Can’t Lose Weight? Fitness Experts Explain Why.

Trainers are hired to help people reach their fitness and weight loss goals—and genuinely want everyone to succeed. So when clients counteract their own efforts, it can be frustrating. We asked trainers to vent to us about their biggest pet peeves and we think you’ll agree that there’s a lot to learn others’ mistakes. And in turn, you’ll increase your odds of getting the results you’ve been working for. Once you’ve made these simple fixes, keep your efforts going with the help of these weight loss tips from world’s fittest men.

1. YOU SKIMP ON SLEEP

“The average American already doesn’t get enough sleep, and when we begin training, we need even more of it to properly recover. Additionally, while we’re sleeping, our body releases powerful fat-burning hormones that speed weight loss. I don’t care if it’s 15 more minutes or two hours, every extra minute of shut-eye will help you reach your goal that much faster. Plus, if you’re already in bed, you’re less likely to succumb to those late-night food temptations!

2. YOU’RE BEING DISHONEST

“When clients aren’t honest about what they’re eating or how much they’re working out on their own, it can affect the progress they’re seeing. And as a trainer, you really need and want to hear the truth to ensure that your clients see the results they want. Once we take an honest assessment of the actual goal, we can better understand what it takes to get there and how much discipline and work a client needs to be done outside of the gym.

3. YOU’RE SLOUCHING

“A key component for most trainers today is making sure that their clients have proper exercise form—which includes good posture. This improves the function of each movement and prevents potential injury. However, when clients leave the gym, their good posture is often thrown by the wayside, which makes it harder to get the most from each workout and can negatively impact overall health.

4. YOU GET DOWN ON YOURSELF

“A lot of people have lofty goals, myself included. But I’m often reminding clients that they’re only human and not to be so hard on themselves if it takes some time to achieve them. Eat right, workout and practice a healthy lifestyle on a regular basis. On the days that life gets in the way, let it go. Be kind to yourself. Be proud of what you have accomplished thus far and get back on it the next day.

5. YOU’RE SKIMPING ON CALORIES

“Eat, eat, eat, I can’t say it enough! Many people have come under the mistaken belief that if they eat less they will lose weight. However, when you severely reduce calorie intake the body holds on to fat and uses muscle stores as energy, which can slow metabolism. Eat whole, organic, nutrient-rich proteins, fats and carbohydrates to stoke the metabolism and shed fat.

6. YOU’RE LAZY

“It’s frustrating when clients don’t schedule time for meal prep and independent workouts in the same way they make appointments to see me. Clients show up to meet with their coach, but when it comes to showing up for themselves, many don’t see the value. It’s a shame because those actions create just as much, if not more, of an impact.

7. YOU LOVE TO BOOZE

“Clients work hard in the gym to lose weight and gain lean muscle mass, but many clients quickly counter these efforts by regularly consuming alcohol. Studies show that alcohol has a detrimental effect on your tendons and muscle growth, so all their hard work is practically negated. Moreover, the empty calories from alcohol counter the calories lost during the workout. Bottom-line: Limit yourself to one or two drinks a few times a week or stop drinking altogether!

8. YOU’RE CHEATING REPS

“When clients skimp on their reps or don’t complete their full workout routine, they’re only hurting their own end-results. It doesn’t matter how long it takes or if you need to rest in between exercises, what matters is completing the full workout.

9. YOU TRANSFER THE BLAME

“Be accountable for your own behaviors, both, past and present. Taking ownership of the choices that brought you into your current circumstances will enable you to then accept responsibility to adopt new behaviors that could change the course of your life and weight loss progress. Acting as if you’re a victim to the downfall of your health is a disempowering, non-constructive mindset.

10. YOU’RE SCARED OF GETTING BULKY

“Lifting heavy weights is the best way to increase your metabolism, sustain long-term muscle growth and stay lean. If you’re doing more than ten reps with ease, your weight probably isn’t heavy enough, so vary your reps and consistently increase the amount you’re lifting.

11. YOU RECOVER WITH CHEAP PROTEINS

“Protein is vital for growing lean muscle mass and losing pounds. However, store-bought protein bars and shakes are not always the best answer. Many are filled with allergens, preservatives and excess sugars that can shock your endocrine system and make it harder to lose weight. Be sure to closely examine the labels of your protein sources, or simply stick to some of the best sources mother nature has to offer: nuts, beans, fish, and chicken!

