Losing weight isn’t as simple as balancing calories in vs calories out. Or eating less and working out more. Our bodies are complex and a lot of factors contribute to weight loss. Factors such as the types of foods you eat, the type and intensity of your workouts, and even your lifestyle. Here are 5 tips you may be overlooking that are keeping you from losing weight.
- You’re not eating enough calories. We all know eating too many calories can pack on unwanted pounds, but did you know that not eating enough calories can be just as detrimental to your weight loss efforts? It’s true. When you don’t eat enough calories your body starts to think it’s going into deprivation and so your metabolism actually slows down and your body starts storing fat. This makes it very difficult to lose weight, especially those last few pounds. Make sure you’re eating no less than 1200 calories per day, and for most women 1400-1700 calories per day is ideal for weight loss and to feel energetic throughout the day.
- You think you’re eating healthy. You fill up on “low carb” and “low fat” food items, but unfortunately these types of food don’t always translate into low calorie or healthy. Often, these foods are really just junk food loaded with sugar or chemicals marketed to seem healthy. Don’t ever trust these claims. Instead do your own investigating and always read nutrition labels and ingredients. Better yet, stick to fresh fruits, veggies, meats and minimally processed foods and steer clear of boxed and packaged foods whenever possible.
- You focus too much on cardio. The more cardio I do the more weight I’ll lose correct? Not exactly. Actually, incorporating weight training and more intense interval workouts will increase fat burn and boost your metabolism greater than any cardio session. And you’ll also save time. Weight training for only 30 minutes 3-4 times a week and incorporating only one or two 20 minute interval training sessions can have a huge impact on your results and fat burning. Furthermore, excessive cardio can make you hungrier and crave sugar, which often leads to overeating. So instead of doing more cardio, focus on weight training and shorter interval training sessions.
- You fear eating fatty foods. Do you worry about eating fat thinking it will easily turn into fat? Well the truth is not all fats are bad for you. It all depends on the source and type of fat. Sugar is actually more likely to turn into fat than fat. Fats are important for many bodily functions including weight loss. So be sure to avoid trans fats at all costs (usually found as hydrogenated oils on labels). Also, limit fats from conventionally fed beef or dairy products as well as fats high in omega 6’s such as corn oil or safflower oil found in many canned and processed foods. Instead load up on fish and fish oil, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts such as walnuts or pecans, avocados, grass fed beef, and eggs from pastured chickens. These all contain healthy fats that are necessary for healthy functioning and for weight loss.
- You’re not getting enough sleep. Although sleep may not seem important to your weight loss goals it has a huge impact. Lack of sleep can release hormones that tell your body to store fat and that make you feel hungry. So make sure to get 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night if you want to not only look your best but feel your best.