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There is a lot of information out there about losing weight. Amidst all the articles, TV shows and magazines that tell you to eat more, eat less, try a new diet, stop exercising so much or take more cheat days, it’s really hard to know which parts of this information relates to you. That’s where this quiz comes is handy! Grab a pen and paper and answer the 10 questions below (A, B or C) to find out why you aren’t losing weight and what you can do about it.
Which of the following do you relate to the most?
A: I eat whatever I feel like, eat until I’m full and sometimes continue to eat even after I’m full.
B: Most days I stay on track, count my calories and eat the right amount for my body to lose weight.
C: I eat as little as I possibly can and frequently skip meals.
How much exercise do you do each day?
A: Less than 30 minutes or none at all
B: Around 30 – 45 minutes
C: More than an hour
A: Allow yourself to eat more when you are stressed?
B: Not feel stressed very often or do you manage your stress well?
C: Feel stressed about not being able to lose weight or do you find that you can’t eat when you’re stressed?
How intense is your exercise?
A: Not very intense (e.g. Gentle walking)
B: Mildly intense (e.g. Pilates)
C: Very intense (e.g. Cycling)
How many different types of exercise do you perform each week?
A: Only the one type of exercise every day
B: Two or three different types of exercise that I rotate between
C: More than three types of exercise each week
How many hours of sleep do you get each night?
A: 8+ hours
B: Around 8 hours
C: Less than 8 hours
Where do the majority of your calories come from?
A: Packaged and processed foods
B: Mostly organic foods but I eat some packaged foods as well
C: I have a very restrictive diet and only eat certain types of foods
Do you fast on a regular basis?
A: I never fast and eat from when I wake up until bed time
B: I try and eat between 12pm and 8pm (or a similar 8 hour window) and fast the rest of the day
C: I fast most of the time and eat all of my meals in as small of a window as possible (<8 hours)
How often do you have a cheat day?
A: As often as I want, more than once a week
B: Once a week or every two weeks
C: Once a month or less
Do you practice wellbeing? (Meditation, taking time for yourself, reading, painting)
A: I practice wellbeing every day
B: I try to practice wellbeing at least every second day
C: I don’t practice wellbeing
Add up those As, Bs and Cs! Which letter did you choose the most? Find your letter below and read about why you aren’t losing weight.
If you’ve got mostly As, then it’s likely that you need to push yourself harder. Depending on your height and age, it’s possible that you are eating too many calories to lose weight. Add up your average daily calories using either a pen and paper or the app Cronometer and then check out this calculator here by freedieting.com to find out if you are eating too much. If you are, then it’s time to cut out some of those late night snacks.
It’s time to start implementing portion sizes and restricting the amount of time each day that you eat each day. Intermittent fasting may prove beneficial to you. To intermittent fast, try and eat all of your daily meals within an eight hour window to speed your weight loss along. You can also push yourself to exercise more. At least 30 minutes of exercise each day is necessary to sustain any sort of effective weight loss routine.
Make sure you are not just doing one exercise the entire week, as your body will adjust and you wont burn as many calories. Also check if you are doing exercise that is at least moderately intense. Half an hour of intense jogging or cycling might be just what you need. Watch out for binge eating when you’re stressed (check out this post on Can Stress Make You Gain Weight?) and think about cutting back on the amount of time you sleep each night. If you’re sleeping for more than 8 hours each night, it can have just as much of a negative effect as not sleeping enough. Try to limit your cheat days to no more than once a week. You can also try cutting back on packaged food and switching to organic. Read my article here on the Top 20 Easy Healthy Diet Swaps.
If you’ve got mostly Bs, then your problem is likely not conventional. You read through everything in this quiz and found that you are taking a healthy middle road and there’s nothing new on this list that you haven’t already tried. So, why can’t you lose weight? The most likely answer is that you are demanding way to much of yourself. How much weight do you expect to lose each week? Do you expect to see results on the scale every single day? Healthy weight loss is between .5 and 1kg each week. If you’re expecting more than that, then you are putting too much pressure on yourself.
If this is you, then you should look into focusing more on your wellbeing while your weight loss falls into place. Check out this article on Can Stress Stop You From Losing Weight? You are doing all the right things, don’t be so hard on yourself! If you really want to, you can try a new type of exercise or diet and shake up your fasting routine. However, if you’re expectations are unrealistic, nothing is really going to help you except patience. If you’re sure that this isn’t you then there are other variables that can come into play, but these are less likely. Medications like birth control can sometimes affect your weight. Read up about any medicines you may be taking and speak to a doctor if you think it could be holding you back, it’s more common than you’d think.
If you’ve got mostly Cs, then it’s likely that you are pushing yourself too hard. This is a complex one. Take a deep breath, sit back and put your feet up. You most likely started out over – achieveing on your weight loss goals when your results started to stall. The reason why this happened is that you did everything right. You found the secret formula and lost weight effectively (well done!) and then… you didn’t know when to stop. Now is the time to stop.
Depending on your height and age, it’s possible that you are not eating enough calories to lose weight. Add up your average daily calories using either a pen and paper or the app Cronometer and then check out this calculator here by freedieting.com to find out if you are eating too little. If you aren’t eating enough, then the first thing you should do is eat more! While this seems counter – intuitive, it works. If you’re eating too little, your body has likely entered starvation mode and there is literally nothing that you will achieve by curting calories further. Literally nothing.
If you keep fighting your body, you will likely not win and your fat will only become more stubborn. It will most likely also make it harder for you to lose weight again once you’re out of starvation mode. Based on the calculator used above, find out how many more calories you need to add in. If you need to add another 300 calories, fall in love with a healthier version of one of your favourite foods. Love chocolate pudding? Why not make a chocolate pudding with a paleo recipe? It’s still healthy and it’s probably just what you need to get back on track.
It goes without saying that you need a cheat day, or two. Or three. Take as long as you need, but also set a limit. There’s no point being stressed about losing weight during this time because until you relax, nothing is probably going to happen. Relax now, lose weight later. It can be a hard frame of mind to get into but it is essential that you do. Once you’re in that frame of mind you’ll reliaze that you’re less stressed, have more energy and you may have even started losing a bit of weight! Yay! The worst thing you could do at this point is to run into the gym and workout for two hours.
The best thing you can do is to work up to exercising again little by little after taking some time off. For example, start out with some yoga for a week. Then maybe throw in some light weightlifting. Wait a couple of weeks before you start running or cycling at higher than moderate intensity. When to start exercising after taking a break is entirely dictated by your body. If you start working out and your weight becomes impossible to shift or you start gaining weight, back off and go rest some more. This is an incredibly diverse and complex topic. If you’re in this category, read this article on How To Get Out Of Starvation Mode for some really good tips. There is a lot more to be said about this condition and how to get yourself out of it.
In the end…
You’re not really in control of your body. The choices that you make effect your body. It’s important to remember that your body effectively has a mind of it’s own. If you overfeed it and take it easy, it will take advantage of you and hoard all the extra energy you give it. If you treat it like a prisoner and give it the bare bones it needs for survival and expect it to work for you, it’s basically going to laugh in your face and rebel against you as much as it can. In a battle between your fortitude and your body, your body is always going to win.
So don’t fight it! Use it. Knowledge really is power when it comes to losing weight. What do you think about your results from the quiz? Do you have a different opinion or something else to add? Let me know in a comment below or send an email through to firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love to hear from you!
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