Let’s just get right into it, shall we?
1 – You’re skipping meals as a way to save your calories. Uh-uh, ain’t gonna work. You should be eating five to six small meals a day and those meals should be every three to four hours. If you let yourself get to ‘raving b*tch’ status, then you’ve waited too long! The old feast or famine ancestral traits we can’t seem to lose come racing to the surface and hold onto your precious fat cells when you’re too hungry and burn your lean muscle mass cells instead. (Why you ask? My reasoning is because it’s not a perfect world.) So by starving yourself, you’re burning muscle instead of fat and when you finally do eat, chances are it isn’t the healthiest of choices since anything will do at this point. So the chocolate bar or oatmeal cookie will happily reside on your belly/hips/thighs after consumption.
Advice: Eat often so the ‘raving b*tch’ doesn’t take over!
2 – You’ve stopped pushing yourself and you’ve plateaued. Your muscles are no longer fatigued and they have adapted to the pressures you apply to them. What does this mean? You need to shake things up with your workout routine, i.e., do more strength training if all you do is cardio and vice versa. You have to keep “shocking” your muscles so they don’t get too comfortable. It’s almost like a dead-end job… you work hard at it, but nothing seems to be changing and you’re going no where. You got to stir the pot up a little, make some changes and watch how your body responds (most likely with soreness that will last 24-48 hours.)
Advice: Try a new class, hire a personal trainer, buy a new DVD, spice it up!
3 – What are you drinking? Soda? Fruit juices? Smoothies from a “health” store? All you are ingesting with those types of drinks is sugar, sugar and more sugar. An example, a Smoothie King high protein banana smoothie is 322 calories and 23 g of sugar. Did you seriously just workout for 40 minutes so you could put all those calories right back on with a “healthy” smoothie? I didn’t think so.
Advice: Drink water… and lots of it and all day long. If that’s too boring, try flavored water or club soda. (Bubbles keep it interesting!)
4 – You’re a socialite and weekends are your time to live it up! That’s wonderful that you have a social life, but the Margarita Madness happy hours are only helping to pack on the pounds! You got to ease up on the weekends. Try living it up just one weekend night and you could actually save yourself a whole extra days worth of calories! Or if the Pairs Hilton lifestyle is your way, try limiting yourself to a certain amount of drinks per night, it really will help in the long run. (Besides, isn’t a night of drinking somehow always followed with a late night slice or disco fries? Veeeeery bad!)
Advice: Paris Hilton is out, fitness-fiend Jillian Michales is in. Follow her rules and leave the too-thin heiress behind.
5 – You’re not working out enough… or at all. Major points against you if you’re not working out at all. (I’ll cry if that’s the case.) You need to be burning calories if you’re consuming them, and I know you’re consuming them, no way around that one. If you’re unsure what to do, then consult the internet. There are tons of sites (this one included) that can provide workouts and fitness advice. Heck, hire me to help. (Shameless plug.)
Advice: Get active, and the sooner the better!
If any of these sound like you, then follow my advice and you’ll soon be on your way to weight loss heaven, it’s as easy as that! And if you have any suggestions of your own, let me know, I’d love to hear them!Anne Marie Costanzo is an ACE-certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (914) 841-1121.