‘Why am I exercising but still not losing weight?’

When you’ve joined a gym, lost a couple of kgs at first, but now your weight won’t budge. This can be incredibly frustrating.

While this might sound counter-intuitive, exercise doesn’t always equal weight loss.

Here are three things you need to ask yourself…

Are you really in a calorie deficit?

 To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit consistently over some time. Ultimately, burn more calories than you’re consuming over a long enough time, and you will lose weight.

Burning calories when you exercise must automatically lead to losing weight, right? Not necessarily! Unless you are maintaining that all-important deficit in your food intake. This is why tracking your meals in a food tracking system or diary and monitoring your daily activity levels (whether that be your step count or other daily movement activities) can be useful tools to highlight any areas which might be holding you back.

Are you moving very little outside of the gym?

The main driver of weight loss is NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). It is the energy used in any activity that does not include formal exercise – walking the dog, cleaning the house, dancing.

Your NEAT can account for anything up to 50% of your daily energy expenditure if you’re active throughout the day.

Studies show that when people start an exercise programme, their NEAT can reduce, lower energy expenditure and eliminate their calorie deficit.

This is why we advise all clients to aim for 10,000 steps per day consistently to keep their NEAT high. You can track this simply with a pedometer, fitness watch or smartphone app to track your step count each day. Don’t worry if you don’t get anywhere near 10,000 to begin with, for example, aim for 7,000, or 8,000 and move up to 10,000.

6 Bad Habits That Kill Your Metabolism

Are you eating more without knowing?

Most people will overestimate the number of calories they burn from exercise while underestimating the number of calories they’re consuming day to day.

It’s common for people to think ‘I am exercising, so I should be able to eat more or treat myself. But the extra calories can often outstrip the calories burned from the gym.

Sometimes it can be imperceptible. Slight increases in hunger may mean an extra biscuit here and there or snacking after dinner. Again extra calories add up and can impact your weight loss attempts.

This is why we advise clients to track their food intake. Whether it’s logging their calories or monitoring portion sizes, having an honest and objective view can prevent unconscious overeating.

Key Takeaway:

Exercise is an important component of weight loss. Progressive weight training and increasing your daily energy expenditure is a big part of what we do at Lean Body Training to help people achieve transformation results.

But exercise isn’t the magic bullet for weight loss on its own.

Combining effective diet and training strategies is going to be the most effective and sustainable way of losing the weight you want and keeping it off.

 

Bad habits ingrained over time can often prove tough to break and when quitting outright doesn’t work, it might be necessary to bring in a new strategy. Replacing bad habits with positive ones can help to rewire your thinking and escape negative loops so as to develop healthy routines instead – here are some examples of this method in practice.

Diet

Cutting out junk food from your diet can be a tough challenge, especially if you’re in the habit of snacking. One method for overcoming poor eating is to simply outweigh the bad with the good – two items of fruit for every sugary snack, for example, will help you to develop the taste for nutrition you need to eradicate bingeables entirely. Great examples of ‘good snacks’ are seeds, nuts, fruit, edamame beans and snap peas.

Career

For many of us, the draining thing about our professional lives isn’t the quantity of work but the quality of it. You can utilize replacement strategies within your career by offsetting every task you don’t enjoy with a task spent on something you’re passionate about (or getting closer to doing something you love for a living). For example, in the breaks between tasks, you could try using an online PDF editor to spruce up your resume – simply upload the file online to make changes, then download and share.

Exercise

If you’re out of shape, exercise can feel doubly difficult but the important rule to bear in mind is that every little helps. If you’ve spent an hour sitting down, try to counterbalance this inactivity with brief, effectual exercises – you could carry out five quick pushups every time you stand up from a seated position, for example, or try jumping jacks during advert breaks. Eventually, these small workouts can evolve into more ambitious goals.

Clutter

When you’re working from home or spending extended periods of time indoors, it’s important to cultivate a positive, stress-free environment – after all, a clean, decluttered home leads to a clean, decluttered mind. If you’re in the habit of leaving things out, take gradual action by tidying an item away every time you stand up – this bit-by-bit process will help you to establish a healing and healthy atmosphere at home.

