You're working really hard at the gym, eating right, and the scale won't budge. What gives? Here are some reasons you may not be losing weight.
- Exercise Makes You Hungry - Exercising definitely burns calories, but the bottom line is that if you're taking in more calories than you're using up, it's going to translate to weight gain. So while you definitely need to refuel before or after a rigorous workout, be sure your snack is 200 calories or less. Also keep in mind that just because you exercise, it doesn't give you the right to eat whatever you want. It's OK to reward yourself, but do so in moderation when you're trying to lose weight.
- You're Overeating Healthy Food - Yes, a bowl of granola is healthier than a bowl of Fruit Loops, but just because a food is healthy doesn't mean it's calorie-free. Be aware of your calorie intake and portion sizes. It may help to measure out your food for a while to make sure you're eating the appropriate amount of calories per day.
- You're Doing the Wrong Kind of Exercise - Going to a Pilates or yoga class or walking on your lunch break are great forms of exercise, but they're not big calorie burners. If losing weight is your goal, choose a higher impact cardio workout such as jogging, swimming, hiking, or a kickboxing class. You want to do 30 minutes of heart-pumping movement at least three times a week. Then complement those cardio workouts with stretching and strength training.
- You're Gaining Muscle - Muscle doesn't weigh more than fat, it's just more dense and not as bulky and lumpy as fat. That means a pound of muscle takes up less room than a pound of fat. So by increasing your cardio workouts, you're probably gaining muscle and decreasing your overall body fat. Although the numbers on the scale may rise, you can tell you're becoming more lean and toned by how you look in the mirror or by the way your clothes fit.
- You're Hydrating With High-Calorie Beverages - Staying hydrated is essential when living a healthy lifestyle, but liquid calories can easily add up. Read labels and limit the calories you drink, and you'll be surprised how pounds begin to melt away.
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