Struggling to lose weight – You may be making these 4 common mistakes

POSTED: 03 Jun, 2021

Why Am I Not Losing Weight Even Though I’m Training Hard?

I bet you have asked yourself or someone you know has asked you this question before. I empathise. You might even feel helpless and think of giving up. You wonder if your body is defective and you’re condemned to obesity and poor health.

Let me assure you there’s nothing inherently wrong with you. You are just making one or more of the following common mistakes.

1) Trying To Lose Weight Via Exercise Alone, Without Lifestyle & Dietary Changes

Existing research suggests that 600 calories for an hour of tough training. Many of our clients also wear various heart rate monitors that also estimate amount of calories burned – after an hour they typically burn 500-700 calories.

One slice of pizza is 300 – 500 calories. I can personally devour 2-3 slices before I feel full.
This illustrates how difficult it is to try to overtrain to compensate for overeating.

Keep training, but meanwhile you have to learn to eat less.

Now you might ask, “I got no willpower, how do I eat less?”
It’s not a matter of willpower but a matter of poor judgement – let me explain that in the next section.

2) Underestimating The Calorie Density In Sauces, Junk Foods And ALSO ‘Health’ Foods

Sauces, be it curry sauce or tomato ketchup or mayonnaise can be packed with sugar or fat or both. A medium size pack of chips contains about 500 calories. Ironically health foods like acai bowls, avocadoes, nuts and fruit juices are also calorie dense.

Use MyFitnessPal and input what you eat for a week. Check how many calories you are actually consuming! The results may surprise and enlighten you.

3) Trying To Lose Weight Via Traditional Cardio Or Pilates, Neglecting Resistance Training

Any exercise is going to burn calories and hence is better than no exercise. Research has proven that resistance training speeds up your metabolism. Hence with regular resistance training, your body burns more calories just going about daily life.

Neither traditional cardio, nor Pilates does that. We all know cardiovascular fitness is important, and Pilates improves balance, control, breathing – I encourage clients to do both! Just remember, if your objective is losing that tummy fat, don’t neglect resistance training!

4) Overkill: Burn Out

Ok, so you are training regularly and also eating less, yet still not losing weight! What’s wrong? You may simply be impatient; keep doing what you are doing and you will get visible results. Think of losing weight like investing in the stock market, patient careful investments bring you the financial rewards over time.
Of more concern is that you may actually be training beyond your body’s capacity to recover and/or eating way too little and starving. Your body then goes into ‘survival’ mode, in which it is inclined to WASTE MUSCLE and STORE FAT.

Schedule rest periods. 3 weeks on, one week off every month is good way for most busy modern people. Allow yourself 2 “weekend meals” – in which you allow yourself to eat – this is my guideline – 10% past fullness – at your favourite restaurant.

About the author

Chris is our Accredited Exercise Physiologist. He has spent the past two years working as an EP in private practices across Queensland. Chris has a special interest in chronic disease prevention & management, musculoskeletal and sports injury rehabilitation, weight management, healthy ageing and ... more

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