We’ve all been there. Sometimes, honestly, we want to let out a collective sigh, clutch our fave workout towel to our sweaty faces, and cry, “Why. Can’t. I. Lose. This. Weight?” Well, beyond some obvious reasons (sorry, all you carb-craving, sweet-toothed beauties out there, but, nope, that’s not helping), there are ways in which you might be sabotaging your fitness goals if you’re exercising but not losing weight.
We’re here to offer five insightful tips as to what might be holding you back from that hot bod you’ve been working so hard to hone to perfection:
YOU’RE STRESSING YOURSELF OUT.
First of all, don’t fret! Seriously, too much fretting, (i.e. stress) can add to weight retention issues. Maybe you have unrealistic expectations of your fitness goals or progress? Is your work/life balance in check? We get it. It’s tough crushing it day-in, day-out – not only in the sweat department but with office and household activities, too. Respect, girl. If you’re exercising but not losing weight, you might try to make a focused effort to bid adieu to built-up tension now and again because guess what? Stress can increase cortisol levels and cause your body to hold onto weight or even gain it. Take a deep breath. Take a bath. Read a book. Paint a picture. Pop outside to watch the sunset. Whatever ways work for you to blow off steam, make it an integral part of your lifestyle.
YOU’RE SKIMPING ON RECOVERY.
We know. Your workouts can be exhausting — and a tad time-consuming – and being the Wonder Woman you are, you want to jump right into the next activity on your to-do list. Well, not so fast, Diana Prince. Next time you finish your fitness routine, take some time to tend to those muscles you just used. They need a little “me-time,” too. We are big proponents of post-workout foam rolling, stretching, and regular massages. (And OMG, we have THE cutest new foam roller. With our LSF 2-in-1 Foam Roller in marble, you will be ready to roll in no time!)
And girl, did you know that a quick massage after your workout can actually intensify the benefits of exercise and shorten your recovery time? We love this Wahl Deep Tissue Massager, which massages your aches away by reducing inflammation and bringing on the production of mitochondria in the muscles. And that, my friends, builds energy and endurance. You can use the Wahl massager on yourself, or ask a friend to do you a solid. So take a moment to improve flexibility, mobility, and range of motion. The last thing you want is to overwork your body to the point of burn out because that often leads to less regular exercise. And we can’t have that.
YOU’RE DRINKING YOUR CALORIES.
Mind you, there’s no harm in ordering your favorite designer drinks once in a while, but beware: coffees, teas, juices, smoothies can all be loaded with added sugars you don’t even realize. And they can sneak in everywhere and add up fast. Take a Grande Pumpkin Spiced Frappuccino, as an example. Those 16 ounces of blended bliss contain 48 grams of sugar and add 350 calories to your day!!! Women should have no more than 25 grams of added sugars per day, and if you’re exercising but not losing weight, this daily indulgence of yours could be the culprit. Try limiting your consumption of caloric beverages and sugar in general (and try out our low sugar pumpkin spice recipe instead!)
If you need a little help, we have the ultimate guide to show you where those sneaky sugars seep into your diet (and how to ditch them) in our “7 Day Sugar Detox.” This guide breaks down the sugar do’s and don’ts and tells you all the deets on how sugar impacts your body (and it’s way more than just weight gain). You will also get the 411 on foods to avoid and of course, ones to enjoy. You’ll see a difference in how you look and feel in just one week (likely dazzling, per usual).
YOU’RE NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER.
And speaking of drinking, are you being H2O compliant? Baseline, we recommend imbibing between 2-3 liters per day. Sometimes a new water bottle can motivate you to stay quenched one refreshing gulp at a time! Plus, studies have shown staying hydrated can improve calorie burn and performance. Also, that unsightly bulge from excess water retention? Yeah, consistent hydration can help reduce that, too.
YOU’RE GAINING MUSCLE.
This one is a head-scratcher. We applaud you building muscle (heck, yeah!), we really do. But know that the scale might not tip in the direction you’d think — at first. Don’t panic! This weight gain typically happens at the beginning of your exercise journey while your body is still changing and adapting to your new routine. A few things are going on with your muscles. Even though 1 pound equals 1 pound, muscle mass is denser than fat and therefore heavier. So really, the scale isn’t the best tool to measure how fit you are when you’re just getting started, because yes, you are getting fitter, one muscle-flex at a time.
And by the way, since they’re working harder, your muscles initially need more fuel — or glycogen. Glycogen binds with water during the process, which — ooof — may lead to a little weight gain. At the same time, your muscle fibers are also experiencing micro-tears and inflammation. They’re just not used your new-found rigor to get-up-and-curl, girl! This also induces some water retention. And finally, as women deal with those pesky hormonal fluctuations, it’s not uncommon to retain a few pounds of water weight. The good news is that regular exercise has shown to promote endocrine health and help balance your hormones.
In summary, if you’re exercising but not losing weight you, may be losing fat but gaining muscle and/or holding onto excess water. So even though your body is moving in the right direction, the scale may not be (which isn’t necessarily terrible). But keep at it, we promise the weight loss will happen.