There is so much information on how to lose weight effectively, it can get confusing. How are you meant to know which method suits you? Here are some reasons why you might be struggling to shed the pounds and ways to re-think your lifestyle to maximise your energy usage!
You’re doing quantity not quality
It’s all very well to eat a chocolate bar which is 150 calories rather than a large sweet potato which could be 200. While you won’t lose weight if you’re eating more calories than you burn, you sure will if you think about the quality of the food you’re eating. When you eat healthily, your body loses fat around organs. If your diet is unhealthy, however, you gain fat around your heart, kidney and liver. This means that even though your calorie intake might be lower by surviving off a couple of chocolate bars rather than wholesome meals, it might not actually help you lose fat. An unhealthy diet can also lead to other issues that lead to retaining fat, such as too much salt, dehydration and sugar highs and lows.
So you’re eating well, you’re exercising effectively, but are you hydrated? When you’re dehydrated your cells shrink. While this might be good for the scales momentarily, in the long run it won’t help decrease your body fat percentage. Your body knows when your cells are dehydrated, and sends signals to slow your metabolism. If you’re dehydrated by 3%, your metabolism is slowed by 2% – this can make a huge difference when you’re in it for the long run. By staying hydrated you’ll feel more energised and be inspired to eat well, too. It’s a win-win!
Tiredness is never good when you’re looking to lose weight. If you’re tired you can burn an extra 30 calories in a day. But this is only applicable if you’re eating well, keeping hydrated and treating your body like a queen. When you’re lacking in sleep, it’s much harder to stay motivated: more difficult to exercise, sugary foods are more tempting and caffeine seems like your lifeline. Sadly, these are 3 things which can curb weight loss, especially when indulged in excessively.
You’re not balancing exercise: food correctly
Being active is very necessary when you’re trying to lose fat. But don’t let it get inside your head. Sure, you might need a little bit more fuel depending on how hard you push yourself physically. Try to resist the thought ‘well, I’ve gone to the gym today so I can eat whatever I want’ – this is not true. While exercise is great for your mental health when dieting, as well as burning more calories, it doesn’t take much food to consume as much energy as you are expending during a gym session. Be conscious of this – it may be where you are going wrong. To get the most out of your workouts, sweat better, push yourself hard and recover properly. Do this and you’ll find it easier to resist overeating.
You’re sitting down all day
Did you know that when you sit still for a while, your body stops producing an enzyme called lipase? Lipase breaks down fat in food. Without it, your metabolism slows down and food is more likely to be stored as fat in your body. Stay active. And by this, I don’t mean go on a run 3 times a week and distract your coworkers by walking while working. Little movements like fidgeting, stretching, clenching of muscles can keep your body making lipase.
You’re eating at the wrong time
You’ve heard of the expression, eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like a prince. Well, it may be a routine you should stick to. Or maybe not… it’s important to avoid eating loads in the evening. Your body has a tough time digesting loads of food when it’s lying there asleep. Instead, try eating little amounts often. This will keep your metabolism moving throughout the day and mean you won’t feel as hungry, you’ll avoid sugar highs and lows and you won’t overeat when you’re starving for dinner!