Why do people struggle with weight loss and what can you do about it.
Here are 3 of the most common scenarios we are faced with and what we do about them.
You eat sensibly and run 5km 3x a week, and you’ve done so for the last 9months. At the beginning it was great, you lost 5kg in the first 3 months, but the remaining 5kg you’d like to lose seems to be sticking around.
Our bodies are efficient fat storing machines, and it adapts pretty quickly to the stuff you throw at it – a couple of weeks of the same kind of exercise and your body knows whats coming up, and does its best to get through it efficiently as possible, using the least amount of calories – ie, less efficient weight loss. So… what to do?
Change the exercise. There are 4 variables you can work with
Frequency– go running more often,
Intensity– do hills, intervals etc
Time– run for longer
Type-quit running and do some other stuff
and combinations of these.
There are issues around all of these – maybe you only have a limited amount of time or days to get your workout in each week, you hate hills or intervals seem too hard, you don’t like swimming or cycling or the ab circle pro is too expensive.
That’s where a PT comes in – to help you make a plan that fits with your lifestyle, is sustainable, maintains your interest and offers the variation to enable you to get to your weight loss goal.It may involve manipulating 1 or more of these variables at a time and consistently monitoring progress to make sure you don’t fall into the same rut again on the way to your goal.
You love going to the gym and do 5 classes a week as well as running 10km 2x a week, cycling for 3 hours in the weekend, playing social indoor netball year round and touch in the summer.But you keep getting injured – especially your knees and ankles. You’re trying to lose weight but no matter how much you do, the weight stays the same.
Yup, you’re fit, but its possible that you maybe overdoing it.If you have a high volume of exercise continuously over a long period of time, eventually your body will start to break down. Little things at first, a strained ankle, a tight calf in the mornings when you get up, sore knees going up and down the stairs at work…. What to do?
Have a rest.You don’t need to completely give up exercise, but you could have a lower volume training week – drop a class and the cycle, run 1x 5km instead of 2x 10km and turn up to your team sports. Every 4 to 6 weeks is a good time to do this. We call this periodisation and it gives your body a chance to catch up with itself. Remember that your body repairs and gets stronger when you’re resting. When you’re working out, you’re pulling muscle fibres apart in order to encourage them to build back stronger which happens when you rest. This will help you to avoid chronic injuries.
It could also be that you have some muscle weaknesses or imbalances which can be easily rectified by a PT prescribing specific strengthening exercises and a massage therapist easing tight muscles.
As for the weight loss, again, the rest will let your body catch up, repair and get on with the business of dropping fat. Stress, including exercise stress if its too high, encourages your body to release hormones that love to hang on to fat. Relaxing will keep this under control. Try a yoga class instead of an aerobic based one every now and then or just relax on your couch. Its about finding the balance for you and everyone is different – a PT can help you find your balance.
You need to lose weight but it all seems so difficult.You eat ‘healthy’ 3x a day, but you’re always hungry. You’ve never exercised before and the gym is scary.
Often close inspection of your nutrition plan will show that you are carb dominant – toast and jam for breakfast, bagel for lunch, pasta or rice at dinner with veges and meat. Carbs aren’t bad, they help our brain to work and they taste good, however ensuring you have enough protein through the day will keep you fuller for longer and stop the 3pm snack attack from creeping up on you.
If you’re an absolute beginner to exercise and weight loss, waiting till you get fitter before taking on a trainer (we hear it all the time..) is a waste of time. Get on to it straight away so you can do all the right things from the start, have a plan and someone to guide you through the process.