18 May 5 Reasons You Don’t Look Like You Workout
5 Reasons You Don’t Look Like You Workout
There’s nothing worse than putting in the time and effort in the gym only to look in the mirror and have nothing to show for it.
While your workouts are important, they’re not everything. You could be missing a critical piece of the puzzle – your nutrition.
Here are the 5 most common nutrition mistakes that are keeping you from looking like you actually work out.
1. Eating too MANY calories
It might seem obvious, but like many others, you could be making this mistake without even realizing it.
Just because you cut out processed sugar or eliminated all carbs and went all-out keto doesn’t give you a pass to eat an endless amount of avocados and bacon.
The food you DO eat still provides energy, and any excess needs a place to be stored.
Gluten-free cookies and Paleo muffins are still treats with more calories than your body needs. You can’t always rely on simply choosing “healthy foods” to regulate your calories and how much you’re eating.
Listen, I love me some coconut oil too, but be honest – do you really need that scoop in your morning coffee?
By the way, do you like to cook?
You could be overdoing the oils. One tablespoon of coconut oil alone is about 150 calories, and that’s just greasing the pan! Whether you’re stir-frying roasted veggies or keeping the eggs from sticking, these fats add up faster than anything else.
2. Not eating enough calories
It sounds counterintuitive, but you’ll also struggle to reveal any muscle if you’re not eating enough. This works in two ways:
- Binge Cycles
When you undereat (and over-exercise*), your metabolism adjusts to keep you from accidentally starving yourself. Changes (not defects) to key hormones like leptin, thyroid, and ghrelin make you feel tired, lazy, and ravenously hungry.
Oh and uh, by the way…
These changes don’t just make your life miserable, they also make it harder to actually burn fat.
Now that weekend splurge on cheesecake and wine is harder to resist.
Oops. Now you’ve just erased a whole week’s progress in a single night of indulgence.
The process repeats itself, and you end up spinning your wheels, not to mention developing a nasty relationship with both food and your body in the process…
And just think, this is all because you didn’t eat ENOUGH.
3. Not eating enough protein
Maybe it’s becoming clear that your body always seems to find a way to get what it wants. When you cut calories, your body still needs to use energy from somewhere.
You may want it to come from all the squishy fat on your belly, but if you’re not eating enough protein, your body will take it from your muscle tissue instead.
Over time, you lose weight, but not nearly as much fat as you’d like. A squishy skinny-fat frame is in your future.
Not eating enough protein will also leave you constantly hungry, making it that much harder to stick to your plan long enough for it to have any effect.
There’s a reason the bodybuilders throughout history have prioritized protein – it works.
4. Not sticking with an approach long enough
Ever have GOOD barbecue?
You know, the kind where you can barely lift the ribs without meat falling off the bone?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: you won’t get meat falling off the bone using high heat. It takes time to break the meat down, so you’ve gotta put them under low heat and just let ‘em sit.
Well using restrictive crash diets and detoxes is a lot like trying to use the high heat. They always fail over the long-term because the body is a slow-cooker. It takes time to change.
It can be tempting to jump into a new diet when you don’t see jaw-dropping changes right away, but be patient.
Give it time to work.
Wait at least 4 weeks before you evaluate progress. Even that little feeling like, “hey this is easy to follow” is a good sign. And if it isn’t helping, ONLY THEN should you make a change.
It was the tortoise who won, remember?
5. Blaming Yourself Instead of The Plan
Alright, so you messed up. So what?
There’s no faster way to sabotage your progress than blaming yourself.
Maybe it was an unplanned meal, a few too many drinks, or accidentally eating the whole pint (or two). Accept that mistakes are going to happen.
You’re human, and you’re learning.
The good news is that it’s in the past now. So get back on track quickly and make your next decision a good one. Your body is important to you, otherwise you wouldn’t be trying in the first place.
And if the “mistakes” keep happening, consider this:
“Could it be the diet?”
You might feel like you’re screwing up, but you could just be fighting your body. In reality, the nutrition plan itself just isn’t very good.
Trust your instincts because you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like you!