6 Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Not Getting Results
If you’re trying to lose body fat and put on lean muscle, but you’re not seeing the results you want, ask yourself these six questions:
Why do I expect to get results overnight? You didn’t gain body fat overnight, so why do you expect to lose it quickly? If you’ve ever lost weight quickly, you’re also probably familiar with the rebound phase where you put all of the weight you just lose right back on. It was nice while it lasted, eh? Why does that happen? You probably took an unsustainable (for you) approach to weight loss. Sure drastic behaviors (e.g. carb elimination and excessive exercise) can produce quick results, but do you want quick weight loss and quicker weight gain, or slow weight loss and never having to put yourself through a diet cycle ever again? The bottom line is that while some people have long term success with extreme forms of dieting, most people don’t. Before turning to a fad diet, ask yourself if you want to eat and exercise like that for the rest of your life.
How long have I been working at this? Depending on how much body fat you want to lose, your weight loss journey can take weeks, months, or even years. I know "years" sounds daunting, but instead of focusing on your end goal, focus on what you can do in a day. Acknowledge the daily wins. Did you honor your body with nutritious food and movement? Excellent. Now do that again tomorrow. You’ll be at your target weight before you know it.
Am I being consistent? Five days of healthy eating and exercising followed by two days of binge eating and drinking will cause delays in your progress. You may not be gaining any weight, but you’re also probably not losing it. Honesty is key here. The more you yo-yo diet like this, the more difficult it will be to see results.
How long did it take me to put on body fat? If it took you five years to put on the weight, why would you expect to see it gone in six weeks? Be realistic with your progress. Losing 0.5-1.0 pounds per week is ideal for sustainable weight loss, so if you're trying to lose ten pounds before your wedding in two weeks, rethink your plan.
Am I prioritizing my nutrition? I know that you have other priorities: work, school, kids, and social activities, but shouldn’t your health be a top priority? If you want to feel better physically and mentally, nourish your body with nutrient dense whole foods as much as you can. This goes beyond weight loss; it's about your overall health.
Am I prioritizing my workouts, especially resistance training? Exercise is great for your physical health and helps to mitigate risk of illness and premature death. It also helps the brain produce the “feel good” hormones dopamine and serotonin. While nutrition is key when it comes to weight loss, ensuring that you exercise regularly and follow a great resistance training program will help you to reach your goals faster.
Now I know it’s not always comfortable to ask yourself these types of questions and be honest with your answers. It’s a lot easier to say your diet didn’t work and wait for a new one to come out.
But do you really want to waste years of your life this way? If you’ve embarked on a weight loss journey it’s probably because you don’t feel well both physically and emotionally. You know that you need to do something different to elicit the results you want. So do it right one last time.