Let’s make one thing clear right off the bat – losing weight is different from losing fat. Body weight fluctuates depending on the kind of food you consume, your hormones, and water retention rates. The key to looking slimmer is to gain muscle and lose fat. Let’s look at 4 common issues holding most people back from achieving the bodies they want:
You Are Not Honest With Yourself About How Much You Eat
Maintaining a calorie deficit is the key to achieving a fitter physique so write down what and how much you eat throughout the day. Many people underestimate their caloric intake so keeping a food journal is a surefire way to set yourself up for success. Keep measuring cups and spoons available to familiarize yourself with appropriate serving sizes and be mindful of what you’re eating – don’t just zone out in front of the computer or TV during mealtimes.
You’re Not Eating the Right Foods
Load up on veggies and healthy fats and make sure you’re getting enough protein and fiber; it will ensure you feel satisfied sooner and fuller longer. Avoid these foods, limit sugars and refined starches and stop drinking your calories! Cut down on sugary beverages, which have virtually zero nutritional value, and alcohol, which adds empty calories and affects your metabolism.
You should also consider reducing your sodium intake which causes your body to retain water and gives you that sluggish, bloated feeling.
You Are Not Exercising The Right Way
Taking a walk around the neighborhood is better than nothing, however, don’t expect to see any dramatic results. You’ve got to get in some heart-pumping cardio, shoot for at least 30 minutes a day, in order to really burn calories and fat. Kayla’s BBG workout is a great guide you can start with. If you don’t know what that is, learn what BBG means. Try kicking it into high gear with running, spin classes, or interval training to shed the pounds! Building muscle mass is another crucial element to increase your metabolic rate because muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does.
You Are Not Following A Routine That Works For You
Above all, stop worrying about what other people think and find a plan that works for you. Consider your own reasons and motivations for wanting to lose weight and choose a diet and exercise plan that fits into your lifestyle. By consistently engaging in activities you find enjoyable, you’re more likely to stay committed to your plan. Research and experiment with recipes to find healthy foods that you like. It sounds cliche, but there’s no need to restrict or starve yourself. In fact, your body knows when you’re eating less and accommodates for it by entering “starvation mode” and will hold onto fat.
Enjoy everything in moderation so you don’t end up binging.
Here are some simple tips that everyone can follow to maintain a healthy lifestyle:
- Stay hydrated! So many people mistake hunger for thirst. If you’re feeling hungry, have a glass of water first and see how you feel.
- Eat slowly. It takes your stomach about 20 minutes to “realize” when you’re full and people who eat slowly tend to consume less calories because they feel satiated sooner.
- Don’t skip breakfast! It will kick start your metabolism in the morning and keep you burning fat throughout the day.
- Keep healthy snacks at home and at work to mitigate the risk of making bad choices when you’re hungry.
- Don’t snack if you’re bored and stop using food as a reward.
- YouTube exercise videos if you’re feeling bored or stuck with your routine. There is so much you can do from home!
- Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep affects your body’s ability to control appetite.
- Avoid stress. Easier said than done, but stress triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone that increases cravings and appetite.
- Encourage your partner or friends to exercise with you. Support is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
I’ll end off this article with a great video by my friend, Sarah.