You are 110% committed in the gym and 110% sticking to your diet, but you are struggling to shed off the extra pounds. We explain 8 fat loss mistakes you might be making that are sabotaging your efforts.
It’s a new year, and with it comes the so expected opportunity to make decisions and stick to them. Just like always, weight loss is one of the most popular New Year resolutions. My guess is that you have tried a dozen times to shed off that extra weight, but have more often than not failed. You try your best but it feels like you’re stuck in an eternally revolving door. You’ve been working out at the gym but you look like you’ve been making regular trips to McDonalds.
Here may be some of the possible causes.
1. Hi, I’m the Cookie Monster’s Twin
“Me want cookie!”, “Me eat cookie!”, “Om nom nom nom”. Like the cookie monster, from the television show Sesame Street, you have a ferocious appetite. Sure, last year you chose to have a healthier diet plan, or what you may prefer to call “clean food”.
Whether you call it a diet or anything else, fact remains that even when that salad appears healthy, you might be eating up to 600 calories in one sitting. Now unless you’re on a one-meal-a-day diet (which is unhealthy), you’re obviously going to take in more calories.
Be more cautious about your calorie intake. You need to consider everything from the things you least likely think of like sauces and dressings, to the obvious. Also learn to eat at home more often, or at least plan and pack your meals in advance. This way you will be in a position to know how much you’re indulging.
You need to remember though, there is more to it than eating fewer calories than you shell out. The types of calories you eat also play a major, and often overlooked, role in your weight loss journey.
For instance, a carbohydrate-only diet will in no way sustain your weight-loss plan. Consider getting the right mishmash of proteins, fat and carbs that suits your body type. For most people, a 40/40/20 ratio (40 percent of carbs, 40 percent of proteins and 20 percent of fat) helps build muscle and burn fat. Be careful though, this ‘default’ ratio doesn’t work for everyone so find out what best suits you by trialing different percentages and see how you body works to drop the scales.
2. Me like Chocolate-Chip Cookie, Me Like Oatmeal Cookie
This is metaphorical. Like the cookie monster, you concentrate on eating foods with certain nutrition. “I’ll eat more carbs! I’ll eat more fruits and vegetables!” Problem is you are not eating enough proteins.
You already know proteins build and repair muscle tissue. However, there is more to proteins than you know; proteins influence how much food you need to be satisfied. Eat the right amount of proteins and you will feel less hungry and consequently eat less throughout the day.
Proteins also have positive results on the body’s blood lipids, glucose levels, and muscle-to-fat ratios.
3. I’m Thirsty! All the Time!
You drink a lot! You love your cup of coffee, you “sip” tea all the time, and you drink your cold glass of milk, not knowing that a constant intake of sugary beverages will undermine fat-loss.
That latte you drink every morning could have 300 calories; in a week that would be over 2000 calories, in just your mornings! Imagine this, the only liquid your body really needs is water. If you actually went a whole day drinking enough water, your body will feel really good.
You also love it that you hold your liquor quite well. But you’re also holding onto your weight when you constantly have your weekend binges. Imagine this case scenario: you’re drunk and you’re hungry. So you say “What the hell, I’ll eat a box of pizza just this once!” If you did that every weekend, imagine just how much you’re undermining your efforts. Other than impairing your judgment, alcoholic beverages are also bearers of calories.
The point is not that you should wholly avoid it, just don’t over-indulge. You already know that cliché saying… the one that goes like, “Too much of anything…”
4. So It’s Calorie-Free? Then I’ll Take 10 of Those Please
No matter how healthy it is, if you over-eat, then at the end of it all, instead of crossing the finish line, you’ll give up because you’ve been running on the same spot.
“I thought it’s important to eat whole foods!” Yes, it’s important to eat whole foods. “So shouldn’t I eat a lot of healthy foods? What’s wrong with that?” Well, over-eating is what it is, over-eating, and that will never help you shed off that weight.
There are also healthy foods that you may assume are calorie free. For instance, nuts and seeds, despite being fabulous for having the omegas and micro-nutrients, they carry loads of calories and are easy to over indulge in. Unless you’re counting your nuts one by one, I guarantee you are overindulging big time!
“Sigh! So I shouldn’t eat nuts and seeds?” Nope, that is not the point. Remember, you’re watching your calorie-intake. Just don’t take multiple handfuls.
5. I’ve Been Doing This Work Out For The Longest Time
So you’ve been working out. That’s good and you get a pat on the back for sticking to what so many couldn’t keep up with.
But you need to stop doing the same work-out you started a year ago. When you begin an exercise regime, your body gets accustomed to it. Once it does, you need to push it harder by advancing your work-out. Forget about your concerns that you will get bulky; the ultimate goal is fat-loss. And the only way to achieve that is if you create an extreme energy demand on your body.
Change it up regularly, it won’t only do wonders for your body, it will do wonders for your mind.
So if you’ve been lifting 5-pound weights without breaking a single drop of sweat, then your efforts are as good as a 50 cent coin in a clothing store with price ranges worth what you consider a fortune.
6. I Love That Cardio Work-Out. I Do It All The Time Coz It’s Not Too Intense
There is difference between a cardio work-out and resistance training. If you only performed cardio, the result can be counter-productive.
Too much steady state cardio per week will more often than not result in muscle loss. Heavy lifting will produce a different set of results from your one hour run. You should consider alternating your workouts when it comes to cardio by making some of your workouts full body workouts then rest for a short period of time (also called High Intensity Interval Training, HIIT). This way you will challenge both your cardiovascular system and your muscular system.
7. I Worry Too Much
You need to learn to take a chill pill. Cliché, I know but stress does more than strain your mental being. It also has negative effects on your physical well-being.
When you are stressed, your body produces cortisol, the stress hormone that, amongst other things, interferes with memory, lowers immune system functioning and even increases weight gain and cholesterol. That’s right, you heard it, weight GAIN.
You may have the perfect diet plan and you may be working out the right way, doing 110% in the gym, but the one thing that may be keeping you away from the body size you want is, stress.
You need to find an activity, be it yoga or a 10 minute mediation, that will help you relax and ease your mind.
8. I’m Nocturnal
“Yeah, I like to stay up on a movie binge. So what?” Well, when you are deprived of sleep this will also elevate levels of cortisol. In other words, you not having enough sleep has similar effects as being stressed.
Sleep deprivation also decreases insulin sensitivity. In the long run, decreased insulin sensitivity results to obesity and diabetes. Now how are you supposed to lose weight when both your stress hormone and insulin sensitivity are rooting for your downfall.
You need to prioritize your sleep. Make it at least 6 hours per night. It would help if you limited your use of electronics before bed and avoided drinking caffeine in the evening.
So now you know. It’s about time you finally did something you’ve always set out to do. Achieving a goal does a lot of good for the soul.
If you need a little encouragement, download our free eBook, Melt Fat Away Fast – 30 Minute Fat Burning Workout to kick start your weight loss journey.