7 Reasons You Aren't Seeing Results From Working Out
Do you feel like you've been doing nothing but exercising intensely and eating well but not seeing the changes in your fitness that you'd expect? Well, there are some simple, though less obvious, things you might be doing that aren't helping you. With slight changes to your habits, diet, exercise regime and daily lifestyle you can set yourself up for better success. Read below to discover some of the things that could be coming between you and your goals.
Reasons you might not be seeing results
Our fitness journey is often not a simple, straightforward one. Plateaus and setbacks aren't uncommon, but many have causes you can address once you identify them. These are some of the things that might be getting in the way of your progress without you even realising it.
You're not getting enough sleep
So many people push themselves in the gym and eat healthy, but still don’t see results. The reason? They aren’t getting enough sleep. When you lack sleep your body produces more ghrelin (the hormone that makes you want to eat more) and less leptin (the hormone that tells you you’re full). Having a decent night’s rest also leaves you feeling more energised and less irritable, meaning you aren't as likely to reach for that chocolate bar for an energy burst.
You’re eating unhealthy foods in disguise
Many of the foods that are marketed and sold to us as "healthy options" are often anything but. It's helpful to read and understand the ingredients in any packaged or processed foods you buy.
Low-fat foods are a prime example. To make up for the missing fat, companies may add other ingredients are added to enhance the flavour or texture of these foods. Unfortunately these ingredients are usually things like refined sugar. This isn’t always the case for unflavoured foods, such as milk, natural yoghurt and cheese, but flavoured versions of these as well as other pre-packaged foods.
My advice would be to swap for healthier versions of your favourite foods, for example banana nice cream instead of ice-cream.
You don’t have variety in your workout routine
Your body is a machine and a smart one at that. If you only do the same thing over and over, it learns and develops muscle memory. Over time, your body will adapt and will no longer be challenged. It is important to constantly switch things up to confuse your muscles, and keep them guessing.
This means stretching, resistance workouts and cardio. NOT just one or the other. My programs in the Sweat app highlight different exercises for each day during the week, throughout the 12 weeks. This makes sure you are switching things up enough to get your body to adapt and respond.
You aren’t training consistently
If you only exercise sporadically and eat healthy once in awhile, don’t kid yourself into thinking that is enough. Unless you are born with great genes, you will need to put in consistent time and effort towards your goals. That means healthy nutritious food for your meals, a few resistance workouts per week and of course, some extra cardio!
You aren’t lifting enough weight (or lifting weights enough!)
Using heavier weights with fewer reps (10-15) is better than lighter with more reps (20+) when you are trying to build up muscle and tone. It is important to challenge your muscles constantly, yet safely, in order to continue building lean muscle, that will improve both your strength and your body composition! Choose weights that are heavy enough that 10-15 reps is challenging but doable.
You always workout alone
People who join fitness groups are proven to be more successful at their fitness goals. Why? Because you are being held accountable by another person. Also, it’s more fun! Find a workout buddy that you can exercise with, whether it's at the gym, outdoors or even over a video call.
You eliminated carbs from your diet
Carbohydrates are an incredibly important source of energy for both your body and your brain, especially if you need more energy for a high-intensity workout! Your body needs carbohydrates in order to fuel it throughout the day and to help metabolise fat. It is important though, to choose healthier carbohydrates that are unrefined or unprocessed. Things like whole grain bread, brown rice and quinoa are great sources of this vital macronutrient.
Embarking on a healthy lifestyle is not always easy, there are going to be ups and downs and we are only human. You will have setbacks, but it is important to keep going. Always have your goal in focus. The way you get there may change but I promise you, you will get there! If you feel like you've hit a fitness plateau or that you've lost some of your hard-won progress, try changing up your daily routine and modifying small behaviours. Remember to never give up!
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.