If you've been in the realm of health and fitness for a while, you often have an idea of what works well for you and what doesn't. Too often though, the reliable methods that have provided results in the past aren't pulling through this time.
There are so many training regimes, nutritional strategies and combination methods that you don't have to give up when your trusty diet stops giving you what you're looking for.
What to Do When Nothing is Working:
1. Increase (or decrease!) training frequency: Increasing training frequency is generally one of the first steps when it comes to getting your weight and body where you want it. Working out 3-5 times per week should help you burn some extra calories and get your metabolism working. Aim for 45 minutes to 1 hour of exercise these days. If you are already working out more than 5 times per week for more than 45 minutes to an hour, you might actually need to decrease your training in order to allow your body to recover properly between sessions.
2. Change the type of training you're doing: Our bodies are more fragile than we generally think. Overall, they respond well to changes and need to have some guess work. Increasing your training will help to get your metabolism firing and help to give you the changes you're looking for. If you generally stick to cardio, add some resistance training in at least 1-2x per week. If you only lift weights, try adding in some cardio. The variety will not only help to shape your body but also decrease fat and add lean muscle to your frame.
3. Check your nutrition: You may be eating "clean" or "healthy" but that doesn't mean anything if you're overeating. Watch portion sizes, especially with fats like oils and nuts (and nut butter) and try increasing your protein intake. When eating starchy or carb-dense foods, check a serving size by looking it up online (or the package) and try to stick to it.
4. More Water: Have you ever seen the bodybuilder at the gym carrying around the gallon jug of water? That's because sufficient intake of water is important for shedding fat. Seven though our bodies are mostly water, we need sufficient intake to help keep things going. Water helps your metabolism, clean your body and can also suppress a boredom or stressed appetite. The old adage of drinking your weight in ounces might not be necessary but aim for at least 64oz a day.
5. Zone or Zen Out: Stress has a major impact on our bodies ability to lose or maintain weight, not only because of stress eating but because of hormonal levels. Stress can be the kind we often think of: work/ home/school/relationship related, but it can also be due to dieting, too much exercise, lack of sleep and other daily activities. Your body reacts to stress by activating fight or flight which will prevent you from losing the weight you're looking to shed.
BONUS: Ask an Expert: If you're feeling stuck with your habits, training or reaching your goals, look to an expert for some guidance. Personal trainers and nutritional consultants have helped many people reach their goals. They're experienced in different types of training modalities and nutrition and can assist you with what you need.