You have made the decision to lose weight. You are eating what you think are healthy foods, exercising and drinking eight glasses of water each day but are seeing little if any results. Here are a few reasons why you may not be losing weight and seeing the results you want.
- You Need to Eat. Skipping meals or not eating enough tells your body that it is missing out on nutrients and your body then slows down your metabolism to hold on to the calories it needs. By not eating or not eating enough, your body may not be able to feel full, instead of going into famine mode when it believes food is scarce. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it lets your body know it can burn calories during the day and it won’t starve.
- You’re Cheating. Lose a few pounds? Don’t celebrate with a cheat day which will keep you from your weight loss goal. Why take a step back after taking three forward? Allowing yourself a high-calorie treat will counteract all of your hard work. Celebrate your weight loss with other, healthier and supportive ways.
- You’re Drinking Too Much Diet Soda. Studies show that diet drinks can cause your body to hang on to calories. Diet soda consumers show a 175 percent increase in waist size over a ten-year span in contrast to those who do not consume diet soda. Artificial sweeteners can also raise your insulin levels and lower blood sugar, which can increase hunger pangs. Artificial sweeteners do not kill that sweet craving, yet do the opposite and make you crave more sweet stuff later on.
- Your Friends Are Overweight. Birds of a feather flock and eat together. Research shows that for every four overweight friends, your chances of obesity doubles and your weight is sure to continue to rise. It seems that acceptability and condoning are heavy influencers. However, studies suggest that exercising as a group can be an overwhelming tool for success as working together is social, fun, and supportive. The same hormones that are released during social bonding, endorphins, also help quell pain and ease the weight loss process.
- You’re Avoiding Wine. Don’t whine, drink wine. Studies indicate that women who drank one to two glasses of wine daily gained less weight over 13 years, compared with those who did not drink alcohol. Though it may be healthy to have alcohol in moderation, it’s important not to overdo it. Negative impacts of alcohol quickly outweigh the benefits when too much consumed.
- You’re Cutting Out All Carbs or Fat. Eliminating any one food group like carbs or fat can leave you short on the nutrients you need to stay energized. Research suggests that dieters low in calcium and vitamin C had higher odds of putting on belly fat. A healthy, varied diet of healthy fats and good carbs such as fruits is suggested. One reason low-carb diets fail is that they aren’t sustainable over the long term. It’s difficult to give up bread and pasta permanently and once you quit, you regain the weight you lost and then some.
Tips on Effective Weight Loss
What can you do to make sure you are successful in your weight loss? It starts in your kitchen. Most dieters don’t know how much food they eat in calories or how much food they should actually eat. It is hard to lose weight just by switching to broccoli and brown rice if you still overeat. Track your food intake and weigh yourself every day. You should eat less and less every day until you see the weight going down. If you don’t limit your calories to a given number, your weight loss won’t mean anything and you can deviate.
It’s also important to keep track of your snack intake with such items as salty chips and sweet desserts as these can add up and often bring in more calories than meals. Be sure to keep track of drinks, skip the latte as tea or coffee has 0 calories and will increase fat oxidation. You also need to remember to drink your water.
If you cannot stay away from your favorite, not so good for you foods, then exercise. Exercise increases your metabolism, helps you build muscle, and can curb hunger. It’s also good for your heart and your brain and can lead to feel-good chemicals being released that keep us happier on the weight-loss journey.
Speaking of energy, make sure you get enough sleep. Don’t focus solely on exercise and diet because without good sleep, you will not be able to lose any weight. Poor sleep interrupted sleep, or lack of sleep can kill all your efforts in diet and exercise. Be sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night, especially if you are stressed or have exercised during the day.
Writing down your caloric intake is vital, so why not use your smartphone? Studies show that using a digitized program or app can help you lose even more weight over people who monitored their diet and exercise with paper and pencil. Digital devices that provided daily feedback helped users lose more weight and stick with their diet longer than those who used paper and pencil. And high-tech dieters were more apt to eat more fruit and veggies than paper users. Dieters who recorded meals online just once a month were 3 times more likely to keep off the pounds over 2 years, compared with those who did so less frequently.
Discipline is also vital to your weight loss plan. You may have the best diet plan and gym trainer in the world, but that will do nothing for you if you are munching on cookies and guzzling down diet sodas. Successful weight loss is all about discipline and committing to it for at least three months. Let your family and friends know about your weight loss goal as this will motivate you to stick with it. Be present and focus on every meal and every workout and make it count.