It’s true that a healthy diet plus exercise should equal weight loss–right? However, at some point in your life, you have probably experienced frustration when it seems like you are doing everything right, but the weight is not coming off.
Sometimes a visit to your doctor or a dietician is in order, but there are a few simple pitfalls people can fall into when beginning an exercise program that can cause slower or no weight loss. These are common with many people, from marathon runners to casual gym-goers.
- Rewarding your exercise with a treat or splurge: You may think after an hour spin class or a long run, you deserve a treat (and maybe you do!), but making this a habit can have consequences on your waistline. We often overestimate how many calories we have burned in a workout, then consume them (and more) in extra foods we might not normally eat. Stick to your normal, healthy diet, even on workout days, and allow yourself to splurge occasionally.
- Remaining sedentary the rest of the day after a hard workout: A difficult workout may leave you sore and tired, but it shouldn’t zap all of your energy for the rest of the day. Many studies have shown that those who don’t reap the benefits of adding exercise into their day are those who use the workout as an excuse to sit and relax the rest of the day. If you find yourself void of energy on workout days, try splitting your workout into two shorter sessions or alternate with some other active activities you enjoy on your other workout days.
- You don’t enjoy your workout: Have you ever stared at the countdown on a cardio machine at the gym in anticipation of completing your workout? You aren’t alone! Many of us are subjecting ourselves to hours of exercise that we don’t really enjoy, and in turn, only completing the bare minimum in terms of a workout. You are better off finding something you really love to do. The time passes quicker, and you may find yourself exercising more often–and enjoying yourself!