I’m not losing weight, what’s wrong
I’m not gaining muscle, what’s wrong
From time to time, I hear people I’m helping lose weight or gain muscle or doing it by themselves express how something is wrong because they are not making enough progress, at least as quickly as they think they should. And this leads many people to lose patience, start cheating on their food and slowly relapse in their old nutrition habits.
If I know those people, what I tell them is, think about how many years you have been eating unhealthy and didn’t proactively take care of your body and health, 10, 20, 30 years of bad eating and now, after 2-3 months of changing your nutrition for the better you want to quit, you are tired of it already.
People spend all this time gaining weight but if you tell them, you know what, realistically, it will take you one year or two to get in the best shape of your life, and then almost three years to make this new lifestyle part of your identity, of your flavor, many people hearing this will not sign on, they will have to be super unhealthy to make this shift, or they will postpone it to another time.
But fortunately, you may not be one of those people, because people and others are a generalization, the crowd really doesn’t exist, we are all unique individuals. So just understand that even if you are following a good nutrition plan, doing everything the right way, from eating to exercising to working on your mind,You might hit some roadblocks where it seems like you are not losing weight as fast anymore or gaining lean muscle mass as quickly as you did in the beginning.
But that’s okay, there are many reasons why this can happen, let’s go over them quickly. I go over them in more depth in the video program Lose Weight Forever.
In the first few weeks of following a healthy lifestyle, you might lose more weight because the bulk of it will be water weight. When you stop consuming a lot of carbs and sugar, you are turning off the hormone insulin, which leads the body to retain more sodium, which in turn increases water retention in your cells and tissues. Reduce your carbs and sugar intake and see how less water you feel like drinking. So a lot of weight you lose in the beginning might be amplified by losing water weight.
Next, you might not lose fat as much later on… because your calorie deficit is not low enough. Let’s say you start your weight loss journey with a calorie deficit of 500 calories a day. But then, a couple of months later, you hit a roadblock, try decreasing your calorie by another 200 calories. Some people adopt a calorie deficit of 1000 calories below they Basal Metabolic Rate, which I think is good for many people looking to lose weight. A calorie deficit triggers your body to use your fat cells for energy, hence burning fat for fuel.
Or you might hit a hormonal roadblock, meaning, your body has been used to be overweight for so long that your baseline weight is being overweight. So when you start to lose weight up to a certain level, your hormonal system puts on the break because it thinks you are starving yourself, even though you have all this extra energy in your fat cells to be unlocked.
Your metabolism slows down, so you have to stay patient here, keep eating healthy and exercising and your weight will continue to go down, maybe not as much as in the beginning but you will keep progressing.
For those of you who are looking to gain lean muscle mass, you might hit a roadblock for many reasons.
One can be that you are not paying enough attention to your recovery. As your intensity and the amount of weight you lift increase, optimal recovery is crucial. Are you sleeping enough, are you eating enough, are you allowing enough resting between gym sessions for super-compensation to take place.
Another reason for a roadblock might be that you have to switch your reps, sets and how you are doing some exercises. Hitting your muscles at different angles can help stimulate growth.
Another common reason why some people find it hard to gain more muscle is that they are simply not lifting heavy, or the intensity is not where it should be. And I see that all the time in the gym, people coming and acting like it’s a night club, talking to their friends, taking long breaks between sets, barely sweating, don’t be that guy. You want to maximize your time in the gym or at home training, make it as intense as possible, it’s the best way to stimulate muscle growth.
Or, maybe you are doing too much aerobic cardio, which can slow down your muscle growth.
And last but not least, you might not be eating enough food overall or proteins specifically. This for me was the reason WHY when I started to lift weight in college, I wasn’t seeing good results. The intensity and all other parameters were checked but I realized I wasn’t eating enough. And this is common with people who are naturally skinny, they don’t feel like eating a lot. So I had to push myself to eat, eat and eat. And boom, I started to see amazing results and reached my goals.
In both cases, facing roadblocks losing weight or gaining muscle, look at these elements I mention and see how you can take care of them. What I didn’t talk about, for those of you looking to lose weight is that maybe you are not actually eating healthy. Cheating here and there is one way to make it impossible to lose weight. So take a good look at your nutrition, be honest and see if you can make it better, one cheat day a week and 6 days of clean eating.
And to finish, understand that Incremental progress is the blueprint to success, we are so used to see big body transformation or those total home makeover that as a society, we got used to big changes, but if you look at history, changes happen very slowly…
For example, in the 1960s, scientists and presidents said that by the year 2000, most wealthy countries would run on solar energy, yet today, in 2019, solar energy accounts for less than 5% of energy sources on the planet.
In almost 50 years, solar energy increased by only 2-3%. So reflect on this, change is very very slow. The good thing is that losing weight or gaining muscle is actually way faster in comparison to the example I just gave.
So develop cool patience, not fake patience where you are boiling inside, cool patience is enjoying every step toward a healthier version of yourself, mentally and physically, because inch by inch, if you are mindful, you can see you are feeling better and looking better, stronger every day. This is why I say the mental aspect of losing weight is 99% of it. The missing link.
Enjoy the process that makes you great, the small victories, don’t panic when you hit a wall and stagnate for a few weeks, assess, stay on the road and keep driving.
It’s up to you, Thank you