There are a bazillion things pulling at us every day, demanding our attention and creating stress. We all seem to be doing a million things at once.

And we all seem to be stressed to the max.

So the last thing we need to do is add more stress into our lives – stress over eating well and working out.

Now that doesn’t mean you should simply skip working out and eating well (because both can also REDUCE STRESS, make you FEEL BETTER and INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY), but it does mean you want to make some changes to your diet and exercise program so that you can stress less and get better results!

Below are 5 Reasons You May Be Struggling To Lose Weight. These things can not only hinder your progress but even add to your stress so that you eventually fall off your program and re-enter that horrible yo-yo dieting and exercising cycle!

1. You’re too focused on working out longer and doing MORE.

People think they need to go do an hour of steady state cardio to lose weight. But guess what!?! Your body adapts to that. So to keep losing weight, that means you either have to go for longer or go faster. And often both of those aren’t really an option…Or if we do manage to one or both, we end up injured, burnt out or even stressed out because it becomes hard to fit in the workouts.

But what if you didn’t need that whole hour to get even better results than you could doing cardio for an hour? What if you could get results even just occasionally squeezing in 5 minute intense bouts?

Workouts like that would not only fit into your busy life better, but it would help you workout more consistently.

AND THEY WOULD HELP YOU GET RESULTS!

So instead of thinking about working out longer and doing more, focus on efficiency and going hard when you are working out.

If you up your intensity and pick compound exercises, you can get better fat burning and weight loss results from 15 minutes of interval and strength training than you can out of an hour doing steady state cardio!

Steady state cardio really only burns calories DURING the workout while interval work and strength training can help raise your metabolic rate and increase your calorie and fat burning for up to 48 hours after your workout!

2. You’re not focusing on PROTEIN.

People all too often get stuck worrying about how many carbs or how much fat. They argue over low carb or low fat.

But they never focus on the macronutrient that really makes the biggest difference – PROTEIN!

Focus on protein and you are going to see great results.

You don’t have to cut out carbs…Heck if you workout intensely you NEED some carbs. And you don’t have to deprive yourself of fat. FAT ISN’T EVIL! Actually, if you cut your fat too low, you are going to mess with your hormone levels and really slow down or even completely stall and prevent yourself from getting results!

But if you make protein your focus, you’re not only going to build lean muscle mass, but actually burn more fat and feel FULLER. If you want to grow stronger and look leaner, you need to get enough protein to build, repair and even MAINTAIN your muscle tissue!

Plus, protein has a higher thermogenic effect than the other Macros, meaning you actually burn more calories to process protein, making it harder to gain fat when your diet is high in protein (studies have even shown it to have a thermogenic effect 5 times greater than carbs or fat!).

Studies of thermogenesis have also shown that one of the most important roles protein plays in body weight regulation is due to the fact that it increases feelings of satiety or feeling full!

So if you aren’t getting enough protein that may be why you aren’t losing weight!

3. You’re not tracking what you’re doing.

We all hate tracking.  But this may be the single most important thing because if you don’t really know what you are eating, if you aren’t holding yourself ACCOUNTABLE, if you aren’t tracking what is working, you’re not going to see results!

Track what you eat and stick with a program. Then you can make changes as you go!

But if you don’t track, you don’t truly know. You can forget about things that are going on. You may not realize how low your protein is even when you feel like you are getting it at every meal.

Heck, you may even be surprised by the hidden calories and macro ratios in certain foods you eat…foods you can easily tweak if only you KNEW what was in them.

That is why you track. Try a fitness tracker like My Fitness Pal and log what you are eating. It will show you what is truly going on so you can make small changes and swaps instead of simply jumping from diet to diet!

4. You’re randomly adjusting your calories.

Often we think that losing weight means eating less. And yes…A calorie deficit is important.

But continuing to cut calories may not be the answer. If you cut out too many calories, your energy will drop. You can stall your metabolism. And your workouts will suffer, which will not only hinder your fitness progress, but potentially even your weight loss progress.

And on top of that, you may fall into HANGRY territory. Feeling hungry all the time doesn’t make anyone happier or less stressed.

Plus, if you constantly feel hungry at some point you’re going to run out of self control and end up binging. And binging leads to guilt. Which leads to more binging. Which leads to you ending up potentially worse off than where you started…And back in the yo-yo dieting cycle!

So while you need a calorie deficit, you don’t want to cut your calories too low! Stay energized. Stay feeling ready to tackle the day!

Because eating well should make you feel better NOT like you’re starving and constantly angry and tired!

5. You’re depriving yourself of the foods you enjoy.

I NEED dessert. Yes…I know this is an “excuse.” I will not literally die if I don’t have it.

But after dinner, if I don’t get a sweet treat, I just sit there thinking about how I want something. And I get bitter if I can’t have it.

And I end up binging on desserts the next chance I get.

So to avoid this, I have something sweet every night. I’ve found healthy swaps that fit my macros when I want. And other times, I indulge in that ice cream or those peanut butter cookies.

But I don’t DEPRIVE myself. Because that just isn’t realistic.

I was sick of “sprints.” And my clients were too. We were sick of going strict to only fall off and gain back some of what we’d lost. Only to have to “sprint” and go super clean again.

That is why I found macro cycling to be beneficial. You have ratios to hit, but you could still make room for the foods you love. You never had to cut out the things you love, which prevents binging.

And not feeling deprived helps make this a realistic lifestyle. You aren’t simply waiting for it to be over!

If you want to learn more about Macro Cycling and the diet that helped Ashley lose 60lbs and counting, click to learn more about my 6-Week Macro Cycling Shred!

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