This is one of the words I hear the most from women when talking about their diet and exercise routine.
Frustrated because even though it seems as though they are doing everything right, they still aren’t getting the results they want.
Sometimes they aren’t getting any results, despite working out regularly and watching what they eat.
If you can relate to feeling stuck or finding yourself frustrated by a lack of results, you could be making one of these five common mistakes.
Doing too much steady-state cardio
- Doing cardio actually teaches your body how to conserve energy, not burn it. The more cardio you do the more your body learns to conserve energy efficiently so it spends less and less energy every time you do it. Then, in order to get increased results from this same activity you have to do more.
- Long duration, steady-state cardio also breaks down muscle tissue. If you’re trying to build muscle and you’re doing a lot of steady-state cardio on top of that, you’re just burning off that muscle that you’re trying to build.
How to fix it
- Swap long runs for things like sprints, Tabata and circuit training.
- Spend less time doing cardio but make the activity more intense.
- This is more effective for not only burning calories but preserving muscle and boosting your metabolism.
Not lifting weights
- If you want to reshape and re-form your body, you have to list weights. Want sculpted arms and a round booty? You won’t get it joining the cardio club.
- Strength training boosts your metabolism as well as building muscle tissue and teaches our body to become super efficient at fat burning and not fat storing.
- Lifting weights also helps prevent Osteoporosis and bone loss as we age. It makes you strong and what’s better than being strong and confident in your own ability? Not to mention not breaking a hip when you fall down. 😉
How to fix it
- If you’re not sure what to do in the weight room, sign up with a trainer even just for a few weeks or a few months to learn some exercises and get comfortable around the gym and around weights.
- Let go of the fear of getting bulky. You won’t get bulky from lifting weights, you’ll get tighter and more toned.
Not eating enough
- Many, many women under eat. And they make the mistake of thinking they’ve got to starve in order to lose weight. Frankly 1200 calories is not enough for most women, even for weight loss. You’ve got to fuel the machine in order to keep the machine running and you’re not going to lose body fat on a starvation diet.
- Starvation diets also tend to lead to intense cravings, binges and negative health effects. If you’re white-knuckling your way through an 800 calorie a day diet you’re likely to end up going off the rails sooner rather than later.
How to fix it
- Change the mindset. Think of food as fuel. Understand your body needs a certain amount of calories just to keep you alive, and it is probably more than 1200 a day. In order to lose weight you must first have enough fuel in the tank for your body to be willing to let go of anything it has stored.
- Look up some good information from some good quality sources on nutrition and on properly fueling for exercise, or work with a Registered Dietician or a Nutrition Coach or trainer who can help you determine how much you should be eating and keep you accountable.
Thinking that more is always better when it comes to exercise
- Cortisol is your biggest enemy when it comes to weight loss and exercise raises cortisol. The more exercise you do, the more cortisol your body produces.
- Your body needs to be able to recover from workouts in order to change. If we’re working out too hard and we’re working out too much we’re not giving our body time to rest and recover. Over time this puts you at risk of getting sick, getting burned out, or getting injured.
How to fix it
- Instead of thinking more is always better with exercise think of it this way, the more stress that you have in your life the less stressful your diet and exercise routine should be. So if you’re in a place in life where work kids, and family are stressing you out to the max, keep your diet and exercise much less extreme.
- Incorporate walking, yoga and activities that you enjoy such as a dance class or maybe playing tennis. Do things that feel good. When you hit that point where no longer feels good and it feels like punishment or you’re exhausted you’ve reached the point that’s too much.
Not having a plan
- What gets measured gets managed. You’ve got to have a plan because without a plan you won’t be consistent. It’s the number one factor that’s going to bring about change both through diet and exercise.
How to fix it
- Find a plan by either working with a Personal Trainer, getting set up on a program at your gym, or even finding free programs online you can follow. Commit to something for at least three months and follow it without deviating.
- For your diet, planning ahead is absolutely essential. You need to know what you’re going to eat, how much, and when, and have that food ready. Plan your weekly meals, prep your food on Sunday then stick to your plan all week long.
- Put your workouts on the calendar. Be specific: the where, when and what. “Boot Camp, Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. at the Y.” If you put it on paper like an appointment you’re much more likely to do it.
These five mistakes are very common but an easy fix!
Swap out your cardio for metabolic conditioning, get in the weight room, eat enough to fuel your body, leave room for rest and recovery, and have a plan for both your training and your food.
Say so long to feeling frustrated. Shake up your thinking and your training and you’ll finally start to see some results!