Most of the time when we are carrying around a little (or a lot of) extra fat, we know why. We aren't eating right and we aren't getting nearly enough exercise. But sometimes, it isn't always so straight forward. Maybe you are meticulous in your diet and workout routine and still find yourself struggling.
Here are 10 things
that could be giving you a hard time:
1. You're battling bad gut bacteria
Your food cravings may not be all in your head. Your body, and your gut in particular, are an ecosystem. When you attempt to change your diet, your bad gut bacteria will demand to be fed which is what leads to cravings. "Metabolically-unfavorable gut bacteria can cause cravings of the junk foods that best feeds them. They can also cause you to feel dysphoric (bad) feelings when they're deprived of their favorite foods," explains Bill Roberts. But don't lose hope, the easiest way to correct this is to not give into cravings. Your body craves what it consistently eats so if you want to be craving healthy foods, eat them consistently. You will feel deprived at first but the truth is, you can live without junk food but the bad gut bacteria cannot.
2. You're battling your brain
Part of your food cravings ARE in your head. When you eat high sugar, high fat foods, your desire to eat a balance diet disappears. This impacts your brain's reward centre, prompting to you eat more junk in place of the healthy foods you should be eating. And the more junk you eat, the more it dulls your reward centre. You will have to eat more and more food to get the same pleasurable result. And keep in mind, eating junk is feeding the bad bacteria as mentioned above. The best thing you can do is plan. If you know that having even one potato chip is going to cause you to eat the entire bag, grab something else for a snack like an apple. You'll stop craving it if you stop eating it. Eventually, junk won't be nearly as tempting as your regular, high quality foods.
3. You're becoming your parents
Despite our best efforts, sometimes we revert back to what we knew as children. If your parents have a host of bad habits you witnessed as a child, you'll have to fight extra hard not to revert to them as an adult. Your parents were your models of adulthood but it doesn't just stop at behaviour. Genetics count too. Geneticists are saying that our parents' choices and life experiences can impact our DNA. Are your folks Type 2 diabetic, for example? You'll have to fight like hell to avoid the same fate. But remember, how you live determines what genes manifest. You might be convinced that you've inherited 'fat genes' or maybe you've just developed the same bad habits. Either way, can you think of a better excuse to do the exact opposite of your parents? You are in control of your choices. If you want to end up like your parents -- for better or worse -- than follow their example.
4. You're not increasing lean body mass
Lean body mass is everything that isn't fat. You can boost lean body mass by putting on more muscle. But if you are too focused on the number on the scale, you won't want to do it and it will stand in your way. Muscle isn't about more weight or a bigger frame, it is, as T-Nation explains, a "metabolically expensive tissue that will help you get leaner and eventually lose a lot of fat." Lifting isn't just for bodybuilders. It is for anyone looking to get lean! For over 66 hours of workouts on demand, guaranteed to help you build that muscle, check out Sweatflix℠
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5. You lie to yourself
So many of us are serious about our diets until we hit the grocery store. Rationalization isn't your friend here. We've all done it. Like telling yourself you will only have the recommended serving of ice cream. And when a craving hits, your mind and body will turn on you, convincing you that you cannot live without more. Don't be afraid to call yourself out. Think about all the times you told yourself you wouldn't overindulge on a particular food only to get home and do just that. Making excuses for yourself is giving yourself permission to fail. Your best bet is to not even buy the food! Don't even give yourself the opportunity.
6. You're bogged down with information
Some people read everything they can get their hands on: books, blogs, studies, articles, reviews. They talk a good line but never really follow through. They've consumed so much information that actually putting it to practice feels overwhelming. It will take too much time, study, kitchen prep and note-taking. But instead of adopting a brand new way of eating, why not try improving your current way of eating? Make simple changes to the way you eat now, master those changes and then add more.
7. You think you're doing it right
Related to the above point, are those who apply the information they read without actually doing any research at all. Yes, peanut butter has protein but that doesn't mean your sandwich should be inches thick with the stuff. These people read a headline and don't have the time or desire to know any more. Always assess your results. Enthusiasm is a beautiful thing and can be your friend but not if you aren't checking in and making adjustments along the way. If your current way of eating is working, you will either be lean or have made progress since the last time you checked. Not having a rock solid eating plan is okay. It is not okay to keep doing things that are actually impeding your health and weight loss.
8. Your TV is killing your diet
Food is enjoyable, TV is entertaining. We all understand the reasoning behind combining the two. But problem with this is that when we are watching TV, we aren't focusing on what we are putting into our mouths. Mindless eating leads to mindless overeating.
9. You lack structure or need more
Some people want a clear plan. They want to know today what they will be having for breakfast two days from now. Some people thrive on the black and white rules. For others, this can backfire and lead to yo-yo dieting or giving up altogether. The key is finding your own balance. You need to know what will work for you. Know yourself. Give yourself more structure if that's what you need or loosen things up a little if being flexible works the best. If you are someone who needs a helping hand in this department, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan
. This 30 day menu planner includes a nutrition guide and a recipe book with over 70 offerings so you will always be satisfied and never bored!
10. You eat like other people
We all know people who can eat and drink what they want and stay lean. Does it mean you should adopt the same habits? Probably not. Never use someone's diet as your own. If someone has advice or insight to offer, by all means, listen but never blindly substitute their habits for yours. Figure out what it is that your own body needs and go from there.
Do you recognize yourself in any of these habits? Be honest and tell us your story.