Diet, Exercise, and Weight Loss – Not Getting Results
Not getting results you expected from your diet and exercise program? Are you feeling unhappy with your results? It’s a crappy way to feel for sure. You may feel that despite working your ass off at the gym and dieting for months on end that you should be rocking a supermodel figure by now. But nope, according to the scale you’ve apparently gained 2 pounds. So, what gives? It’s no doubt that you feel frustrated and may even want to give up on your efforts. We’re here to help you and also tell you not to throw in the towel! It’s too easy nowadays to compare our bodies to others online, especially when you’re bombarded daily on social media with dramatic before and after photos of other people who are seemingly having better results than you. That is in LARGE part what can make us feel crappy about our results. Comparison can be the thief of joy! It also can be, however, that you need some general basic guidance and we’re here to help you with that.
A lack of quantifiable results can happen for many reasons and we’d love to help you troubleshoot as we want everyone to achieve the results they are looking for. First and foremost, you do have to remember that with every program, individual results vary and there are several factors at play that can contribute to your success when following any exercise and nutrition program. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to specifically discuss how to troubleshoot when it comes to fat loss.
To be clear though, we already think you’re a babe just as you are! Don’t get us wrong, we’re not here to body shame anyone – fit and healthy take on many shapes and forms. We only want to help you shed a few pounds if that’s what YOU want to do and we want to help educate you on how to do it in the healthiest way possible. Let us help steer you back in the right direction towards your personal goals.
You need to ask yourself a few questions, and you need to be honest with yourself. It could be any combination of these things that are making you feel like you’re not getting the results that you’ve been working so hard for.
Question 1: Was I consistent and diligent with my workouts, or did I miss out on any sessions?
Often due to life’s unpredictability, it can be difficult to maintain consistency with one’s workouts. If you haven’t been able to stay on track with your workouts this month, try and make some changes to your schedule so that you are able to prioritize exercise more. Also, be sure to track your workouts using a log sheet so that you can visually see how many times per week you exercise. It could be that you planned to workout 5 days a week and you’re only hitting an average of 2-3 sessions per week. If that’s the case and you don’t foresee yourself being able to increase the number of sessions each week, then you will need to adjust your caloric intake to match your activity levels. It’s always a good plan to have an idea of how many calories you should be at if you aren’t exercising so that you can easily adjust for the weeks when you aren’t able to be as active. Be sure to use our Calorie Calculator to help you!
Question 2: Did I give enough effort at my workouts, or is there room to work harder?
When we workout alone it can be tough to push ourselves in the same way that someone else could push us. During your next workout, try to increase the weights you have been using and/or take fewer breaks in-between sets and exercises. In our experience at LYB, we often feel that people underestimate just how hard they can push themselves. Kick it up a notch at your next workout and increase your speed and resistance at your next cardio sessions.
Question 3: Did I use the calorie calculator to figure out how many calories I need, and did I adjust those numbers to reflect the potential for fat loss?
The main factor when it comes to a lack of results with fat loss is your nutrition. Have you ever heard the saying, “you can’t out-train a bad diet?” This is 100% true. You can work out for 2 hours a day and still have the same body fat percentage if you don’t spend time focusing your energy on your nutrition game too. Something likely is going wrong in this department which is causing you not to see the visible results. Unfortunately, even with using a calorie calculator it cannot consider your specific metabolism. So, if you’ve already double-checked how many calories you should be at and were indeed following the specified goals consistently, you may need to adjust your numbers even lower to facilitate weight loss. If you originally cut your calories by 250 calories let’s say, try cutting it back by another 250 calories.
Question 4: Did I accurately, to the best of my ability, record what I was eating using a calorie tracker app or journal?
Logging your food, calories, and macros by using an app can be incredibly helpful in keeping you in control of your numbers. Sometimes, however, while preparing food we have a few nibbles, or when we put our food away we take an extra few bites, we forget to include that cream we put in our coffee or that ice-cold beer we had after work. Remember, it all adds up so don’t forget to include everything that you put into your mouth. Be sure to download the LYB Nourishment Journal in the members-only section to help you organize and track your week.
Question 5: Was I eating out a lot or did I cook most of my own meals?
Home-cooked meals vs. store-bought, take-out, and restaurant foods can be VERY different calorically. You may think your chicken and veggies at a restaurant are the same calories as when you make it at home but guaranteed, they are more calories than you think. Be wary of eating out even if it’s the same foods you usually eat and decrease your portion size if you do have to eat out just to be safe. For example, a salad you typically eat at home could be between 300-500 calories. A salad that you eat a restaurant that may look similar could be 1000 calories or more. In certain states and provinces, restaurants need to disclose the calorie content of the meals they serve, so if it’s not posted, just ask – the information may be up on their website.
Question 6: Visually are you also not having results? Are you perhaps too focused on the number on the scale?
