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Slow Metabolism Ruining Your Results?

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Ever have the feeling something is “broken” or “wrong” when trying to lose weight, gain weight, increase muscle – essentially make any changes to your body composition?

Regardless of your goal, you reach a point where you are absolutely sure, 100% convinced and fully confident your progress is either stalling or, non-existent.

That, despite your efforts, the hours you spend exercising each week or your diligence watching what you eat, nothing is changing.

What gives?! How is this even possible?!

In these instances, it is easy to assume we are flawed, our metabolism may not be firing on all cylinders, is abnormally slow or just not doing its job.

While this may be true for people with medical conditions such as thyroid disease, diabetes, or PCOS, the truth is, most of us will need to look elsewhere when trying to understand WHY we are experiencing delayed progress.

The question “Why am I not seeing changes or making progress” is very normal and as coaches, something we often hear.

To help you understand exactly what’s going on so you CAN reach your goals and get results, this is a conversation I welcome and a great question to be asking.

First and foremost, when feeling frustrated, you must always remember:

  1. You can NOT fight the laws of thermodynamics (more on this below)

  2. You can NOT out-train a poor diet (Monday-Friday routines can be undone by weekend splurges)

  3. You most certainly can NOT expect progress without doing the things needed to make progress

If you are feeling frustrated and perhaps a tad annoyed about your lack of progress and overall results, this is the perfect time to evaluate your day-to-day lifestyle and habits. Why?

Because what you do CONSISTENTLY over time will ultimately determine your results. Making changes to your body composition (i.e. losing weight, getting stronger / building muscle, fitting in your clothes differently), will NOT happen in a few days or couple weeks. This is a slow, steady and gradual process taking months and years of repeated behaviors.

There are 5 very specific reasons why your results may be stalling or delayed. Keep reading to learn what they are and, if these are the things getting in your way.


5 REASONS YOU AREN’T SEEING RESULTS

I get it – there is nothing more frustrating than going to all four corners of this earth to make changes and NOT see results.

And, that frustration manifests and can look like many things including: mystery weight gain, feeling like you are working your butt off and making little progress, or, an out-of-control appetite.

So, what should you do?

If you are NOT seeing results, not making much progress and convinced something is wrong, I have created a “results” checklist outlining what is (likely) getting in your way:

  1. Take time to read through all 5 reasons

  2. (honestly) Write down what you are doing / not doing based off this checklist

  3. Decide what changes you are willing to make

  4. Get started!

In the coming weeks and months, take note of how things start to change and that progress needle begins to move. Questions or need help? Email me HERE!


THE RESULTS CHECKLIST:

1. IS YOUR WEIGHT ONLY GOING UP? When it comes to gaining weight, this could be attributed to factors such as consuming too many calories, too little physical activity or, unhealthy habits such as poor sleep.

  • CALORIES, CALORIES, CALORIES! Though you may think you are consuming the proper amount of calories needed to lose weight, most of the population underestimates how much they are actually eating in a day by upwards of 40%! That is a huge margin when it comes to tracking accuracy and will adversely impact your outcome.

  • Even if you are tracking/logging what you eat in an app, log or food journal, it is easy to forget about those little bits of extra calories that quickly add up throughout the day. This is the stuff you may not even be thinking about or considering:

    ….splash of creamer in your coffee several times a day

    ….tasting all the things while prepping lunch or cooking dinner

    ….grabbing handfuls of nuts throughout the day

    ….nibbles of whatever’s in that glass bowl on your kitchen island

    ….glass of wine with dinner

    …scraps you finish from your child’s/grandkid’s plate

If you aren’t sitting down to mindfully eat a well balanced meal, those BLT’s can seem few and far between, leading you to think “Oh, I didn’t really eat anything today.”

However, the reality is all those BLT’s added up to be so much more than that single plate of food. But, when eaten in scattered fragments, it’s easy to forget just how much you truly consumed. And, based on research, it’s way more than we think (remember, we underestimate what we eat upwards of 40%!)

This is something most of us aren’t thinking about and often overlook but need to be mindful and honest about when it comes to identifying if these bites, licks and tastes are getting in the way of results.

Plus, you CAN eat TOO much of a good thing – almonds, pistachios, avocado, hummus. Yes, heart healthy fats like these are great for you but are high in calories so portion control counts.

The biggest takeaway here: If you are tracking, you must track ALL these items to help ensure accuracy. If for nothing else, give this a try for 1-2 days and see how your grazing adds up!


2. EXERCISING + BURNING CALORIES: So, your nutrition is on point, you are confident you aren’t BLT-ing the day away and there is NO WAY you are overconsuming because you are 100% honest when tracking your meals and snacks. What gives now?

If you rely on those fitness trackers strapped to your wrists or fitness apps like My Fitness Pal for calorie feedback, you are likely overestimating the number of calories you burn in a day and thus, your calculated calorie needs are OFF.

  • Fitness trackers and workout machines can be off by as much as 20-30% when estimating total calories burned. While fitness trackers continue to improve on accuracy, there is still room for improvement. 

  • When figuring out how many calories you are burning and / or how many calories you “can” or “should” eat, fitness trackers on your wrists and apps on your phone are not your best resource for this data.

  • If your handy dandy wrist gadget consistently tells you you are burning more calories than you really are, you could be eating in a calorie surplus. This means eating more calories than burning which leads to weight gain.

  • The most effective way to figure these numbers out (if you want the information) is working with a coach who can do this for you and make the appropriate modifications based on your daily activity.

