Why Aren’t I Losing Weight?

Balancing a Heavy Load

Do you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders?  Are you trying to lose weight in addition to all your other obligations?  As you may know, you need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. Your calories in/calories out equation needs to drop by 3,500 calories to lose just one pound of bodyweight. This can seem like a daunting task but it’s not. With a realistic goal, focus and lots of patience, you can achieve the weight loss you desire.

Most of us are able to lose a noticeable amount of weight at first. Sometimes the scale stops budging. If you are still watching what you eat and staying active, you may feel defeated. In fact, this is when many people fail. Even though you are making gradual progress, your impatience causes you to give up.

If you’ve been eating right and exercising but your weight is still the same, here are some tips to consider. Remember that your success can’t always be measured on a scale. That doesn’t mean you aren’t losing fat and aren’t on the right track. Consistency, focus and patience will get you to where you want to go.

Top Ten Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight

1.  You’re eating too many calories

People tend to underestimate the number of calories they eat. The easiest way to fix this is to track what you eat. You can do this by using a diary or app to log your calories and weighing your food.

Studies show that people who log their calories or photograph their meals, lose more weight. If you don’t want to always be tied down to tracking, try it for a few days a month to see where you’re at.

2.  You are not active enough

Staying active helps you burn more calories.

A.  Lifting weights will increase your metabolism so you can burn more calories even at rest. It will help you burn fat while maintaining muscle mass. It will also make you stronger and more toned. Without resistance training, your metabolism can slow down and your fat loss may be temporary.

B.  Cardiovascular exercise burns fat, including belly fat, by increasing your heart rate. Try to get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week (or a combination of the two). If you are trying to lose weight and want greater health benefits, shoot for 300 minutes of aerobic exercise per week.

C.  General activity:  Daily activities such as yard work, cleaning, stair climbing and walking help you burn more calories throughout the day. These will go a long way towards helping you reach your weight loss goals as well.

3.  You’re not drinking enough water

It’s calorie free!  Water helps you burn 30 percent more calories and suppresses your appetite. Drinking a glass of water or more before meals can make you 44 percent more successful at weight loss!

4.  You’re not eating enough whole foods

Whole foods are best for your health and for weight loss. They help you feel better and help regulate your appetite. Whole foods are more filling than processed foods.

Even if foods are labeled as being “health foods” they may be counter to your weight loss goals. Manufacturers make processed foods hyper palatable and addictive. Opt for high fiber foods that are healthy, filling and taste great instead.

5.  You’re not eating enough protein

Protein boosts your metabolism, reduces cravings and causes you to consume less calories. It prevents the metabolic slowdown which can go along with strict diets.

Having a high protein breakfast in particular can have a big impact on your weight loss.

Aim for 25 to 30 percent of your daily calories to come from protein sources.

6.  You’re not sleeping enough

Poor sleep is one of the biggest risk factors for obesity. If you don’t get adequate sleep, your body can’t regulate hunger properly. You’re also less likely to stay active if you are sleep deprived. Try to get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night.

7.  You are drinking too much alcohol 

Alcohol has 7 calories per gram. The calories in sugary cocktails, beer and wine add up quickly. Heavy drinking is linked to weight gain. If you are going to consume alcohol, stick to something like vodka and a 0-calorie mixer, or an occasional glass of red wine.

8.  You eat mindlessly

Getting to the bottom of a bag of Doritos while watching Netflix inhibits weight loss. Try mindful eating instead. Slow down, avoid distractions, enjoy every bite and listen to your body’s signals to stop. Chew thoroughly while appreciating the smell, color, flavor and texture of every bite of your food.

9.  You’re not eating enough 

If you don’t give your body the daily calories it needs to function, it will go into conservation mode. To avoid starvation, you will begin to burn less calories each day. For most people, 1200 calories a day is a necessary base.

If you have been dieting for too long, you may need to take a break. Try increasing your calories by a few hundred calories a day and lifting weights to gain muscle. Then reassess your weight loss goals and, in due time, you can begin a new weight loss program if you so choose.