The scale isn’t always the best unit of measurement for fat loss results, especially when it comes to women who already have a low body weight to begin with. Make sure you are also noting how your clothes fit as it could be that you’ve lost inches but not weight. It doesn’t mean you’re not making strides towards your goals, it just means that your body composition is changing for the better; more muscle and less excess fat. Also, just to be clear, the statement that “muscle weighs more than fat” is not true. Whether you have 1 pound of muscle or 1 pound of fat, you still have 1 pound. What people mean when they say that is just that muscle is denser than body fat, meaning it occupies less space. Visually if you were to see 1 pound of your muscle in 1 hand, and 1 pound of fat in the other hand you, you would see that the hand with the muscle would be much smaller. However, if you gained 5 pounds within 1 month of an exercise program, don’t try and convince yourself that you gained 5 pounds of muscle. Nope – that is near impossible for the average woman to do so. So continue to work on improving your diet if that’s the case as its likely that you are consuming more calories than you are burning.
Question 7: Did I stay within my daily calorie limits and macronutrients?
Sometimes you can be within your calorie limits but be very misaligned with your macronutrients which can have an impact on your results. Be sure to check to see what your macro splits are. If they’ve been quite off, try and focus on how much carbs, protein, and fat you are eating. If you are really finding that you’ve stayed within your limits yet aren’t having results you could always try and change your macro split. There are lots of different ways it can be done, and you may need to try something a bit more specific.
Question 8: Is there room for improvement with my diet? Did I find I was falling off the wagon each weekend?
In our experience, everyone has room to improve their diet and many people tend to fall off the wagon each weekend and overindulge a tad too much. So instead of losing weight, they end up just staying the same weight. Not so bad for a goal of maintaining your weight, but frustrating when you feel like you’ve been working really hard to lose weight and are not seeing the results. Also, remember that we recommend an indulgent MEAL. This is not an indulgent DAY or a cheat DAY. It’s super important to still be responsible when you indulge. You can’t just throw your hands up in the air and indulge by 1000 extra calories for that meal and expect to still have results. Calories still matter, and you still need to be in a deficit so don’t throw away your week of hard work with a day of binging. Continue to log your calories in your app or journal and be accountable for that indulgence meal. You’ll notice that in our LOVE YOUR BOD EATS NOURISHMENT GUIDE our example of indulgence meals are usually only 100-200 calories more than what one of our regular meals would be – Aside from the small difference in calories, the indulgence part usually comes from the fact that we’re eating pizza or hamburgers, etc. These meals aren’t offering us much in the way of nutrients and the macro splits aren’t as balanced. But, it’s allowing you to have some freedom within your diet. Also, don’t feel like you NEED to indulge. It’s perfectly fine to continue to eat as you normally would. The science behind boosting your metabolism through “cheat meals”, “cheat days”, is weak.
Question 9: Is there room to cut my calories further?
If you originally cut your calories by 250, and you’ve been diligent and are not having results, try and cut by another 250 calories. Also, if you have lost quite a bit of weight already, you may have to adjust this number from time to time. The smaller you become, the fewer calories you will need to maintain your new figure.
Question 10: Am I getting enough rest and sleep?
Working 40+ hours a week, then going to the gym 5 days a week while on a diet can be hard on any person. If you find yourself relying on coffee a lot, you may want to look into improving your sleep hygiene as well. Sleep is important for many reasons but is especially important to someone who is avidly exercising as this is the time when muscles repair themselves. Make sure that you are prioritizing getting enough zzz’s. A lack of sleep, as well as stress, can both impact your results. Use the blue light mode on your phone if you must use it at night and try to start a bedtime routine about 30 minutes before you sleep to help you mentally prepare for bedtime.
Question 11: Am I taking any medications or have health issues that could be interfering with Diet, Exercise, and Weight Loss?
Certain medications and medical conditions can have an impact on your weight. If you are taking any medications, or are dealing with a specific medical condition, be sure to speak with your doctor about how this may be impacting your weight.
Question 12: Were my expectations realistic?
What expectations did you have with Diet, Exercise, and Weight Loss? Were your expectations realistic? Could it be that you’re just being too hard on yourself? In our experience, many people who were disappointed by their results despite 100% compliance can often be disappointed because their expectations exceeded what is realistic. Make sure that you’re being realistic with yourself and that you’re not discrediting the results you HAVE already had. You may need to re-frame your expectations. If you thought over 3 months you’d drop 30 pounds and you only dropped 12 pounds – Well, there is nothing wrong with your results, this would be a prime example of expectations not being realistic. You set your goal too high which meant you couldn’t meet it, which led to disappointment and you discredited your achievement. Our aim at LYB is to provide real advice to help women achieve long-term success, but we want our members to be realistic about their fitness goals. Be sure to download our Goal Digging Guide to help you set goals using the S.M.A.R.T. Goals Principals.
Question 13: Did you cut your calories too much?
Would you say that you are someone that has been on a low-calorie diet for a very long time? If you’re unsure, try logging your calories for the next 7 days and see how this number compares to what our calorie calculator tells you that you’re supposed to be at. If the calorie calculator is telling you that you should be at 1700 calories to lose weight, and you have consistently been eating 1000 calories per day, you may need a calorie reset, aka the reverse diet.
Don’t worry, we can help you boost your metabolism again! We’re here to help with all of your Diet, Exercise, and Weight Loss questions.
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