Can’t Lose Weight? 5 Things You’re Doing Wrong

It can be all too easy to fall off the wellness wagon, given our busy schedules and daily temptations. Here, we’ve collected a list of common hiccups when it comes to staying healthy, along with tips that combat these urges to slip up so you can keep your fitness routine on point. Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute trainers Adam Friedman and Jamie Eason give us advice on quick fixes for everyday distractions.

1. Answering your phone in the middle of a workout

muscular man holding his gym bag

Wondering why you can’t lose weight? These factors might be to blame | iStock.com

Texting and talking between sets leads to bad gym behavior for two reasons, according to Friedman and Eason. One: You might end up taking more time between sets, wasting valuable gym time and letting your heart rate slip. Two: While you’re typing away, your body wants you to be hydrating and stretching to recover from the work it just put in. This can throw off the overall rhythm of your workout and put you at risk for injury. Not to mention another obvious problem — it’s rude and obnoxious gym behavior.

The fix: Leave your phone in your gym bag or locker so you’re not tempted by email alerts, calls, or text messages. If you use your phone for music, put it in airplane mode so no unnecessary distractions come through.

2. Cheating on your diet

Man looking at healthy foods and snacks

Don’t let one cheat meal turn into a whole cheat weekend | iStock.com

It’s easy to stick to a diet plan during the workweek when you have a more set schedule. Once the weekend starts and your social life picks up, you might be tempted to slip, and a few drinks might cloud your judgment. Allowing yourself a cheat meal or two is fine, but you can’t out-train an entire cheat weekend. High-calorie free-for-alls will ruin all the hard work you put in Monday to Friday.

The fix: Friedman and Eason note that if this is something that happens to you, plan your cheat meals around a social event where you know you’ll be tempted, rather than having a cheat meal in the middle of the week when you’re home alone at night just hanging out. If you’ve got dinner plans, do some research before deciding on a spot so you’ve had a chance to look at the menu. This will encourage you to choose a place with healthy choices.

3. Always doing the same cardio routine

men working out with stationary bikes

Cardio is good, but you’ll want to change it up | iStock.com

Sticking to one type of cardio can allow your muscles to adapt and get too familiar with the training so you don’t get the same results you once did, Friedman and Eason warn. Also, you might become too passive, logging just time instead of intensity.

The fix: Your muscles like surprises, so switch it up. Try switching machines every 10 minutes (for example, stationary bike to stair-stepper to treadmill). Also, don’t forget to add in some strength training — a cardio-only regimen is bound for a plateau.

4. Your playlist is all wrong

man getting ready to exercise

Choose the right music for your workout | iStock.com

The gym may not be the best place to listen to smooth jazz. Choosing the wrong music can negatively impact the overall focus of your workout. It can adversely affect the rhythm and intensity of both cardiovascular and muscle training.

The fix: Try syncing the rhythm of a song to the pace of your workout, Friedman and Eason advise. This can help sustain the intensity as well as stifle that little voice in your head that often tells you to stop. Also, try switching things up, rotating your playlist for more variation, or sharing workout playlists with your friends.

5. You reach for a post-workout sports drink

Young man resting on a run, sports drink, gatorade, exercise

You probably don’t need that sports drink after your workout | iStock.com

Unless you are engaged in prolonged physical activity such as a marathon or a bike ride, sports drinks can usually do more harm than good, Friedman and Eason explain. A 16-ounce sports drink usually contains 14 grams of sugar, which is very difficult to burn off in one session at the gym.

The fix: Drink water! Aim to drink at least half of your body’s weight in ounces each day. Hydration is essential for all aspects of training, and it will also make you feel more awake, full, and overall better throughout the day.