Posture

We rarely think about the way we sit or stand but, considering so much of our lives are spent in sedentary positions, it’s important to address posture in an attentive manner. Simply replacing your chair with one that is more conducive to spinal health is a great start or you could try standing as you work with an adjustable desk.

 

When it comes to breaking bad habits, often quitting simply isn’t enough. By using replacement tactics, you’ll not only fill the hole left by leaving your old routine, but you’ll also begin to progress towards a healthier new lifestyle entirely.

 

Lean Body is a progressive fat loss plan that is focused on dropping your body fat whilst increasing your overall strength. Training up to three sessions per week following a comprehensive training system, whilst allowing you to work at the level that’s right for you. Learn more at: www.leanbodyuk.com

 

As men are unaware (usually past 40), start to notice how lethargic and weaker they feel as well as noticing they’re losing muscle. Many think that this is just part of the ageing process, and decide that it’s just the way it’s going to be and they just accept. What many men fail to realise is that this doesn’t have to be the case at all.

There are many things that can be done to prevent dips in testosterone, low energy levels and excess body fat (especially in man-boobs and belly fat).

Many overweight men also have high levels of the hormone estrogen, this is very often due to excessive levels of body fat. One of the main reasons men have high levels of estrogen is due to an enzyme called aromatase. The higher the level of body fat you have, the more aromatase you have. It’s the aromatase that converts the testosterone that you do have, into estrogen. High levels of estrogen will promote increased fat storage, especially around the breast area in men (man boobs).

Many fail to understand, that large gains in body fat (usually as a result of poor diet choices and poor lifestyle choices over time), will affect their androgenic hormones. Androgens are hormones that stimulate and/ or control the development and maintenance of male characteristics (such as building and maintaining muscle mass). Low levels of androgens are closely linked to excess body fat levels and chronic stress.

So with this in mind, a starting point for anti-ageing and maintaining lean, lower body fat levels, would be to try and stop all this from happening. The best way to do this is to support the increase of muscle, minimise muscle tissue breakdown, increase food quality and minimise stress levels.

How do you go about doing this?

1. Lift weights

Lifting weights and developing strength levels over time have increased testosterone in males.

2. Consume lean protein in every meal

Men who don’t weight train, eat far too little protein. Adequate protein helps your muscles repair and grow following weight training. Increased muscle tissue is linked to increased levels of testosterone. It’s no surprise that vegetarians have been shown to have lower testosterone than males who eat meat generally. I like to use at least around 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight.

3. Consume healthy fats with your meals

Consuming fats such as coconut oil, almonds, olive oil, cashew nuts, lean red meats, oily fish and eggs will help also. Testosterone is made from cholesterol, and you’ll need to consume essential fats for optimal intake.

4. Reducing stress levels

Reducing levels of stress has been shown to minimize the overproduction of the stress hormone cortisol. Too much stress at the wrong times of day has been shown to lower testosterone in men. Pay more attention to quality sleep and exercise.

5. Minimise alcohol consumption

Regular alcohol consumption is linked to increased levels of estrogen in males and lower testosterone levels.

Taking steps to increase your testosterone, can impact your life in such a positive way. Try starting off with some of these tips and see if you notice a difference in how good you feel.

READ MORE: Beginners Start Up Guide To Losing Fat

 

 

There are many guys we speak to, who when come to see us have issues building lean muscle. No matter how much they go to the gym they still seem to struggle to add the muscle they’re looking for.

If this sounds like something you’re experiencing? Have you questioned the reasons that might be behind this?

Here are some things to think about:

1. Frequency of training

It is very common that most people limit training certain muscle groups to once a week. Increasing training frequency to one extra session per muscle group that you want to develop can make a difference in those lagging body parts.

So for instance, if you trained your deltoid/ shoulder muscles once per week then increase the volume on that area to twice per week.

 

2. Eating what’s needed to stimulate muscle tissue growth and recovery

Most people training to build muscle eat way too little to even support muscle tissue growth. To start with try increasing your daily calorie intake by just 10-15% and your lean protein figure to 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight and you’ll have a ballpark figure for muscle development.

