Ah, the quest to lose weight. This is a quest that is noble indeed and one that seems sensible enough. After all, most experts will tell you that weight loss comes down to taking in fewer calories everyday and exercising on a regular schedule.
Seems simple, but many people lose their battle with weight loss and just don’t know why. They might work out and eat right and after several weeks of this step on the scale only to see a slight drop in the pound department. This often leads to frustration and more times than not a strong urge to give up. After all, if that’s all that can be lost with weeks of effort what’s the point? If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone and your weight loss goals are still attainable, you just need to find out what is hindering your progress.
There are many factors that can be keeping you from your weight loss dreams, but the good news is they are typically easy to pinpoint. In fact, there are ten factors in particular that seem to crop up leaving the unsuspecting victim in disbelief. Well, wonder no more, just look at the list and see what you might be doing wrong:
- No Rest for the Weary: Are you getting enough sleep? Those who are tired are more likely to consume more food as they are up longer. Additionally, laziness is easily the winner on most nights, which leads to no exercise, quick meals that aren’t on your diet, and on and on. Avoid this by getting seven to eight hours of beauty sleep each night.
- Too Much of a Good Thing: There is a growing assumption that because a food is “healthy” you can eat as much as you like. All food has calories. This is important to remember. That avocado that is “heart healthy” still needs to be eaten in proper proportions. Know the calories of everything you intend to eat and avoid eating too much of a good thing.
- You Ate What: How many times have you said to someone, “I don’t know what I had for breakfast, let alone what I did last week,” or something to that effect? That statement is very revealing. Do you know how much food you are eating? Quick, how many calories have you eaten so far today?It isn’t enough to simply “estimate” your caloric intake for the day; you have to know for sure. Measure everything and always pay close attention to how many servings you are eating. For example, there may be more than one serving in a quick snack that you grab on the go. Above all else you have to journal what you eat. Yes, it is a bit of a pain, but by not journaling and taking responsibility for what you are eating everyday you are only setting yourself up for weight loss disaster.
- Choose Workout Rewards Wisely: Another hindering factor to your weight loss goals is cancelling out the effects of a workout. Many dieters will reward themselves for a job well done at the gym but this can be weight loss suicide. If you spend an hour working your tail off at the gym only to come home and “reward” yourself with a bowl of ice cream, you may inadvertently cancel out your progress or even digress as a result. Instead, let your new body be your reward for working out, not food.
- Refrain and Restrain: The world in which we live is one that is set up for weight gain, not weight loss. Just pop on the television or look at a billboard as you drive to work. Everything promotes eating in the most unnatural and unhealthy way. This is where you have to refrain and show some restraint. Don’t go for that box of donuts at work and learn to be your weight loss’ best friend and not its worst enemy.
- Wet Your Whistle: One of the easiest ways to fight those hunger pains is with a tall glass of water. In fact, you should be drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. This will help keep your body properly hydrated and help stop you from having a “snack attack.” Don’t make the mistake of taking in too little water.
- Junk Food Isn’t a Meal: A lot of people simply look at the calories of something and assume it’s okay to eat. A small bag of potato chips might only have 300 calories, but it isn’t a quality meal. Each meal you eat should have a fair amount of protein and/or fiber in it otherwise you are far more likely to grab one extra meal to quiet your screaming stomach. Remember, one extra meal is all it takes to blow the calorie count for the day.
- Bad Medicine: If you are truly doing all the right things and still not losing an ounce, check with your doctor about your medications. There are many medications that can actually cause weight gain and you may be on one of them and not even know it. Perhaps there is an alternative medication you can take or a chance you can stop taking the medication all together with your doctor’s approval. It certainly doesn’t hurt to check into it.
- No Thank You: Nobody wants to be rude, but if you truly want to lose weight then you better get used to saying three words; “ No thank you.” This can be hard to do at times especially with friends and family offering you your favorite goodies, but once again you have to show some personal restraint.
- Consistency is King: Just as you have to have discipline for weight loss, you can’t be too restrictive. So, you can’t do too much or too little, which means you have to find a happy median and then stick to it in a consistent manner. Those who stay consistent with their weight loss efforts are the ones who are greatly rewarded.
Now that you see what might be hurting your chances to achieve your weight loss goals, take action. Nobody’s perfect, but by paying close attention to what you are doing and what is going on around you, your weight loss goals will stay in your sights and, provided you give a real effort, they just might be attainable.