Friday, May 31, 2013

15 reasons why you might not be losing weight

try as hard as you may, you're not losing weight.  you're eating healthy foods, you're working out, but the weight isn't coming off!  why?!?  well, one of the following 15 reasons might be why!

1.  you're eating too much healthy food: nuts, avocados, whole wheat pasta, and olive oil are all natural and healthy, but they are void of calories.  you still need to watch how much you eat of the good stuff.  for example, avocados offer a ton of health benefits, but an entire fruit is over 200 calories.  make sure you're being wise about serving size.

2.  you don't eat breakfast:  skipping breakfast may seem like a great way to save on calories, but your body will actually hold onto fat because it thinks it's being starved.  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.  make sure you eat protein to give yourself energy and fiber to fill you up.

3.  you don't practice good portion control:  when it comes to a balanced diet, we know that portion control is one of those keys to success.  keep measuring cups and spoons on hand to ensure your serving sizes are appropriate, and learn how to give your body the "i'm full" signal in order to help you drop the form when the time is right.

4.  you eat while standing up:  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.

5.  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.

6.  you don't cut your food:  something as simple as slicing up your dinner can be helpful for your overeating woes.  cutting food into tiny pieces may seem slightly childish, but studies show that humans find smaller portions more satisfying and, as a result, are satisfied with less.

7.  you drink 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% larger than the nondrinkers.  since quitting soda is no joke, check out this 28-day plan for breaking a cola habit.

8.  your partner isn't on the same healthy road:  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 aboard, then your relationship may be making you fat.  you can't expect to lose weight if your partner 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 their 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.

9.  you don't drink water:  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.  drinking cool water can even speed up your metabolism and discourage cravings for sugary drinks like soda and juice.  now that's a reason to stay hydrated!

10. you don't leave time for fun:  since stress is shown to cause weight gain by triggering the body to eat more--especially foods high in sugar & fat--make sure you give yourself time to relax and unwind.  and it's an added bonus that so many fun activities, like dancing, hiking, and biking, are already natural calorie-burners!

11.  you're always dining 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 desserts.  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 or grilled chicken, and sip water instead of sodas or wine.

12.  you exercise with an empty stomach:  if you regularly exercise without eating first, you should reconsider:  when you work out on an empty stomach, 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.  no only will fueling your body help you to avoid losing muscle, but also, you'll have more energy to push yourself through your workout.

13.  you only do cardio:  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.  ultimately, just doing cardio keeps you fat!

14.  you eat without thinking:  aligning mealtime with a screen like your computer or television can be hurting 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 down when your mind is somewhere else.

15.  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 continue weight loss, but also, limiting yourself to too-small portions can lead to excess snacking between mealtimes.

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.


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