This happens to so many of us. You’ve been working hard at the gym and felt like you’re really making some headway, but then you get on the scales and you’ve lost nothing! But don’t fear, don’t let it get you down as you can’t expect to lose every week, and sometimes the smallest adjustments can make all the difference.
When you first start out at the gym you often find you lose weight quickly which will mainly be water weight, this is from starting to use your glycogen stores. Also, you will most likely have changed your eating habits or lowered your calorie intake, which will undoubtedly have an effect. Then as your body adjusts you will lose weight at a slower, safer pace (if you’re doing it correctly), this will be an average of 1-2lbs per week. But that doesn’t mean it has to be 1-2lbs per week. Our bodies fluctuate with water retention, digestive speed, what foods you have been eating, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Studies show that the slower you lose weight, the more likely you are to keep it off.
You will also find that you can be losing inches on your body but not weight on the scales, which is why keeping a track of your measurements is really important and can give you a real idea of how your body is changing. When you build muscle whilst losing fat it can make it appear as though you are not losing any weight, this is because muscle is denser than fat and therefore the scales may not change, but the tape measure will show you what you’re achieving.
Even though the latter is very true, you should lose weight with exercise (unless you’re bodybuilding of course!), so if it’s been a while since you’ve seen a change on the scales you might want to check a couple of simple things that might have gotten away from you.
It’s really easy to overlook or lose track of what you’ve eaten and drunk during the day, you may find that you are consuming far more calories than you need or even not eating enough! A simple way to keep a handle on this is to use an app on your phone such as MyFitnessPal. You are able to log everything you eat and drink, it will also show you a breakdown of what is within those foods and therefore manage your fat, carb and protein intake.
You may not be doing the right kind of exercises to support weight loss. You can’t just sit on the bike, cross-trainer or ski-erg for an hour and expect that to get your body into shape. A combination of weights and cardio is the best way to ensure you burn fat and build muscle to get your body into shape. Try a circuit of weights for ⅔ of your time and then have a high-intensity cardio finisher to for the last ⅓ of your time. And don’t forget to warm up before then stretch out afterwards!
It can seem like a lot to keep track of but you will soon get the hang of it, keep it up.