1. You are eating more calories than you think.
When you break down the goal of weight loss, it comes down to a very basic principal; burn more calories that you consume.
If you are eating more calories than you expend over the course of a day, YOU WILL GAIN WEIGHT!
Of course, there are some things to consider when you determine how many calories you need on a daily basis and you want to ensure that you are losing weight in a safe manner, so you don’t totally mess up your metabolism in the process. Sustainable nutrition is way more important than dropping 20 lb over the course of a couple of weeks.
For most people, they are only guessing at the number of calories they consume on a daily basis and most of you are, unfortunately, bad at estimating… Do you measure out everything that you eat and only eat the suggested serving size? Probably not – and this means that while you may be eating “healthy” options, it could be that your portion sizes are the cause of the lack of progress that you are seeing.
Determine your caloric goals here: Are you getting enough calories?
Want to Take the Guesswork out of Nutrition?
I put together a super cool and FREE 7 Part Nutrition 101 Series that I know you will see value in.
Every couple of days I’ll send you an email going over one easily digestible, essential building block on nutrition.
Answering your questions such as:
- How Many Calories Do I Need?
- Should I Cut Out Carbs?
- Am I Getting Enough Vitamins & Minerals?
- What Are Good Sources of Protein
- Is Fat Free Healthy?
- Is There a Meal Plan I Can Stick To?
Learn the fundamentals of nutrition here: Nutrition 101
2. Your calorie burn is overestimated.
Of course, this is directly related to #1, but unless you are using a Heart Rate monitor during your workouts, it is going to be just an estimate. While there is nothing wrong with an estimate, we often give ourselves too much credit in this area. Some days you are just not going to perform at as high of a level and if you are using the same estimate for every workout, this can work against you in the long run.
Most of the Beachbody programs have a range between 300 and 600 calories burned for a given workout. The problem is that this number can not only vary from workout to workout, but also from person to person, depending on your current physical conditioning. The number can also vary between males and females, so the estimate is nothing more than that; an estimate. In order to get the most accurate measure on calorie burn for YOU and the workout you just finished, a heart rate monitor is the most reasonable means to do so.
I’ll be honest here, I have never owned a heart rate monitor, so I can’t really say that it was a huge factor in determining my overall success with programs like P90X, P90X, etc… However, I recently purchased the Fitbit Charge 2, which has the heart rate monitor feature and it has been interesting to see some of the data that is collected with this device. It may not be as accurate as the traditional heart rate monitors with the chest strap (one reason I never owned one in the past), but it is certainly going to give me a much better idea of calorie burn for my workouts.
Get Yourself a Heart Rate Monitor
Here are a couple of heart rate monitors that I have either personally used or gotten feedback from others.
3. Sleep is undervalued.
Sleep is an important factor that many people discount and while I know I don’t get as much sleep as I probably should each night, there are many out there that are getting even less. There are a lot of things going on inside our bodies while we sleep; recovery probably being the most important!
While you are sleeping, your body goes to work repairing itself, rebuilding muscle that you would have damaged in that intense Body Beast workout! Obviously, a lack of sleep can cause fatigue, both mentally and physically, which can ultimately lead to skipped or missed workouts. This fatigue can also lead to sluggishness, which may result in you reaching for foods that are higher in sugar content. Foods in high sugar content will quickly spike the insulin levels in your body, but only for a short time and then the crash comes and it is likely that you first response will be to feed your body again with these high sugar content foods for that “sugar rush”. You may also try to use a stimulant, such are caffeine in the form of soda or coffee, to get yourself going again. But these two can have adverse affect on you body, not to mention possibly keeping you up later into the night, resulting in less sleep… You can see the vicious cycle it can lead to here.
8 hours of sleep is recommended for adults and if you can manage that into your schedule – awesome! I average about 6-7 hours each night, so I’ve got some room for improvement. Do your best to get the most sleep possible for your schedule!
4. “Healthy Foods” are over-utilized.
A couple of good examples here are granola, avocados, nut butters and fruit, granola being the sneakiest of the bunch. The next time you are snacking on your favorite granola, check the label and see just how “healthy” it really is. Products marketed as healthy snacks like granola can have a substantial amount of sugar in a single serving and like I mentioned above – very rarely are you measuring out a single serving with a snack like granola that you have in your mind is healthy, so “bring on more granola”.
The other items I mentioned above are definitely “healthy”, but can be quite calorie dense, especially with avocados and nut butters. Peanut butter will average 180-200 calories per the 2 Tbsp serving! I am as guilty as the next person for pilling on the peanut butter on sandwiches or mixing with my Shakeology, but that 2 tbsp. serving looks is pretty small…
I love avocados and they have a great mix of mono-saturated and poly-saturated fats. But as we all know (or at least should know…), calories from fat comes in at 9 calories per gram – more than double the other two macro-nutrients (carbohydrates and protein). Depending on the size of the avocado, you could easily add 150-300 calories ON TOP of what you are eating with just 1/2 of an avocado.
Am I suggesting that you avoid any of these foods? Of course not, but you should be aware of how that can impact your overall nutrition for a single day and if you aren’t tracking your nutrition (which you should be!!!), they can give you a false sense of security in that these “healthy” foods aren’t the cause of you falling short with your health and fitness goals.
A Health Snack Alternative (homemade)
We leverage some extra Shakeology to prepare some great snacks ourselves. Just like with granola, there is still the concern of over-indulging in these treats, you at least know exactly what is going into the snack.
5. You are dehydrated.
When you are dehydrated, your body is craving water and sometimes you can mistake this craving as hunger!
As a general rule, you should try and consume .5 – 1 oz or water for every 1 lb of body weight.
For example, 170 lb person should consume between 85 – 170 oz of water each day. I almost always carry a 32 oz. water bottle with me, so I am constantly drinking water. Once you begin to drink water according to your body weight instead of just here and there throughout the day, you will actually become more cognizant of your thirst and desire water more. Water will help you feel more satiated, to some extent, by filling up your stomach. So whenever you are in between meals and feel a craving for something – try slamming an 8 oz glass of water and that should subside your craving.
How Hydrated are You?
Here is a handy chart to check your levels of hydration using the color of your own pee…
Need a Coach?
If you need to find someone that will hold you accountable, answer your questions, help you, and PUSH YOU for the entire duration of your workout! Luckily for you, that’s what me and my team are here for. If you don’t have a coach yet and want one, I’d love to be your coach and help you through a fitness program. I am available to help you reach your goals!