Working out but not losing weight? Here is how to avoid the biggest 10 gym training mistakes

Working out but not losing weight

If you are working out but not losing weight – it’s likely not because your genetics are, somehow, unique.  It’s more likely that you are making one or several of the biggest 10 gym training mistakes.

It’s true that you can lose weight without exercise – but, just as well, you can exercise and not lose weight.  So your training needs to be approached and planned the right way to properly complement your diet.  And it really isn’t rocket science or anything that requires some enormous willpower or anything else out of the ordinary.  The rules of the game are simple – and avoiding the 10 gym training mistakes below is even simpler if you take some time to identify them.

This is a complete waste of time – exercise should be structured and help you reach a specific goal.  Depending on that goal, the specifics may vary, but there at least should be a training protocol.  Of course, you can (and should) still engage in unstructured physical activity for fun (outdoor team games, hiking, climbing, swimming, etc.), but if you are going to the gym to meet a specific goal, make sure you do everything right to reach it.

Properly structured exercise has several benefits:

  1. You eliminate unnecessary time-wasters and reduce your gym time to the minimum, while getting more results;
  2. You actually reach your goals (and faster, too!) – whether those are to lose weight, gain strength or get ripped;
  3. And, as an added benefit, you do both while ensuring maximum safety – which, in turn, ensures consistent progress with no sudden throw backs and loss of traction due to unexpected injury.

So let’s discuss how to exercise properly by looking at the following 10 gym training mistakes people make in the gym that you can easily avoid.

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Why you cannot lose weight

cannot lose weight

Let me start with some bad news – you cannot lose weight by following most of today’s conventional advice around what makes the best exercise to lose weight.

Most exercise tips to lose weight these days focus on aerobics (often referred to as “cardio”) as the best way to tackle the problem.  They suggest that you should try walking to lose weight, endless running or any combination of demanding fitness activities that will have you sweating buckets and panting like a dog on a hot day.

The reality, however, is that – despite following that advice and engaging into endless jogging, elliptical machine training, Zumba and other “fun” activities – the majority of people cannot lose weight and keep it off.  You too might have tried some semi-esoteric “fat burning exercises” found in many glossy magazines or sweating buckets trying various DVD aerobic workouts – all to no avail.  But that’s not your fault – what you have been told so far might have all been very wrong – the reason why you cannot lose weight is because the best exercise to lose weight is not aerobic training.  This article will explain why – and will also teach you how to spend significantly LESS time exercising and get MORE results.

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How to get back in shape: the ultra-simple diet and exercise plan

how to get back in shape

“I have never exercised in my life – how do I start?” – this is the question a lot of people ask when what they see in the mirror becomes unflattering and they start wondering how to get back in shape.

We all know – life happens.  You grow older, get married, have kids, get a desk job, settle down, and get busier with life, but less physically active, nevertheless.  You quickly grab whatever food is convenient and quick as opposed to what is good.

Modern technology makes basic tasks that previously required active participation (like shopping for anything you can imagine) possible with a tap on the screen of your smart device.  Machines removed the need for physical labor.  Social media often serves as a substitute for outdoor activities where you might meet (and play with) real people face to face.  Figuring out how to get back in shape (and stay in shape) under these circumstances may be difficult.

Even if you were fit at some point as a teenager, the question of how to get back in shape becomes more and more relevant as you grow older.  Current statistics, highlighting sedentary lifestyles and less than stellar dietary habits, are not very reassuring – more than 80% of adults in the US do not meet physical activity guidelines.  More than one third of US kids – who often carry their habits into adulthood – are getting a significant proportion of daily nutrition from fast food.  In Canada only 17% of men and 14% of women engage in the recommended amount of physical activity and about 69% of Canadian adults are sedentary. Europe is not far behind – 6 in every 10 adults above 15 years of age rarely or never engage in any sport and more than 50% never engage in any physical activity, with the trend going down, not up. European Commission reports that 52% of European adults are overweight or obese – mostly as a result of the same bad dietary habits.

