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I'm Exercising and Dieting - Why Can't I Lose Weight? (2 of 2)

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"Why do I watch what I eat and exercise 7 days per week and still can't lose the weight?"

The second answer to this question relates to exercise:

  • What kind of exercise you do
  • How often you exercise
  • The intensity of your exercise session

As we discussed in part one, nutrition and exercise go hand in hand. You can choose to tackle them both at the same time or individually. In my classes, I get this question often and it can be quite frustrating for people trying diligently to lose weight. If you exercise 5-7 days a week and the machine is telling you that you are burning all these calories then why does your weight stay the same or maybe even increase.

First, you must ask yourself if you are being honest with yourself. Honest with your food intake and honest with your exercise. I know it seems strange and backwards, however we discussed caloric intake in part 1- if you are taking in too much, you could be gaining weight. On the other hand, if you are not taking in enough, you could also be gaining weight. There is definitely a balance. Your body needs energy (calories) to burn energy. I love to use the car scenario - "If you don't have gas in your car it's not going to get you to where you need to be." The same holds true for your body. Make sure you are eating adequate calories. Adequate "good" calories does not mean junk food.

Now, let's take a look at your exercise routine.

Are you doing the same thing, for example: cardio machine for the same amount of time, day after day? Did you know the definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Ironic? You could actually exercise every day and still be overweight and unhealthy. Humans are very adaptable - your body does just that, adapts. You will not see results if you do not challenge yourself.

Some things you could do to challenge yourself if you are stagnant with your current workout routine:

  • If you only do cardio, add weights at least 2 days per week. Strength training helps to build lean muscle; the more lean muscle you have the more efficient your metabolism is.
  • Change up your cardio machine or cardio workout at least 3 days per week. Add some hills and/or resistance to your workout.
  • Push yourself to go faster.
  • Push yourself to go longer. If you do the same 30-minutes everyday, try to increase by 15 minutes.
  • Add some cross training to your workout. Maybe take a class or hire a personal trainer for some variation
  • Find a workout partner and challenge each other
One more factor I would like to talk about is your heart rate. Do you ever pay attention to your heart rate when you are working out? Different heart rate zones dictate how well your body is burning fat and using fuel when you are exercising. Heart rate training can be a great alternative.

Get your routine under control with a great meal plan and exercise routine, you will see the results you are looking for in no time.

Angela Hattaway is a Nutritionist and Personal Trainer with over 15 years experience. She got her BS in Nutrition and Dietetics from Stephen F. Austin State University and she also has a Master's Degree in Business with an emphasis on Healthcare. Angela is experienced in working with both children and adults and loves working with clients to help them set realistic goals and expectations. She is passionate about nutrition and fitness and feels this comes through when she works with people. Angela loves giving clients the tools, motivation and encouragement they need to be successful throughout their lives. Visit her blog at She can be reached via email at at

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