Despite your best efforts, you might find that your weight loss plans seem like a losing battle. Let’s see now. You’ve maintained that food journal where you record every bite you eat. You make it to the gym each day no matter how busy you’ve been at work. You count calories carefully. In short, you do everything on that checklist for a healthy weight. But, if your weighing scale still tells you week after week that you need shed some of those pounds, you might start to wonder what it is you’re doing wrong.
The problem here is not the diet. It’s your lifestyle that is getting in the way of your weight loss efforts. Here are some surprising facts you should know about.
Do You Need to Drink More Water?
Even as you’re counting the bites, you also need to count the ounces you drink. For a sedentary person, about 8 cups a day are enough. However, if you’re exercising regularly, you need to match half of your body weight in ounces per day. That’s because the additional activity makes your body anticipate dehydration. As a result, the plasma in your blood stores a couple of pounds of water. By sipping water all through your workout, you’ll make sure that does not happen.
Further, if you’ve been raising the amount of fiber you consume, you’ll need to increase the water you drink to process it. Without enough water, you might end up getting constipated. Here’s another positive. Water helps fill you up so you eat less and that’s ideal for weight loss. When you don’t drink enough fluids, your kidneys fail to function properly. To compensate, your liver has to work extra hard. And, it responds by storing the fat you eat instead of burning it. By staying hydrated, you allow your kidneys to flush away toxins and prevent the storage of fat.
Are You Counting the Calories Right?
While cutting back on the calories you eat is a good thing, when following a weight loss program you also need to carefully monitor where your calories are coming from. For instance, if you’re eating 500 calories worth of cake, your body is likely to process it differently than it would process 500 calories worth of salad. Food like cake and cookies is easily digested and stored away, but vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds remain in your digestive tract longer. Since your body has to work extra hard to digest such foods, it is not likely to absorb as many calories. So take care to choose the right kind of foods that pack on healthy, energy-giving calories.
Are You Eating Enough Protein?
When planning your meals, make sure you have enough protein. Several foods can help you reach the target of 40 to 80 grams that you must eat each day. For instance, eggs, lean meat, fish, beans, and other such foods. Dietary thermo genesis helps you burn energy to digest the food, and your body uses up more energy to process protein that fat and carbohydrates. Further, protein can fill you up quickly, so you’ll consume smaller portions. You also feel satiated for a longer time, and that helps in your weight loss efforts.
Are You Sitting for Too Long at Your Desk?
Many people are under the impression that if they spend an hour at the gym each day, that should be enough to maintain the mandatory daily activity levels. Actually, if you spend just one hour exercising out of a whole day of sitting, that isn’t going to help you reach your weight loss goals. You need to incorporate some amount of activity all through. That’s because when you spend a few hours at rest, your body stops producing the fat-inhibiting lipase enzyme. Remember to leave your desk and walk around for a few minutes now and then. You’ll soon watch those inches vanish.
Are You Stressed Out?
Stress is a typical part of every person’s life, whether it is work or family related. But, how you deal with the stress can affect your weight loss efforts. When you’re under stress, your body releases the hormone, cortisol. Not only does cortisol stimulate hunger pangs and cravings for carbohydrates, but it also lowers your metabolism levels. The more stressed you are, the more excessive is the buildup of fat stores on your belly. Choose some anti-stress tactic that works for you and stay relaxed and happy. Spend time reading or doing meditation. Listen to music or play with your kids or pet. Keeping stress away can do wonders for your energy levels and waistline.
Did Your Switch to a Vegetarian Diet?
A common misconception is that going vegetarian is the perfect weight loss program. Going vegetarian is great only so long as you don’t rely entirely on processed foods. You need to add enough fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet instead of relying wholly on grains, beans, and dairy products that could be high in calories. Be extra cautious of the faux meats and meat substitutes you choose. They can have large amounts of sodium, additives, and preservatives. Another factor to keep in mind is to eat adequate vegetarian protein foods that can fill you up and maintain your metabolism levels.
Are You Aware of these Hidden Weight Loss Traps?
Aside from these snags in your weight loss efforts, there are other factors that you need to keep in mind. Even if you’re eating low-calorie foods, keep a close watch on the portion sizes because it’s easy to get carried away by the smaller numbers. Instead of relying on the figures on the weighing scale, gauge your dieting success by how your clothes fit. Try on the same jeans every week, and if they seem less snug, you’ll know you’re dropping the pounds. You’ll also know if you’re getting results if you feel more energetic and happier.
Check with a Professional Weight Loss Coach
Losing the excess weight and keeping it away is not just about dieting and exercise. It also depends on the health issues you have, the medication you need to take regularly, your likes and dislikes, everyday routine, and much more. For this reason, typical cookie-cutter diets may not get you the results you’ve been looking for. You need to work with a professional weight loss expert who can help you identify the hidden snags in your weight loss efforts and design a customized program that matches your individual needs. And, your lifestyle. That’s what you need to get rid of the pounds. And, keep them away!