3 Reasons Why You Can’t Lose Weight

We’ve been in the fitness industry for many, many years and one of the most popular questions we get is this:

How do I lose weight and keep it off for good?

Let’s start by saying there’s no secret diet or magic pill that will get you real results. Our goal at Fern Creek Community Fitness is to teach you healthy, sustainable habits that will move you towards your goals each and every day. 

Here are 3 of the most common reasons why you may not be shedding those unwanted pounds:

1. You’re over-estimating the amount of calories you’re burning

Virtually every cardio machine in the gym gives an estimate of the number of calories you are burning while working out. If you wear an Apple Watch or a Fitbit (or another similar device) the amount of calories you burn during an activity are being tracked. Unfortunately, studies show that these devices may be inaccurate in these calculations… by quite a bit. For instance, a 2010 study from the UC San Francisco’s Human Performance Center found that the elliptical trainer (who hasn’t been on one of those for 45 minutes of your life that you won’t get back), over estimates the number of calories burned by an average of 19%! Here’s the breakdown:

  • Treadmill: overestimates by 13%
  • Stair climber: overestimates by 12%
  • Elliptical: overestimates by a huge 42% 😳

The number on the screen does not give you permission to grab an extra donut.

When you start a new workout program where you’re up and active at least 3-4 days a week, you will be hungrier throughout the day. This is not a bad thing! If you already have unhealthy eating habits, you’re now just eating more food with refined carbohydrates which may stall results or even cause weight gain.

Track what you eat using a tool like MyFitnessPal or MacroStax. The simple task of writing down what you eat will help you eat better foods and get your daily intake to a level supported by your activity. We can help you figure out those numbers. Just let us know.

2. You spend the weekend “un-doing” all of your hard work.

After pushing yourself in the gym all week, it’s easy to give yourself a pass on the weekend to order dessert, eat your favorite snacks, or ask for another bowl of chips to go with that queso. You earned it, right? There’s certainly nothing wrong with treating yourself once in a while to some of your favorite foods. But people oftentimes underestimate how easy it is to “out-eat” the workouts they did. Breaking this habit requires a mindset shift from the idea that you “earn unhealthy food choices” to pursuing a lifestyle of health and nutrition. We want you to properly fuel your body, enjoy a few intentional treats here and there, and rewrite your story to the weight/size/dress/pair of jeans/etc. you’ve been dreaming about for so long. That feeling is the best dessert!

Proper nutritional habits partnered with all the hard work you’re putting in at the gym and proper amounts of rest will do wonders for your body!

3. You’re looking at the wrong number.

The number on the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. Your weight is one single point of data. That’s it. Don’t get so hung up on it in the first place. We don’t worry so much about how many inches tall we are, right? The scale doesn’t define what you’re capable of. It’s an indicator. I can give you a long list of indicators that are just as important:

  • Skeletal muscle mass in pounds
  • Body fat percentage
  • Total daily energy expenditure in calories
  • Triglycerides and Cholesterol
  • 1 rep max front squat in pounds
  • Mile run time in minutes and seconds
  • Max pull-ups in 60 seconds
  • Max push-ups in 60 seconds
  • Max plank hold in seconds
  • 3 rep max deadlift in pounds
  • Time to complete Fran
  • Time to complete Grace
  • Time to complete Isabelle
  • Time to complete Jackie
  • Time to complete Diane

All of these are indicators that help define who you are an a continuum of wellness and fitness (and happiness). We believe if you can deadlift twice your bodyweight, run a 9-minute mile, and finish Grace is under 5 minutes, your health metrics are good and headed in the right direction.

We’ve seen members gain a few pounds on the scale after 6 months in the gym only to find out that they lost 3% body fat and gained lean muscle mass. The best part was, they lost inches around their waist and fit into clothes they hadn’t worn in years. We have an InBody body composition scanning machine in the gym just for this reason. We can give you a better understanding of what’s going on with your body that the number on the scale cannot.

Bottom Line

Realize where you are now is simply a starting point. The only way to make real progress is to put in the effort each day on a consistent basis. The destination is the journey.

Who am I?

Your life is your story. Write well. Edit often.

What’s the story you tell yourself? It’s always evolving and changing based on your experiences. The facts about your past can’t change, but the story you tell yourself about them absolutely can.

Rewrite Your Story

Rewriting your story isn’t about denying the bad things that happened or pretending that they’re good things. It’s about finding meaning in the events of your life, to recognize the learning and growth. It’s about how those events made you who you are. It’s about appreciating that person and taking ownership of where you want to go next.

Fitness Leads to Happiness

Fitness sits on a spectrum that starts on the left with sickness, then moves to wellness, next to fitness, and finally to happiness. We’ve experienced it firsthand, both in our own lives and with our members. When people are healthier and fitter, they are happier.

Wellness to Fitness to Happiness Spectrum

That’s not to say that bad things don’t still happen to us. We’re in the middle of a 100-year pandemic with COVID-19. Not many saw that coming. The world is a rough place. It will knock you down. We just have to keep getting back up. We have to prepare for the fight in whatever form it comes next. Our fitness is the tool that helps us. We need to be stronger than the world is bad.

