I get this question almost every day from girls who are frustrated with their slow or complete lack of progress. Unfortunately, it’s basically impossible for me to determine what is off in regard to your diet and exercise because I cannot SEE what you’re doing. Try doing your own evaluation with this checklist!
- Are you eating below your caloric maintenance? Find out how many calories you need to maintain your current weight, and lower that by 300-500 calories. This is a caloric deficit. Do not go below 1200 calories, there is no need to starve to lose weight. Logging your food intake in a journal or phone app is a good way to keep track. If you have been eating super low calorie for a long period of time, your metabolism might have adjusted to that. Cycling carbs/calories is a good way to overcome this.
- Are you exercising intensely enough? 100 jumping jacks or 15 minutes of jogging does not make much of an impact on your daily calorie expenditure. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to get a good workout. Lift heavy weights and incorporate HIIT cardio into your exercise routine if you have not already. Both can be done effectively in a short period of time.
- Are you eating the right portion sizes? It’s extremely easy to go overboard on portion sizes without realizing it. Until you get good at eyeballing it, measure your portions (especially with healthy fats). You can use measuring cups & spoons, and a food scale (can be purchased at Wal Mart or other inexpensive store with cook-ware).
- Are you truly choosing wholesome, healthy foods? Be honest with yourself.. were those “healthy whole wheat crackers” really what you should have been snacking on, or would some fruit or veggies been a better choice? Avoid packaged, processed foods like crackers, chips, cookies, and candy. Choose wild/organic lean proteins, fruit, vegetables, and healthy fats like nuts, olive oil, avocado and natural nut butters.
- Are you frequently using condiments and other adders? Ketchup, mayo, half and half, milk, salad dressing, marinades, sugar and other things people add to food add up FAST. The calories in these things are just as fattening as calories from regular foods.
- Are you consuming a lot of sugar? Sugar is terrible for weight loss. While consuming simple carbs & sugar post-workout is a good idea, consuming sugar and simple carbs any other time of the day is a “no-no” when it comes to losing weight. Sugar spikes insulin which promotes fat storage and basically shuts off fat-burning processes. Read labels and choose foods low in sugar.
- Are you drinking alcohol? If yes. Stop. Alcohol is a huge antagonist for weight loss!