Lifestyle Obstacles to Weight Loss
Finally, begin your weight-loss program by carefully re-examining your life and recognizing some of the habits that can block weight loss. These include:
Make Smart Food Choices
Your food choices can also help determine the success of your weight-loss programs. Healthy and nutritious eating will include:
Last but not least, remember that lifestyle-based weight loss will occur more slowly than with fad diets, melting off only one or two pounds a month, Gans says. But because you’ve changed the way you eat, you’ll be glad to hear that those pounds are far more likely to stay off.
- Keri M. Gans, RD, CDN, a nutrition consultant in New York City and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
Eat less, exercise more.That’s the simple solution to anyone’s weight loss questions. But if it was that easy, more people would be in great shape. Turns out, some of your other behaviors play a big role in fat loss. Try these 15 tips—including several surprises—to fire up your metabolism speed up your lean body transformation.
The old saying goes: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Have a realistic goal and set specific targets for your week to reach that goal, says Emma-Leigh Synnott, M.B.B.S, an exercise, nutrition, and metabolism specialist. However, make sure that you don’t end up being too strict with yourself. Life is about more than your diet. So be sure to find that balance between reaching your goal, and enjoying the moment too.
Sleep does more than help your body recover from a long day — it actually helps you fight fat. In fact, researchers at the University of Chicago reported that sleeping less than 7 to 8 hours can increase your appetite (forcing you to overeat), slow your metabolism (causing you to burn fewer calories) and make the body retain more abdominal fat. Need another reason to sleep more? Lack of shut-eye is also associated with bad workouts. Do yourself a favor and get some rest. Your body will thank you.
This is, essentially, the second half of the equation – the calories-out side.Unfortunately, most people struggle with this process. In today’s society we are largely sedentary: We travel in cars, we work in front of computers all day and we relax in front of the television. Add incidental exercise (like talking the stairs or tapping your foot) in addition to formal activity (such as playing sports, lifting weights, running) to see the greatest benefits.
You want the truth: 65 percent of Americans drink beverages that are heavy in calories. Not only are these drinks less likely to keep you full, thus leaving you hungry, they are oftentimes loaded with sugar.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, the fastest way to burn fat faster is by lifting heavy weights. Not only do heavier weights activate more muscle fibers, they also increase your resting metabolism. In other words, when you lift heavy weights, you continue to burn calories at a higher rate, even when you’re doing nothing!
Surround yourself with tools to help you with your journey. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Join an online community. Let people know your goals and ask for their support in helping you achieving them. The more supported you are, the better.
For a high-impact workout that will kick up your metabolism in a short amount of time, try alternating cardio and resistance training in a circuit. For example, start with 5 minutes of cardio (treadmill, bike, elliptical) immediately followed by a dumbbell circuit of cleans, cleans and press, lunges, military presses and bent over rows, where each exercise is performed for eight repetitions. This entire circuit can be repeated two to three times.
Carb swapping is is one of the easiest (and fastest) ways to jump-start weight loss. Replace foods like pasta, rice and bread with fruits and vegetables. The fruits and vegetables have fewer calories and carbohydrates than their processed counterparts. That means you can eat more total food without adding weight.
You don’t need to get on one of those fancy elliptical machines or treadmills. A $10 jump rope is highly effective as part of your warm-up, and as a way to get good-quality intensity into your workout, says Jim Smith, C.S.C.S, creator of dieselsc.com. Stay light on your feet and control your breathing as you try and hit 50 jumps, 100 jumps or more without a mess up.
There are many essential variables that must be managed when structuring your workout, one of them being rest. The rest periods you take between exercises can be modified to elicit a fat burning effect. By shortening the time you take between exercises to as little as 10 to 30 seconds, you can increase your resting metabolism and the intensity of your workout.
Linking two to three different exercises together into a chain of movements is a great way to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time. This is the key to improving your workout efficiency and positively impacting your fat loss goals. Combos like linking a pushup and a burpee into a pull-up are an amazing example of this technique.
Did you know that the Institute of Medicine recommends that a diet be made up of 25 to 35 percent fat? Turns out, high-fat foods like nuts, avocados and healthy oils can help you lose fat faster than other diet approaches. Just make sure you figure out how much fat you need in your diet to prevent yourself from overeating. And, as always, avoid the trans fats. They’re still not healthy.
Protein helps you maintain lean body mass (muscle, not fat), and increase the thermic effect of your diet. That is, protein requires more energy for your body to process than carbohydrates or fat. This can subtly contribute to the calories-out side of the energy equation. As a bonus, eating protein keeps you fuller longer, and researchers have shown that it can reduce how much you eat per day by hundreds of calories.
No we’re not talking about alcohol. While there’s nothing magical about water, the process of consuming lots of liquid can trick you into feeling less hungry. What’s more, when you’re dehydrated you burn 2 percent fewer calories per day, says University of Utah researchers. So if you struggle to control your appetite, drink up before your meal. Then drink some more. You’ll be more likely to fight off fat.
You didn’t gain weight overnight, so you will not take it off overnight either. Give yourself time and know that the weight will come off if you stick to your plan.
Why Is Your Weight Loss Stalled?
Without realizing it, you could be sabotaging your diet. Learn about common diet mistakes that can stop you from losing weight and how to get your weight loss back on track.
1. You’re Not Exercising Enough
Many people actually overestimate how much they are burning when exercising. Many factors determine calories burned, including duration and intensity of exercise, whether the intensity is varied, and the type of exercise.
