“Hi Lisa. Your story gives me hope! I’m about the same age and height as you. I’m getting really frustrated and hope you have a suggestion. My friend and I started working out around the same time. I’m in the gym six days a week, eat next to nothing and can’t lose the last ten pounds and my friend does cardio whenever and slams down regular Cokes and she’s thinner than me. It’s so ANNOYING!!!!!”
First of all, congratulations for getting back to the gym and putting in an effort to get healthy. You certainly sound motivated, so that’s half the battle right there. Here are a few things you might want to consider:
- It’s difficult, but don’t compare yourself to your friend. This will drive you nuts. Case in point: my husband eats McDonald’s for breakfast, skips lunch, has Panda Express for dinner and ends his night with chips and dip and a few cocktails and the man is wearing the same jeans he wore in high school. Last week I wrote about a hypothetical banana nut muffin and gained a pound. My point is: focus on your journey not hers. Sure, she has a great metabolism, but you probably have a lot of strengths she wishes she had too.
- You might need to eat more calories. When you say you eat “next to nothing” that’s a concern. Your calorie intake should support your height, age and activity level. If you are exercising a lot you will need more calories not fewer, otherwise your body might go into starvation mode. This happens when your body thinks there’s a famine going on, since it’s not getting enough food, so it holds on to each calorie for dear life. Have you tried six meals throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels steady? Are you getting a good mix of proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats? For help with your food you could speak to a dietician or a nutritionist. Can’t afford them? Try the USDA Food Tracker: here.
- Do you need a workout overhaul? Are you only doing the elliptical machine?
Are you combining strength training with cardio? Lean muscle mass burns more calories than untrained muscle/fat, so you might want to put some weights in your workouts. If you are using the same cardio machine at the same difficulty level every day your body may have adapted to the routine. When you mix things up your body has to work harder to keep up, which helps you burn more calories. Also, it keeps gym life more interesting.
- When in doubt, check it out. If you are around my age (almost 40) and are gaining weight for no reason, it might be a thyroid issue. Also as we age our fat gets redistributed and hormones go a little crazy. For more details and helpful tips, check out this post: Why Do Women Gain Weight After 40? After Menopause?
Hope that helps! If you have any questions you would like me to research, please email me at ShesLosingIt.firstname.lastname@example.org
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