Why Can’t I Lose Weight Despite Tons of Exercise?


question-icon-newI have started to get back in shape. I was always active in high school, but with this upper level education I have been going for, the fitness has suffered. Until recently at least. I have a little less than 4 months off before I get really busy again and decided to throw myself back into things. I joined a gym and on average I probably spend 2-3 hours per day about 5 days a week doing various things. My cardio includes elliptical, walking on treadmill, and stationary bike. In addition I take several classes including step, kickboxing and pilates. I do weight training as well. My question and my frustration is that I am beginning the 5th week and I am not losing any weight. I have gone from more or less pretty sedentary to what I have described above and I don’t know what I am doing wrong that I am not seeing any results from the scale. I find myself getting frustrated with it. Any advice?

answer-icon-newYour biggest problem without a doubt is that you’re completely overtraining! By working out 2-3 hours per day about 5 days a week, your body is screaming for precious recovery time and has most likely severely plateaued. Your body absolutely needs quality time to recover from intense workouts and without this, it will simply start shutting down. I highly recommend cutting back on your training and focusing on only 1 hour of intense training per day for a maximum of 4 days a week. It’s great to break up your 1 hour training routine into 30 minutes of high intensity weight training and finishing off with 30 minutes of high intensity cardio training. Push each weight training set to positive failure and really work your muscles. Once your weight training is finished, move right into your cardio routine. Choose high intensity cardio exercises which will burn more calories and keep your body’s metabolism stoked throughout the day. Great examples are sprints, jumping rope and spinning. This may also stimulate muscle growth and strength in your weight training routine.

The second major thing is to really look at what your eating everyday. Make sure you document everything you eat and drink into a diet journal, which you can download for free here:

Make sure to limit all simple sugars (fruit, etc.) after 6pm. Your insulin levels are very sensitive at night and it will be much easier to store extra fat if you consume sugars later in the day. Stick with a lean protein and non-starchy carbs. A great meal would be a grilled chicken breast salad with romaine lettuce, sliced cucumbers and a little balsamic vinaigrette dressing. You could also opt for a nice chicken breast/veggie stir fry. Throw some broccoli, mushrooms and chicken into a stir fry pan with a touch of soy sauce. This makes a great meal for later in the day!

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