5 reasons why you might be sabotaging your own weight loss
1) Not eating enough food
I know that this can be one of the hardest mind shifts to make, but trust me, if you aren’t eating enough (good) food, your body will try to protect you by hanging onto its stored energy reserves (aka body fat) by slowing down your metabolism. Don’t be tempted to reduce your food intake even further to try and speed up your weight loss, your body is too smart for that and will only try even harder to make you gain weight.
Action: have three balanced meals every day, adding snacks only if you need them.
2) Not getting enough sleep
Sleep often seems to be low down on people’s priority list and is often sacrificed to make room for other activities. The vast majority of people either don’t make enough time in their day to get enough sleep, or have difficulty in actually sleeping. When it comes to making the changes necessary to achieve and maintain your weight loss goals, sleep is absolutely critical.
Sleep deprivation – in any form – reverses your appetite hormones, making you feel hungrier than normal and less satisfied by the amount you normally eat. Not only that, you are less responsive to insulin, making it more likely that the increased food that you eat when you’re tired will be stored as fat.
Action: make sleep a priority and keep your bedroom dark, cool and quiet.
3) Not being honest with yourself
Keeping a diet diary has been shown to be one of the common traits of people who are successful in achieving long term weight loss. Even with the best intentions, our subconscious mind tells us that we are eating more of the foods that we should, and fewer of those we shouldn’t, than we really are.
Write down everything that you eat – and I mean everything – and review it at the end of every day. Changing your eating habits takes practice and practice needs to be reviewed. For example check whether you are eating enough vegetables, having enough variety to prevent boredom and balancing your protein sources.
Action: keep a diet diary for a full 7 days, record all food and all drinks (yes, alcohol too) and then review it daily
4) Not eating enough fat
Reducing your refined, grain carbohydrate intake is the best way to lose weight but many people try to do this while they’re still stuck in the old low fat = weight loss paradigm.
Reducing both carbohydrates and fats leaves your body with nothing left to use as energy and while you may well lose weight, you won’t be able to follow this kind of eating for very long. Eggs, raw nuts, avocado, coconut oil and olive oil are all high fat – and high calorie – foods which have been shown to be associated with improved weight loss.
Action: let go of the old paradigm and eat healthy, real food fats
There’s no doubt that exercise is essential for long term health but it can have the opposite affect on weight loss, especially at the start. Stress of any kind, including exercise, is linked with weight gain or difficulty in losing weight.
Men are more likely to respond well to vigorous exercise but women’s bodies are more sensitive to the effects of stress and will quickly reach a tipping point where any more puts the brakes on any weight loss attempt (this is one of the reasons why dieting makes you put on weight).
Too much exercise will have this effect on some women, and often the only way to encourage the body to lose more weight is to stop exercising for a period. This doesn’t mean becoming completely sedentary but easing back on vigorous training and replacing it with walking or yoga will help lower the hormone cortisol which in turn allows your body to relax back into a state of normal metabolic activity.
Action: take some time out from vigorous exercise