One of my most common questions – I exercise and eat a healthy diet, but I still can’t lose weight and I don’t know why.
1. Believe You Can
OK so this may sound a little bit cliche. But if YOU don’t believe that you can, then it is never going to happen! The first thing you need to do is have a positive mindset. If you’re one of those people who look at other people with amazing bodies and think, “I’m never going to look like that”, then snap out of it right now! Thinking like that is not going to get you anywhere. Sure you may not be able to get the exact same body as someone else, but you can do whatever you put your mind to.
2. Be Honest With Yourself
You’re exercising, but are you putting in 100% effort when you exercise? And are you exercising consistently? Or are there times when you’re just too tired so you sleep through your alarm or just go home after work instead of hitting the gym?
And you’re eating well? What do you mean? Do you stick to healthy eating 100% throughout the week? Do you go out for more than one meal per week? Do you succumb to the morning teas at work? If you’re not putting in 100% effort into your diet, then don’t expect results.
3. Keep A Food & Exercise Diary
Keep a diary. For at least one full week, keep a record of everything you eat including every meal, snack, coffee, alcoholic drink, etc, and record your exercise sessions. Look back at them after 7 days. How well did you really eat? How many days did you actually work out? How many of those days did you put in 100% effort? When you write it down and look back over it, you may be surprised that you’re not doing as well as you think and it can help you identify areas that you need to fix to get your results. Keep these records too. I kept records like this a few years ago and then looked back over them recently and thought, “wow, I ate really bad!”. But at the time, I thought I was eating well…
4. Educate Yourself On Healthy Eating
I know that it can be difficult to know what is considered a healthy diet. I have written some blog posts that may help you (see below).
- Clean eating guidelines
- My daily diet
- What to eat to lose belly fat
- Healthy dinner recipes
- Healthy breakfast ideas
5. Stress Less
Stress can be extremely damaging not only your mental health but also contributing to weight gain. When you are stressed you may eat worse which contributes to weight gain. But being stressed means you have higher levels of the hormone cortisol which actually contributes to weight gain (especially around the abdominal area), affects your sleep and increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes. I didn’t realise how important stress was for weight loss until recently but it can play a huge part. So make sure you’re trying to reduce your stress levels.
6. Get A Check Up
Sometimes your inability to lose weight can be related to more than just your diet and exercise. Your thyroid, hormones, plus a range of other health issues can also play a part. If you have tried absolutely everything to lose weight and are still having problems, I recommend going to see a healthy professional such as a doctor to have a check up, just to be sure that there are no other issues.
I’m 16 years old and about a year ago I had lost 24kg. The methods I had used to lose this amount of weight was not necessarily the healthiest. I did restrict my calorie intake to 800cal. I have recently gained back all the weight I had lost and am trying to lose weight doing all the right things as you state in your blogs. I am definitely not happy with the way I am now and my confidence is very low. I just can’t seem to be losing any weight! I am doing cardio 4 times a week and weights 3 times a week and am eating 1200cal. What is your advice with someone struggling with the scales?
Hi Naomi, the thing about losing weight is that you need to change your lifestyle so that you don’t end up putting it all back on again. Usually people tell me that they’re exercising a lot and eating well, but they don’t realize that they’re really not. Have a read of these blog posts here and here for some tips to help. I would still recommend doing exercise at least 4 times per week and cutting out all of the typical junk foods such as chocolate, soft drink, etc. But the main thing is to make sure that you’re being really consistent to get the best results! xx
Dear Rachael, i have been trying to lose weight for some time now. I’m eating clean (less than i burn during the day) and i wright down everything in my food diary. I workout almost everyday, but also take a rest day. I do cardio 4 tot 5 times a week and strength training 3 times a week, i’m also a competitive synchronized swimmer. My legs and shoulders are actually getting thinner but my stomach won’t get flatter. Can you give me some tips on how to lose some belly fat? Love, Megane
Rachael here. It could be a number of factors. Even if you’re eating clean, if you’re eating too little or too much food, this will affect your weight loss. So make sure you’re also eating the right amount of food. Also for weight loss, try to increase your protein and fat intake and reduce your carb intake. My best advice for belly fat is to keep consistent with your diet and incorporate more HIIT weights workouts into your program, possibly to replace some of the cardio or strength sessions that you’re currently doing x