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  • Jennifer Bradford

7 real reasons why you "can't" lose might not be ready to hear this...

You've tried everything it seems. You just cannot seem to lose weight. No matter what you try, nothing works, or at best, your tactics are just minimally effective. Get ready, kids, we're about to discuss the "secrets" of weight loss...

Just kidding. These aren't really secrets and I bet before you even scroll ahead you can guess what I'm going to say. The concept of losing weight and how to do it successfully is very simple, it's just hard to implement.


These points might be hard truths for some of you to come to grips with, but if you are for real invested in your future self and really want to make a commitment to weight loss leading to a healthier you, you're going to want to take notes.

Also, you can do this at any age, so don't you dare says "I'm too old for this". No, you're not.

cheeseburger and fries

1.You're eating too much

Sorry, but yes, if you cannot lose weight or keep gaining and are not sure why, it's because you are consuming too many calories. Period. Full stop.

Think about it:

Calories in > calories out: Weight gain

Calories in < calories out: Weight loss

Calories in = calories out: Weight is stable

Yes, it is this simple.

It's just hard to do.

Let me ask you something. At this very moment, do you know how many calories you typically consume in a day?

If the answer is no, then I've already proven my point with this one. It is to your advantage to do some leg work and figure out how much you are TRULY eating in a day and then use that knowledge to adjust your intake to lose weight. (This will still be an estimate, but it's a good starting place)

This means tracking and recording everything that you consume including all meals, snacks, drinks, sips, tastes, and food eaten off of your kids' plates.

You can use an app like MyFitnessPal to keep track to make it easier.

Once you figure out how much you're taking in, you (or your coach) can come up with a realistic daily caloric goal to help you actually lose weight once and for all.

kids on bikes in field

2. You're not active enough

This kind of goes back to the calories in vs. calories out. If you increase your calories out by increasing physical activity then it will help with weight loss. However, people put too much stock into this advice and not enough into changing their diet. For some reason, they go balls to the wall with working out, start up crazy exercise routines that are not sustainable in the long term, and do minimal to change how they eat. It is a heck of a lot easier to not eat those extra calories than it is to "burn" them off (Would you rather not eat 2 Oreos or run for an hour?)

You don't need to go nuts here with activity. Does walking count? YES. Do you know how many steps you take in a day? No? Similar to #1, let's track it. Use your Smart phone, Fitbit, or whatever kind of step counter you have and see in a regular day how many steps you usually get.

Then, increase it.

If you get 3,000 steps a day, try to get 5,000. If that's successful, try for 6,000 and so on. A good goal is about 7-10K steps per day and this can be adjusted individually.

Adding in a strength training routine would benefit you as well. Nothing wrong with gaining muscle along with losing fat. Starting at 2-3 days a week for 30-45 minutes works. You can do body weight exercises, dumbbells, or machines. Whatever you have access to and want to use works.

Also, don't forget about adding in activities that cause you to be more active. For example, instead of (or in addition to) family movie night, maybe plan a hike instead or play tennis or take the kids to park to run around. Anything that gets you moving counts!

cat sleeping on striped blanket

3. Your sleeping habits are suboptimal

Yup. Rest is super important. I know you know this. If you don't get enough sleep (7-8 hours for most adults) you'll feel it the next day. You'll be tired, groggy, in a bad mood, hungry, and then some. You won't want to do your planned work out and you'll be more likely to just order take out because you don't feel like making dinner.

Not only that, but poor sleep can cause an increase in ghrelin, the hunger hormone. This can cause you to overeat the next day and potentially backtrack on any progress you have made.

Sleep and recovery also play a part in muscle building; not only do you have to train to exert a proper stimulus on said muscle, but it also needs to repair itself in order to become stronger and/or hypertrophy so adequate rest is needed for this process to occur optimally.

people dancing and drinking

4. You go overboard on the weekends

You could be killing it during the week and tracking and lifting and walking and sleeping and then the weekend comes and POOF. Everything goes out the window, because it's the freakin' weekend and no one ain't got time for silly meal plans or the gym.

So, yeah, this happens. A lot. People will do great during the week and then it all falls apart come Saturday and Sunday. Why?

Our routine is off. We have more free time. We are attending social events. We want to relax. We don't want to think as much. We just want a break.

This will KILL your progress if you're not careful and cause you to "not lose weight" even though you are "doing everything" (during the week).

For example, if you skip your workout and don't meet your step count PLUS you go to the Cheesecake Factory and get an app, entree, cheesecake, and a Mai Tai...I don't think I need to tell you that is going to be a hell of a lot of calories and you just undid your entire week of progress and then some.

This scenario should infuriate you. You worked hard all week meeting your goals only to have them gone in minutes. DON'T let this happen to you. See my blog post on eating out to see how you can navigate this successfully.

glasses of wine

5. You drink too much

Sorry, but if you are seriously trying to lose weight, alcohol is doing you no favors. There's no nutrition in it and it's adding extra calories and carbohydrates.

Alcohol also reduces your inhibition, so you may end up consuming too many calories from food while drinking.

Plus, alcohol can really interfere with sleep habits and you'll end up getting a poor quality night's sleep, which as mentioned above, can really take a toll on any progress you have made

man covering face

6. You give up too easily and too soon

So, you've been following a caloric deficit, you increased your step count, and your sleep has been on par for a week and there's been no change in the scale. Nothing. Zero.

You get mad. Sad. Frustrated. After all, you've been working hard towards your weight loss goal for 7 whole days, yet nothing has changed (or has it?) and you see a friend who just told you she lost 5 lbs in 1 week on a detox diet. What gives? You thought eating this way and getting more active would be the way to go. After all, that's what your coach told you.

This is the point where most people are done. Usually, somewhere in that 2-4 week range after starting a new diet or workout, if there's no drastic change, then people quit. This is SO unfortunate because right around this time is typically when you're going to see the magic start to happen. You'll see the scale start to dip a bit (maybe 1 lb a week give or take) and you should notice other things, too. We call these "other things" non-scale victories. Like your pants fit better. You look in the mirror and you visually look leaner, you feel less tired, you have more confidence, etc.

Remember, too, that if you are 50 lb overweight, it likely took years to gain that weight, so you cannot expect to lose it all in a few days. It is going to take time. Trust me when I say to stick with it and enjoy the process of getting healthier, leaner, and stronger.

girl with hand up

7. You don't really want to change

This might be the hardest pill to swallow. But really, if losing weight and getting healthy are your PRIORITY you will do anything you can to ensure success. If it's really not that important to you at the moment or you have other things that are more pressing, it's going to get pushed aside and if what you try doesn't work, well then that's that.

Like it or not, if you really want something, you'll go after it as hard as you can. If you're fairly comfortable in your current lifestyle and have a small desire to lose weight, you're probably not going to. You might lose here and there, but you need to have focus and discipline to really get to where you want to be and you have to really want it.

I get it- you've got a full time job, 3 kids, each kid is in 2 activities, and your mom needs some extra help around the her house. You have other obligations and you might not "have time" to devote to your fitness. Your fitness, though, directly impacts all of the above. You'd be better at your job, a better parent, and an overall better person if your health was optimal. So what to do? Take some time, sit down, and think about it. What needs to change? What are your goals? Can you make time to work out/meal prep? When could you do these things? You'd have to devise a plan for yourself. Or get a coach to help you, work with you, and keep you on track.

Trust me, if you really want it, you'll get it.

Once you realize this and figure it out, you can check off the other 6 points made above and get going on your fitness journey because no one is gonna be able to stop you. Not even you! So let's go!

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