Working Out A Lot?
Not Losing Weight?
By Dr. Rick Kattouf II
What a common scenario this is; an individual working out a lot and not losing weight. What is going on here? Well, there are many factors that play into this. I’ve been fortunate to have personally coached thousands of individuals around the world. And as you can imagine, a common goal for many of these individuals is weight loss. Some may want to lose 5 pounds, others 100+ pounds. And all too often, these individuals are not getting the results they desire (despite high volume of working out) and they need assistance.
So, let’s set the stage. These individuals looking to lose weight; they are working out and working out a lot. Many have turned to marathons and/or Ironman® Triathlon; their thinking is that since these events require a ton of training, they will lose weight. Despite the increase in workout time, they are not losing weight. And some have gained even more weight. Wait, what? That’s right, they are working out more than they ever have and they’ve actually gained even more weight. What is going on?
1. Weight loss: Simply setting the goal to ‘lose weight’ is a big part of the problem. Weight loss should never be the goal, rather, body transformation should be the goal. Remember, weight loss is easy, but body transformation takes time, effort, energy, patience, discipline, focus, determination, ability to delay gratification, mega-high level of commitment and more. Anyone can lose weight, that’s simple; just go on any of the crazy food fads/diets dominating the headlines and you’ll lose weight. You will also re-gain all of the weight back and more. So, take the focus off of weight loss and place all the focus on body transformation (body fat loss).
2. DIET: Following a DIET is simply a, Disaster Imminent Every Time®. Follow any diet and you have failed before you even started. It’s so common for these individuals to follow a fad diet while they are increasing their exercise volume. And then the viscous cycle begins. These individuals find themselves having low energy, mood swings and massive food cravings. Which then leads to binge eating and overeating, leading to fat gain and weight gain.
3. I’ll just work it off: Wow, what a common thought process this is for these individuals. They overeat at a given meal/snack and their mindset is, ‘I’ll just work out more tomorrow and work it off.’ Good luck with that. How’s that working out for you? Not good, that’s for sure. And not only do they choose to work out more the next day but they also choose to eat less that day as well. In their mind, they think eating less and working out more will negate and override the train wreck of a meal they consumed the previous day. And once again, the negative downward spiral begins, as this leads to increased food cravings, binge eating, overeating…all leading to more fat gain and weight gain. Always remember, you cannot out work improper nutrition.
4. Strength: What is the exercise of choice for people who want to lose weight? If you guessed cardiovascular exercise, you are correct. Does more cardiovascular exercise lead to weight loss? The short answer is, No. Look no further than endurance competitors. Why are so many endurance competitors overweight and/or obese? Is it due to a lack of exercise? Absolutely not; these individuals put in endless hours of swim, bike, run, etc. From an exercise perspective, what is missing from their regimen is strength training. Yes, straight up lifting weights, that’s the key to success. No, this is not pilates or yoga. Nothing wrong with these activities, but they are simply that, pilates and yoga; that’s not weight training. What is the only way the body can burn body fat? Well, the body has to build muscle. How do we build muscle? We have to lift weights. Strength training is the key to body transformation (when combined of course with eating right). Cardiovascular exercise is great; it’s great for heart health, great for sport-specific endurance training, etc. But, if you want to look like an athlete and if you want to look as fit as ever and if you want to achieve those body transformation goals you set for yourself, re-think your training program and make strength training your #1 focus.
5. I workout more…: Ok, so here is an all-to-common mindset, ‘I worked out a lot, so now I can eat more/drink more.’ Wow, if you want to talk about how to put your body between a rock and hard place, just carry this mindset around with you. The whole, ‘I work out more, therefore I can eat more’, mentality will get you into trouble every time. Sure, there is some truth to this of course for those eating right. But when this mindset is abused, oh boy, watch out. Because let’s be honest, when this individual does eat more because they feel they deserve it because they worked out a lot; what type of foods are they choosing? Are they having an extra serving of brown rice? Heck no! It’s the burgers, fries, pizza, ice cream, desserts, etc. And once again, the downward spiral begins. Despite the high volume of working out, the fat gain and weight gain continue.
6. Sleep: If you want the ultimate body transformation self-sabotage, it’s not sleeping enough. Not getting enough sleep each night can significantly inhibit body fat loss. And let’s just put the bull crap excuses of ‘I don’t have time’ and ‘I’m too busy’, aside. Look, we are all busy. Being busy is not your problem of not getting enough sleep. If you truly want body transformation results and you want meaningful and sustainable results for a lifetime, make sleep a priority.
If you are looking to get the biggest, baddest return possible on your work out time investment, review the 6 steps above and see where you can start to make some adjustments. And I will guarantee you this, as you start to make these adjustments and you start to achieve true body transformation results, you will feel better than you ever have. And this momentum you gain will lead to even greater results in the months and years ahead. Are you ready to get lean and have all that workout time payoff?
SHOW YOUR WORKOUT WHO’S BOSS®!
Rick Kattouf II, O.D. is a 2x Best-Selling Author and Fitness & Nutrition expert and has been named one of America’s PremierExperts® and one of the World Fitness Elite® Trainers of the Year. Rick is a Sports Nutrition Specialist, Heart Rate Performance Specialist, Master Personal Trainer & Triathlon Coach. He has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox affiliates around the country as well as in the USA Today, Chicago Tribune, National Examiner, Ironman.com, My Fitness Pal, Livestrong.com, Runner’s World, Bicycling Magazine, Men’s Health UK, FIGHT! Magazine, Florida Cycling Magazine and The Independent in the UK. Rick is the CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf® Inc, CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf® Nutrition LLC, CEO/Founder of Virtual Gym LLC, Creator of TeamKattouf® Nutrition Supplements, Host of Rx Nutrition, author of Forever Fit, Creator of 5-Round Fury® Nutrition Supplement, 5-Round Fury Fitness® workout app, Creator of Coach2CEO, Creator of Fuel Keeper®, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. Dr. Rick has personally coached individuals in 30+ states and 10+ countries.