I exercise 6/7 days for 2.5 hours and eat healthy. Typically I eat a small granola bar for breakfast and something with a salad for lunch. Then maybe I’ll eat something small for dinner, but not too often. I am currently at 170 lbs. and seem to be stuck.
I’m still in my teen years. I play basketball and soccer and lift weights. I think I’m doing things right but something has to be missing, please help! What else is there to do?
PS – I’m female
Hey Courtney, we need to talk!
First of all, I think it’s great that you’re active, workout and are trying to get in shape and be healthy. But seriously, your plan needs a total overhaul.
Right out of the gate you tell me that you workout 2.5 hours per day nearly every day of the week. Courtney, that’s a whole lot of exercise, too much in fact. Then you share what you eat, which truthfully amounts to nearly nothing! So let’s look at this for what’s really going on – almost everyday you demand your body to put out energy for exercise and activity, but give it nearly no fuel to run off? See my point, there’s something very wrong here.
Now listen, I’m not scolding you or trying to make light of your situation. In fact this is one of the most common mistakes dieters make – they simply don’t eat enough, and when the weight doesn’t come off they just exercise more. In my twenty years as a trainer, I’ve seen more overweight people that DON’T eat enough than I can count. But I’m always telling everyone how smart your body is and this is an example. It would be nice if we could just keep eating less and lose weight, but that’s just not the case. If adequate food (fuel) isn’t present, your body will hold on to whatever body fat it has and possibly even store more! And what’s worse, it may even burn muscle tissue for fuel. So in cases of extreme diets, many people will lose weight – a lot of weight, but it ends up being muscle tissue loss. So while the scale goes down, they keep the same shape, just a little smaller.
I know it sounds counterintuitive to eat more and believe you’ll lose weight (fat), but its true. I’ve seen it myself. I’ve actually suggested one of my female clients to STOP her cardio sessions for two weeks and eat more food. Guess what happened? She LOST weight! Almost 4 pounds in two weeks! I know, crazy right? But when your body gets the signal and realizes that you’re supplying it with a steady stream of fuel, it’s more likely to give up unwanted body fat. In essence what you’ve been doing is more or less starving yourself. And as such your body is acting like it’s in survival mode, which means it’ll keep bodyfat on you and get rid of metabolic tissue (muscle) that requires calories.
Okay that’s all well and good but what should you do? I’d suggest for you to take the next 4 – 8 weeks and acclimate yourself to LESS exercise and MORE food. I caution you here Courtney, do not make too many changes too fast or what will most likely happen is you’ll end up gaining a lot of unwanted fat. You need to give your body a chance to adjust and let this new strategy take effect. So start adding in a bit more food per day, maybe 100 calories or so every 4 – 6 days and see how you feel. You must start eating a more complete diet that has more consistency in it. I’m not going to tell you to eat 6 times per day, but to start off you’ll need at least 3 good meals per day. And each should consist of a healthy protein, a complex carbohydrate and a bit of healthy fats. Be sure to include lean meats, eggs, veggies, grains, nuts and seeds, plenty of water and the occasional fruit.
When it comes to exercise, I’d immediately take at least 2 full days off per week and reduce your workout to no more than 90 minutes. Ideally I’d like to see you workout 5 days per week for an hour, but you’ll need to work your way down to that lesser amount, both for your body and your mental well being. I know by this point that exercise has become an emotional issue for you, so you’ll need to adjust your outlook as well.
The fact that you’re in your teens gives me hope because you can learn NOW the right way to weight loss and health. If you had continued on this path, I can guarantee with certainty you’d set yourself up for a lifetime of struggling with your weight and yo–yo dieting. Remember Courtney, your body is super smart and adjust to whatever environment you place it in. You must feed it appropriate amounts of food, give it stimulus to become better and fitter and adequate rest to recuperate and recovery. If you keep these things in mind, I know you’ll succeed!
Let me know how it goes and if any of you out there have a question – please just click here. I’d love to help you!
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