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Why your exercise regime isn't helping you lose weight

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Weight loss comes down to three essential components—healthy eating, exercise, and recovery.  Many make the mistake of doing one and neglecting the others, and find themselves scratching their heads as to why they are not losing weight despite exercising.

Who wouldn’t feel like they ‘deserve’ that cheesecake after going hard on their last workout? However, it’s precisely this kind of thinking that results in you taking in an unnecessary amount of calories.

Here are some reasons other why the scales failed to tip in your favour despite your regular gym sessions.

A common reason for weight gain is muscle inflammation, which can occur when you push your body too hard while trying to work on your stamina or strength levels. The body’s inflammatory response is induced to rebuild any structural damage or build up new muscles to deal with future demands.

While some degree of inflammation is necessary for a productive workout, chronic inflammation could speed up your body's ageing process and should be avoided. Chronic inflammation can throw off metabolism-regulating hormones, spur insulin resistance, and even cause your body to retain excess water.

Building muscles
Starting on a new exercise programme is typically followed by a quick dip in weight due to fluid loss. However, some time later, you may notice an increase in the number on the weighing scale despite feeling fitter.

This is because the muscles you’re building are packed in a denser and more compact way compared to fats, and hence takes up less space in your body.  As such, you shouldn’t focus solely on the weight lost or gained to judge the efficiency of your workout. You can determine your overall health by calculating your body fat to lean muscle mass ratio.

exercise regimePhoto: Shutterstock

‘Over-compensatory’ eating
To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you're taking in. If you are eating way more than you are burning – even if you are burning a lot — you will gain weight.

Many people tend to feel the need to over-compensate by eating post-workout snacks or drinking sports drinks. While you should be making sure that you’re getting enough nutrition after your workout, make sure to avoid sugary sports drinks or unhealthy energy bars.

You might associate these products with exercise, but many ‘workout smoothies’ are loaded with sugar and calories, which will counteract the aims of your exercise session.


When you don’t get enough rest, the hormones that regulate your hunger levels tend to go haywire – resulting in intense cravings. These cravings could end up destroying your workouts.

Studies have indicated that sleep deprivation can also induce your body to store more fat, and the quality of your sleep can affect the amount of calories you burn during your regular workouts.

exercise regimePhoto: Shutterstock


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