How many of us have attempted to diet only to get frustrated by our lack of progress? Often when it comes to weight loss, we are our own worst enemies. There are many ways we prevent ourselves from reaching our ideal weight. Here are a few common ones.
1. You Don’t Eat Enough During the Day
There’s a misconception that starving yourself is a great way to lose weight quickly. This is just not true. There are two ways that not eating enough slows down your metabolism. The first is that your body thinks that it needs to slow down your calorie-burning capacity in order to continue to survive on an empty stomach. Secondly, you are more likely to make up for your lack of food intake in the last few hours of the day, causing your body to hang on to the food overnight in preparation for another day of lack of sustenance. The trick is to eat early and often to ensure that your metabolism remains as efficient as possible.
2. You’re Not Drinking Enough
Drinking fluids is one of the fastest and easiest ways to turn up your fat-burning capacity. Drinking water alone won’t cause you to lose weight, but if you have a healthy diet and are consistently dehydrated, you will gain weight because when you are dehydrated, your body cannot burn fat.
3. You’re Consuming Too Much Sugar
Sugars and refined carbohydrates have the ability to stop any kind of weight loss dead in its tracks. Eating sugar causes a release in the hormone insulin. Insulin stops your body from using fat as fuel and therefore causes your body to convert sugar into fat.
4. You’re Not Weight Training
While cardio is important, many people think that by spending an hour on the treadmill, they’re losing a tonne of weight. This is not true. Without the proper amount of weight training, your metabolism will not increase as your resting metabolism is directly impacted by the amount of muscle you have.
5. You’re Eating Back All the Calories You Lost While Exercising
Sure you work up an appetite while exercising, but many of us justify eating junk food after a fitness session because we feel we “earned it.” This habit has to stop. By eating that candy bar or that burger after exercising, you’re just gaining back all the calories you lost—maybe even more!
6. You’re Drinking Too Much Alcohol
There is nothing wrong with indulging a couple of times per week. But, if you make a habit of consuming alcohol regularly will reduce your fat-burning capacity. Not only does alcohol contain a large amount of calories, but it also prevents fat from burning in a similar way to sugar.
7. You’re Not Eating Enough Protein
When you fail to include enough protein into your diet, your body has to burn its own muscle for fuel, resulting in lean muscle mass. As we learned earlier, less muscle means less calorie burning. Also, it’s been proven that the less protein you consume, the more you crave sugar—another diet buster.
8. You’re Eating Too Much
One of the keys to losing weight is portion control. You might be eating healthy foods, but if you’re consuming them excessively, you’re compromising their overall nutritional value. No matter how healthy your diet, if you are consuming more calories per day than you’re burning off, you’re going to gain weight. It’s simple math.
9. You’re Not Sleeping Enough
We all know that not getting enough sleep can cause a great deal of negative health effects. Add weight gain to the list. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to eat unhealthy food, more likely to drag through your workouts (if you work out at all), and your cortisol levels (the hormone responsible for metabolising fats, proteins, and carbohydrates as well as suppressing the immune system) increase too much, which causes belly fat to build.
10. You’re Not Tracking Your Calorie Intake
Keeping a food journal is a good way to keep yourself honest about your eating habits. By recording your eating habits, you have a chronicle of what you’re eating. When you see it written on paper (or on your phone), this forces you to have to stay accountable. It may even be that incentive you need to not cheat on your diet.