So what monsters do you face in the story you tell yourself? We know they seem too big to overcome. We once thought ours were too. We can help you start to rewrite your story. Time to exercise your demons – they’ll be doing jumping jacks before you know it!

Who am I?

I want to be healthier and stronger, both physically and emotionally. I want to be a more functional human being and a better version of myself for as many years of my life as I can. I want the same for my family my friends and my community. 

I want to embrace the journey and learn from my mistakes. Failure doesn’t define who I am, because it paves the road ahead for me to become better. And I want to be associated with the community that encourages me, supports me, and values my success as much as their own.

I am a member of Fern Creek Community Fitness. And this is where I go to get healthier, stronger, and feel great.

Ultimate Guide to Getting Back to Where You Used To Be

We have the secret to get all your gains back. We have the means to catapult your Fran time and Grace time back to what they were years ago.

Except it doesn’t happen quickly. And it’s really not a secret. Here it is:

  • Mechanics
  • Consistency
  • Intensity

(Specifically in that order)

Mechanics refers to technique—your ability to move properly through our core movements (squats, presses, lifts, body weight movements & gymnastics holds). For us, this means moving yourself and external objects in the most efficient, effective and safe manner possible.

Consistency has a two-part application: 1) That you are consistent in performing the mechanics of the movement; and 2) That you are consistent in workouts. Both are necessary! High intensity, functional workouts are very potent medicine; too much too soon and you can severely hurt yourself. Luckily, the body adapts quickly, and before you know it, you will be hitting each workout with maximum personal intensity.

Intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with the rate of return on favorable adaptation. More simply put, intensity brings about all the good results from working out. However, we also have to realize that intensity is relative to our physical and psychological tolerances. This is a process, and one that takes an indeterminate amount of time, so be patient. Elite-level athletes may be ready to ramp up their intensity in a couple of weeks, while de-conditioned athletes can take months or longer.

Our goal is to improve your fitness for life; no one ever got in shape overnight. If you gradually exceed what you have done before, soon enough you will be doing the mainsite workouts “as prescribed.”

Chasing your old gains at the gym

All three together: Now that you understand mechanics, consistency and intensity, here’s how they all fit together: While many assume that safety is the main concern with proper mechanics – it is certainly the safest way to train – we can’t emphasize enough that sound technique is the most efficient and effective road to fitness. Proper movements will allow you to lift more weight, perform more repetitions faster, or both. More work in less time means higher average power (force x distance / time = power). Higher average power means higher intensity. Higher intensity means better results. Therefore, proper mechanics are the ideal supports for the bridge to fitness.

Set Smart Goals

Rather than chasing old lifts or old WOD scores, set up a goal specific to today’s workout. For example, today we did the following:

Today's workout

Set a goal of finishing every portion of the 15 air squats in each round of “Strict Cindy” unbroken with consistency and great mechanics. You can move slowly through them, but you won’t stop until all 15 are done each round. Small, smart, and attainable goals add up over time and leave you feeling accomplished and re-motivated. No need to chase someone else or one of you old scores.

“Please remember to take things slowly and scale as needed. Please have grace with all of us and one another as we navigate these new waters together. It will take some patience”

– Coach Meg

Theoretical hierarchy for the development of an athlete

Way back in the 2002 publication “What Is Fitness?” Community Fitness suggested a theoretical hierarchy for the development of an athlete. This hierarchy starts with nutrition and moves to metabolic conditioning, gymnastics, weightlifting, and finally, sport. Our progression largely reflects foundational dependence, skill, and, to some degree, a general theory of development.

Theoretical hierarchy for development

Nutrition is the foundation of the pyramid. The quality and constituent elements of an athlete’s diet influence metabolism and therefore the molecular foundations of muscle, bone, and the nervous system.

The second level of the pyramid relates to cardiovascular sufficiency. Without effective metabolic conditioning, an athlete will fatigue prematurely. 

Moving up the pyramid, the third level — gymnastics — focuses on an athlete’s spatial awareness and body control. Before attempting to control an external object (barbell, ball, opponent, etc.), an athlete should first possess the strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, and agility to move his or her own body through many different body positions and movement combinations with sound mechanics and confidence.

The fourth level considers the control of external objects — e.g., weightlifting and throwing. The capacities built at the metabolic conditioning and gymnastics levels can next be applied to an object beyond the confines of the athlete’s own body. 

With this foundation developed, the athlete can then safely and easily focus general physical preparedness on the specialized tasks required of specific sports. Read more at Community Fitness.com.

We know you want it!

To change your life, to be healthier, happier, and more fit! We can help with that. Meet with our knowledgeable and caring staff.

We’re going to make it!

Because we put in the work.

Because we care about each other, encourage each other, and celebrate the small wins together.

Because we’ve been there before and know how it feels like to struggle. And we know how it feels to set goals and crush them.

Because even when we’re a little scared, we stay in the fight and finish what we started.

And we think you’re one of us. You can make it too! Come see us to learn more.