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Skinny Fat: When Losing Weight is Not Good

skinny fat parade

The very first time you hear “skinny fat” – it almost sounds like an oxymoron.  Except – it isn’t.  It actually describes a condition that is quite common, especially among young individuals.  Sure, there is a medical term for it that you might prefer – MONW (Metabolically Obese Normal Weight), but “skinny fat” is a term that, like a harsh wake-up call, shakes you out of the blissful ignorance and actually highlights everything that is wrong with this condition, instead of hiding behind scientifically sounding terms.

So what is “skinny fat”?  Simply put, it describes a body type that is slim and “low-weight”, but with high proportion of body fat to lean muscle tissue.  On the outside, the problem is not very visible (unless you know what to look for) – skinny fat people can fit into normal-size clothes, eat small portions of what they consider “healthy food” and display no obvious signs of obesity you would typically expect – such as large flabs of body fat, big baggy clothes and heavy mass – so everything seems just fine.

But, generally speaking, “obesity” is a condition where a person has accumulated so much body fat that it might have a negative effect on health – and for the skinny fat, given the relative proportion of such body fat to bone and muscle mass – the definition still holds true.   And even if super skinny people may look healthy, atrophied muscles and low-density bones – coupled with other negative metabolic effects of their chosen lifestyle – significantly elevate the risk of chronic diseases.

Are you skinny fat?  Do you know how to spot the signs?  Let’s see why this is so bad and how to fix this.

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Nutritional Ketosis, Part I – the State of being a Superman

Bacon, eggs, fat

What is a ketogenic diet? 

If you regularly follow articles on health and nutrition, you have undoubtedly heard about ketosis.  In the last several years, the interest around ketogenic diets has been rising constantly, with more and more studies done and data available to critically assess their effectiveness.

When people hear the word “diet”, the first objective they associate it with is losing weight.  But ketogenic diets are more than just methods of weight-control.  They have profound therapeutic effects on certain medical conditions and, generally, represent an evolutionary advantage that has allowed our species to survive and thrive.

Unfortunately, with typical dietary choices of today – driven largely by clever marketing messages and hidden agendas of large food corporations trying to convince you that eating their stuff is the best thing you can do and you should really ignore any potential health implications – ketosis has become a forgotten skill.

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Yoga and the Magnificent Illusion of Fitness and Health


Remember when we first talked about how women who are trying to pursue better fitness and health goals should actually totally rethink their present routines?  Today’s article is going to be along the same lines.  We are going to talk about something that is near and dear to many females’ hearts – yoga.

Yoga is one of those concepts that have been totally hijacked (along with “cleansing” and “detox” – which yoga often appears coupled with, given that the quest for spiritual cleansing often inevitably leads people onto the path of experimentation related to physical cleansing) and overused to ultimately create a multi-billion dollar industry.  In the US alone, the self-reported amount spent each year on yoga equipment, clothing, yoga classes and accessories is close to a staggering $30 billion.

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Calories and why counting them is not a good idea

counting calories

One of the most frequent questions I get is something along the lines of: “I am only eating 1000 calories per day, which is far less than my calculated number of calories to maintain weight, how come I’m not getting slimmer?!”

It appears that everyone has been conditioned to think in terms of calories all the time, when evaluating nutritional value of foods and effectiveness of exercise.  Food manufacturers are trying to convince us that a specific product is awesome simply because it has zero calories (diet Coke, anyone?) and equipment manufacturers incorporate all sorts of displays to show calories burned during exercise.  Calorie calculators are abundant on the net and apps, programs and even smart kitchen scales exist to let you easily determine – and maintain – your specific daily caloric intake.

Calories have long become a cornerstone of modern nutrition – the concept of a calorie is realtively easy to explain (and even easier to sell).  But it would probably surprise you to learn that this system is completely useless for all practical purposes – counting calories to maintain weight (or calories needed to lose weight) is too unpredictable, hard to adhere to and often detrimental.

