You're going along great, you lost 20 pounds, and next thing you know you've gained it all back. And then some. What happened?


It can be one or a combination of things causing this. See if any of these look familar.


1. Loss of lean muscle mass

If your exercise program consists solely of long, extended periods of cardio exercise this could be why you quit losing weight. The more muscle mass you have the more calories you are burning while at rest. Add strength training at least twice a week, I promise you won't get bulky.


2. Can't keep up the pace

I call this The Biggest Loser effect. If you've never seen that show, the contestants are put through a crazy amount of workouts, fed all the right foods, and they do great.

What do you think happens many of the participants after the show? Many of them gain back the weight they lost on the show because it is so hard to keep up that schedule up.

I see people all the time that put themselves on a crazy exercise and nutrition program. Working out twice a day every day, eating absolutely perfect, etc... They are losing weight, doing great, and then it just wears them down. Challenge yourself and be ambitious, but don't set a pace you can't possibly sustain long term.


3. Frustrated by plateaus

Have you got to that weight or size that you just can't seem to improve? Everybody does and this is where many people get frustrated and give up. It is hard, but you can break through.

This is what separates the people who have short term success from the people who keep making progress. Do not give up just because you reached a plateau. I will cover more ways to defeat the dreaded plateau on Monday.


4. Body adapts

Have you been doing the exact same thing for years? Something has to change. The exercises you do, your pace, the amount of weight you are using, etc...

You have to constantly challenge yourself because your body adapts and becomes more efficient at the movements/exercises you do. When you are more efficient, you will not burn as many calories and the exercise becomes less effective for weight loss.


5. Restricted calories

People who severely restrict calories will lose weight for awhile, but then they gain it all back plus a few more. For one, they lose their lean muscle mass as discussed earlier.

When your body thinks you are starving it, it will begin to store any calories you take in as fat. It doesn't know when you will eat again, so your body wants to keep something for the rough times.

Another reason restricted caloric intake is bad, is because you will not get the necessary vitamins and nutrients needed to support your body and any exercise program you might be on. Feed the exercise, you will get better results!