Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Why Can't I Lose Weight?

I eat well. I train hard. But I can't get rid of any weight. So what is going wrong?


I am pushing myself with running and now the Insanity Challenge, but my scales just keep giving me the same reading every morning. 185 lbs (13.2 stone) ..

It goes up and down, but only by a pound or so. Even looking at it over a period of time, it still doesn't move in the right direction by much.

I am beginning to feel what I hear so many people say: "No matter what I do, I just can't lose weight".


I've always thought to be a poor excuse for being lazy and making poor nutritional choices. It even convinced the person saying those words. No matter what we do, it just won't come off.

I could use excuses like that. I could say:

  • It's my age.
  • It's bad genes.
  • I've got a slow metabolism.
  • It's all muscle.
  • I am a medical marvel and science does not apply to me.


However, none of these hold much weight with me, excuse the pun. They are all excuses I've never even started to accept as a main reason.

They all may be factors of why it can be hard to lose weight, but they do not make it impossible. But I don't use these excuses, so why can't I lose this excess fat?

Eating The Right Foods


I eat plenty of fresh food and I cook from scratch, using healthy ingredients. I don't use much oils, I eat plenty of lean protein and I don't eat much processed food. The past few weeks I've stayed away from chocolate (with one disgraceful exception). I haven't been drinking alcohol and I've only had one small takeaway. I don't eat crisps (potato chips), I don't eat microwave meals and I don't have an ice cream addiction or anything like that.

So why can't I lose weight?


I've heard the phrase "calories in vs calories out" so many times, and I've always agreed with it. Yes, there are other factors such as:

  • Time of day that you eat 
  • Quality of food 
  • Protein, carb and fat ratios 
  • Type of exercise
  • Quality of Sleep
  • Stress
  • Glycemic Index
  • Etc Etc Etc...

But, as a general sweeping statement, it's pretty much on the money. You need to burn off the energy that you put into your body.

Tuna Egg Fried Rice Ingredients
Not a chocolate bar in sight..

I eat quite a bit, but it's all healthy. And I do plenty of exercise, and have quite a physical day job. It couldn't be the real reason could it?

Well I decided to do one day of calorie counting, just to get an idea of how much I consume in a day. Before I share my results, I should point out that I was consciously eating a bit less and choosing my food with more care when doing this. No chocolate, beer, takeaway meals or any other delightful treat were consumed during 24 hours.

And this is what I had..

Black Coffee with 1 Sugar  x 3 - 60 calories
Porridge with Whole Milk and Blueberries - 282 Calories
Protein Shake - 240 Calories 
Tuna with Rice and Summer Vegetables - 324 Calories
2 portions of Mexican Fish Stew with Sweet Potato - 823 Calories
2 Gala Apples - 160 Calories
Blueberries - 42 Calories
300 g Yogurt - 236 Calories
2 x Granary Bread and Butter - 252 Calories
200 g Raisins - 592 Calories
2 x Tea with Whole Milk and 2 Sugar - 208 Calories

This brought my total intake for the day up to 3219 Calories...

Right. I think I see where I may have been going wrong. That is a lot of calories. It's recommended that a man's calorie intake averages about 2,500 calories a day, with women suggested no more than 2,000 calories a day.

And if you want to lose weight you should try and eat 200 - 300 calories less than that. Not 719 calories more.

I'd need to be running nearly 10 kilometers to burn that off. Or 6 miles.

That is the reason I am fat. I eat far too much. Plain and simple.

It was also a good way to look at my diet, and see what I could improve, with a few things being quite obvious.

Cutting Out Calories


Raisins are not a great snack if eaten in the quantity that I do. An apple or two would have been a better option. Dried fruit seems to pack a lot of calories into such a small portion.

I do not need two helpings of dinner. It was lovely, but the second plate was just greed.

I do not need two slices of bread "just to mop up the juice". Again, gluttony played a big part in this decision.

My yogurt portion size could be halved. It's very healthy, but I don't need that much. Buying big 450g tubs may be cheaper, but it's hard just to have a little.

I could have eaten close to 1000 calories less if I had done this. That is a massive difference.

Getting Slimmer


So I can see where I am going wrong, but there are also some positives to be taken away from it, which can help me get the weight off.

My protein shake doesn't contain many calories, but is great for my muscles and keeps me feeling full. I get mine at MaxiMuscle Promax Lean. I may start to drink two of these every day, replacing one of my meals.

Fruit and vegetables can be a sweet snack and a great way to bulk out meals, without doing much damage to my diet. I'll just be more cautious when it comes to dried fruit.

Black coffee with one sugar is a far better option than tea with milk and two sugars. Coffee can also raise metabolism, which is an added bonus.

What You Can Do


I would recommend that you take a note of what you eat for one full day, although if you could do it for a week or more it would be better. It can be a bit of a pain writing everything down, but you will be able to see where problems may be coming from.

The internet is full of calorie contents for various foods, although it's worth using trusted websites. I also started weighing portions and reading the back of packets so I know exactly how much I am consuming.

I think I will start doing a food diary for a week, totaling my calories at the end of each day. It's probably going to be quite an eye opener into not just how much I eat, but hidden calories that we don't think about.

And they all add up.

Try it and see how many you consume. You need to be as honest as you can, and try to make it as typical as you can. If you can do it for a week you will get a more accurate number, as it will average everything out.

For me, it's just time to accept the truth. I eat too much.



INSANITY - 60 Day Total Body Conditioning Program

5 comments:

  1. Yep, I resemble this post. Until I started tracking calories consumed with an app, I couldn't lose any lbs. Good stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Curtis.. It's definitely a great way of watching what goes in, although it can be a bit of a hassle. It does work though. :)

      Delete
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