Let’s say you’re already an active person, embracing the fit lifestyle by working out regularly, eating clean, and even taking your beach cruiser to brunch.
You choose hiking over happy hour and make sure to take long sunset or sunrise walks with Fido.
With all this activity and mindfulness toward fitness, why might you struggle to shed a few stubborn pounds?
In my years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach, here are the top seven reasons you’re not losing weight:
- You’re not eating enough.
The old adage of calories in, calories out holds some truth, but it is easy to eat too few calories, causing your metabolism to slow in an effort to preserve energy and keep your vital systems running.
Plus, real food is surprisingly low calorie, so while enjoying a big salad drizzled with just balsamic vinegar and topped with fish is a completely nutritious choice, an active individual will need much more food throughout the day to make up the calorie deficit.
- You aren’t eating enough carbs.
Low-carb is a popular approach to weight loss and for good reason. If you’re overweight and leading a near sedentary lifestyle, it makes sense that your body would require less fuel.
But, if you’re strength training, bike riding, practicing yoga, playing with the kids, and running a business, you’ve got to fuel up with carbohydrates.
Try eating carbs at each meal that will fuel your active lifestyle and make you feel energized, like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, fruit, and quinoa.
- You’re not balancing your macronutrients.
Whether you’re following a Paleo, vegan, or vegetarian diet, it’s imperative to balance your ratio of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates—otherwise known as macronutrients—for the day.
Not one macronutrient is bad for you. They just need to be eaten in the right proportion.
You can do a quick Internet search for a macronutrient calculator and begin tracking your intake on a simple app like My Fitness Pal.
Check out this VIDEO for more on tracking macros.
- It’s time to mix up your workout.
The body is very efficient at adapting to repeat performances, so if you’ve been cycling the same workouts, creating variety in your fitness routine may be the spark your metabolism needs.
Try lifting heavier weight, performing compound exercises that work multiple muscles at once, or swapping a few long cardio sessions for high intensity intervals.
- You aren’t sleeping enough.
Lack of sleep not only causes brain fog, it can cause cravings for excess carbohydrates, fat, and sugar.
Inadequate sleep also creates a rise in the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to belly fat.
Climb in bed as early as possible, leaving sleep-disrupting phones and tablets out of the room.
Instead, try reading under the covers with ambient light to help lull you into an earlier and longer night of rest.
- You need to have more fun.
A great way to counteract stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine is to add a big dose of laughter and fun into your life.
Engaging in activities that bring you joy increases healthy hormones like endorphins that can strengthen immunity and overall health.
So, as important as it is to schedule a meeting and your workout, you must also schedule some regular fun.
- You don’t actually need to lose weight.
This is my favorite reason of all! When was the last time you looked at your body and just loved it in all its glory, despite your perception of its imperfections?
In today’s heavily photo edited world, we’ve lost sight of what a real body actually looks like.
So, if you feel healthy, eat nutritious foods, exercise, sleep well, and have fun, take a moment of gratitude for your body and love it just the way it is.
Thanks for reading. 🙂
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