Ask a Trainer: What am I Doing Wrong?

zzzzzzzz lift and bitch 033Dear Fitbabe
I feel like I am doing everything right, and I am still NOT losing weight. I am getting really frustrated with the slow results. Is there anything you can suggest that may help me progress? I am ready to quit and stay fat forever!

Well Linda, as I am not familiar with what fitness and nutrition plan you are following, or your previous health and fitness habits, I can only speculate about why you are not losing fat fast enough. First of all, any goal one has seems never to be met “fast enough.”   Everyone wants it YESTERDAY. However, here are some things that have hindered or stalled my progress and my clients’ progress in the past.

1) Not enough sleep    
If we’re not getting at least 7 hours a night, we may experience a lack of energy, brain fog, irritability, the need for a power nap, and cravings for sweet/sugary carbs.
2) Not feeling hungry before meals   When we eat on a schedule, or on a schedule that is laid out by someone else, we are likely not feeling real physical hunger. Real hunger does not come on suddenly, rather it comes and goes and then eventually stays. Try waiting it out for at least 20 minutes. Eating outside of physical hunger is overeating, no matter what your meal plan or myfitnesspal says!
3) Getting too full during meals   I try and coach my clients to EJE–or eat just enough! We want to aim to no longer be hungry. That’s it. Not 100% satisfied, not stuffed. Try serving a little less in the next meal or leaving a couple of bites behind on the plate. This takes practice as we usually eat until there is nothing left from habits we may have learned in childhood: the clean your plate club.

4) Too much exercise   What? Yep. More is not necessarily better. Too much exercise will interfere with all of the above. It can increase cravings and hunger, lower your energy outside the gym, and increase inflammation which can cause injuries. Aim to feel better after a workout than you did coming in. The goal is not exhaustion. Do not use exercising as a punishment for overeating.

5) Licks, bites and tastes    Yes, extra food here and there. Those nibbles add up! Are you really tracking your intake? Are you counting that extra spoon of nut butter or bite of cake left over in the office? It adds up period!

6) Lack of sustainability   Finally, is your plan sane and sustainable? Is it something you can see yourself doing long after your goals are  met? If not, you are following the WRONG plan! What you do to lose the weight must be something you can do forever, or you will gain it back. If you suffer while you take it off, you will suffer trying to maintain it. Love what you eat, love your workouts. Try something that makes you happy. If it takes longer to get there than so what? You will be living your best life instead of going back and forth into a “diet” and “exercise” misery mode forever.
I hope this helps Linda. If you need some more tips or a new perspective on fat loss please do not hesitate to book a consultation with me. 
Keep it tight! 
Deanna Harder: Fitness Leadership Diploma, CSEP-CPT (Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology-Certified Personal Trainer), and Figure Competitor
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About fitbabe

Deanna Harder is a college-certified, highly knowledgeable personal trainer, with over 20 years of experience. In addition to running her own business in Edmonton, she has competed in 6 figure competitions, and is always ready for a new challenge. Fitness Leadership Diploma, CSEP-CPT (Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology-Certified Personal Trainer)

5 thoughts on “Ask a Trainer: What am I Doing Wrong?

  1. I’m a former bodybuilder dx w/ non invasive Ductal Carcinoma (breast cancer). I had a lumpectomy, radiation chemo and now adjuvant therapy. It has been 10 months since I finished chemo. I am a psychotherapist and global mental health trainer and treatment provider of stress, anxiety, depression and panic. I live what I love and love what I do. But all that changed a year ago with my dx. I won my first bodybuilding competition in 2013 ans tried to do my next one in 2014 and then I was dx. My whole life changed. I lost a lot more than my best friend my body. I lost my mom, my dad and a lot of my lively hood. The thing I thought I knew best, my own body threw me a curve ball and I have not been able to find an new goal. I need support from a community that understands a fraction of what i’m going through.

    • Hello Judith! I am so glad you reached out! You will find the support you are looking for here. I have over a decade of competing in physique sports and have been through years of disordered eating and health issues such as colitis and body image dismorphia. I can deeply relate to how you are feeling. Cancer must have been so hard. I can’t even imagine. Isn’t is interesting that you have made a career out of mental health training, and now are seeking this treatment from others. A coach always needs a coach. I am here for you. Physical culture is my obsession, and has been an addition to my life as well as something that has me back from healing my body image and food issues. If one has not been to that level of leanness, they will not understand. I hope you can read over my blog titled “my slump”, which I describe in detail some depression I have been dealing with.
      Regards, Deanna aka: Fitbabe 🙂

      • Hi Deanna,
        And kudos to you and getting past your past,,,,many thanks for the prompt response. Hey can you recommend someone/ a female trainer to work with me via skype, or video chat? Someone who gets it…and also gets technology and its ease of use in today’s society-lol
        Warm smiles 🙂

      • I am a coach who certainly gets it! I have online clients who I train via email and skype sessions. Are you looking for a program design, or more coaching for your mindset? I am not sure how you want to proceed. Email me privately at and we can go into details. If I can’t help you I will refer you to one of the many female coaches who I know can!


      • Hello Deanna and thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I really appreciate you getting the slump part. Your right even the coach needs a coach sometime. Do you have any recommendations of anyone who can train me via skype or video chat?
        many thanks

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