Are These 5 Mistakes Preventing Weight Loss?

Weight loss never comes easy. It takes a lot of hard work, clean eating, and strict self-control to shed those extra pounds. After all, the human body is designed to STORE fat, not burn it. You'll have to work way harder to lose the weight than you did to gain it. Here are a few mistakes that could be preventing weight loss:

Trying to Exercise Away a Bad Diet

It can't be done! If you don't eat right, you'll never get in shape. Think about it: a single donut contains from 200 to 300 calories. To burn just that one donut, you have to jog for half an hour or lift weights for at least 20 minutes. That's a lot of work just for one small piece of food! If you have the attitude of "I can eat this because I'll just train it away at the gym", you're going to end up gaining a lot more weight than you will lose. The key to getting in shape: only eating foods that will promote weight loss. Eat according to your workout and your daily caloric needs, and NO MORE!

Not Drinking Enough Water

Without water, your body cannot function properly. When you are dehydrated, your body throws all of your energy into balancing out your internal water levels, leading to a decrease in metabolic function. You HAVE to drink more water if you want to lose weight. Make it a goal to consume at least 3 to 5 liters of water per day (depending on your size).

Not Sleeping Enough

This may sound like a silly one, but you'll find that it's truer than you might expect! When you don't sleep, your body doesn't have the chance to make repairs to the muscles and tissues damaged the previous day. Instead of waking up at 100% performance, you wake up at 80 or 90%. Over time, your lack of sleep will take a toll on your body, leading to reduced metabolism, imbalanced hormones, and a greater risk of injuries. To make things worse, your body often misinterprets the "sleepy signals" your brain sends out, detecting them as "hunger" instead. This causes you to eat when really what you need is a good night's sleep. Make sure to get a solid 7 to 8 hours a night, and it will help you lose that weight.

You're Not Eating the Right Protein

Too much protein can be almost as bad as not enough! Protein isn't some magical nutrient that will cause weight loss. What it will do is help you to build lean muscle mass, which will in turn lead to an increase in calorie burning. Just eating protein isn't enough; you need to exercise to turn that protein into muscle. Focus on lean proteins, such as chicken breast, fish, eggs, legumes, and soy. Limit the high-fat proteins like red meat and dairy. Make sure that you're getting enough protein to build muscle and avoid the carb cravings, but not so much that you end up packing on the pounds!

Snacking on the Wrong Foods

Snacks can either be VERY good for your diet, or they can set you way back. The right snacks are those that give you energy to reach your next meal or power through your workout. The wrong snacks will usually be anything that is too delicious: pastries, cookies, cakes, potato chips, instant foods, and the list goes on. Make sure to snack only on healthy, natural foods, and only enough to give you the energy to keep going. Snacking is about giving your body what it needs, not satisfying your cravings or sweet tooth.

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