10.  You’re working out too much or too intensely

Exercising too intensely every day can lead to inflammation causing you to gain weight. Overexerting yourself too often can derail your weight loss plans. Try to balance out high intensity workouts with lower intensity workouts such as yoga or pilates. Don’t forget a weekly rest day.

Reassessing why you’re not losing weight

While you may strive to look good for Memorial Day, sustainable weight loss takes time, focus and patience. You first want to make sure that your expectations are realistic. After an initial period of rapid weight loss, many people will only lose one or two pounds a week safely and comfortably.

Fad diets don’t work in the long term. Think about adopting a new enjoyable healthy lifestyle instead. Yo-yo dieting does more harm than good.

Why not switch from a dieting (scarcity mindset) to a healthy lifestyle (abundance mindset) to feel better AND ultimately lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way. Think about nourishing your body, rather than depriving it.

If you’ve been doing everything right and the results aren’t coming don’t get discouraged and never give up! Celebrate your successes and forge on. You may need to consult a Personal Trainer, Nutritionist or your own physician for some customized expert advice.

Medical conditions such as sleep apnea and hypothyroidism can derail weight loss efforts. Knowledge is power. Once you know what you’re dealing with you can proceed accordingly.

The Takeaway

You may need to eat more protein, track your calories, eat mindfully and be more physically active to lose weight. You may also need to sleep more, drink more water and less alcohol and set realistic achievable goals. Whatever your strategy, your improved health will be well worth every single effort.

Weight loss takes focus, time and patience but it can be an excellent way to make your life better. The Personal Trainers at  Golden Home Fitness can customize the perfect plan for you and help you achieve it. We wish you lots of success on your weight loss journey!
Mayoclinic.org; healthline.com; medanta.org

Meditation Frees Your Mind

Meditation Frees Your Mind

Meditation frees your mind.  Many people who haven’t tried meditation, think of it as doing nothing. They are too busy to find the time to slow down enough to be still. In reality, meditation is an active way of training your brain. Meditating makes you more, not less, aware. There is science-backed evidence that meditation improves your physical, mental and emotional health.

If you want to feel more calm, focused and present, meditation is for you. Meditation teaches you to look for happiness within, rather than outside of yourself.

Not only is meditation great for your health, but you can also do it almost anywhere any time. Even a few minutes of meditation can have a big impact on your sense of wellness.

Meditation frees your mind by reducing  “monkey mind” or wandering thoughts. Instead of worrying about the future or thinking about the past, it focuses on the present. Meditation is often as effective as antidepressants. Long time practitioners develop more brain gray matter. Meditating can even improve memory in people with dementia.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a mental exercise which improves your physical, mental and emotional health.

Types of Meditation

There are many types of meditation. Here are seven of them:

1. Guided Meditation

In guided meditation, you are given a series of cues aimed at relaxing your body and mind. They may involve picturing a relaxing image, situation or place.

2.  Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation teaches you how to be present in the moment. It often focuses on the flow of your breath. Thoughts may come and go but they are not focused on.

3.  Mantra Meditation

In Mantra Meditation, you repeat a calming word or phrase. This frees your mind from all the negative chatter and clutter you may otherwise encounter.

4.  Sound Meditation

Sound meditation uses bells, quartz bowls or Tibetan singing bowls to guide you into a peaceful state.

5.  Walking Meditation

In walking meditation, you focus on your movements as you take a relaxing stroll.

6.  Love and Kindness Meditation

To feel more connected to yourself and others, try love and kindness meditation. Focus on compassionate thoughts. Send your loved ones kind wishes.

7.  Yoga Meditation

Yoga meditation combines physical movements, breath work and meditation.

Top 10 Benefits of Meditation

  1. Lowers your stress, anxiety, depression, and risk of related medical conditions.
  2. Improves your mood, self image and outlook. Can reverse negative brain patterns.
  3. Sharpens your concentration and attention.Reduces your risk of heart disease by lowering your resting heart rate and blood pressure.
  4. Improves your sleep.
  5. Cultivates creativity and problem-solving skills.
  6. Improves memory and learning, and fights age-related mental decline.
  7. Promotes empathy and compassion towards yourself and others.
  8. Increases your self-discipline and awareness. It can also aid in fighting addictions.
  9. Decreases fear and pain sensitivity.