READ MORE: 7 Tips to Help You Build Lean Muscle

3. Vary your workouts

Many guys stick to the same exercise programme over a long period of time. Some often fail to contract-their muscles during each repetition, they never increase the load in the areas they’re lagging in. As a result, their muscles get used to the same movements and begin to respond less. Vary your exercises, even slightly, and hit your muscles from various angles throughout your programme.

 

4. Isolating muscles

Some people stick to the big compound exercises that their familiar with (bicep curls, bench press, deadlifts, rows), in the hope that all muscles will grow at the same rate. Unfortunately what can happen is that overdeveloped dominant muscles often take over the exercise, and lagging muscles receive less stimulation.

 

To really improve a muscle group, you have to add a lot of focus and attention to it to stimulate further growth. If for example, you want your arms to grow, train them in isolation, biceps and triceps. Most people will not see arm development by just doing chin-ups or press-ups alone.

 

You can pick up more top training and muscle development tips in our free 12 Week Transformation ebook.

 

 

When you start running races, there is a lot to learn in terms of course etiquette and safety. You train hard to run the race, and you want to ensure that you get to the end safely. Learning just a few basics can help you hit that finish line in fine fashion. Here’s some advice presented by Lean Body Training

Be courteous to other runners.

Many races have headphone usage guidelines, oftentimes discouraging their use entirely. If you do use headphones, keep the volume low enough to hear what is happening around you. It may help to only wear one earbud, tucking the other one away safely.

If you race with friends, Sports Backers recommends running no more than two people side-by-side so others can pass you safely. Pass other racers on the left, and call out to let someone know you’re about to go by them. If you need to slow down or stop, head to the right-hand side of the course so nobody gets tripped up.

It’s also important to have the right mindset going into the race as well. Make sure your home stays positive and free of negative energy. You can do this by ensuring that everything stays neat, tidy, and upbeat leading up to the race. Having a great mindset will certainly help.

Pay attention to avoid trips and falls

Women’s Running points out that aid stations have a tendency to bottleneck and this is a prime area for trips and falls. If you aren’t grabbing water, stay in the middle away from the tables. If you are taking a cup and want to slow down or stop, get past the station first and then move to the side. Stay alert as you run, watching for other runners, vehicles, and various obstacles that could trip you up. It’s also important to keep moving as you cross the finish line, as other runners will be right behind you. Keep moving forward until there is room to disperse.

Consider how the weather will impact your run

The weather can also impact race safety. If race day is going to be sunny and hot, up to your hydration, apply sunscreen, and wear a visor for protection. If you start to feel nauseated, dizzy, stop sweating, or get the chills, you need to get out of the sun. Take in some fluids and get medical attention if your symptoms continue.

In case of rain, stay dry as long as possible before the race starts. Wear form-fitting, non-cotton clothing that won’t ride up and chafe and stay connected to the event’s online resources to stay abreast of any weather-related race alerts.

Accept medical help if needed

No runner wants to stop the race due to a medical issue, but sometimes it’s necessary. Check out the event’s set-up before the run so you know where medical tents are. In addition, the Columbus Marathon Blog details that it is important to complete the medical information section on the back of your bib number in case medical personnel need to help you.

If you need a band-aid or other minor help, you can check-in at a fluid station. However, if something more serious develops, you need to know your limits and accept help. If you have heatstroke or an ankle injury, for example, continuing to run can lead to serious consequences.

Tackle longer races elsewhere to stay challenged

Some runners are content to stick with short, local races, while others feel drawn to upping the ante. If you are tempted to do a marathon or triathlon, consider pushing outside your comfort zone by travelling to train and compete. Registering for an event in another part of the country or even abroad can make for a great adventure. If you’re a business owner, all you need to do is implement a vacation strategy so that you can ensure your business can run smoothly while you’re competing. If you’re an employee, use some of your paid vacation time to travel to a race in a beautiful location.

Nothing ruins a race day like an injury or safety issue. Following basic racecourse etiquette can prevent trips and falls and prepare for the weather helps keep you safe. If a medical issue arises, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance, and once you cross the finish line start planning what kind of race to tackle next.

