Smutty Fitness: I’m exercising but I’m not losing weight
I am 29, 5'7" and about 145 pounds. I have always been pretty active but for the past year or so have really not been exercising consistently. I ordered the Insanity workout and started it about 45 days ago. While I have toned up some (mostly my shoulders/arms and calf muscles) I have not lost any weight yet. In the past when I have committed to a workout program I have always lost weight pretty consistently, so I am a little concerned about why it's so hard for me this time. I don't know how familiar you are with the program, but for the first 30 days the workouts are 40-45 min long and you do them 6 days a week; in the 2nd month they are closer to an hour long, still 6 days a week. I just don't understand how I could be working out (and hard - there is a lot of cardio and I am drenched before the warm up is even over) for an hour a day and not losing any weight. I try to eat healthy, it is a little more difficult because I travel very frequently for work, but I am certainly not eating worse since having started the program. I am not expecting to have lost 15 pounds by now or something, but I have literally not lost 1 pound. I usually don't focus too much on the actual number on the scale and a better measure for me is how my clothes are fitting, but there has been no change there either. I guess what I am asking is am I doing something wrong? I just don't understand how I could be putting so much time in and not seeing any results (I definitely am feeling them though, I wake up with sore muscles every day). Should I stop doing the program and just go back to running when I can? Part of the reason I was partial to the program is because I do have a very heavy travel schedule and don't always have access to a full gym depending on where I am staying so all I need is my laptop and the DVD’s to work out.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions you have.
Thanks for your question, and I see this all the time – people becoming discouraged with the results that they are not seeing after dedicating themselves for weeks to healthy eating and exercise. You are NOT doing anything wrong; in fact you are doing LOTS right. Congratulations to you for sticking to the insanity program. Although you are not seeing the results you want to see on the scale look at all the other results you are seeing: consistency, dedication, determination, improvement in your body’s strength and I bet your energy levels are up, you are in a better mood and you are sleeping better too.
I have a feeling that where you may be hindering your success is in your diet as that is usually where the problem lies. I cannot tell you how many times I hear from women that they eat well when I know every night there is a glass, or two, of wine and any other guilty pleasure of choice being consumed without any recollection. I’m going to give you a few suggestions that I want to you try to implement into your day and hopefully this will help you.
Start out each morning with a healthy, low glycemic breakfast. What does this mean? NO SUGAR in the morning. On Monday I posted my favourite smoothie recipe, so you could try that or experiment with your own, but stay away from things like instant oatmeal, jams, simple carbohydrates (bagels, toast, muffins and pastries) and sugary cereals. Also, start out each day with a glass of lemon water - not only will this hydrate you but it will also boost your metabolism for the remainder of the day.
Stay away from anything processed. Instead choose foods that are natural and are not loaded with preservatives. When you are grocery shopping stick to the perimeter of the store as that is where all the healthy foods are found and make quick trips into the isles to get the few things you may need that are on those shelves.
Start writing down what and when you eat so you are able to get an accurate measurement of how much you are consuming in a day and when you are consuming the food. Sometimes it is not about what we eat, it is about when we eat it. If you have a smart phone you can download an application that will keep track of your daily food intake for you.
When you are travelling, if you are spending more than 1 day in a location, find a grocery store and stock up on things like fruits and vegetables, nuts, water (travelling can really dehydrate you) and high protein yoghurts. When you wake up in the morning, instead of heading to the restaurant for breakfast have a healthy meal right in your hotel room. When you are eating out for business lunches and dinners on the road, remember you are there for the meeting, not for the food, so stay away from alcohol and dessert and make a healthy choice on the menu. Most restaurants will be very accommodating if you want your vegetables steamed without butter and if you order chicken ask them to remove the skin for you.
The problem with weight loss is that we assume it should be easier than it is and most have a skewed sense of exactly how many calories they are burning in a workout and how many calories they are consuming in their day as well as when they are consuming them. You are doing the right thing adopting a workout program that works with your lifestyle and your busy travel schedule so don’t lose your motivation but weight loss is not easy and it takes a lot of work, dedication, sacrifice and it does not happen overnight. Keep focusing on the positives, take a closer look at your diet and continue to set goals, stay accountable to yourself and work hard.
Attached - Eliza Dushku hiking with her dog and getting in some pull-ups.