WHY YOUR ‘DIET’ IS GOING WRONG
We all know that losing weight is not easy and that long-term successful weight loss does not happen overnight, you shouldn’t be on a diet, rather a new lifestyle – a healthier way of living, whilst being able to enjoy the things you still like.
It’s important to have the proper tools when attempting to start. One thing you want to focus on is losing fat weight (adipose tissue), while maintaining, or increasing, your lean muscle tissue. Lean muscle mass is important to maintain a high metabolic rate which burns more calories throughout the day, and results in a healthy weight loss or maintenance. Consult with your Doctor or Registered Dietician to get started on a healthy track for your individual weight loss goals. A strong support system (friends, family or a significant other) is crucial to successfully reaching and sustaining your health goals.
When trying to lose weight, there are a few common mistakes that hinder our weight loss efforts. Remember, weight loss is not just about the food you eat. There are many other factors that come into play, such as hormones, digestion, metabolism, your genes and family history, etc. Your body is smarter than you think it is, and therefore it has many physiological processes in place that affect weight.
Breakfast is the most often skipped meal and the most important not to skip, because it jumpstarts your metabolism and sets the tone for the day to eat more balanced, healthy meals. Skipping meals in general can lower your metabolism, decrease your lean body mass and increase your fat mass (which is the opposite of what we want!). It also makes you more prone to overeat at your next meal to compensate for the calories skipped earlier. Excess energy intake (from foods and beverages) that is not used at that time will be stored as fat! Yikes!
Many people think that if you don’t eat, you will lose weight. Severely depriving or restricting yourself actually has a negative impact on weight loss. Your body will slow down its metabolism and begin saving and conserving calories for energy, thinking that it is going into a ‘famine.’
Eating larger portions than you think
Keep appropriate portions in mind when dining out and when preparing meals at home.
Lack of sleep
There are specific hormones released at night that affect the proper sequence of hormone release. Aim for over 7 hours of sleep per night (8-9 hours is ideal). Remember that your digestion and metabolism are still working while you sleep. If you become chronically sleep deprived, you’ll be more likely to overeat sugary foods, gain weight and even be at a higher risk of developing type II Diabetes!
This can increase fat conversion and cause weight gain, more typically around the abdomen due to excess release of the corticosteroid hormone called cortisol. Reduce stress by doing yoga, meditation exercises or getting on a workout regimen.
Doing the same thing at the gym every day
Your body will plateau and stop burning as many calories per minute or hour because it is no longer being challenged and has become used to the workout. You need to alternate your workouts and add strength training and interval training, while doing cardio, to increase your metabolism, while simultaneously increasing total calories burned.
Drinking too many calories
Beverages are often times skipped in the equation of calculating total calorie intake. However, soda, juice, dessert coffee drinks, sweet teas and smoothies can add up calories and fat quickly! View the estimated calorie content of the beverages below. Note, most coffee shops have a website with nutrition facts information on their beverages and you can customize your drink to make it healthy and balanced.
• 12 oz. soda= 150-200 calories
• No sugar added juice= 180 calories
• Sweet tea= 150 calories
• Sports drinks=100+ calories
• Alcohol= 7 calories per gram (total calories will depend on what type of beer you’re drinking, or mixed drink, etc.).
Slipping on the weekends
Being too “lax” on the weekends while eating appetizers (usually fried), drinking alcohol, eating out with friends, nibbling on your friends’ chocolate cake can add up calories (some being empty calories with little to no nutritional value) quickly! Eat indulgences within your calorie limit and realize that you need to get back in the gym the next day to burn off the unwanted calories.
Being diet impatient
Remember that 1 pound=3500 calories. To lose 1 pound a week, you have to eat 250 calories less (by making smarter food choices and monitoring your portions) and burn 250 calories via exercise (equivalent to a deficit of 500 calories) a day.