Lean Body Training helps busy men and women achieve a leaner, fitter, and stronger bodies in just 30 days. Want to know more? Arrange a call today.

 

Written by: Justin Bennett

  [Image via Pixabay]

 

 

 

Trying to gain muscle can be frustrating.

We meet new clients all the time who come to see us at Lean Body Training with complicated reasons as to why they’re not progressing in the gym.

However, the problem can be simple, and is typically rooted in one of these four mistakes:

1. You’re not eating enough

This seems obvious, but most people who struggle to build muscle simply aren’t eating enough.

When we initially speak to muscle clients who want to build muscle, one of the first things we would ask for is a food diary.

Almost every time, the calories are nowhere near the amount they need to be in order to change their physique in a meaningful way.

When a thin person tells you that they’re eating ‘a lot’ what you’ll commonly see is they eat one or two large meals in the day and get so full they ‘think’ they’re eating loads.

This is where the frequency of meals becomes important, and why intermittent fasting and bodybuilding probably wouldn’t go well together. A good starting point for building muscle is 15-20 calories per pound of body weight, and perhaps more if you’re naturally very skinny. For a 100kg male, this could mean a total calorie intake of around 3600-4000 calories per day.

Trying to fit this into 2-3 meals with high-quality food is simply not going to work, on top of this, your digestive system is going to hate you!

You need to be eating regularly and consistently over the course of the day, where splitting total calories into 5-6 meals may be more useful.

2. You’re not getting stronger

If you’re lifting the same weights as you were 5 years ago, your body probably hasn’t changed either.

Now it’s important to mention that we want to get stronger in the right rep ranges. This isn’t performance or Olympic training, so we aren’t necessarily interested in 1 rep maxes. For building muscle, we want to focus our rep ranges in the 6-12 range. For certain muscle groups, such as quads, setting high rep ranges as high as 20-25 also works really well.

A simple method for focusing your training to build muscle is as follows:

1. Pick four exercises that suit your body best

  • Upper body push eg. Dumbell chest press
  • Upper body pull eg. Lateral pull-down
  • Lower body push eg. Barbell back squat
  • Lower body pull eg. Deadlift

2. Test your current 6-8 rep range

3. Set a 12-week plan

4. Put focus into progressing your 6-8 reps whilst emphasizing correct form. Progress can come in way of increased reps, more weight or 4 sets instead of 3.

3. You can’t feel the muscle

Whilst gaining strength is number one, you must be able to get stronger whilst being able to stimulate the muscle always. This isn’t about swinging weights around from A to B. Doing this will only lead to achy joints, an increased chance of injury and no muscle growth.

Being able to perform heavy sets with effective form is a skill, but one which is a must to learn if maximal muscle growth and prevention of injuries is the aim.

If you’re struggling to feel the intended muscle, activation drills with little or no weight prior to the workout can work well.

For example, many clients when first coming to see us struggle to feel their lats when they perform exercises such as lat pull-downs and seated rows. A simple activation trick with a partner can work well:

  • Keep your elbows bent by your sides (like you’re halfway through a bicep curl
  • Ask your partner to apply resistance from right above your elbows and the bottom of your triceps
  • Resist by driving the elbows back
  • Hold the resistance for 5 seconds, and perform 3 sets. You should start to feel your lats switching on!

With activation drills, the key is being able to feel the isolated muscle whilst performing a compound movement. To do this, you may need to start with a low weight initially before applying more load.

It’s important to remember, that we want progressive overload in rep ranges with perfect technique whilst always feeling the targeted muscle.

4. You can’t stick to a plan

If you read our Building Muscle: The 3 Pillars article, you’ll be aware of consistency.

Muscle growth can be a frustratingly slow process at times, driving the need for consistency, weekly and monthly, to make it even more important.

Training and nutrition together are more prominent now than ever. And this may be the downfall for many who have muscle building ambitions.

An inability to stick to the one training and eating plan means the body never experiences the most important factor in building muscle tissue: progressive overload.

The problem occurs if you don’t stick to a programme long enough is you can’t say if it worked or not. You need to give it some time and allow progression to compound.

