Weight loss can be frustrating, plain and simple.
You may have watched the pounds fall off in the first few weeks of your new diet and exercise regimen, only to reach an impossible to surmount plateau.
However, you’re not alone in your weight loss woes. If you’re frustrated with a lack of progress in your healthy lifestyle efforts, you may find that daily habits you haven’t even considered are the culprit.
Read on to find out common reasons weight loss efforts are thwarted and determine what you can do to alleviate these issues.
#1 You’re Overthinking It
Unfortunately, the power of thought doesn’t work when it comes to weight loss, and in fact, it can make losing weight a lot harder. Science is not always on our side; if you give too much thought to your healthy food choices, your brain may actually produce higher levels of the ghrelin hormone, which may cause you feel less full and also slow down your metabolism.
Focus on the healthy options which can also be viewed as indulgences, at least as far as your brain goes. Don’t focus on the lack of flavor in your lettuce; look at the satisfying crunch of that whole grain bread crust. The same applies to your excessive thoughts about heading to the gym.
Pondering about your hard work out all day might see you excusing your unhealthy choices to order something like macaroni and cheese at lunch. You may do so under the impression that you’ll be burning it off in your yoga class later that evening.
Don’t use your activity levels as excuses for poor snacking choices and stick to nutrient-dense, lower calorie options, like an apple and almond butter.
#2 You Don’t Get Enough Sleep
Those 5 a.m. wakeup calls to get your booty in shape are great from an exercise perspective, but if it’s eating into your sleeping hours, you may be doing yourself a disservice.
\Getting too little sleep can actually signal your body to revert into survival mode, causing you to crave carbs and fats more than you would have otherwise. When your body is lacking sleep, it produces higher levels of cortisol, insulin, and increases your blood sugar.
Combine the three and you’ve got a cocktail for weight gain. Better sleep will also help your body recover and recuperate, leaving you in a better position to put in maximum effort during your next workout.
Use an app like SleepGenius to help you get the shuteye you need every single night and be well on your way to a healthy lifestyle.
#3 You Allow Cheat Weekends
The key to sustained weight loss is long-term healthy habits, so depriving yourself of your favorite foods won’t help you out in the long run. However, you shouldn’t assume that you can “cheat” on your new healthy diet every weekend.
Many of us fall into the trap of remaining on track with exercise and nutrition during the weekdays, but spend our Saturdays and Sundays scarfing down our favorite fast foods and drinking alcohol at social events.
This can completely undo the hard work we’ve done all week, so try to remain true to your new healthy lifestyle even when you’re not working.
#4 You’re Cutting Out Healthy Fats
Fat is not all bad; just certain types of it are. Make sure you still give your body the fatty components it needs to put in the workouts you’re capable of. Out of your daily calories, at least 25 percent should come from good fats. Stick to unsaturated fats, found in food items like nuts, olive oil, peanut butter, salmon, avocado, and grass-fed beef.
#5 You Buy Into “Weight Loss” Food
Obesity and being overweight are top health concerns in the United States, and companies have profited off the increasing need for healthy lifestyle changes by producing products they tout as “healthy alternatives”.
Unfortunately many of these healthy options are just junk food in disguise. Instead of buying these manufactured and highly processed self-ascribed health foods, stick to fresh fruits and veggies instead, especially when it comes to those mid-morning or afternoon snacks. Ensure that you have healthy snacks easily accessible.
If meal prep Sundays are out of the question for you, there’s no shame in ordering deliveries of arranged fruit, or signing up for a subscription to weekly orders of veggies from a place like FarmFreshToYou.com to make sure you can get your healthy snacking on.
If you’re struggling with weight loss, make sure you’re not falling prey to any of the above detriments to a healthy lifestyle and see yourself start shedding the pounds.