The best way to truly monitor your exercise would be via a journal and heart monitor to see the actual duration and intensity, and how they could be increased
2. You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep could possibly affect the proper sequence of hormone release. Staying up late may lead to extra calories if yousnack when you watch late-night TV or party with friends.
3. You’re Too Stressed
There seems to be a link between having altered sleep patterns and fat conservation — both possibly hormonally related — but also many women simply manage their feelings with food, eating mindlessly, because food is a very accessible and quick soothing resource
4. You’re Skipping Meals
Skipping meals can lead to food cravings and overeating later in the day — reaching for whatever food is available and making up for the missed calories by eating more
5. You’re Eating Too Many Calories
You might think you’re cutting back on portions, but may not realize the real number of calories you’re eating. Suggestions:
-Use measuring utensils and a food scale; learn visual cues to estimate portion sizes
- Keep a food journal of everything you eat and drink to be truly aware of the total amount consumed over the course of the day.
6. You’re Too Lax About Diet and Exercise
You need a healthy, calorie-controlled meal plan with exercise to help maximize calorie burning and encourage the calorie deficit needed for weight control. Resist becoming lax about calories because you exercise, and resist becoming lax about exercise just because you’re cutting calories.
7. You’re Drinking Too Many Calories
Very often people lose sight that beverages can contribute a significant number of calories. Suggestion:
Switch to good, plain water, and you will save lots of calories and start to see the weight come down
8. You’re Slipping on Weekends
Weekend indulgences add up very quickly. Having an appetizer before dinner, eating extra snacks, and splurging on dessert and alcohol will increase your daily intake by several hundred calories! Suggestion:
-is to eat specific indulgence foods over the weekend within your diet calorie limit.
9. You Might Have a Medical Condition
Any condition leading to decreased mobility and less activity will make the ordeal of trying to lose weight even more of a challenge because exercise is limited and you might end up eating more if you’re home with more free time to snack. Some medications could lead to difficulty managing weight or even to weight gain, including steroids, some psychiatric medications,insulin, and certain beta blockers. Suggestion:
-Talk to your physician about alternatives, such as receiving some rehabilitation activity, adjusting meds, or working with a registered dietitian to embark on a specific meal plan
10. You’ve Reached a Plateau
Hitting a plateau is a common occurrence, but you need to realize that it isn’t “all about the weight. You might be experiencing positive physiologic changes that may not be evident just by looking at a scale: As you’re losing fat tissue, you could also be gaining more lean body tissue and getting leaner. In time you’ll resume your weight loss, as your metabolic rate starts to increase. What appears to be a plateau could also be due to other factors including irregularity or fluid retention.
11. You’re Diet-Impatient
Weight loss needs time for us to see results, for the body to change its shape, access its fat stores and use them for energy, and re-contour itself by building lean body tissue.
** “Diet plans” that make hard-to-believe promises are exactly that — hard to believe!
12. You Don’t Need to Lose More Weight
Your body could be trying to tell you that you are at an appropriate weight for your size and your height. Any further attempts at weight loss might lead to muscle loss and a slowing of your metabolism because it could take an extremely restrictive meal plan to attain and maintain a lower weight
Use Smaller Plates and Bowls
It turns out; this classic weight-loss tip really works. Cornell University researchers found that when study participants were given identical servings in different-sized bowls, the participants with the smaller bowls ate less. Going a step further, the researchers suggest putting healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables on larger plates to encourage consumption and reserving smaller plates for richer, more fattening choices.
It may sound counterintuitive, but a recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that using a larger utensil actually may trick you into eating smaller portions. Researchers believe that the larger utensil tricks diners into thinking they are making more progress on their meal and eating more, though in reality they eat less.
When you walk into your supermarket, you’re likely to snap up the sale items at the front because they’re the first thing you see. It turns out this same behavior happens in your kitchen. So if you want to eat more healthfully, move those fresh fruits and vegetables front and center in your fridge and hide small portions of goodies in the back.
At one time or another, everyone goes a little overboard on snacks without being aware of the serving sizes. But research shows you can stop yourself simply by switching the hand you normally eat with. When psychologists at the University of Southern California gave moviegoers bags of stale popcorn, those who were challenged to snack with their nondominant hand were more discriminating — and ate far less overall. They found that participants who used their dominate hands were simply eating out of habit, without regard to whether they were hungry or liked the food.
Selectively popping a piece or two at certain times may help you eat less. Chew gum while you cook dinner to stop any mindless snacking and sampling of the dishes.
When you eat, your brain doesn’t know for certain that you’re full until it receives a series of messages from hormones in your gastrointestinal tract. If you continue to shovel in food, you override these hormonal messages, and before long you can no longer recognize the signals.
Begin to use an encouraging, gentle inner voice and positive self-talk to motivate you toward the changes you want and literally think yourself thin. Praise yourself for portion control, and you’ll want to keep up the habit of healthy eating.
If you crave a steak, you probably think a veggie burger just won’t do, no matter how many condiments you pile on top. A steak is a steak, bacon is bacon, and chocolate is chocolate, right? Well, yes and no. “You can trick your mind into thinking you’re satisfied if you know what healthy substitutions to make,” says Melissa Dobbins, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “My whole approach is to eat healthier while not feeling like you’re giving something up.” Substituting lean filet mignon for sirloin strip steak, lean Canadian bacon for regular bacon, and more healthful dark chocolate for milk chocolate are all ways to eat healthier while still indulging.
Mindful eating is the practice of contemplating what you are eating and concentrating on how you feel about the food. When you practice mindful eating, you become aware of food in all its aspects — not just how it tastes but also how it makes you feel as well as the sensory experiences it evokes, like the smell, the visual cues, and the texture.