You go to the gym, work out, but you still aren't losing any weight. What gives? It's a frustrating scenario but not an impossible one to change. Here are three reasons you aren't losing weight at the gym and what to do about them.
You're Not Doing Enough (Intense) Cardio
Aerobic activity is the most efficient way to burn calories, so make sure you are consistent with cardio workouts. We recommend doing at least 30-45 minutes of cardio, three to four times a week. It's also important to pick the right kind of cardio workout. Studies show that faster-paced workouts help release fat-burning hormones in the body and that interval training is key to losing unwanted belly fat. Still not convinced that you should step up your gym workouts? A recent study said that a 45-minute vigorous workout gets three times the net calories burned compared to the same 45 minutes spent walking; it also increases metabolic rate for up to 14 hours post-workout. To melt away unwanted pounds, choose high-intensity workouts like intervals, running, boot camp, or spin.
Find out the other reasons you aren't losing weight after the break!
You Aren't Really Committed
You showed up to the gym, which is awesome. But what's not awesome is how you might be spending your time there — weight loss is as much a mental game as a physical one. Mindlessly walking on the treadmill while flicking through a copy of Us Magazine isn't the best way to go about weight loss, and neither is talking yourself out of a workout once you're there. (You can lose a calorie burn of over 50 calories from just shaving five minutes off of a workout!) Commit yourself by finding a specific goal or personal reason that inspires you to lose the weight and use that as motivation to maintain your fitness routine. Along the way, set smaller goals for yourself and celebrate in some small way when you meet them. This will help you stay focused the entire way through.
You Don't Strength Train
Even though cardio is key to weight loss, a good fitness program should incorporate one to two strength training sessions per week. Strength training can reduce overall body fat by three percent in just 10 weeks since muscle burns more calories than fat. And don't forget the afterburn: after an hour-long strength training session, the average woman burns an extra 100 calories over the next 24 hours. Maximize your time by rolling cardio and strength workouts into one. Circuit training intervals and bootcamp-style workouts focus on mixing bursts of cardio with serious strength training moves, but if you don't have time for a long session, perform supersets of compound moves instead.