Do you want to know the reason why so many clients have great success at Lean Body Training in Finchley? Or essentially why any sensible long-term programme works well?

All the guesswork is gone! No thinking and figuring out is required. All you need to do is show up, train hard, eat the required foods and repeat.

There’s also a focus on one goal for an extended period of time.

That’s the real secret.

 

As humans, we thrive off structure and routine. When changes are made in our routine, it can take time to adapt to our new routine and habits. And whether we realise it or not, our nutritional intake will be changing along with us.

Many factors influence our diet choices, from our environment, the amount of sleep we get, our daily stress levels and even our levels of boredom.

Here are some ways that will help you stick to your nutrition plan:

Sleep

Should remain as consistent as possible. If you maintain quality amounts of sleep, your body will have a greater ability to make better eating choices, control blood sugar levels, digest food, sustain energy and stress levels. Try having a set sleep and wake time, regardless of whether you’re working from home or outside.

Number of and meal timings

Can be important when trying to keep structure in your days. It doesn’t matter how many you decide or which times in particular but have ball-park times to aim for as a guideline to reduce grazing and picking throughout the day. Try scheduling 3 meals and 1-2 snacks to start with, and adapt after a couple of weeks to find out what works best with your appetite.

Staying Hydrated

Hydration is one of the biggest frustration for most individuals. Try to consume an adequate amount of water first thing when waking up so that you’re not playing catch up for the rest of the day. Have a bottle with you at all times that requires less filling up and helps when you have it in view whether on your desk or with you in the car.

Keep Busy

Boredom ‘picking’ is not a habit you want to develop – there is nothing mindful about over-eating when you’ve got nothing else to do. A great way to avoid this is to simply stay busy. Give yourself daily tasks to do, whether that’s work, reading, learning, hobbies, fitness, yoga, stop and meditate or otherwise, it’ll be a way of keeping your mind occupied and away from thoughts of what’s in the fridge!

Try implementing these simple tips into your life, and don’t let your situation dictate your eating habits.

Would you like to find out how we help our clients with personal training in Finchley? Why not book a FREE consultation with a Lean Body Training coach? BOOK HERE

 

When mid-afternoon arrives do you feel a slump in energy, or do you finish work feeling totally exhausted? Perhaps in the mornings, it takes a long time to get going?

 

Feeling low in vitality can be symptoms of something not functioning right in the body. However, many people just accept that that’s just the way it is. There are plenty of things that you should be doing, and we’re going to share a few in this article.

 

When first meeting our new clients, it gives us an opportunity to find out what is actually going on in their life, their energy and stress levels. See feeling tired can be an indicator of a few factors, we find these are the most popular:

 

  • Low intake of good quality food throughout the day usually has a big impact on energy levels
  • Vitamin and mineral shortages (low vitamin B or D can be a cause of low energy and mood)
  • Poor and irregular sleep patterns (a common one is going to bed too late or not getting enough real, quality sleeping hours)
  • Daily stress levels where someone is not in control of their day
  • Food intolerances can have an impact on digestion which can then influence energy dips throughout the day or even quality of sleep
  • Too much use of stimulants such as coffee, nicotine or lack of unwinding, relaxation time before bed can impact sleep, therefore, impacting energy levels the next day

 

When you know what can cause energy levels in your lifestyle, then you can consciously start to change things to improve. Here are some things you can start to put in place if any of the above points resonate with you:

 

  1. Structure your day in a way which gets you to do the tasks which require the most effort first
  2. Start going to bed before 10:30pm each day for 2 weeks and see if this makes a difference.
  3. Daily stress levels which someone loses control of their day.
  4. Lack of unwinding, relaxation before bed.
  5. Food intolerances can have an impact on digestion and energy levels.
  6. Poor and irregular sleeping patterns.

 

After doing this for 14 days you should not a considerable difference to your energy levels. You can use these tips in future if you experience low energy levels throughout the day.

 

 

An overwhelming desire for chocolate or pastries — cravings can pop up out of nowhere and be detrimental to losing weight. However, there are both physiological and psychological reasons behind them. The good news is that there are ways to manage cravings throughout the day.

Stay on track to reach your fat loss goals with these tips for minimizing cravings.