Getting Started

Like all habit formation, it’s best to start small. Set aside a few minutes to give meditation a try. You can sit or lie in a comfortable spot where you won’t be disturbed. Try to maintain good posture. Start with a soft focus and then close your eyes.

Take several deep breaths in through your nose and slowly out through your mouth. Take notice of the points of contact of your body on the floor.

Then mentally scan your body from head to toe. Notice how each area of your body feels. If you’d like, picture warm sunlight melting any tension away.

Next focus on where you feel your breath the most. Count your breaths from 1 to 10 and then restart. If thoughts appear, gently return your focus to your breath.

Building a Meditation Habit

One great way to make meditation a regular part of your life is to start or end your day with it.

Building a meditation habit will take time and patience but it will free your mind.

As you probably know, weight training improves your muscular strength and endurance. In the same way, meditation improves the strength and endurance of your concentration. Imagine what you can achieve when you can pay better attention for longer periods of time!

Meditation, like most things, takes practice. Don’t be self-critical. There is no one right way to meditate. Expect your mind to wander and simply refocus when it does. Keep practicing and adapt your favorite type of meditation to your needs.

The Takeaway

Meditation frees your mind and greatly improves the quality of your life. Even a few minutes a day can deliver a plethora of health benefits.

Meditation reduces strain on your heart and protects your brain from aging. It also teaches you how to breathe more efficiently. A regular meditation practice is a great way to get rid of stress.

If your mind tends to wander, meditation will train you to focus better. You will also be able to react to stressful situations more calmly.

Practicing meditation regularly provides a sense of wellness, balance and inner peace. We hope you find yours!
______________________________________________________________________________________________Meditation Frees Your Mind
Mayoclinic.org; Healthline.com; forbes.com

Running Fuels Your Mind, Body and Soul

Running is one of the most popular exercises around and for good reason.  Running fuels your mind, body and soul.  You can do it practically any time, anywhere.  Here are the top reasons to run.

Top 15 Reasons to Run

Reduce your risk of death

Lose or maintain your weight

Increase bone density

Protect your memory and combat age-related mental decline

Improve your ability to produce energy

Strengthen your heart

Improve your sleep quality

Relieve stress

Improve concentration and mood

Reduce blood pressure and cholesterol

Strengthen your legs and core

Improve your body image and self-confidence

Build mental toughness

To zone out or make friends

For that euphoric runner’s high

How to Start Running

The key to picking up running is to start small.  Build your habit slowly.  Even if you only run once a week, you will benefit greatly.  You can alternate periods of running and walking.  This will make it more do-able as well as reducing your risk of injury.  As your body adapts to your training, it will become easier.  Then you can add more miles or speed.

Once you have the hang of it, you can run for 30 minutes twice a week, and then a little longer on another non-consecutive day. Cross-train or rest the other days.

One easy way to make sure it happens is to sign up for a race.  Once that’s on the calendar, you will have a point of focus and your runs will all have a purpose.  A 5K (3.1 mile) fun run is a good place to start.  Plan on training for seven to eight weeks.  You need to build up your mileage and speed gradually. 

Like many new activities, running is an acquired taste.  If you don’t take to it immediately, don’t give up.  It gets better and better with time!

Safety Tips

Build up your mileage and speed gradually to avoid injury

Run against traffic

Always be aware of your surroundings

Stay hydrated

Warm up before your run, and stretch afterwards

Switch your running shoes every 300-500 miles

Bring edible fuel if running longer than an hour

How to Become an Even Better Runner

If you increase your overall fitness, you will become a better runner.  You can do this by cross-training and focusing on your nutrition, hydration and sleep.  You can also increase your mileage and speed gradually. 

Vary your workouts. Try to include hill work, interval training, speed drills/sprints, shorter and longer runs.  Take at least one rest day a week to recover. 

