Losing weight is never easy. If it were, we'd all be slim and trim. Unhealthy food choices sometimes taste better than healthy ones and spending an evening on your sofa power watching Making A Murderer
is more inviting than sweating it up at the gym. But the thing is, being at a healthy weight feels better than just about anything else in this world.
Finding your healthy weight is a lot easier to do when you have healthy habits in place. You may not realize it, but you are probably doing things and making choices throughout the day that are standing in your way. Here is a closer look at 10 things that may be preventing your weight loss.
1. Poor Preparation
If you stock your cupboards and your refrigerator with healthy food choices, like lean proteins, whole grain carbs, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats, you'll be more likely to eat them. If all you have on hand is healthy food, that is all you'll eat. Being prepared also means knowing what your cravings usually are and having healthy alternatives available. If you crave sweet treats, keep fresh fruit on hand. You will receive some natural sugars this way without taking a major calorie hit like you would if you went for a packaged and processed treat.
2. Not Drinking Enough Water
Getting the right amount of water will have a positive impact on your entire body. It helps keep your skin healthy, helps your brain function and ensures that your digestive tract and metabolism are doing all they need to do. If you aren't drinking enough, you may find yourself feeling run down. "Fatigue is one of the first signs of mild dehydration," says Molly Kimball, a nutrition writer and registered dietitian in New Orleans. "A lot of people misinterpret that sluggish feeling as hunger, and they eat to boost energy." Studies have found that dieters who drink two 8 ounce glasses of water before their meals lose, on average, 5 pounds more than dieters who did not drink pre-meal. How much water you actually need depends on several different factors and because our bodies are different, that number is different for everyone. A decent guideline consists of taking your weight in pounds and dividing it by two. The result is the number of ounces you should be drinking in a day.
3. Not Getting Enough Protein
Kimball suggests having a serving of protein with every meal. The body spends twice as much energy processing protein compared to carbs or fat. This means that if you are eating protein, your body is burning more calories to digest it. Great sources of protein can be found in meats like skinless chicken, pork tenderloin, lean cuts of beef and ground turkey, as well as seafood. Non-meat sources of protein include eggs, cheese, peanut butter, nuts and Greek yogurt. You can also look at low-sugar protein bars or protein powders. For protein packed meal ideas, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan!
4. Consuming Too Many Liquid Calories
Sometimes people forget to include what they are drinking when they are tracking calories. Kimball says they are really inefficient calories because they go against your daily total, but don't ever fill you up. "No fruit juice, soft drinks or sports drinks," Kimball says. Stick to water, tea and coffee without sugar. Liquid calories are also found in alcohol. If you must have an alcoholic drink, try to stick to wine, light beer or a liquor with a calorie-free mix like water or club soda.
5. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. A 2006 study by researchers at Case Western Reserve University followed the weight and sleeping habits of 68.000 women over the course of 16 years. The women who reported sleeping 5 hours or less a night weighed on average 5.5 pounds more than the women who slept 7 or more hours a night. This is because of the hormones leptin and ghrelin. Ghrelin stimulates appetite while leptin is responsible for making you feel satisfied after eating. A lack of sleep can cause an increase in ghrelin and a decrease in leptin. Feeling hungry without feeling satisfied is not a recipe for weight loss success.
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6. Skipping Breakfast
We all know that mornings can be crazy and making time for breakfast can seem near impossible. Despite this understanding, it is important that you try. Breakfast kick starts your metabolism and starts it burning calories for the day. If you are one of those people who doesn't have an appetite first thing in the morning then that's okay, just try to eat within an hour or two of waking. Kimball says you should try for a breakfast that includes complex carbs, protein and healthy fat. Have something like two scrambled eggs with a slice of whole wheat toast or some Greek yogurt with some berries and nuts.
7. Shopping The Center Aisles
When you do your grocery shopping, stick to the edges of the store. "The perimeter of the grocery store is what you need to be eating," said Nicole Wynne, staff dietitian at Women & Men's Nutrition and Weight Control Centers of Louisiana. " It's where you usually find the fresh produce, the meats and the dairy. In the middle aisles, you find more of the processed foods you want to avoid." Processed foods are often loaded with sugar, salt and dangerous chemicals -- things you definitely don't need to be putting in your body.
8. Poor Record Keeping
A food diary can be an incredibly effective tool when it comes to weight loss. If you are eating well and exercising but the pounds still aren't melting away, you may be eating more food than you think. "Write down everything that goes in your mouth," Wynne says. It is powerful in a few ways. You can't forget about those handfuls of candy from your desk if you are writing it down. And, knowing that you will have to write it down might make you reconsider eating the item in the first place. Once you've been doing this for some time, you will start to recognize patterns in your behaviour. If you find yourself going up in calories after certain social events, you can come up with better strategies to deal with these incidents when they pop up.
9. Not Lifting Weights
While cardio certainly has its benefits, if you want to lose weight, you need to start lifting. Lifting weights increases your metabolism for the duration of the exercise and keeps it up for hours afterwards. Known as 'afterburn,' your body will burn calories at a higher rate all day long. Muscle is also more effective at burning fat. So, the more muscle you have, the more fat you can burn! For workouts that incorporate weight training, check out the over 115 of real time workouts available on SweatFlix℠
10. Throwing In The Towel
Don't be so hard on yourself. Sometimes you'll fail and there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes you'll skip the gym, sometimes you'll eat that piece (or two) of cake. But remember, none of this is a reason to quit or go entirely off the rails. "If you blow a meal, it is not a free pass to blow the rest of the day," Wynne said. If you give up and don't hold yourself accountable, you will never hit your goals. It isn't the mistake that matters, it is your response to the mistake that matters. Pick yourself up, dust off and keep right on going. No harm, no foul.
Healthy habits may seem hard to adopt at first but the only way is through repetition. Take your healthy choice and work it until it is a healthy habit. You've got this!
Did you see yourself in any of these bad habits?
Source: Live Strong