On a daily basis I get messages from men and women regarding their struggle to lose weight. I can feel for them since I, too, have been there before. With the plethora of diet and workout programs out there to choose from, no wonder people are confused!
The thing is, all diets will work—to a point. You need to find a program (nutrition and training) that YOU can stick to for life! I don’t know about you, but I do not think I could live off of eating grapefruit multiple times a day or never ever have another glass of wine for the rest of my days. It just isn’t realistic. Finding something you can stick with for the long haul is the only way you will truly find success—forever.
In the meantime, there could be other reasons you are not losing weight——things you may not have thought made much of a difference in the big picture. However, if you are doing one or more of the following, it could very well be the reason you are not reaching your fitness goals.
1. YOU SKIP BREAKFAST.
After a seven- to eight-hour fast, you need energy! Food is fuel and by eating breakfast, your focus will improve and so will your metabolism. Instead of just grabbing a fruit to go, make sure you add some protein with it to help keep you satisfied longer.
2. YOU EAT HEALTHY, BUT TOO MUCH.
I am glad you are making healthy choices, but keep in mind that although these foods are good for you, they still have calories! Nuts, nut butters, dark chocolate, and rice are all great food choices, but the macros can add up very quickly. For example, only 20 raw almonds have around 12 grams of fat!
3. YOU DON’T EAT ENOUGH VEGGIES.
If you eat more veggies (specifically the green leafy vegetables) you will get more nutrients in your diet and the fiber will keep you full longer between meals. Not only that, but green vegetables are very low calorie——approximately 30-50 calories per cup of broccoli!
4. YOU DON’T SLEEP ENOUGH AT NIGHT.
Not getting enough shut-eye at night can increase your appetite. Not only that, but it affects your recovery, energy, and focus, which makes for less than stellar workouts. Try to get at least seven hours of shut-eye a night.
5. YOUR FOCUS IS ON CARDIO.
Cardio will help you burn calories, but it doesn’t help shape your body, build muscle, or improve definition. Weight training should be the focus of your time spent in the gym. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be! Hit the iron and turn your body into a fat-burning machine!
6. YOU AREN’T EATING ENOUGH.
The worst thing you can do when trying to lose weight is to starve yourself. Not only will it mess up your metabolism and prevent you from gaining muscle, it can also lead to overeating at times because you are so hungry. I recommend spacing your meals out and tracking your calories and macronutrients in a food log similar to myfitnesspal.com to make sure you are taking in enough fuel throughout the day.7. YOU EAT OUT TOO MUCH.
Going out to eat with friends is a lot of fun, but eating out more than you are cooking at home can make it difficult to drop body fat. Not only is the temptation there to order drinks, appetizers, and desserts, but the main dish is likely cooked with sauces and oils, which can add hundreds of calories that you are not aware of. My recommendation is to make more meals at home and if you do go out, try splitting a meal with a friend and order healthier options with sauces on the side.
8. YOU LOVE CONDIMENTS.
Throughout the day, the “extras” that you add to your meals could be the reason you aren’t seeing results. Think about the creamer in your coffee, cheese in your omelet, dressing and bacon bits on your salad, and the BBQ sauce on your chicken at night- all of which add hundreds of calories to your day. Try almond milk in your coffee, salsa on your omelet, balsamic vinegar on your salad and low-sugar ketchup on your chicken instead.
9. YOU CHOOSE LOW-FAT/FAT-FREE FOODS.
When you choose foods that have a lower calorie count or lower fat, typically they are filled with extra sodium, sugar, or chemical additives to make up for the missing ingredient. Not only that, but when the calories are lower, we tend to eat more of it and end up consuming more calories than we would if we just ate a regular portion of the real thing.
10. YOU AREN’T PREPARED.
Cook your meals in advance and always plan two meals ahead. Being prepared will prevent you from grabbing the quickest and most convenient food choice (which usually isn’t the healthiest).