Even if you follow a fitness routine and you often choose healthier foods, you may not be seeing the weight come off the way you had expected (or hope). While exercising more and eating healthier foods in in themselves are hugely beneficial to your overall health, it can be highly frustrating to not see the weighing scale tip over in your favour. If this is you, there is a good probability that one of the following reasons is standing in the way of you losing weight and getting slimmer.
1. You Don’t Drink Water (or enough of it)
Besides keeping you hydrated, drinking water on the regular, according to recent studies, can aid with weight loss. Filling up on water before a meal helps encourage portion control, and eating foods that contain a lot of water (like fruits and veggies) will fill you up faster, causing you to eat less. A small study even found that drinking cool water can speed up metabolism and discourage cravings for sugary drinks like soda and juice. Now that’s a reason to stay hydrated!
2. You Think Walking To and From The Parking Lot Is Enough
A 15-minute stroll is better than nothing, but don’t expect to see dramatic weight-loss results. You’ve got to kick it up a notch — big time — and do at least 30 minutes a day of heart-pumping exercise. Big calorie and fat burners include running, spin class, interval training, hiking, and circuit training.
3. You Eat Too Much Healthy Foods
Nuts, avocados, whole wheat pasta, olive oil, and dark chocolate are all natural and healthy, but they aren’t void of calories. You still need to watch how much you eat of the good stuff. For example, avocado offers a ton of health benefits, but an entire fruit is over 200 calories.
4. You Only Do Cardio Exercises
If you live on the treadmill but never lift a pound, then you’re missing out on one of the most important pieces of the fitness puzzle. Not only does weight training prevent injury by strengthening the joints, but it also builds muscle mass and increases metabolic rate. Added bonus: thanks to a revved-up metabolism, you’ll keep burning calories long after you’ve slipped off your sneakers.
5. You Don’t Fuel Up Before Exercising
If you regularly exercise without eating first, you should reconsider: when you work out on an empty stomach, research shows that the calories burned come from muscle, not fat. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, the more muscle mass you have, the better it is for weight loss. Not only will fueling your body help you avoid losing muscle, but also, you’ll have more energy to push yourself through your workout.
6. You Significant Other Isn’t On The Same Boat
A partner who’s on a similar path can be a huge help to your weight-loss goals, but if your partner is not on board, then your relationship may be making you fat. You can’t expect to lose weight if your husband constantly suggests ordering takeout, wants to go out for ice cream, or encourages you to sleep in instead of hitting the gym! Communicating that you need his support in losing weight is a great first step in finding compromises — for both of you. For starters, the next time you have dinner out, offer to split an appetizer or skip dessert.
7. You Don’t Sleep Enough
Making time for your workouts can mean less time for sleep, but it’s important to get enough z’s if you’re trying to lose weight. You need extra energy to keep up with your exercise routine, and skimping on sleep can affect your body’s ability to control its appetite: not enough shut-eye increases appetite-stimulating hormones.
8. You Don’t Eat Enough Veggies
Eating five to seven servings of fruits and veggies a day is important for everyone, but dieters who go heavy on the produce are more likely to lose and keep the weight off, since a diet full of plant-based foods offers a greater variety of nutrients with fewer calories — and all that fiber keeps the body feeling fuller longer.
9. You Eat By The Fridge
Standing at the fridge or the counter to chow down isn’t saving time or energy and can lead to mindless eating. It’s best to designate time for snacking and meals that’s set apart from other activities.
10. You’re Not Committed To A Diet Plan
Whether you’re on Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, or your own diet-and-exercise plan, you can’t do it halfheartedly and expect to see results. Stay committed to your plan, or you’ll see the pounds stay on your tush instead of dropping from the scale.
11. You Love Condiments
A salad is one of the healthiest meals you can have, but when you top it with bacon bits, goat cheese, nuts, dried fruits, and ranch dressing, you can double the calorie amount in a flash. Be aware of how many calories your favorite salad extras add on. For instance, 10 croutons is an easy 100 calories.
12. You Skip Breakfast
Skipping breakfast may seem like a great way to save calories, but your body will actually hold on to fat because it thinks it’s being starved. Keep in mind that people who eat breakfast regularly lose more weight, so make sure to eat breakfast each morning to jump-start your metabolism. Don’t just grab anything: include protein to give yourself sustainable energy and fiber to fill you up for hours.
13. You Eat Everything On Your Plate, even when you’re full
When it comes to a balanced diet, we know that portion control is one of the keys to success. Keep measuring cups and spoons on hand to make sure your serving sizes are appropriate, and learn how to give your body the “I’m full” signal in order to help you drop the fork when the time is right and move on with your day.
14. You Eat While Doing Something Else
Aligning mealtime with a screen like your computer or the TV can hurt your weight-loss goals. Designating a special time for meals without distractions will help you connect to your food and, as a result, eat less. Sometimes you don’t even realize how much you’re scarfing when your mind is somewhere else.
15. You Still Love The Soda
Soda offers literally no nutritional benefits, and continuing to drink the beverage is sabotaging your weight-loss goals — even if you only drink diet. Studies have shown that individuals who drink two diet sodas a day or more had waistlines that were 500 percent larger than the nondrinkers.
16. You Don’t Eat Enough
Don’t starve yourself to save calories for later. It’ll not only mess up your metabolism, and by dinnertime, that famished feeling will likely cause you to eat more than you would if you weren’t starving. Not only is starving yourself not sustainable for continued weight loss, but also, limiting yourself to too-small portions can lead to excess snacking between mealtimes.
17. You Eat Too Much Low Fat Foods
Going for foods with a lower calorie count can be deceiving, since many times they’re filled with extra sodium, sugar, or chemical additives to make up for the ingredients the company has removed or decreased. Not only are these light versions less nutritious, but they also end up tasting “lighter,” leading you to eat more. You’ll probably end up consuming more calories than you would if you just ate a regular-sized portion of the real thing.
18. You’re Always Eating Out
Hitting your favorite restaurant is a great way to unwind, but you’re more likely to indulge in a huge meal complete with appetizers, drinks, fried foods, and dessert. Calorie counts are also a mystery, since many foods aren’t labeled. If you don’t want to give up your nights out, then split a meal with a friend, order healthy options like salads and grilled chicken, and sip water instead of wine.