Where are my gains and why aren't they here?
A lot of people are asking this question right now. You’re a solid 4 weeks into your New Year’s resolution to eat better and workout more wondering why aren’t you seeing results yet and when you will start to see them?
When you are being diligent with your efforts changes will start to happen after about one month of starting a new routine. YOU will start seeing the results of your efforts after about two months. OTHERS will start seeing the results of your efforts after about three months.
There are several reason why it takes time and consistency to see changes. I’ll break it down here…
1. The first thing that your body starts doing when you start a new exercise routine is create and learn new neuromuscular (think nerves to muscles) connections. You’re body is adapting to new movements and patterns of activity (new eating habits also create new neuromuscular connections/pathways). It’s like your brain is reminding your body each and every day of your new routine, “hey, this is how things are going to start working now.” Once the neuromuscular connections are made, the growth begins.
2. Growth is when your muscles hypertrophy. This is good. It’s what we want, ESPECIALLY for weight loss-related goals. Because your muscles are working in ways they haven’t before, they grow to become stronger and more efficient with the movements. Some people may even see a little weight gain during this part of the process. Eventually, with eating habits in check, this hypertrophy promotes the maintenance of lean body mass (muscles, bones, connective tissues, etc.) and more weight loss. Then healthy fat loss can begin.
3. Fat loss takes time. Weight loss at a rate of 0.5 to 2 pounds per week is great! Faster rates can alter your metabolism too much and throw your hormones off balance, making keeping weight off nearly impossible. The more your routine promote long-term changes and builds habits that are sustainable, the better.
The point: change takes time and consistency.
Key elements to successfully reach your fitness-related goal include your diet, protein intake, water, sleep, and fitness routine. Make sure you are eating enough calories and protein to sustain the healthy rhythms of your body and promote lean body mass maintenance. It’s also important to choose whole foods as often as possible. Avoid wasting calories with processed, high sugar, junk foods. Stay hydrated and get enough sleep - did you know that getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to stave off obesity and other chronic diseases? And lastly, find a fitness routine that works with your schedule, challenges you but is doable, and, most of all, is enjoyable (not all the time, but at least a little bit). I highly recommend lifting weights.
If you hit a roadblock, move it, and keep going! Find a workout partner that will get you to the gym. Create a fitness challenge with your friends. Try a cup of green tea to beat the afternoon blues. Mix up your workout routine to engage new muscles. Quit the sweets. Set up a physical with your doctor. Practice saying “no” to activities that take up your time and aren’t necessary. Whatever problem lies in your way, fix it.
Progress is on it's way!