I go to the gym almost every day, but I still can’t lose weight – I hear this a lot from when clients first come to see me and just people I chat with in general. I am sure there are many of you that have experienced this frustration. I often follow up with some key questions that make it pretty clear what may be going on. There are a few key things that would help you determine why you may not be seeing the results you are looking for. I have decided to split this article into a few parts… Today let’s start with the basics.
Can’t lose weight? Start with your diet.
You can be at the gym, working up a sweat all you want – if you are not consuming the right foods at the right time, your progress will be very slow, or may even stall after a while. Your diet is more than 70% of your training. Not to be a smart ass, but your training AND your diet should both be 100%. This is particularly true, the leaner you get. Many people that just start exercising for the first time, will see some initial results, especially if weight loss is the goal, but can get discouraged when the progress stops. Some people even start eating worse, when they start to workout (I burn more calories, so I can eat more calories) – bad idea, as this will definitely hinder your progress.
Many people also think they are eating well, when in reality they simply don’t. I can’t blame anyone for thinking they are picking the right stuff, because of all the marketing that goes into making people believe that some of the foods out there are good for you, when in fact they are just junk. These include many of so called “low fat”, “no fat”, “whole wheat”,, gluten free, lactose free and guilt free products on the market, that are instead full of preservatives, sugar and chemicals. Things like rice crackers, low fat fruit yogurts, whole wheat breads, veggie chips, 100% juice, generic peanut butters, are some of the common offenders to why most people can’t lose weight.
I usually recommend on starting to make small changes, like focus on getting 80% of your food intake from “natural” food. What I mean by “natural” is anything that grows, swims, walks and runs (basically veggies, fruit, fish and meat). An easy rule to go by is asking yourself – did this come from nature? If yes, good! But if it is processed in any way, this should raise a red flag.
The more processed, packaged and the longer the food can be stored, the worse it is for you. So many of those “healthy” foods out there are has an insanely long shelf life. Isn’t that suspicious? Most REAL food doesn’t last that long, so let’s not fool ourselves into believing that those gluten free, natural chips that are full of fiber and antioxidants that have been sitting in your kitchen drawer will magically be good for you – they aren’t!
Buy your food fresh and make it yourself. Read the ingredients, the more ingredients there are that you cannot understand, the most processed the food is (especially if it has ingredients that you cannot pronounce!). Those types of foods do nothing for you, they are waste and cannot be utilized by the body for energy, so as a result they are simply stored as fat and are the reason why you can’t lose weight.
For those that are looking for really great results and are really serious about getting that lean, bikini ready body, a little more detail may be required. You want to make sure you are eating the proper micronutrients for your body type, current shape and size as well as your goals. You will need to understand how to best fuel your body, before and after workouts, what foods to avoid at certain times and what foods will give you the maximum results… Everyone is different and I strongly recommend to anyone with specific goals to educate themselves on this topic with our sports dietitian Alysha.
Your diet is an integral part of your fitness program. If you find yourself at a point where you have tried everything, but still can’t lose weight, you need to sit down with a fitness professional to figure out what’s missing. All of our fitness programs for women come with a diet plan that will help you achieve fantastic results. Contact us now and we will be thrilled to help!