Happy Fall Tuesday!!
Ever since I started sharing my fitness journey with you guys, I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me with their progress, questions, positive comments, etc. (which is AMAZING that you guys want to share your journey with me as well) but the most common theme of the ladies who reach out me revolves around wanting advice / needing help on how to reach their goals because they aren’t seeing the progress they wish to see! I know this can be really frustrating and defeating, so I wanted to make an entire post dedicated to why you’re not seeing the progress you want to see and the common mistakes people are making (unintentionally) that are holding them back from reaching their goals!!
You aren’t eating enough.
This is definitely the most common mistake I see people make. Ever since we were little we have been told time and time again that in order to lose weight you need to be consuming few calories & eating strictly healthy foods: salads, veggies, eating under 1,200 calories a day.. this is all a huge misconception. There are many different ways to go about losing weight and not eating very much is not one of them!!!
Not eating enough can be detrimental to your body and your fitness journey. It can cause you to be defeated physically, but also mentally. At the beginning of my journey I thought this way. I thought in order to lose weight I needed to eat low calories, low carbs, and strictly eat healthy. This point in time was actually the unhealthiest point of my journey. I was tired (from not getting enough calories to fuel my body), I was cranky (from being low carb), I was hungry (from being low cal and from always avoiding my cravings) and I was frustrated (because I still wasn’t reaching my goal).
You are eating too much.. (healthy foods do not equal weight loss!!)
It’s important to know that just because you’re eating healthy foods all day long, does not mean you are going to lose weight. You can still over eat healthy foods. The only way you will lose weight is by being in a caloric deficit at the end of the day (you are burning off more calories than you are consuming). You can be eating healthy all day long and unintentionally be in a caloric surplus (you are eating more calories than you are burning off in the day) and this will cause you to gain weight!!
A quick, very general guide to follow to calculate how many calories you should be consuming in a day:
formula: your current weight x 14 & then subtract (or add – depending on your fitness goals) anywhere from 100 – 700 calories
example: I weigh 145 lbs. Say I want to lose weight, so I need to be in a caloric deficit everyday. I always recommend to ease into your goals. So, in the beginning of a cut I would start by subtracting 100 or 200 calories, then after a few weeks subtract another 100 or 200 calories. Ease into it, be consistent, and be patient!!
example continued: 145 lbs x 14 = 2,030 calories roughly are my maintenance calories (the calories I need to consume every day to maintain my current weight) so I would begin a cut by eating 1,930 or 1,830-ish calories a day. You would use this same formula if your goal is to build muscle, just add the calories instead of subtracting!! 🙂
You are spending too much time doing cardio.
This is another super common mistake! Cardio is a good tool to use to help you get into a caloric deficit. Some people like to eat more throughout the day (not eat so far in a caloric deficit) and then do cardio to burn off some calories to even it out and get you to the appropriate caloric deficit you need to be in! Overdoing cardio can stress your body out and can actually cause your progress to plateau.
I would recommend to ditch the hour long cardio sessions every day. I have found doing 2-3, 10-15 minute HIIT sessions (High Intensity Interval Training) a week has worked best for my body. HIIT cardio has been proven to target fat loss and is scientifically found to be a more beneficial alternative to long cardio sessions for fat loss.
I like doing my HIIT sessions on the StairMaster (just because I hate running) or by using a push sled with weights on it. You can get your HIIT in on the treadmill by doing sprints, on the StairMaster, on the bike, by using a push sled, etc.
How to do a HIIT session:
- Pick your preferred method to bust this bad boy out (sprints, StairMaster, etc.)
- Open the stopwatch feature on your smart phone & decide how long you are going to do your HIIT session (usually 10 – 15 minutes long). Start with 10 minutes if you are a beginner!!
- Do a quick warm up for 2 or 3 minutes: light jog, moderate pace, etc.
- Start your first interval: for anywhere between 30 – 45 seconds, you will give 100% to the activity you are doing. This may be a full sprint, a fast pace on the StairMaster, a full sprint with the push sled, etc.
- Followed by your first rest interval: 30 – 45 seconds of ‘rest’ giving 40% – ish of the activity you are doing.
- Repeat these intervals until your time has ran out!!!
You need to engage in more intense workouts.
I know this one may seem obvious, but a lot of people don’t really think about it!! I know in the beginning of my fitness journey I always thought I was having kickass workouts but it actually turned out I wasn’t. When you are lifting weights really concentrate on working that specific muscle group (I usually concentrate on training 2 specific muscle groups per workout). Engage in 5ish exercises per muscle group and lift heavy. If you are not completely fatigued at the end of the workout, you did not train hard enough / lift heavy enough! Same goes for your HIIT, if you are not exhausted then you weren’t giving it 100%. Really make sure to end each workout knowing you gave it your all and tried your hardest!! 🙂
You are too stressed out!!
This is a HUGE one you guys. It’s often overlooked or looked at to not be that important, but stress is really hard on your body. Stress can cause high blood pressure, break outs, hair loss, and can even cause your body to store fat / gain weight.
Stress can cause you to engage in unhealthy habits like over eating, under eating, smoking, etc. To avoid this, it’s important to take some time for yourself to relax, calm down and unwind! I like taking a yoga class, getting a pedicure, hitting a good workout, watching a movie before bed, or going to dinner with Kc, stuff like that!! It’s so important to take time to turn your brain off and just be happy!! Try to do something small each day for yourself 🙂
You’re macros aren’t adjusted currently according to your body / goals.
This one is probably the trickiest point to make sure you are doing. It is important for your body to receive the appropriate amount of carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins that it needs. The amount of each macro you need to consume varies based on your body and your current goals.
You don’t have to track your macros every day to ensure you are getting enough of each macro (you can just eat well balanced meals intuitively) but tracking your macros will help you get off to a good start and ensure you are hitting them daily!! Especially for people who are just starting to look at the nutrition facts of foods and have a hard time reading or estimating the macronutrients in them!!
The main thing to take away from this point, is it is detrimental to your fitness journey to completely cut out or consume very little of one macronutrient. Even when I am in a cut I’m not low carb or low fat!
If you guys have any questions on how to calculate your own personal macros, let me know and I can help you out!!
Main things to take away:
- Don’t be afraid to eat!
- Don’t be afraid to eat your carbs / healthy fats / and protein
- Stop overdoing cardio!!! Stick with 2-3 HIIT sessions a week to blast fat.
- Eat well balanced meals!
- Take some time for yourself!!! Unwind & relax
- Stay positive 🙂
I hope these points helped you guys out and informed you on a couple things to make sure to avoid doing in your fitness journey! If you have any additional questions on anything, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to ya as soon I can to help you out 🙂
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Sending SO Much Love | xoxoxo