You’re Not The Problem

by | Jul 10, 2017 | Wellness

Do you find yourself not reaching the fitness and nutrition goals that you set out to accomplish? Well, the problem may not necessarily be you. Several factors can contribute to not reaching that specific mark. Whether you’ve plateaued, found yourself suddenly unmotivated, or not seeing the results you desire, it may be one of the causes below.


The Stress Monster

Cue the menacing horror music because we’re about to talk stress. Oh, stress – we all experience it at some time or another, and when stress hits, we often turn to comfort foods due to our brains increase in a chemical known as Neuropeptide Y. Neuropeptide, a nifty 36-amino acid, has been found to have some pretty amazing and beneficial neurological effects on the body. However it also increases our cravings for carbohydrates.1 Did you know? Stress also affects your digestive system by increasing glucose and insulin levels that drives weight gain and inflammation.2

Recommendation: Try exercising, as it’s known to reduce stress levels.3 To find a local City Sports Club near you, click here!


Not Catching Enough Zzz’s

In the hustle and bustle of life, it can sometimes be hard to get adequate sleep, but it’s detrimental to our bodies that we do. Think of it this way, we all have priorities and things we need to get done on a day-to-day basis. As important as it is to go to work, take care of familial and/or household responsibilities, and maintain our health and diets, it is just as important to make sure we are allowing our bodies enough time to recover and recuperate. After all, a poor night’s sleep can drive insulin resistance and cause us to make poor food choices4 (i.e. relying on sugar and caffeine to provide us with the energy our bodies crave when we are tired.)

Recommendation: There are multiple things you can do throughout the day to help you achieve a better night’s rest. Try exercising, as it helps tire your body out. You can also try taking a hot bath, sipping on some warm non-caffeinated tea, and switching off any electronic devices, to help relax the mind and body before bedtime.


Quality Over Quantity

Avid calorie counters take heed! It’s not necessarily the amount of calories you are consuming, but the quality of those calories consumed. Meaning, just because you’re eating a low calorie diet, doesn’t automatically mean you will lose weight. If you’re choosing foods that are high in carbohydrates and packaged foods with unhealthy additives, you may be increasing your risk for weight gain and inflammation. Chronic inflammation can cause fat cells to become distressed and trigger the inflammatory response in your body. This causes our bodies to regain weight, lose muscle and mess up our hormones, making it harder to lose weight in the future.5

Recommendation: While specific diet options vary from person to person, try cutting out foods with added sugars, refined carbohydrates, overly processed ingredients and unhealthy additives. Clean foods, lean proteins, and veggies may be a good alternative. If you’re unsure what your specific body type needs, speak with your doctor or find a nutritionist that can help.


Unrequited Love

Ah, carbs – we enjoy them, but those highly processed carbohydrates do not exactly have the greatest effect on our bodies. High starch carbs like potato chips, cereal, and white breads, can increase blood sugar levels and cause us to gain weight. However, it’s important to note that not all carbs are made equal. In fact, some carbohydrates can be healthy for our bodies, like the ones suggested below.

Recommendation: Try eating ‘good’ carbs like those found in whole-wheat pastas, sweet potatoes and legumes. Don’t forget, when in doubt, it’s best to always remember to eat things in moderation.


Tummy Trouble

Is your tummy a bit grumbly? Digestive issues could cause absorption issues, which may lead to nutrient deficiencies.6 It’s a spiral effect. If you find yourself struggling with food sensitivities, it can have an impact on your mood, health and motivation.

Recommendation: Foods like yogurt, kimchi, lean meat, fish, whole grains, bananas, and ginger, may help if you suffer from digestive troubles.7


H20 for On-The-Go

Are you staying hydrated enough? This is key to our bodies functioning properly. In order for our kidneys to work properly, we need to be properly hydrated. Dehydration causes the kidneys not to function the way they ought to, causing the body to turn to the liver for added support. Sounds like a pretty great backup, right? That’s not the case. By our liver’s working harder to help aid our kidneys, more of the fat that we consume is stored rather than being burned off.8

Recommendation: Drinking water also helps to suppress our appetites, making us less likely to overeat.


Power Up Your Protein

Protein, protein, protein. Eating enough protein can help our bodies stay fuller, longer. It also helps prevent our bodies from losing muscle as we are losing fat. The amount of protein each individual needs varies from person to person, and is based on multiple factors like weight, gender and age. If you want to get a nutrition plan customized to you, reach out to a nutritionist, or try a mobile app that tracks caloric intake and offers nutritional breakdowns on food consumed.

Recommendation: Protein doesn’t have to come directly from meat. If you’re looking for a meat-less alternative to add more protein to your diet, try legumes, quinoa, nuts, tempeh and tofu, hemp, and chia seeds (just to name a few).