Generally speaking, the more running you do the better runner you’ll become.  But listen to your body, if you’re overdoing it you may need to cut back.  Getting injured would keep you from getting your running fix for an extended period of time!

Making Your Circle a Little Smaller or a Little Larger

I do my best thinking and soul-searching while I run.  It’s an opportunity to be alone with my thoughts in a non-stagnant way.  If you need to get away from it all, zone out or change your scenery, running is your answer.  It’s the mind-body connection at its best.

Running is also a great way to make friends.  You can interact with like-minded people in your community and run for a cause. 

Why Runners Should Cross-Train

Cross-training will improve your health and make you a better runner.  It will increase your athleticism, mobility and sense of wellness.  You will be less likely to get injured as you challenge your muscles in different ways.

The stronger your core, the better your running form.  The better your running form the easier it is to breathe.  Cross-training can help improve your core strength, balance and stability.

Resistance training two to three times a week is a great way to improve and enhance your running.  Your core and leg strength and endurance will get better.  You can learn to run more efficiently as well as targeting different muscle groups.

Run-Specific Exercises

Squats, speed skaters, jump squats, long jumps, bird dogs, lunges, heel raises and hops, planks and side planks, clamshells, side shuffles and burpees are some of the numerous exercises which can enhance your running.

Our Golden Home Fitness Personal Trainers can customize a running training program that’s just right for you.  We can help you get started, get you in peak condition for a race or anything in between. For your complimentary in-person or virtual Golden Home Fitness Personal Training session click here.

The Takeaway

Running provides a plethora of benefits including improved health, confidence, weight management and stress relief.  To start running, alternate short bouts of running with walking.  The key is to increase your mileage and speed slowly. 

Cross-training and focusing on nutrition, hydration and sleep will improve your running.  Both running alone and with others are great for the mind body connection.  If you cross-train as a runner, you are less likely to get injured.  You are also more likely to enjoy your runs. 

Exercises such as squats, speed skaters and bird dogs are beneficial for runners.  Running fuels your mind, body and soul.  Why not lace up your shoes and see where they take you today! 


Healthline.com;  nytimes.com;  verywellfit.com;  active.com;  runningtrainingplan.com;  marathonhandbook.com

Moms Who Exercise Thrive

…and So Do Their Kids!

If anyone had an excuse not to exercise, it would be Moms. You endured incredible inconvenience, discomfort and pain to bring another person into the world. Then you were entrusted to protect and manage that little being’s whole life. No pressure, right? Suddenly you are a teacher, chauffeur, chef, nurse, personal shopper, maid and accountant all at once.

Oh, and did we mention the lack of salary?

It’s tempting to avoid working out for the first 17 years of your child’s life. But that’s not a good idea. Being active will greatly enhance your life, Super Mom, as well as that of your children. For once you don’t have to put their needs before yours. You both win!

A Healthy Mom is a Happier and Better Mom

Why do Moms who exercise thrive? Here’s reason number one. The more you exercise the better your body becomes at creating energy! If there’s one thing you can’t have too much of as a new Mom it is energy.

But there’s more! Physical activity increases longevity by lowering your risk of disease. It benefits your heart, lungs, brain, bones, joints and circulation. You’ve worked so hard, sacrificed so much and come so far. You want to be there for every second of your child’s growth and development.

Exercise improves your quality of life. It helps you sleep better and boosts energy. This enables you to handle the heavy demands of the job and to keep up with your kids. It also improves your self-image.

Another huge benefit of working out is stress management. It allows you to blow off steam, recharge and refocus. Exercise elevates your mood and improves your outlook. It is much harder to be present with your kids if you are depressed or anxious. It’s also difficult to be patient if you aren’t feeling mentally or physically well.

A Mom’s Health Can Improve the Health of Her Children

Just as exercise improves the quality of a Mom’s life, it improves that of her children. An active Mom is happier, less stressed and more calm. You are less likely to get angry or sad. This improved mood carries over into all interactions with your kids. It allows you to engage with them much better.

