Why can’t I lose weight faster?
Why can’t I lose weight faster
Question: I work out 5-7 days a week. Doing 45 minutes on an eliptical and upper and lower body weight training (upper one day lower the next) and ending with 60 crunches. I take my dog for an hour walk 4 days a week and do a cardio kick boxing class 2 days a week. All this combined with a family and a full time job and a 1500-1600 calorie diet and I am still having trouble losing weight especially around my belly. I have been working out for a year and have only lost 45lbs. Is that right?
Answer: Losing 45 pounds in one year sounds pretty good to me! Very few people can stick to an exercise program for more than a few months, let alone a whole year. You have every reason to be proud of what you’ve achieved.
There are changes you can make to your diet – other than simply eating less – to help you lose weight faster. And, not all training programs are equally effective. Some work well. Others are little more than a waste of time. When it comes to diet and exercise, the “devil is in the detail.” Without knowing exactly what you do in the gym, it’s hard for me to offer any practical suggestions.
However, I think the main problem here is that you have expectations that are unrealistic.
Most people (me included) are impatient. We want to get more done in less time and with less effort. Think about it. If your computer doesn’t do what you want it to straight away, you start pressing the keys harder… as if your computer somehow knows how hard you’re pressing the keys.
I get e-mails from people who think they can erase a lifetime of unhealthy living in a few weeks. They want me to tell them there’s a pill they can take, a diet they can follow, or a few exercises they can do to make everything “okay” again.
Part of the problem is created by the diet and fitness industry. Magazines, books and exercise devices always seem to offer “too-good-to-be-true” results. In truth, they’re promising what can’t be delivered.
Many of the pictures of models you see in your favorite magazine have been doctored with computer software. There’s not an ounce of cellulite or belly fat to be seen. How can you and I possibly live up to that? It’s a computer-generated fantasy.
There are books claiming that you can get in shape by eating as much food as you want, or exercising for just “8 minutes in the morning.” The reality, of course, is a lot different. Getting in shape requires effort and self-discipline. And nobody ever gets results as fast as they’d like to.
When people see the before-and-after pictures of people taking part in these 12-week fitness contests, they think they can do the same thing. And maybe some of them can. But, in many cases, the people in the pictures are fitness models who have spent a few months “slacking off” prior to getting their “before” pictures taken.
Because they’ve been in shape before, it’s a whole lot easier for them to regain their old figure than it is for someone who’s starting from scratch.
All you can do is get the most out of your own body. There’ll be times when you see results very quickly. But there will also be times when you feel like you’re stuck on a plateau, and nothing seems to be working. When you get discouraged, what counts is where you end up, not how long it takes you to get there.
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