3 Shocking Mistakes That Are Killing Your Weight Loss Efforts
You’ve been making healthier food choices and hitting the track or the treadmill, but you just don’t seem to be making any progress in your weight loss.
Check this short list and see if you are making these mistakes that are sabotaging your hard work.
1) Are you skipping meals?
Skipping meals and avoiding calories seems like a good idea, right? No, our bodies have evolved into excellent fat-storing machines dating back to the time of our ancestors who lived in times of feast or famine.
When these hunters and gatherers found easy prey or discovered a supply of wild fruits they would feast, but it might be days until their next meal.
Our bodies adapted to this sporadic food supply by storing fat for energy and survival, maybe you’ve noticed that emergency supply around your waist.
And if you are female past puberty, your body stores even more fat as fuel for childbirth, conveniently located on your hips and thighs.
Skipping meals or going beyond 3-4 hours without a small meal or healthy snack can trigger your body’s survival instinct to store some emergency fat during this “famine”.
While you are trying desperately to burn and lose layers of fat, your body is slowing your metabolism and releasing hormones in order to maintain as much fat as possible until that next “feast”.
You will not win this “fat war” with your body. You can work around it by eating smaller, healthier and more frequent meals and by increasing your metabolism, your inner thermometer, through exercise.
Additionally, don’t skip breakfast. You are breaking the “fast” of the night before and you need to make time for it, and make healthy choices.
A small balanced meal including lean protein and slow (complex) carbohydrates including fiber and a healthy fatty acid will provide energy, help you feel full longer, and prevent you from grabbing the first unhealthy junk food you find when you are suddenly “starving” later in the day.
2) Are you relying solely on cardio?
Yes, cardiovascular training does burn calories by moving large muscle groups, and keeping your heart rate elevated for prolonged periods of time.
However, spending hours on the treadmill or stationary bike will not get you the results you desire. You will need to mix it up
Have you tried resistance training for weight loss?
You need to add some type of resistance training. For example weight training is great for weight loss.
Weight training does not have to make you big and bulky. If you do weight training properly you will be able to improve muscle strength without size.
However weight training is not the only form of resistance training. You can do:
Once you begin to build and strengthen and tone your muscles your body will begin to burn more calories.
This additional muscle mass results in a higher caloric requirement for the day – the more muscle mass that you have, the more you will be burning fat for fuel.
Another form of cardio training is HIIT training. HIIT training is when you so short burst of intense exercise followed by a rest period of equal or greater length to the period of exercise.
Not only will you complete your workouts quickly by doing HIIT training, but you will also release growth hormone, which can drastically increase your metabolism and weight loss effort.
Remember, that HIIT training can be done anywhere. You can do HIIT in;
- your home
- in a park
- at your local gym
- In your back garden
Other benefits of HIIT training include:
- It can be done with equipment
- without equipment.
- Can be completed in 5-20 minutes
- Minimal space needed.
3) Are you stress eating?
Bad day at work? Wouldn’t a few chips or maybe a few cookies make you feel better? Wouldn’t an entire bag of chips make you feel even better?
We reach for fatty, salty or sugary foods when we are stressed – they feed the pleasure zones in our brains and make us feel better.
Try to recognize the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger
When you have physical hunger it comes on gradually over time. You wont get the instant gratification from eating like when you emotions take over. Unless you haven’t eaten for a long time.
When you have emotional hunger you will usually crave something sweet and unhealthy. This is because unhealthy foods have additives added to these foods to replicate some of the feel good hormones like serotonin and dopamine.
Do you know what your emotional triggers are?
Try to think about what situations cause you to emotionally eat. Is it when you have had an argument with a loved one, bad day at work or just boredom?
Once you have discovered what the triggers are you need to find other ways to control them
It wont be enough to understand what causes you to emotionally eat, or even the cycle of emotional eating.
However, if you do understand emotional eating you have taken the first step to controlling it. The second step is thinking about other ways you can offset these triggers.
You see, your emotional triggers will always be present in your life. You cant remove the things that trigger you to eat, but you can control how you respond to these stresses.
If you don’t than your eating will get out of control and you will never control your weight.
Go to the gym and burn off the stress of the day and don’t have those fatty, salty and sweet junk foods available. It is all about making small, sustainable healthy choices and making them habits.