12. YOU’RE DISTRACTED

“I recommend that all of my clients wear heart rate monitors during our training session to track their exertion rate and progress. The problem lies when they become overly distracted with the gear. Maybe the chest strap is bothering them, or the numbers on the watch are off. Instead of focusing on the workout or their form, they’re constantly looking down at the numbers on the watch, which can slow progress.

13. YOU’RE A CONTROL FREAK

“Our clients come to us because we’re the experts. And ironically, the hardest thing for many of them to do is relinquish the control. They hear about diet trends, unrealistic or crazy hard workouts and want to try everything other than the customized plan we have created for them. If you’re working with a reputable trainer, trust their expertise, trust the plan, and trust their own ability to get the job done.

14. YOU’RE SITTING DOWN

“Avoid workouts or exercises that require you to sit and lay down. There are many other types of exercise that will give you results more quickly. When you’re sitting or lying down, it’s near impossible to get your heart rate up enough to make any significant change to body composition.

15. YOU’RE DEHYDRATED

“Water may just be the best pre-workout supplement when you’re looking to shed weight. Studies have shown that strength training while in a dehydrated state can boost levels of stress hormones that hinder muscle gains by up to 16 percent! When a client is looking to trim down, I tell them to drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day and, at least, 8-ounces during their workouts.

16. YOU RELY ON YOUR SPIN CLASS

“The key to losing weight is to exercise intelligently and to truly challenge your body every time you hit the gym. If you do the same workout all the time, you won’t make progress.

17. YOU INTERNALIZE

“People have emotional connections to food, so to create a sustainable outcome they need to do more than just diet. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize this, or don’t want to acknowledge this aspect of the weight loss process. Keeping an emotion journal can help you discover connections between your feeling and your diet and ultimately help you recognize patterns that are making it hard for you to lose weight.

18. YOU HAVEN’T FOUND A GYM BUDDY

“Social support has been shown to help people stay on track with the healthy lifestyle behaviors, such as sensible eating and regular physical activity that promote weight loss. Support from family and friends is helpful, as is finding a workout buddy. Almost everything is more fun with a friend, and that includes a weight-loss journey. Find someone who can serve as your accountability partner. You can encourage and motivate each other stick to healthy eating patterns and consistent exercise routines.

19. YOU’RE TOO STRICT

“If you’re craving something that you know isn’t the best bet for your weight loss goal, don’t totally cut it out. That will only make you feel restricted and derail your efforts later down the road. Instead, make it an x then y play: For example, tell yourself: ‘If I have candy tonight, then I must have it with 2 glasses of water’ or, ‘if I skip the gym, then I must take 10 minutes out of every hour to do burpees and jumping jacks.

20. YOU THINK YOU’RE FAT

“We have strong emotional attachments to labels. The more we say that we’re “fat’ the harder it will be to make that disconnection and start losing weight.

21. YOU’RE A CHATTY CATHY

“I see so many people at the gym talking instead of moving. Don’t waste your session time by talking on the phone or talking to others. To see the results you want, you need to push yourself as hard as you can from beginning to end.

22. YOU DON’T HAVE A PLAN

“A lot of people workout without a plan. They think they’ll get the results they want if they just mimic an exercise they saw someone else doing and they do little to no research about the best way to reach their goals before they start working out. You wouldn’t build a bridge without doing the proper research first, and you should treat your body with the same attention to detail. Do the research, learn how to workout effectively and properly and make a plan. And if you don’t want to, hire a trainer. That’s the best way to see results.

23. YOU DON’T FOCUS ON FULL BODY

Sad, but true: Doing bicep curls won’t help you lose your love handles. “The workouts that burn the most calories and fat are the ones that challenge and require every part of the body to work together. Pushups, weighted squats and lunges all fit the bill.

24. YOU’RE UNREALISTIC

“Clients often come in with a picture of a celebrity or fitness model and say, ‘I want to look like that’, but then say they only have three hours a week to work out. Celebrities and fitness models spend multiple hours a day in a gym. It’s their job. Clients must be realistic about how much time they can give to reach their goals.