Workout Warrior and not Losing Weight?

You go to the gym regularly. You do cardio like it’s an addiction, you do weights to tone and even bought a fancy fitness tracker to watch your progress every day. Somewhere though, you’re missing the mark and the pounds are staying put. Losing weight is simple math: calories in minus calories out. If you come up with a negative number, you lose weight. If not, you’re probably getting part of the equation wrong.

There are a few reasons why even with fitness trackers or following the numbers on the exercise machines that you’re missing your goals. Here are a few of those reasons and think back to see if any sound like they may be a part of YOUR equation.

1) You’re Over-Estimating Your Daily/Weekly Burn

It’s important to remember that each day is its own calorie deficit opportunity and needs to be treated as such. It’s easy to overindulge today because the last couple of days you destroyed the elliptical and bike. Also, your workouts may vary from day-to-day so you can’t assume that you burn the same amount of calories per day. An hour of strength training may burn 300 calories while an hour of good cardio could be 500. It’s important that if you plan out your workouts for the week you adjust your meal plan accordingly.

2) Your Gym Equipment Is Lying to You

You get on the machine, set it to watch those calories add up, and sweat away. The problem is that the number you are looking at is probably inaccurate, especially if you aren’t entering your weight before your workout. Body composition, metabolism, heart rate and even form mean everyone burns calories at different rates, so while the machine says you hit that 300 mark, your actual number of calories burned may be much lower.

3) You’re Getting Double Credit

I use a calorie tracker and input my food throughout the day on a food tracking app. I also have a fitness watch with heart rate strap and log all my activity and exercise. What can happen is that you can enter your exercise into your food tracker, showing that you burned calories. If you have your activity tracker connected to your calorie tracker app, when you sync it will add the calories burned from the tracker and give you “double” calories burned.

Also, if you are generally sitting throughout the day but are a gym warrior, make sure you don’t set your profile to active. That is giving you credit for burning more calories throughout your normal day while you’re actually just sitting at your desk or the couch…

4) You Are Actually in Better Shape Than When You Started

I know you may be confused on this one. If you’re in better shape you should be burning more while you work out right? Well what happens is that as you get in better shape your cardiovascular system works better, which means that a workout that would have your heart pounding a couple months ago is child’s play for you now. If this is the case, you more than likely have a lower heart rate during the exercise and therefore burn less calories. I always wear a heart rate strap when I work out as the optical sensors on wrist-based devices aren’t always the most accurate, but wearing anything that can read your heart rate will help make sure you’re getting it up high enough to burn those calories. Main thing is, as you get in better shape, make sure you up the difficulty and intensity of the workouts to continue to get that heart rate up.

5) You Aren’t Eating ENOUGH

Yes, you ready that right. You aren’t eating enough. If you are eating less than 1200 calories a day your body may go into “starvation mode.” Your body is afraid that it’s not going to receive enough calories long-term to function so your fat becomes like a savings account and the body tries not to empty it. I always recommend talking to your doctor or a registered dietician if you are wanting to do a low calorie diet, but otherwise make sure your amount consumed is at least 1200 per day, or you’ll be starving yourself and potentially harming your metabolism, and yourself.

As always, feel free to comment or reach out with any questions. Like my page on facebook.com/WEvolvePersonalTraining and remember that Together, WEvolve.