  • Along with daily workouts, there are the other 23 hours of your day. How you are spending this time impacts your results and progress. For example, do you exercise for one hour and then sit the remaining 23 hours? If so, your calorie burn will be much lower compared to an individual who is more active during their waking hours.

**Reminder: Calorie counting is not an exact science. Most needs are estimates and are typically adjusted while monitoring progress**


3. THERMIC EFFECTS OF FOODS: Does your appetite feel out of control?

You are eating what you believe to be “healthy” meals but yet, are still hungry or sluggish throughout the day. Why is this happening?!

  • Take the time to evaluate your food quality AND quantity. The types of food you eat (and how much) dictate your mood, how you feel, your energy, and of course, your results and progress!

  • You want to be eating whole, nutrient-dense REAL FOODS for the majority of your meals. Think fresh fruits, veggies, lean protein sources like chicken, turkey, grass fed beef, fish (shrimp, salmon), eggs, Greek yogurt, beans or legumes if you are plant based, smart carbs like whole grains, potatoes, beans and legumes, and heart healthy fats including olive oil, avocado, olives, nuts, seeds, etc.

  • Your food choices matter because your body processes real foods differently than processed foods (pre-packaged / frozen meals, snacks, etc.).

  • This is where the thermic effect of foods comes into play. Different foods require different amounts of energy in order to process them. Real foods require more energy meaning more calories burned just from eating and digesting alone.

  • Balanced meals are also of importance. ALL meals should include proteins and vegetables while MOST meals should also contain a smart carb choice and a heart-healthy fat. Balanced meals ensure your appetite remains satisfied in between meals and provides you with the necessary energy needed for day-to-day living.


4. INCONSISTENCY: Another overlooked delayer of progress and a huge hindrance getting in the way of your results.

  • Do you suffer from “weekenditis”? You are eating healthy and tracking your meals consistently Monday thru Friday but tend to splurge on weekends because you were “super good” during the week. Regardless of what you do during the week, you can absolutely undo progress by making poor weekend choices.

  • Alcohol, junk food and meals eaten out can put you into a calorie surplus much quicker than most realize. A calories surplus means you are eating MORE calories than you are burning and leads to weight gain. This is why consistency 7 days a week matters.

  • Life is always going to happen – there will always be a special event (birthdays), a holiday gathering, a girl’s weekend, happy hour, you name it! If you want to reach specific goals, pausing healthy habits Friday-Sunday or any day for this stuff will always get in the way and either slow your progress or, bring you to a stand still.

  • Are you always looking / trying the next “best thing” with trendy diets and workouts? If you do not give your body enough time to adapt and respond to change, it will be hard to ever see results.

    • For example: if you are constantly trying new diets, constantly changing up your exercise program, resorting to workouts that just make you tired and feeling “beat up”, you are not doing yourself any favors. Change takes time and if you lose focus, interest or get frustrated and hop from this diet or exercise program to the next, your results will stall.

  • This is exactly why the exercise programs at Results Fitness are designed to give your body time to adapt so you can actually gauge your progress and see results. This is exactly why we take so much time to thoughtfully create programs and, keep them as part of your weekly rotation for an extended period of time. Doing new things every day isn’t better. Maybe it feels “fun” but again, not doing you any favors.


5. DIFFICULT-EASY HABITS: Are you spinning your wheels? Maybe you are working hard at the wrong things.

  • While you may be uber-focused on your workouts, you may be ignoring other important factors such as sleep, nutrition and stress reduction.

  • This is known as a difficult-easy habit. Sure, your workout may be difficult but, if it is already your normal everyday habit, that makes it pretty easy to achieve.

  • A difficult-hard habit would include getting your workouts in, improving your eating habits (eating more real foods consistently and less processed stuff), quality sleep (if you are always tired, you are likely to make poor food choices, feel less motivated and not have energy to exercise), and reducing your stress levels. Together, all of these variables work together to push you closer to hitting your goals.

Examples of Difficult-Easy Habits:

  • You exercise but come home and crash on the couch with a bottle of wine.

  • You cut out gluten to see if it may help with digestive issues but load yourself up with gluten-free treats.

  • You exercise 5 days a week but rarely get a full night’s sleep.

  • You restrict calories but are not eating nutritious foods.

If these are habits you have picked up, this is likely why you are not seeing results or making progress.

Now, let’s look at a few examples of difficult-hard habits that will lead you to making progress:

  • You consistently exercise and remain active throughout the day.

  • You cut out processed foods and replace them with real, nutrient-dense foods.

  • You exercise 5 days per week, get 7-9 hours of quality sleep and carve out time for active recovery each day (think walking, stretching, doing yoga,).


So, before frustration sets in and you deem yourself broken or resort o the mindset of “something is wrong”, first, evaluate the above behaviors.

Remember there are a number of variables to consider when it comes to making progress so remember to consider the following before throwing in the towel:

  1. Calories in, Calories out: are you eating more calories than burning without realizing it?

  2. Food Quality: are you choosing whole, nutrient-dense foods 80% of the time?

  3. Sleep: are you getting at least 7 hours /night?

  4. Stress levels: are you managing your stress or letting it manifest?

  5. Hydration: are you drinking enough water?

  6. Activity levels: outside of exercising, are you moving your body the other waking hours?

Begin to learn which actions are pushing you towards goals and which are just effort that serves no long-term purpose or result.


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