Sedentary Sadness

Moving – it’s easier said than done. Especially for those of us with jobs that prevent us from stepping away from our computers. The thing is, a little bit of movement is better than nothing. Try getting up from your desk once every hour or so and make a quick loop around the office, or jaunt on over to the water station and refresh yourself with some refreshing H2O. Those little moments of movement help increase your daily steps and keeps the body active.

Recommendation: The American Heart Association recommends adults engage in 150 minutes or more of moderate activity each week9, so why wait until after work if you can stay active throughout the day? City Sports Club offers a variety of Group Fitness classes at various times throughout the day, so you can fit your workout in when it’s convenient for you. Check them out here!


Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Life isn’t a race, but most of us treat it that way. Life can get busy, causing us to rush through the motions of life, including when we eat. However, eating too fast can cause us to overeat by not allowing our bodies enough time to signal to the brain that we are full.

Recommendation: Try to savor each bite and enjoy what you’re eating, that way your body better recognizes when it’s full.



Here’s the thing, it may seem like you’re helping your body out by skipping meals, but you’re doing more harm than good. Skipping a meal can throw off your body’s metabolism. In fact, in a study shown in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, showed that those “who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight than those who don’t.”10

Recommendation: If you allow yourself to eat smarter choices throughout the day, you’ll be less likely to splurge later on – so try not skipping a meal!


Liquid Calories

If you’re thinking to yourself that you’re not a heavy drinker, you don’t necessarily have to be to see some of the negative effects of excess liquid calories creeping up on you. Soda drinks, energy drinks, smoothies, and certain coffee beverages can be loaded with sugar.

Recommendation: Make sure to read the labels, or opt for healthier alternatives like diet soda, no sugar added smoothies, or unsweetened teas.


Portion Control


Are you portioning your meals correctly? Here’s a few tricks that may help you control how much you eat:



Add On’s Adding Pounds?

Watch out for seemingly healthy food options that are actually laced with hidden calories! For example, according to the Burger King nutritional guide the Burger King Garden Grilled Chicken Salad without dressing is 320 calories, whereas a Whopper Jr.® Sandwich is 310 calories11, almost the same and a lot less if you add dressing to your salad. A McDonald’s hamburger is 250 calories, and their Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken is 320 calories12. However, it’s a lot more than comparing salads to burgers.

Recommendation: Try not adding the extras to your meal. Skip the cheese, bacon or bread and you’ll be saving calories left and right.


Zombie Snacking

Mindless snacking can sabotage your diet. These suggestions may help curb cravings.


  • Try not to keep a bag of anything close to you while you’re watching TV, reading or otherwise.
  • If you prefer buying snacks in bulk, try portioning them down into smaller bags, that way you don’t grab more than your body actually needs.
  • It may help to try cutting out unneeded snacking all together.
  • When relaxing, try opting first for a glass of water, making a cup of tea or chewing on a piece of sugarless gum.13
  • Did you know? Forty-five minutes of moderate to vigorous morning exercise, such as a brisk walk or comfortable jog, can reduce your desire for food.14 Try stopping in at one of your local City Sports Club’s before work, to help set the tone for the rest of the day.

We hope this list better helps you reach those fitness and nutrition goals! Never give up on yourself. A small step in the right direction is better than nothing at all.


  1. Sherman, Alexa Joy. “6 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight.” Fitness Magazine. N.p., 15 June 2015. Web. 23 May 2017.
  2. Kane, Fiona, and Josh Richardson. “Five Things That Can Prevent Weight Loss, You May Be Surprised!” Nutrition Station. Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre, 6 June 2016. Web. 23 May 2017.
  3. “Exercise and Stress: Get Moving to Manage Stress.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 16 Apr. 2015. Web. 23 May 2017.
  4. Kane, Fiona, and Josh Richardson. “Five Things That Can Prevent Weight Loss, You May Be Surprised!” Nutrition Station. Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre, 6 June 2016. Web. 23 May 2017.
  5. Ibid
  6. Ibid
  7. Gardner, Amanda. “14 Best and Worst Foods for Digestion.” N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2017.
  8. Sherman, Alexa Joy. “6 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight.” Fitness Magazine. N.p., 15 June 2015. Web. 23 May 2017.
  9. “Walking 101.” Walking 101. American Heart Association, n.d. Web. 23 May 2017. Parch, Lorie.
  10. “The Secrets of Thin People.” Real Simple. Real Simple, 17 Aug. 2014. Web. 23 May 2017.
  11. “BURGER KING® USA Nutritionals: Core, Regional and Limited Time Offerings.” Burger King, Jan. 2017. Web. 23 May 2017.
  12. “McDonald’s Menu and Nutrition Facts.” McDonald’s Menu and Nutrition Facts | Nutrition Sheet. McDonald’s, 2016. Web. 23 May 2017.
  13. Zelman, Kathleen M. “Diet Mistakes: 6 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight.” WebMD. WebMD, 12 July 2007. Web. 23 May 2017.
  14. Richards, Bryson J. “Morning Exercise Reduces Daytime Food Cravings.” Wellness Resources®. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2017.