You can run eight miles without stopping, so why can't you lose those last 10 pounds? Two nationally recognized weight-loss coaches give the skinny on this conundrum and lend their foolproof tips for getting down to size.
"I've been running for months and just can't seem to lose any weight. Maybe I'll never lose these extra pounds."
"I'm doing everything right and nothing's happening."
"I work so hard and can't lose a pound! What am I doing wrong?"
"Will I ever reach my goal weight?"
Having successfully coached thousands of women—from professional athletes to working moms—we can't tell you how many times we've heard these quotes. It's easy to become frustrated and confused when it comes to weight loss. So many women try their best to eat right and exercise without seeing the fruit of their efforts.
If you can relate, let's start with the great news: you're already doing many things right! You're active, you're consciously making better choices and you're committed to fitness. There's not a lot to change.
However, if you've been trying to reach a healthier weight and the pounds aren't coming off, there are some simple changes you can make that will lead you closer to your goal. Here are the top five most common weight-loss sticking points and how to get unstuck for good.
1. Your Exercise Program isn't Balanced or Intense Enough.
Running is a great way to burn calories and relieve stress. However, sometimes exercise alone won't give you the body that you want. It's best to complement your running with strength training and high- intensity exercise (sprinting or interval workouts).
Research shows that while endurance activities (like running at a moderate pace) burn quite a few calories during your workout, high-intensity activity forces your body to burn calories for 24 to 48 hours after the session has ended. Additionally, the only way to reshape your body is through strength and resistance training.
This means that for optimal weight loss and body transformation, you'll need to do long-duration running, as well as high-intensity interval exercises and resistance training. Put all three together and watch the weight drop off.
2. Your Resistance Training isn't Challenging Enough.
Many women have been told that lifting heavy weights means building big, bulky muscles. We're here to set the record straight: this is complete fiction. It's very difficult to build muscle, especially for women. Female hormones just aren't structured to create big biceps.
The truth is, to ramp up your metabolism, you need to lift heavy weights. In fact, when performing resistance exercises, you'll want to choose weights that are at least 70 percent of your "maximum" (i.e. the maximum amount of weight you could lift one time). This means if you can bench press 50 pounds one time, you should be using a 35-pound bar for your normal workout.