I have talked to so many frustrated people who can't seem to get their excess weight off, no matter what they try. I have some questions that you should ask yourself that just might help you reevaluate your current health regimen. Maybe it's time to ramp it up???? (If you are trying all of these tips and still see no progress, then it's time to see a medical professional.)
-Are you eating 5-6 small meals each day? Eating every 3-4 hours keeps your metabolism up and constantly running, your blood sugar levels from plummeting too low, and your body from entering starvation mode (in which you tend to overeat when you do eat again!). Depending on your weight, you should be eating 5-6 meals of about 250-400 calories each.
-Are you aware of what you are putting into your mouth? So many times I have had clients say that they are "eating healthy" and still not able to drop weight. When this happens, I ask them to record their food intake for one week and let me look at their food journals. It almost never fails....once they write down what they are eating, their eyes are opened to their diet mistakes-whether it be skipping meals, eating out too often, consuming too much sodium, not eating a healthy breakfast, eating too late at night, etc...Keeping a food journal is imperative to keeping you eating healthy.
Are you really pushing yourself when you workout? Often times, when we work out alone or even with a partner, we get into a cycle of working out so it's somewhat enjoyable and comfortable. Am I right? Are you guilty of this? I think we all are! It may be time to step it up and take your body out of your comfort zone, even if it's just for a few minutes each workout, when you first start out. Working up to your "anaerobic threshold" is when you workout to a point when you are "without oxygen". This is the point where it is uncomfortable to carry on a conversation and you are pushing your body past that enjoyable stage. Here is how you can do this: add 30-50 jump squats (3-4 times) into your elliptical workout, do 3-4 sets of push-ups to failure (resting in between), do intervals when you are walking (speed walk/jog for 1-2 minute intervals), or come and see me and I will surely give you some more hands-on ideas!!! Doing this will help shed fat off of your body, boost your cardiovascular levels, and burn calories like never before. Remember-to see a change, you need to push your body past your comfort zone.
One of my favorite quotes of all time: "Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone"-Neale Donald Walsch
Are You Eating Protein With Each Meal? Adding protein to each snack/meal that you eat will keep you satisfied longer and help keep your blood sugar from spiking or dropping too low. Here are some snacks to try that all have a healthy ratio of good fats, carbohydrates, and proteins: 8 almonds & a small apple, whey protein shake & 1/2 medium banana, 1 cup of greek yogurt with bluberries and raspberries, 1/2 avocado (with lime juice & a little salt) with 8 whole grain crackers, 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal with chopped walnuts, apples, and 1 tsp maple syrup, 1/2 english muffin with 1 tbsp almond butter and 1/2 banana, or a green smoothie & a small handful of nuts
Are you getting enough shut eye? Allowing your body to get enough rest will help you restore your energy levels so you can have a good workout, keep your stress levels under control, and repair your muscle tissue. Studies have shown that people who get less than 7 hours of sleep per night tend to weigh more than people who get 7-8 hours/night. Sleeping too little doesn't allow your body to recuperate and increases the hormones that control your appetite! It also enhances your cortisol levels (your stress hormones) which adds to the fat around your midsection. Set a personal goal to get 8 hours of sleep each night.
Are you Getting Enough Exercise? One pound=3,500 calories. To burn off 1 pound of fat/week, you would need to cut 500 calories out of your daily routine. You should be working out 5-6 days a week and having a goal of at least 500 calories burned/workout. You should aim to workout for a minimum of 40 minutes, if you want to see a difference in your body. If you are trying to lose a little more weight/week, try to cut the rest of the calories out of your diet. (A SAFE weight loss is 1-1.5 lbs/week!)
Are you Eating Breakfast? This one I know you have heard before, but it's amazing how many people still skip breakfast because they are not hungry. Even if the thought of food disgusts you in the morning, eat something small: a yogurt, 1/2 apple with natural peanut butter, small handful of almonds, etc....Eating breakfast starts your metabolism for the day and breaks the "fast" that you have had all night when you were sleeping.
I guess I could go on and on here, but these are hopefully going to help you to lose that excess weight that you seem to keep holding onto. Good luck & remember-getting healthy and losing weight is a SLOW, steady process. It took a lot of time to get un-healthy and gain the weight that you have on your body now, so don't expect it to shed right off of you overnight. Give yourself some time & try my tips. Hope this helps!