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Let me guess what’s going on in your life right now…
You’ve been trying really hard to lose weight. You started eating healthier. You cut out a lot of processed, junk food. You even passed up that piece of cake at the office last week. Woohoo!
Maybe you lost some weight initially, but now you’ve hit a plateau. Or maybe you never even saw the scale move and now you’re getting discouraged. Thoughts of giving up are starting to enter your head…
How did I know this about you when we’ve never met? Well I’m no physic (but that would be cool wouldn’t it??). It’s just that I hear this all the time. You are not alone. I help people with these issues every single day. So let me help you too!
Here’s what you need to do: push those quitting thoughts aside. You have already completed the hardest step: starting. You’re clearly motivated to get healthier, so why not make a few other changes? Did you know that more than just your eating habits play a role in weight loss? No? Well today is your lucky day! Here are my top 8 ways that you may be sabotaging your own weight loss without even knowing it:
Not drinking enough water
Drinking more water doesn’t sound like such an important concept, however it really is. Did you know that the body is about 70% water? How do you expect it to function properly when you’re dehydrated? Also a lot of the time hunger is confused for thirst. So the next time you feel like snacking, try drinking a glass of water first. A rough goal to shoot for is to drink about half of your body weight in ounces. So for example, a 150lb person would need to drink 75oz of water every day.
Not having portion control
You may be eating all of the right foods, but if you’re eating too much then you still won’t be losing weight. Make sure that you listen to your body when eating. Eat slower so that you give your body more time to register when it’s full. Try filling half of your plate with fruits and veggies, a quarter with lean protein, and the last quarter with whole grains. This will give you a healthy, balanced meal.
Not balancing your macronutrients
Going along with portion control, if you’re not eating the right kinds of foods, then you won’t lose weight either. Some people do better on low carb, high protein diets. And some do better on low fat diets. Every person is unique, so it’s important to play around and figure out what is right for you. Most people that I come across aren’t getting enough protein, so I tend to focus on that first. Make sure that each meal has a healthy serving of protein (typically about the size of your palm). It’s also important to make sure that you are choosing healthy fats, like nuts, seeds, fish, avocado, etc. Finally, try to get most of your carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. If you need more help with balancing your macronutrients, check out my Macro Tracking Guide eBook!
Your mom was right. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Think about it for a minute. You eat dinner at 6:00pm, you don’t have a snack or dessert, and then you go to bed. Then you wake up, skip breakfast, and get around to eating lunch at 12:00pm. That is 18 hours without food. Holy crap! When your body goes this long without food it actually causes your metabolism to slow down. And a slower metabolism = harder to lose weight. Plus when you do finally get around to eating lunch you’ll be starving and more likely to overeat. So do yourself a favor and eat breakfast!
Not getting enough exercise
This one sounds obvious, but most people don’t understand just how important exercise is. Especially for those of you who are trying to lose weight. Not only does exercise help you burn calories, but it also helps ensure that the weight you lose is the right kind of weight. This means that it will help you lose fat, and retain your muscle (or even increase your muscle!). This is so important for everybody because the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, and the more food you can eat each day! Aim to get about 150 minutes of exercise each week. That can easily be broken down into five 30 minute workouts, or 2 hour long workouts plus a shorter 30 minute workout on a weekend day. It doesn’t make how you break it up, just as long as it adds up to 150 minutes.
Not getting enough sleep
Not only will getting enough sleep give you more energy to make healthier choices, but it also has an effect on your hunger hormones. If you get less than 6 hours of sleep a night your leptin and ghrelin levels will be off. These are the hormones that tell you to stop eating when your full. Always aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
One of the first things I work with my clients on is cooking. Cooking helps you know exactly what is going into the foods you are consuming. If you cook your own meals you are much more likely to cut down on your salt, saturated fat, and cholesterol intake. Cooking can also help you have a better relationship with your food. So start saving any healthy recipes you come across and get cooking!
8. Not taking time to de-stress
Last but not least is taking the time to de-stress. Stress messes with our hormones and puts our body in a constant state of ‘high alert’. This can increase inflammation in the body and cause weight gain. If we want our body to shed some weight, it’s important to bring down your stress levels and get your body into a calmer state. Figure out what works for you. Try taking a yoga class, meditation, reading a book, going for a walk. There are so many things out there that you can try. Even just taking a few deep breathes throughout the day can make a big difference!
I know this list can seem daunting. So please understand that it’s important to take this one step at a time. Pick one item on the list and focus on that. Once you feel you’ve accomplished it, pick another item. The order that I listed them in is not important. What matters is that you are doing all 8 things simultaneously. Once you achieve that, you should start to see the weight loss results you have been looking for! Need help getting started? Check out my different macro coaching programs today!