Doesn’t it? Maybe its time to look at some time to exercise. Maybe another training session or schedule in taking the dog out for a walk. I recommend that anyone who is trying to shift weight trains at least twice a week. Three times for optimal results. Don’t forget all those moments of incidental exercise as well like taking the stairs instead of a lift or an escalator, walking to the bus stop rather than driving, going to the local park near work rather than sitting at your desk to eat lunch. These little things get you moving and help at to your daily movement.
Another key factor in the weight loss battle is being consistent. Consistency with anything is key to success. Making your fitness a lifestyle goal rather than a 12 week period will make managing your weight over your life time a lot easier and simpler. Allocating time in your diary everyday for exercise will not only benefit your body it will be of great benefit to your mind. It will help you switch off from the stresses of everyday life, unwind from a day at work and give you some time to yourself.
Don’t give up either. As we live in a world where immediacy is becoming more and more the expectation is to be able to achieve results faster and faster. Unfortunately weight loss and building muscle doesn’t happen over night. It takes time. At some points you will feel s though you’re not achieving anything. The thing is you are. Once you begin it does take time to shift weight and for things to change that are visible to everyone else. Just be patient and trust the process. The change will come and you will be glad that you take the time to be patient and achieve the results you have always desired.
So to summarise the key tips to remember when you’re on your weight loss journey
- Be realistic about your goals and believe that you can achieve it
- Be patient.
- Be consistent.
- Workout more than one hour a week.
- Be more active.
- Diet and portion control.
If you’re still experiencing difficulty losing weight it may be time to speak to an expert as what is holding you back. Speak to you doctor, a qualified and experienced personal trainer and if you need help with your nutrition speak to a qualified nutritionist.