Moms have a huge influence on their family’s habits and wellness. Children of active Moms are more likely to be active themselves. Less active Moms lead to less active kids. So Moms don’t feel guilty or selfish when you’re working out! You are leading by example.

As you are probably aware, the US is one of the most obese countries in the world. About 2/3rds of American adults are overweight or obese and about ⅓ of our kids are. Moms can begin to change this, one child at a time. Again, no pressure, right? It may not be an easy task but it’s an important one.

Sedentary kids have a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and many chronic illnesses. Exercise reduces their risk of depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. It also boosts academic performance, allowing kids to focus better. This results in happier, more confident kids who are likely to become happier, more confident adults.

A Mom Who Prioritizes Health and Fitness Is An Invaluable Role Model

While our genetics play a role in our health, we have the power to rewrite some of our genetic history through healthy habits. These can be passed down from generation to generation. That is how Moms can change the world and the future.

As noted earlier, kids of Moms who exercise are more likely to exercise themselves. This can have a tremendous effect on their wellness, growth and development. Showing children that you prioritize your health promotes healthy life-long habits. You are teaching them the value of self-care, goal-setting and perseverance. This makes it much more likely that your child will have a positive body image and outlook.

How Much Exercise Is Recommended?

The Us Government recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week. Strength training is suggested at least two days a week.

For 6 to 17 year old children, an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise most days is recommended. A combination of cardio and resistance training is best.

Even a short workout fit into a busy schedule can make a world of difference. Every little bit counts!

Creating a Healthy and Fit Family

Life is busy and complicated. The easiest thing to do after a long day is to veg out on the couch or retreat to our individual rooms. TV, computer and phone screens allow us to zone out. They, along with video games, can be addictive. Spending too much time on them is bad for our body and brain. It’s also bad for our family dynamics.

Instead, consider scheduling some active family down time. This allows you to tackle two goals at once: prioritizing your health and spending time with your children. Taking a walk after meals improves digestion, lowers blood sugar and improves your health. Raking leaves or shoveling snow as a family creates a spirit of teamwork.

If you think about it, most forms of play are aerobic in nature. Why not consider your physical activity as a recess which lets you recharge just as you did in grade school? It’s something that you get to do, rather than something that you have to do.

Playing “follow the leader” with your family can make a workout as fun to do as it is challenging. Exercising together helps you build your family identity. Working towards a common goal fosters a sense of teamwork. It shows your children the value of goal setting and gives them a sense of accomplishment.

Parents who exercise with their children strengthen their family bond while getting healthier. Kids identify with their parents better when they are active together. Suddenly you are more than just the person who calls them to dinner or takes them to practice. You have new fun shared experiences.

How to Fit More Exercise Into a Super Mom’s Schedule

  • Set a small goal, track your progress and reward yourself (before setting another one)
  • Work out with your little ones using a baby carrier or baby jogger
  • Schedule your workouts in your calendar
  • Play active games like tag and hide and go seek with your kids
  • Squeeze in mini workouts throughout the day (chair dips, crunches, pushups, or a brisk walk)
  • If you work outside the home, try an active lunch hour
  • If necessary, wake up before your kids to exercise
  • Use playground equipment for strength moves
  • Enlist the help of an expert. A Golden Home Fitness Personal Trainer can design the perfect program for your busy schedule. We can make sure your workouts happen whenever and wherever you need them to. We can travel to your home, train you in our studio or train you virtually with our fitness app. Let us create life-long healthy habits for you and your family.

The Take Away

Let’s face it, most Moms are Super Moms no matter what. If you can stay active as a Mom you are much more likely to be healthy and happy, and so are your kids. Families who work out together create strong bonds and a sense of teamwork. Prioritizing health and wellness is good for every body (and mind). It can make a world of difference!
Endnotes: heart.org; www.deseret.com; cbsnews.com; www.parents.com; mindbodygreen.com; www.nwwomensfitness.com; www.osrpt.com; sweatyasamother.com; dailymom.com

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