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Quitting Bread: Why Adopt a Grain Free Diet

Grain based products

Most people can’t t even imagine being on a grain free diet.  Any time you find yourself at a bakery, surrounded by beautifully-displayed paper bags of freshly-baked bread, the temptation to buy one is just too strong to resist – especially if you are even a little bit hungry.  Perfectly-looking brown crust that produces unmistakable crunching sound when you squeeze it and that seductive pastry aroma filling up the whole  bakery are enough to make most people succumb to the temptation.

It appears that the love for grains is hardwired in our brains.  Baked, toasted, fried, or grilled – grain and specifically wheat products fall into the category of what most people call “hearty” foods – foods that fill you up and give you a lot of satisfaction.  Those are universally acceptable throughout the world, those are the foods that you never get tired of and that could easily be (and, for many people – are) a daily staple.

In fact, In many cultures and languages, “bread” is synonymous with “food” (think of all the phrases you’ve heard – “the daily bread”, “breadwinner”, “the bread and butter” of something, the job that “puts bread on the table”, etc.) – and that’s understandable.  Grains, flour and bread – the different stages of the same product – have historically been cheap enough to fill people’s bellies and versatile enough to be used in hundreds of different dishes, giving the illusion of variety.

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Strength training for women: how to burn fat and look awesome

Today, once again, we are going to talk about strength training. For women the benefit of lifting weights for weight loss don’t seem to be apparent.  After all, many generations of females have been conditioned to resort to aerobic exercise any time they had a goal of trimming off body fat.  Strength training for women isn’t really a mainstream approach, because lifting weights has traditionally been perceived as a masculine activity and reserved for men.

But if you are a woman and consciously avoid free weights – you are missing out on a LOT of benefits.  Burning body fat is just one of them. This is the best kept secret of the fitness industry that we are going to explore.

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Lose Weight for good and Ditch Diet Plans that Don’t Work

lose weight without trying too hard

Extreme Weight Loss Programs that Don’t Actually Help you Lose Weight

Trying to lose weight?  Ever wondered (or counted) how many extreme weight loss and diet plans are out there?

In a desperate attempt to lose weight fast and look better, a lot of people implement and stick to some brutal restrictions when it comes to what, how much or when they eat.  The choices are endless – type the word “diet” in your favorite search engine and get amazed with how many diet plans you can utilize.

The varieties range from simply esoteric to borderline crazy.

There are diet plans that limit any food intake to one specific item for some period of time (grapefruit diet, watermelon diet, lemon water diet),

There are diet plans that restrict or eliminate a specific macronutrient or an entire class of food (fat-free or low-fat diet; low-cholesterol diet, vegetarian diet) and those that prescribe a specific type of food to substitute for everything else (raw food diet, soup diet)

There are diet plans that generally restrict the overall amount of food you eat (calorie-counting, portion control, 1000 calorie diet).

And then, of course, there are just plain weird diet plans that focus on one specific fruit, vegetable, drink or mixture that allegedly provides some amazing benefits and is supposed to trigger massive amounts of fat loss, usually represented as some sort of a “cleansing diet” (we have briefly touched on the lemonade diet when we discussed juicing.

Or, sometimes, people who want to lose weight fast simply rely on some weight loss supplements (“magic pills”) – fat burners, metabolism boosters, weight-loss shakes, cleansing drinks, fat blockers and a plethora of other esoterically and pseudo-scientifically sounding remedies.  Sometimes these are marketed as some plant extracts that are supposed to work wonders and eliminate years of bad habits in only a few months or even weeks of taking them (I’m sure you’ve been bombarded a lot by ads for Garcinia Cambodia or green coffee been extract, right?).

A lot of the wrong decisions made by those who want to lose weight fast are made by people who watch too much TV.  I recently discovered a “reality” show actually called extreme weight loss that, while having some grains of reason, generally promotes stuff that doesn’t really work – tea cleanse, drinking over a gallon of water (that allegedly increases metabolism), etc. – you know, the typical stuff…

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