Suffering from weight gain? Unable to lose the pounds? These 8 shocking reasons may be playing a huge role in stopping your weight loss. Chances are that you do several of these already in your day-to-day life, so learn what they are and stop doing them now!
Wondering why your weight loss results have stalled even though you’re keenly following your workout regime? Eating a healthy diet of well-controlled food portions but not seeing results? We’ve all been there – the digits on the scale stay the same, your waistline isn’t losing inches and clothing sizes just won’t go down, so frustrating I know!
So what on earth is the problem? Shockingly, the reasons you’re not losing weight could be due to everyday things that you do and habits that you have! These are things you wouldn’t even think could contribute to your predicament, so read on to learn about these 8 mistakes…
1. You don’t focus on clean eating
A study carried out by Yale University showed that the food choices you make signals the brain to alter the level of ghrelin in your body. Also, the study explains that convincing your brain that you have made the right choice of food results to less production of the hormone and therefore making you feel satisfied and full.
Ghrelin “the hunger hormone” increases appetite, slows down metabolism and stimulates you to increase food intake according to Alia Crum, an author, and a Ph.D. student.
Therefore, you should focus on consuming the food that you enjoy that still has a high satiety level. For instance, indulge in high protein and fiber food such as a chicken breast salad as opposed to a plain vegetable salad.
2. Paying for stuff on credit and debit cards?
Though considered old-school, shopping for food using cash is a better idea when compared to using credit and debit cards. Dr. Paul Harrison carried out a study that found out those who use credit and debit cards as their preferred method of payment are far more likely to purchase foods high in sugar, salt or fat and other foods that are considered unhealthy.
A research study published in The Street journal established that, when using credit cards for payment, you do not directly feel the pinch of spending your hard earned cash. Therefore, you are likely not to resist the temptation of buying unhealthy foods despite knowing the consequences.
3. You think too much about exercise
Thinking about your workout is likely to make you grab more food than required at your next meal because you will concentrate on the energy and stress level required for the exercise. To compensate for the energy required in the back of your mind, you end up justifying why you need to eat more as explained in a study published in the Appetite Journal by a team led by Carolina Werle.
You can boost your energy levels by taking a healthy low-calorie pre-workout snack, such as a banana milk shake made with half a cup low-fat milk and a medium sized banana as illustrated in the Nutrition Today Journal.
4. You sit too much with very minimal or no activity at work
According to Dr. Mark Hamilton, director of Texas Obesity Research Center, sitting for long hours with considerably minimal activity lowers the production of lipase enzymes which are responsible for breaking down fats. As a result, there is a higher storage of fat in adipose tissue leading to weight gain.
As stated in a post published in the Women’s Health Magazine, you can significantly increase your metabolism by taking breaks from your seat every 30-60 minutes. For example, take a short walk, go down one set of stairs or walk to a colleague’s desk instead of making calls and writing emails.
5. You are sleep deprived
“You tend to consume a bag of potato chips or other comfort food when you don’t get a good nights sleep and this is accompanied by low energy,” says Susan Zafarlofti, the clinical director of the Institute for Sleep and Wake Disorders.
On average, you need 7-9 hours of sleep according to a study published in the sleep journal. Create a routine of retiring to bed and waking up at the same time each day. This way, you will be sure that you get the same number of hours of sleep each night which will add to your weight loss efforts.
6. You are too stressed
Stress is essential for survival, but too much of it could be the main hindrance to your weight loss goals. Research has shown that stress triggers the brain to produce cortisol, a “stress hormone” that promotes fat deposition in the abdomen resulting in abdominal obesity.
Pamela Peeke, the author of Body for Life for Women, recommends that you come up with effective stress coping mechanisms; it will be easier to manage weight loss.
7. You are eating highly processed foods
Highly processed foods have enhanced flavor, texture, and appearance with added sugar, salt, and fat. These are to a great extent one of the leading causes of weight gain, especially in American today. Research has also shown that processed foods are easily digested and therefore make you feel hungry after a short period of time – leading you to eat more than you need.
Excessive intake of food triggers an immune response resulting in inflammation. A study conducted in the UK proved that inflammation and weight gain are directly linked. Eating a diet consisting of whole foods, fruits, vegetables which is high in fiber mitigates this response.
8. Your exercise routine does not incorporate strength training
Cardiovascular exercises are very effective at burning calories but alone they are not enough for sustainable weight loss. “Cardio may be great for the heart but it doesn’t do much for the muscles,” says Sue Markovitch, the author of I Know What to Do, I Just Don’t Do It. Shaun Thompson, a fitness instructor at Beachbody, advises that the most effective way to lose weight is to incorporate both cardio and strength training exercises in your routine.
Strength training is beneficial in that it increases your metabolism, strength, lean mass and makes your body burn more calories even at rest according to the National Strength and Conditioning Training Association.
If you want to stick to your cardio routine, you may improve your cardio training by variating the exercises, increasing intensity, time and reps, advises Julia Palamas, a Certified Trainer at Epic Hybrid Training. For instance, if you begin with walking, build up to jogging then running pace or increase distance covered or maintain the same distance but aim to reduce the time used to cover the usual distance.