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5 Reasons Your Workout Isn't Working

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5 Reasons Your Workout Isn't Working
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Have you been working out consistently for months (maybe even years) and yet the scale is creeping up? Here are five ways your workout could be keeping you from losing weight, and what our experts' recommend to start shedding pounds again:

1. Your workout routine is making you eat too much.
Is your workout causing you to use the "I burned it, I earned it," excuse when it comes to your diet? "Studies show that people tend to eat more calories when they take up exercise," says Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Auburn University Montgomery, and creator of the Perfect Legs, Glutes & Abs DVD.

Think your 45-minute morning run was enough to burn off that slice of chocolate cake on the dessert menu? Consider this: the average, 140-pound woman burns about 476 calories (at a 10-minute mile pace) running for 45 minutes. The average restaurant dessert clocks in around 1,200 calories (or more), so even if you only eat half of a slice, you'd still easily eat away your run—and then some—in less than 10 minutes.

The solution: Make your workouts count by pairing them with a healthy diet that stays within the appropriate calorie range your body needs in order to lose or maintain your weight. Olson recommends writing down what you are eating to keep track of calories consumed, and then subtracting the calories you burned, for your true daily number.

2. Your workout completely wipes you out.
That 5:00am killer boot camp class seemed like a great way to get in shape, so why aren't the pounds dropping off? If your workout leaves you feeling completely drained, exhausted, sore, and just wanting to lie on the couch for the rest of the day, it could be doing more harm than good, says Alex Figueroa, a personal trainer and fitness instructor at the Sports Club/LA in Boston, MA. While your workouts should be challenging, pushing your body too hard can have the opposite affect on your body. Over training can cause everything from sugar cravings, a weakened immune system, and insomnia—all of which could contribute to weight gain.

The solution: Figueroa recommends following a workout plan that is appropriate for your current fitness level—one that will still challenge your body without completely draining it. Not sure what's best for you? Try scheduling a session with a personal trainer to review your goals and the best plan of action to reach them.

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