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Posted by Barry on Mar 29, 2011


I continue to be flooded with questions and complaints about weight loss during P90X (and other Beachbody workout programs) and how did I lose 30 lbs doing this.  Here is a list of four of the toughest weight loss obstacles that I continue to hear about and how to overcome them.

1. You’re exercising, but not losing weight. You’ve been working out for weeks now, following your program to a T, and yet the scale hasn’t moved. You’re completely depressed and ready to give up. But don’t! I myself experienced this and have read from countless others (go to the Beachbody message boards to see for yourself) and the answer is always the same.  You are transforming your body and as you build muscle (which is very heavy) and lose fat at the same time you will start out showing very little overall weight loss.  But hang in there as you continue to “Bring It” your body will start to burn more and more fat as the new muscle and exercise you are getting will not only cause you to lose weight (assuming you were like me and had lots of weight to lose) but you will be losing the fat and this is why you started the program in the first place.

Weight loss is based on many factors that affect each of us differently. Plus, you are in a workout program were you are building muscle, which weighs over twice as much as fat. This means that you’re actually shrinking even if you weigh the same as when you started!

Bottom line: The scale is not your friend. You should really throw out your scale. A tape measure is cheaper and far more effective for measuring results.  As I tell my classes “How are your pants fitting?”  The answer is always “They are getting loose!”

2. You can’t control your eating. Your coworker baked all weekend and brings in a tray of brownies-to-die-for on Monday. Your husband surprises you with reservations to the best steak house in town. How do you stay on track amid all this temptation? By writing it down or tracking it.

I use the program “My Fitness Pal” which is easy (just put it on your Android or Iphone) and input what you eat during the day.  It even already has Shakeology, Results and Recovery Drink, and many other Beachbody products in it.  You will be amazed at how much you are eating once you start to track it.  Also be aware of what I call “Hidden Calories” this is the tablespoon of olive oil I use to cook with (40 calories), the squirt of Ketchup, any of the little things that you don’t think matter.  They all add up.

Bottom line: If you keep a diary of everything you’re eating, it then becomes easy to see where you can shave calories, and it makes you less likely to cheat.

3. Your results have hit a brick wall. You’re working out regularly, following a sensible eating plan, and yet you can’t seem to lose those last 10 pounds. If you reduce your calorie intake even more, your body might go into starvation mode or you won’t have enough fuel to push through your workouts. If this is your dilemma, you’re not alone. I have experienced it and have seen it a thousand of times:

Hitting a plateau is inevitable. Whether you’re very overweight or a professional athlete, it’s going to happen to you at some point. So the best advice that I can give is not to panic about it. If you stay with your program and eat well, results will happen eventually. They have to. This, however, in no way means that you can’t help yourself shorten the plateau.

By far the most effective solution is to change your routine. Your body tries to stay comfortable. When you change something, you disrupt the pattern and your body is forced to respond. You don’t necessarily have to start a whole new program. Sometimes something as simple as adding more weight or speeding up your cadence is all you need to get results happening again.

Bottom line: Variety really is the spice of life.

4. You can’t get motivated. Let’s face it, we all have days when we’d rather do almost anything else other than exercise: take out the trash, run errands, go to a movie; however you have to make fitness a priority and here are some mental tricks to help you get through it:

I tell myself I’m only going to exercise for 10 minutes. Who can’t handle 10 minutes? Even if I’m totally exhausted, it’s only 10 minutes! Once I get moving and my blood starts pumping, my endorphins kick in and I start to feel more energized. And once I hit the 10-minute mark, it’s usually easy to keep at it for 10 more. Before I know it, I’ve gotten a full workout done for the day.
Shoot for seven perfect days. When seeing ahead to a 90-day or six-week goal is daunting, I simply break it down to an easier goal: seven straight days of good eating and good workouts. That’s an accomplishment, and it makes re-upping for the next seven that much easier.
Music. There’s a reason they play music in Turbo Jam and P90X —because music will push you. I have a head banging mix on my MP3 player I use to get me amped whenever motivation is a little light.  How can you not get pumped when the music is pushing you?

Bottom line: Motivation outweighs ever other factor—if you don’t have it, find it. Don’t pretend you can coast along without a concrete strategy to maintain it. Think back to what got you to work out in the first place, and keep that in mind the next time you struggle.

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