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For the past few weeks you’ve been trying to exercise more, eat healthy, and overall you think you’ve been doing pretty well. Until you hop on the bathroom scale and discover that you haven’t lost any weight! And now panic sets in: Good Lord, I’ve got 2 months to get into that two-piece! Why aren’t I losing any weight?!

Now first off, I want you to calm down girl because what you’re experiencing is pretty common. And you do still have time to make it into that two-piece- I promise! We just have to figure out what you’re doing wrong and tighten things up. Here are 3 common reasons why you can’t lose weight:

Reason #1: You’re eating back all the calories you burn

When you want to lose weight, you’ll need to focus on creating a calorie deficit– which is basically an imbalance between the calories you’re eating and the calories you’re burning off. More calories out than calories in creates a calorie deficit. And sustaining this calorie deficit consistently over an extended period of time is what leads to weight loss.

Now let’s say you want to lose weight- say, one pound a week. Because one pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories, it stands to reason that you should create a calorie deficit of approximately 3,500 calories per week (or a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day) to lose one pound per week. OK, so now that you know this, you confidently start your diet and exercise routine. For the first few days or weeks, you’re on top of things and keeping track of your calories in versus calories out. But then something happens. One day you hit the gym and then you use the ‘I exercised today’ excuse to overeat later in the day. Then another day you overeat and say something like, “I’ll just work out extra hard tomorrow to burn it off.” Then another day you make another excuse for overeating. And now guess what you’ve done? You’ve decreased your calorie deficit. And this is why you’re not losing weight. Because you’re eating (or even drinking) back all the calories you’ve burned. So the takeaway is this: Don’t fall into the trap of overeating because you’ve exercised (or plan to exercise later). Believe me, I know how easy it can be to rationalize having that extra bit of food after Zumba class, but don’t do it ladies. Remember exercise can help you lose weight, but not when you’re eating back all the calories you’ve burned.

Reason #2: You’re eating too much sugar and refined carbs

I have a weight loss motto and that motto is this:

You can’t ‘out-exercise’ a crappy diet

That said, one reason why I strongly advise keeping a food journal is because people have this incredible knack for totally underestimating the junk they eat. Plus, people like to delude themselves into believing that exercise will make up for poor food choices. But that’s just not how it works. Truth is, all calories are not created equal and all foods don’t affect our bodies in the same way. Take a diet that is high in sugar and refined carbs for example. Let’s say you’ve worked the numbers so you’re able to create a calorie deficit while still allowing yourself the pleasure of eating a diet that’s high in sugar and refined carbs like soda, white bread, white rice, and pasta. Sweet! Now you don’t have to give up your goodies, and since exercising too, everything should work out. Except when you go to weigh yourself after a few weeks of this “awesome” diet, you notice that you still haven’t lost any weight- or maybe even gained weight! Huh?! What gives?!  

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