You feel you are eating healthy. You are making good choices, you are staying away from fatty foods and you are exercising.
So why is your body not changing?
Why does the scale not move and why do your clothes fit the same or maybe even a little tighter?
There could be many factors causing this, but today I am going to go over just a couple that I see come up quite often when working with my clients. I also provide some solutions on how to fix them.
Read through these and ask yourself if you if any of these reasons could be the reason why your body isn’t changing.
1. Not Eating Enough
This is probably hard to believe, but this is one of the most common reasons why someone’s body doesn’t change. On paper it makes complete sense that if you eat less calories than what you burn you will lose weight. Heck, isn’t it practically a guarantee?
The irony of this path is that many times you will actually gain weight even though you are eating less calories.
How is that possible?
The simple explanation is that when you starve yourself of calories your body will go into a starvation mode. Certain hormones get activated and your body will start to take the calories you do eat and shift their focus. It will store more of these calories as fat calories.
It is able to do this by also using the muscle you already have as energy. So your body will breakdown your existing muscle to use as energy and therefore not require as many calories to feed that muscle. It now has more calories to store as fat.
An easy way to know if you are under eating is to track everything you put in your mouth for 3 days. Write down the foods, drinks and quantities of each. Then use a calorie calculator software such as Nutrition Data to analyze how many calories you consumed. It will also tell you the ratio of calories you are consuming, which I discuss in #2 below.
|Solution: If you know for certain you are eating fewer calories than you burn try this. Increase your caloric intake by 200-300 calories for 2-3 weeks and keep everything else you are doing the same. Re-take your measurements and check the scale to see if your body has started to change for the better.|
2. Eating The Wrong Ratio Of Calories
Yes, you are eating protein, but do you know what ratio you are eating it in?
If you kept track of everything you ate and then used a calorie calculator service or feature you might find that you are only eating 10-15% of your calories as protein and most of your calories as carbohydrates.
Eating more protein can help you to eat several hundred less calories a day and it helps to stimulate your appetite regulating hormones so that you are less hungry and have fewer cravings.
|Solution: Consume 25-30% of your calories as lean protein as it can increase your metabolism by 100 calories per day. It will also help prevent your metabolism from slowing down if you are in a caloric deficit state.|
3. You Are Not Lifting Weights
Lifting weights is different than exercising. It also does not mean you have to look like a bodybuilder or lift the amount of weight that they do.
Strength training as I prefer to call it is very important to boosting your metabolism, changing your body and developing that lean toned look. So if you are taking aerobics classes or just running on the treadmill it isn’t enough for some individuals to changing their body.
|Solution: Incorporate strength training into your workout programs by implementing a circuit routine of 3-4 exercises. You should do around 3 sets per exercise and the weights should be heavy enough to where you can’t do more than 15 reps in a given set.|
This will do a few things. It will hold onto the lean muscle you already have and keep it from being used for energy when you restrict your calories. It will also boost your metabolism, which in turn burns more of those fat calories off your body.
4. You Are Not Mindfully Eating
Pay attention to what is going in your mouth. Don’t get so distracted that you just start putting food in your mouth and have no idea what it really is or how much you have eaten. It takes around 20 minutes for your body to recognize that food is in your stomach and to send out signals that you are full.
How many times in the last 7 days have you sat down to eat and you are still eating after 20 minutes?
Most of us have already put our plate in the dishwasher or sink and cleaned up the kitchen after 20 minutes.
Have you ever eating a meal and then about 10 minutes after you were done you felt so stuffed and uncomfortable?
That is your body telling you that you are full except it is too late. You were finished 10 minutes ago.
Slow down your meals and enjoy the food you are eating. This will give your brain and stomach time to assess how much food you have eaten and keep you from overeating.
|Solution: Eat and chew your food slowly. Put your fork down on the table while chewing and every so often take a drink of water between bites of food. Whatever you put on your plate know that you have 20 minutes to finish it and that you shouldn’t be done with it prior to the 20 minutes. When you feel the satiety signals tell you that you are full then push the plate away.|
5. You Are Not Sleeping Enough
This is one of the hardest to take care of, but it is very important as poor sleep has been shown to be one of the single biggest risk factors for obesity.
How much sleep are you getting every night?
Do you wake up tired in the morning because maybe your quality of sleep is poor?
|Solution: Try to get into bed 45 minutes earlier than you normally would and use some type of white noise like a ceiling fan to help calm you and slow your mind. If it is too quiet many times your brain will start thinking of all these things you have to get done tomorrow and so forth.
Use the white noise to slow your mind and try and think of nothing, but the calming white noise.
Now like I had mentioned in the beginning these are not the only factors that may be causing your body to not change, but they are 5 very common causes. If you can correct these 5 causes you will have made great progress in building a healthier body.
To add to that healthy body focus I have a great recipe for you below. It is a twist on your typical burger that I really like. The flavors pop and make what you would think as boring bland chicken really flavorful.
Give it a try and let me know how you like it.
1 lb. Ground chicken breast
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, grated, and squeezed dry with your hands
1/4c. chopped green onion (2)
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh mint leaves
2 tsp. Curry powder
1/4 tsp. Salt (optional)
1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup non fat plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. mango chutney
4 romaine lettuce leaves, torn
4 – 6inch whole wheat pitas, cut crosswise in half
In a medium bowl combine chicken, apple, green onion, mint, curry powder, salt, and pepper and shape into 8 burgers. Spray grill pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Cook burgers for 10 minutes or until not longer pink, turning once. Meanwhile, in bowl combine yogurt and chutney. Divide lettuce among pitas. Place 1 burger in each pita half; divide yogurt sauce among pitas.
I have compiled many of my favorite recipes into 1 pdf file for my clients to enjoy. It is yours for FREE today. It is my gift to you for reading all the way to the end and considering to try these recipes. (It pays to read to the end doesn’t it) 😉
All meals are simple to make so you don’t have to be a chef to create these delicious meals.
Grab it now! It is yours for FREE. I am offering you the opportunity to learn from my 15+ years as a Registered Dietitian helping thousands of people lose weight and keep it off.
Don’t forget to leave your comment below on if you liked this article or if it helped you with your meal preparation. Once you make this recipe also let me know what you thought of it.