If you’re trying to lose weight and it’s not going as well as you expected it should, you may be feeling frustrated, angry, and a bit lost. I don’t blame you, it can be quite disheartening to put your heart and soul into something and feel like you’re fighting against something that can’t be beaten.
Some of the time, it can actually feel like you’re trying to swim upstream and the current is keeping you where you are, at your present weight and body shape.
Well, maybe this is exactly what is happening. Maybe you are making it harder on yourself when trying to lose weight and you don’t even know it. In this article, I want to show you why you may be setting yourself up for failure when you try to lose weight and what you need to do to give yourself the best chance to succeed.
Here are some scenarios in which you’re swimming upstream when you want to lose weight:
Eating too much and then trying to exercise it away
This first scenario is a common one. I’m talking about the notion that you can eat what you want as long as you workout hard enough to burn it later.
In essence, this is true. If you’re ready to do a lot of sports, you can eat a lot more calories without them showing. You will simply burn them away. I once read a report on how Michael Phelps, the Olympic swimmer eats more than 12,000 calories a day and yet he’s a major athlete. He simply burns everything off during his training, so why can’t you?
There are two reasons why this is a bad idea:
- Phelps is the exception to the rule. The man is a physical specimen, one of a kind. This is why he’s so successful and the leader in his field. You can’t expect your body to behave the same as he does. He is different.
- Athletes sometimes train for hours each day. They have access to world class equipment, coaches, and methods. They also have nutritionists who monitor their diet. I highly doubt that you have the free time and the funds necessary to pursue such a rigorous training routine.
The point is that eating what you want and how much you want and then trying to burn it off by exercising a lot is like trying to go against the current. It is simply making things harder for you and, in some cases, virtually impossible.
Eating bad food and Making Up For It with Good Food
Losing weight and being healthy isn’t just about the overall number of calories you eat. It’s also about the quality of food that you eat. You can eat very little calories and you may lose weight, but if all these calories come from low quality food, your health will suffer for it. You may also find it harder to maintain muscle mass, your energy level may plummet, and you will simply feel horrible.
The problem is that there are plenty of low quality foods which simply taste good so it’s easy to get tempted. Some people believe that it’s alright to eat these kinds of food as long as you also eat enough good foods to make up for them, sort of even things out.
It doesn’t work out that way. Good food doesn’t erase bad food. You need to be sure that you’re not putting high quality food into your body. No excuses.
Now, some of the most interesting fat loss programs that I’ve reviewed on this site use the concept of cheating which means that you can eat “undietary” food and still lose weight. These include the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet and the Every Other Day Diet, among others. How do these diets fit in to what I’ve just said?
The idea that you can enjoy periodic overeating episodes doesn’t contradict what I’ve just said. You can indulge yourself every once in a while but do so with good food, well made, and not full of chemicals and preservatives. In addition, cheating is done occasionally. It’s no excuse to eat poorly on a regular basis.
Trying to “undo” the effect of bad food is another case in which you may be making it more difficult to lose weight.
Doing Crazy Workouts to make up for Long Periods on Inactivity
The idea that you can do highly intensive workouts to somehow make up for long periods in which you did not workout seems a logical one. However, it isn’t likely to work and may even be dangerous for your health.
For one thing, doing extreme workouts when you’re not used to training can lead to injury.
Second, you’re not really making up for all that time in which you did nothing. You can’t. Even if you do a hard workout, you will still not burn enough calories to make up for all those you could have burned had you trained regularly.
Third, have you ever tried to do a hard workout after you’ve not visited the gym for a while? You may regret it the next day when you experience the muscle pain which is surely coming.
My point is that you need to be active regularly to get lasting fat loss results.
There are many hurdles that you may be placing before you and lies that you tell yourself which hinder your efforts to lose weight. The only thing that works for the long term is regular exercise and a healthy eating plan. Don’t make it harder on yourself. Take the easier road, the true road of proper nutrition and an active lifestyle. They you will succeed.