1. Follow a meal plan

Well-balanced meals high in fiber, high-quality lean protein and healthy fats are more likely to keep you satisfied, meaning you’ll be less likely to reach for an unhealthy snack. That’s why planning your meals can be a great tool. Knowing what you’re going to eat ahead of time can also reduce stress or overwhelm, which is an important factor in weight loss.

2. Increase protein and good fats

Protein requires more energy for the body to digest, leaving you feeling full longer. Also, as protein and fats slow the absorption of sugar during a meal, eating foods rich in both macronutrients can stabilize both blood sugar and ease cravings. Try to incorporate more fats and proteins like salmon, tuna, eggs, avocado and chicken breast into your diet.

Read more: Essential Guide To Fatty Foods

3. Increase Your Fiber Intake

Foods high in fiber slows the rate at which food enters your bloodstream and increase the speed at which food exits your body. This process keeps your blood sugar levels in check and reduces your appetite and creates a sense of fullness for a longer period of time.

Fiber is high in most plant-based raw ingredient foods such as whole grains, lentils, beans, fruit and vegetables. Here are a few ways you can increase fiber consumption:

  • Try increasing vegetable intake (especially ones high in juice)
  • Add a tablespoon or two of flax seeds or others to meals or snacks
  • Opt for high-in-fiber fruit like melon, pears, berries and apples daily.

Read more: “Which are the best exercises to lose fat?”

 

You may be surprised to know that quite a lot of clients that come to see us for the first time, arrive without really having thought through their goals. When they arrive for their first session we hear things like, “I want to lose some weight”, or “I want to gain more muscle” or they simply say they just want to “tone up”. Here’s the thing, you’ll have a slim chance of getting very far without clear goals and measures of how you intend to achieve them.

So before any of our clients begin their body transformation programme with us, we ask them to set some targets through the process.

This may seem unnecessary if you haven’t done this sort of thing before, but our ability to help someone change their body shape depends on them doing this first step correctly!

The Outcome

An outcome goal is the main outcome or objective that you aim to achieve as a result of the whole process. So someone may have to lose 10-12 pounds or to fit into a size 32 pair of jeans. Now, just by stating this as your objective isn’t enough, you need to look at the steps and changes you’ll need to start making along the way.

Behaviour

These are the steps and the behaviours that you have to take in order to accomplish the weight goal you have set for example.

It’s not as simple as saying things like, “I’m going to cut out eating bread” or “I need to make sure I get a gym membership”. You need to be clearer and make statements like, “I will lose 1kg per week” and “I will walk 20 mins extra every day on top of my 3 gym sessions every week”.

Being very specific is one of the points that must be considered when you write down what your goals are at the beginning, below is a list of the other essentials parts of good goal setting:

 

1. Goals Must Be Measured

Simply saying things like, “I want to lose some weight and tone up” are not goals that can be measured. If you use body fat goals for example, you can have your body fat percentage taken and recorded on a regular basis.

2. Goals Should Have a Timeframe

Without having a timeframe in place, you’ll always hoping your goals will just happen. If you have a timeframe in place, you’ll know exactly when you should be reaching your goal. You can place interim goals along the way to make sure you’re on track and make small adjustments where necessary. Using timeframe can be a very motivational tool to keep you focused.

3. Being Realistic

It’s very important that the goals you set can realistically be achieved within the given timeframe. This may sound like a no brainer to most people, but saying that you’re aim is to lose 10kg in less than a month is not a realistic goal! Saying that your aim is to lose 7lbs in 4 weeks is a more realistic goal and one that can be achieved.

4. Goals Must Be Set In Writing

For a goal that really needs to materialise, you need to record it. When you write goals down you can place it somewhere for people to see it (on your desk, or on your fridge). This also helps keep you accountable on your journey.

You must be fully committed to reaching your new goals, if you aren’t you’ll be sure to fail. Enjoy the process and stick to it, then see how your body shape and many aspects of your life take a turn for the better in the weeks to follow.

If you need help with goal setting and keeping accountable towards your new goals, get in touch about our personal training programmes and book your FREE consultation with the Lean Body Training team today.