Why you are not getting results in the gym

Sunday October 6 2019


By Elizabeth Tungaraza

People love the idea of self-improvement. Men and women of all ages make bucket lists of goals, most of which they never achieve.

The same is true of fitness goals. This is one of the things that many try to achieve but end up failing. They spend a lot of time and energy at the gym but don’t get the desired results. The reason is, according to experts, wrong lifestyle choices and diet.

Corrice Garimoshi, 33, spends a lot of time working out at the gym. She weighs 70kg and is not happy with her body size.

The 33-year-old has been working out for the past three years to lose weight but to no avail. For her, eating healthy has been the most difficult thing to do despite her quest to shed kilos.

“I hate myself because I can’t control my appetite, especially when it comes to fried and roasted foods. Despite exercising at a nearby gym, I can’t resist eating large portions,” says Corrice, a resident of Tabata Mawenzi, in Dar es Salaam.

Most people engage in various weight loss programmes with the hope of losing weight. They embark on the programmes with a bunch of expectations and gradually lose their focus when they fail to see immediate results.


Discipline matters

Joyce Kimaro, a gym goer says thousands of people do different exercises like running, lifting weights, cycling, swimming and other kinds of exercises but very few realise true workout success.

Joyce is lucky her weight loss programme worked out. She weighed 104kg in 2014 and has since lost 64kg, thanks to physical exercise and discipline in eating.

“I have seen people spend a lot of time in the gym and yet they don’t achieve their goals. They end up with disappointment and eventually quit,” she says.

Joyce has seen people, especially women, attend the gym and achieve nothing due to lack of knowledge on fitness exercises. Many people attend the gym for the purpose of losing weight while others eagerly want to build a ‘sexy’ and an athlete’s body while ignorant of what it takes to achieve that.

“Before we start exercising, we first need to define our body type, body goal and understand the right type of exercises that can bring the best results.”

Joyce says, a person who wishes to lose weight should incorporate both cardio and strength training while the one who wants to build muscles should focus more on weight lifting and less cardio,” she says.

According to her, fitness goals can never be achieved without accountability. “You need to be accountable to yourself. Plan your workouts like you plan other aspects of your life. Document your fitness sessions – how long you worked out, the exercises you did.”

According to https://www.healthline.com, if you want to get best results before or after a workout, it’s important to achieve the right balance of carbs and protein. Pre-workout snacks that combine carbohydrates with protein can make you feel more energized than junk foods made from simple sugars and lots of fat.

The website insists that if one is trying to lose weight or tone their body, they may be tempted to cut a ton of calories from their meals. Cutting calories is a key part of weight loss, but it’s possible to go too far.

Balancing is key

A dietitian at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Iddi Ramadhan, says in order for a person to get the desired results when doing physical exercises, he/she needs to eat a balanced diet.

He advices people to try balancing dairy and oils along with meats and poultry and avoid sweet, overly salty foods, trans fat-heavy foods and overuse of alcohol.

Iddi says there are foods to eat when trying to lose weight. “If you want some changes you should take two boiled eggs, a quarter litre of milk, tomatoes, onions, carrots and avocado for breakfast. During lunch one should eat a small portion of whole maize meal (ugali wa dona), veggetables, fruits like tomatoes, onions, carrots and avocado plus three litres of water.”

For dinner, one can eat a small portion of ugali wa dona, boiled or baked fish or chicken plus veggetables, three litres of water and the above mentioned fruits,” says Iddi who is also a gym instructor.

Becker Simba, who attends sessions at the FFCC gym in Segerea concurs. Becker says most people don’t understand that in order to get good results, one needs to eat a balanced diet and exercise. One needs to eat healthy and stay energized when trying to burn more calories.

Becker weighed 117 kgs when he joined the gym last year but now weighs 95kgs. At 50, he looks, younger than his actual age. He is also healthy and fit.

According to him, nutrition and diet account for 80 percent of the weight loss process while exercise takes the remaining 20 percent. “Most people spend all day at the gym but they don’t have the correct workout plans. Most people don’t care about the diet they take. In this case, working out won’t help them,” he adds.

Becker says in order to get the desired results, people should change their lifestyle habits. The change, he says, should begin in the kitchen and not at the gym.

“Most sessions at FFCC end at 8pm and so it’s advisable to take your supper not later than 8:30pm and rest for two hours before going to bed.

This enables the body to digest the food you ate well.”

Becker says adjusting meal portions as well as reducing foods rich in carbohydrates, fat and sugar are the secret to losing weight.

Joseline Ndeka agrees withBecker, saying most people spend their time exercising but end up building a big body because they don’t want to change their eating habits.

According to her, carbohydrates and junk foods like chips, soda, and beer are the things, which make them fail to achieve the desired body structure.

“If you are exercising to lose weight, you should also make changes in your diet. Cut out carbohydrates, sugar and if possible take one meal per day,” notes Joseline who used lost 73kg from the 108kg she used to weigh before embarking on a healthy lifestyle journey.

Joseline says some people are too lazy to even prepare their own meals when they are at home. Failing to prepare healthy meals makes them eat more carbohydrate food stuff like chapati, bread and junk food.

For one to lose weight, she advises taking black tea, a piece of yam or two boiled eggs for breakfast. You can eat sardines, fish or chicken, vegetables, fruits and water for lunch and at night, just an apple, yoghurt or veggetables and fish or chicken if you can afford.

“Most people complain that eating healthy is expensive but the truth is if you can’t afford to take a balance diet then you can reduce the portion of whatever you eat every day.

Avoid sugar loaded beverages as well as oily food. or else, you can have vegetables, fruits and water,” she notes.