If you’re trying to lose weight, no doubt you’ve been dieting and struggling to hit the gym regularly. However, you may not be getting the results you wanted, and discouragement might be settling in. Before you quit on your efforts, consider if you’ve got any of these bad habits that could slow your weight loss down:
Cutting Out Food
When you started your diet, did you COMPLETELY cut out a certain food? No doubt you had good reasons to do so, but did you know that you may actually be making it harder on yourself? When you can’t eat a food, you’re more likely to want it. It will be much harder for you to stick with your diet when that forbidden food is at the forefront of your mind, and you’re much more likely to cheat on your diet. Instead of banishing that food forever, put it in its place. Have it once a month or once a week, but try to avoid forbidding foods completely.
For those who are trying to lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time, there’s always the temptation to go on a crash diet and starve yourself thin. Bad idea! Not only does that NOT work, but it can actually have the opposite of the desired effect. You could end up gaining weight because you starved yourself, and your efforts to shed those pounds will be reversed–or at the very least slowed.
Not Sleeping Enough
Did you know that sleep is vital for weight loss? Without a good night’s sleep, your body cannot repair itself, thereby slowing down lean muscle development. You’ll find that your body also interprets signals of fatigue as hunger signals, so instead of feeling sleepy, you’ll want to eat something. You may end up overeating when really all you need is a good nap. Try to get no less than 7 hours of sleep a night for your weight loss’ sake!
There’s always the temptation to skip meals now and then, as it’s easier to stay within your daily calorie allowance if you do. However, that could actually be a big mistake! If you don’t eat lunch, you’ll be VERY hungry by the time dinner rolls around. You could end up overeating or bingeing on food because you’re so hungry, or you may find yourself snacking on the wrong foods throughout the day. Make sure to eat 3 to 5 meals per day, sticking within your calorie limits, of course!
Going Fat Free
Fat is a very important part of your diet. Your body needs fat in order to burn fat, and cutting fat form your diet can actually cause your body to burn ONLY carbs and protein. Without any fat, your body will never release the fat that it has stored. It’s important to eat a little bit of fat, particularly healthy unsaturated fat–the kind you get from plants. Your diet should consist of at least 25% fat if you want to lose weight.
Alcohol is not your best friend when you’re on a diet. If you drink booze while on your diet, you’re far more likely to make the wrong food choices and eat things that you know you shouldn’t. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, and it will increase your tendency to eat mindlessly. It also slows down your metabolism and digestion, and can cause dehydration. Imagine trying to go to the gym with a hangover, and you can see just how horrible drinking can be for your diet. Better to stay away from the drink altogether!