You’ve been working out religiously at the gym and strictly monitoring every morsel of food you put into your mouth. But despite all your hard work, you’re just not able to build muscle. While you might be losing weight with the new regime, visible muscle still remains elusive. If you have this problem, don’t feel discouraged. There are a few common mistakes people make, either due to misinformation or misconception, that hampers their ability to build lean muscle. Here are five possible reasons why you’re not building muscle despite losing weight.
1. You’ve Cut Out Carbs Completely
One of the most common mistakes people do when they want to develop muscle mass, is to eliminate carbs completely and only consume protein. While a high protein diet is certainly necessary for muscle development, going on a zero-carb diet isn’t the best idea. Carbohydrates are necessary for the production of a thyroid hormone which influences your metabolism. Dropping carbs completely can hamper the production of this hormone, making your metabolic levels slower. Carbohydrates are also essential for your workouts to be effective. They produce glycogen which the body uses as fuel for energy. Aim to get around 100 grams of carbs a week (this will vary according to your body weight), if you want to perform better at the gym.
2. You Do Too Much Cardio
Cardio is important when you’re trying to burn calories and lose weight. However, if your goal is to build muscle and not lose weight, then cardio exercise aren’t going to be very effective. Make sure your workout regime includes more weight training than cardio because this will help you build that muscle you want. You can include a few high intensity interval training cardio sessions each week, but make sure your focus remains on weight training routines. The amount of cardio you need to do will depend on how resilient your body is. If your body can recover quickly after a workout, then feel free to do more cardio. But if it can’t, then focus heavily on just weight training.
3. You Don’t Progress Slowly During Workouts
It can be tempting to want to join a gym and have a ripped body by the end of the month, but that’s not how it works. Your workouts need to develop gradually to give time for your body to get accustomed to it. Most beginners eat low calorie, low carb diets and then pump it out relentlessly at the gym from day one. When you do this, your body is severely depleted of its energy levels. Because it’s getting no fuel from your food, it decreases the rate it burns calories to conserve more energy. This leads to a fall in your metabolic levels which can be very hard to recover from. You can start building visible muscle only once you’ve lost most of your excess weight. This can be very difficult to do when you’ve shocked your body into lowering its metabolic rate.
4. You Never Take A Break From The Gym
It’s great to be motivated, but don’t overdo it. Many gym rats spend long hours in the gym because they feel this will get them results faster. On the contrary, this can lead to your body maxing out too early. Instead, stick to a time period specified by your trainer (usually 60-90 minutes) and do all your reps within this time.During this time, make sure you only concentrate on your workout and nothing else. Barring the specified intervals, checking your phone or socializing will eat up into your workout time and make it less effective.
5. You’re Not Making A Complete Lifestyle Change
You’re not going to get results if you’re gymming by day and partying by night. To transform your body, you need to make a holistic change in your body. This means cutting back on alcohol and junk food, quitting smoking and removing everything negative from your life. This will keep you on the right track, help you remain positive and will get you the results you want. This philosophy will also help you stick with your workout in the long run. It can be demotivating to not see a drastic change very fast, but with the right attitude, you can keep at it until you do.