Why You Don’t Always Lose Weight Even if You Exercise
It can be a real disappointment to step on the scale at the gym only to find that the number hasn’t changed.
What’s even more frustrating is when you step up on the scale and the number has somehow gone up.
How are you not losing weight even if you’re working out?
There are a few answers to this troubling question.
1) You’re eating too much
You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.
This is a saying you should take to heart. Even if you have been able to motivate yourself to get into the gym a few times a week, if your diet is not reflective of your sudden commitment to your health, you aren’t going to get very far.
You need to be eating at a slight calorie deficit and/or creating one through your routine.
If you require 2,000 calories a day to maintain your current body and you begin burning 200 calories through exercise, you have a deficit and that means weight loss.
But, if you have suddenly upped your daily calorie intake to 2,200 calories, that means you are back at a maintenance intake and you will not lose weight.
What’s worse is when people get too tired from working out and they begin eating even more than they’re burning.
Now you have a surplus and you’ll begin to gain weight.
Pay attention to what you’re eating and log every single meal to find the culprit.
2) You’re gaining muscle
A more preferred potential answer to the question isn’t that you’re gaining fat or failing to lose it.
Rather, you might actually be burning fat, you’re just replacing it with muscle mass in the process.
This is great because a pound of muscle is a much smaller than a pound of fat.
That means burning off fat and gaining the same amount (or even more) in muscle is still going to make you fitter and slimmer–but the number on the scale won’t change.
This is when BMI (Body Mass Index) and other measurements will be handy.
Taking measurements of your body and progress photos will also help you see changes that the scale may not show.
Remember, it’s not all about the number on the scale. At the end of the day, it’s about how you look and (more importantly) how you feel.
How Hard Should You Workout to Burn the Most Calories?
If you’re trying to burn more calories, amping up your workout with new moves, a faster pace, or a longer session might all sound like good solutions.
But, is there any other way to burn more calories at the gym?
In actuality, working out as hard as you possibly can may not be the most efficient way to up your calorie burn.
The main reason for this is exhaustion.
Sustaining a comfortable pace for half an hour is probably going to lead you better than burning yourself out in half the time by going as hard as you can.
The goal with working out is to find a pace that you can reasonably keep up for about 20-30 minutes.
This goes for all cardio routines and even strength training.
Think about a speed and difficulty level that you can sustain without completely losing your breath or having to interrupt your routine for a break every so often.
The purpose of this is to get you going and keep you going.
After all, steady state cardio has proven time and time again to be super effective.
This will also help you build up your endurance, increase your heart health, lung capacity, and so on.
Of course, if you’re practicing HIIT or Tabata, which require 20-60 seconds of high intensity, all-out pace, you’ll want to take a different approach.
During the recovery period between moves, keep moving but do so slowly so you can catch your breath and even take a sip of water.
During the all-out periods, go as hard as you can without hurting yourself or losing your form.
Regardless of the type of workout you choose to do, if you’re wondering how hard you should be working out in order to burn the most calories, the answer is simple: As hard as you reasonable can without wearing yourself out to the point of exhaustion.
When you get to that point of exhaustion, your workout will be cut short, your efficiency will drop, and you’ll even risk hurting yourself due to a poor posture or form.
Always start things out slow and learn to do your workout properly, then gradually make it more difficult for yourself until you can find your sustainable pace.
If you want to challenge yourself more, bump your running speed up by .5 mile or add a pound or two of weights at a time until you find that perfect challenge for yourself.
Which Exercise Burns the Most Calories?
Looking to burn off those extra calories?
Exercise is an important part of anyone’s plan to get fit and healthy, but figuring out how best to spend your time at the gym or even at home can be a challenge.
If you’re like most people, you have a limited amount of time during the day to devote to exercising, so make the most of it with these top workouts.
These estimates are based on a 155-pound person.
- Sprinting: Run at 7.5 miles an hour and you’ll burn 465 calories in just 30 minutes! Alternate between a fast as you can go for 2 minutes and then a minute of jogging.
- Tabata: Just about any move can be made into a Tabata routine, which involves 20 seconds of an all-out pace and then 10 seconds of recovery. Do this eight times and you can burn an average of 15 calories a minute or 450 in 30 minutes!
- Climbing: Get outside and go on an adventure! Rock climbing works every muscle in your body and you could burn 409 calories in just 30 minutes while having the time of your life.
- Swimming: Depending on the speed you go, you can burn up to 372 calories in just 30 minutes with the breast stroke. Do the butterfly stroke and burn up to 409 calories in the same amount of time!
- Jogging: Jog at about six miles per hour and you’ll be on track to burn 372 calories in about 30 minutes. That’s an easy way to enjoy the latest songs as you get woken up for the day or wind down in the evening.
- Jumping Rope: Not a fan of jogging? Try a session of rope jumping and you’ll burn the same amount, 372 calories, in just half and hour.
- Rowing: Jump on that row machine or perhaps paddle out to the water and you’ll burn 316 calories in only half an hour of this fun move.
- Cross-Country Skiing: No mountain is needed for this flat land workout. You can burn up to 298 calories in just half an hour around your neighborhood or favorite park trail.
Another great way to burn extra calories is to do your workout on an incline.
Whether you’re walking, running, or biking, you’ll burn an additional 10% of the standard calories for each degree of incline.
That’s a great way to boost your workout.