If you’ve been adhering to a strict healthy eating and fitness plan, but are failing to see the results, it may be time to take a look at what is sabotaging your success. From dieting blunders to physical factors, Chebet Korir shares surprising reasons the numbers on your weighing scale have hit a plateau
1. You’re chained to your desk
A sedentary workday could be destroying your weight loss goals without you even realising it. Try prioritising breaks, scheduling mobile meetings and even going for a longer walk at lunch time.
2. Eating straight from the bag
Researchers have found that people eat more when they snack straight from the bag. You can’t tell how much you have consumed when you eat from a bag. Put your crisps or nuts in a plate or bowl and eat from there. That way, you will recognise when you’ve had enough and stop.
3. You’re not getting enough sleep
You may think that cutting back on sleep to make time for a work out is great for your health and fitness, but that could actually minimise the benefits of the exercise you are doing and cause you to gain weight.
Not only does lack of sleep affect exercise performance, but it also slows down your metabolism, increases appetite and makes you more likely to give in to your cravings. Furthermore, lack of sleep can increase stress levels, which contribute to weight gain.
4. You’re eating too little
While eating too much food can cause you to gain weight, eating too little can also make it surprisingly difficult to shed those kilos. Your body has a natural instinct to protect itself, so when it is not given an adequate amount of food, it will automatically go into starvation mode.
This causes the metabolism to slow down and the body save fat. Not good for someone trying to shed
5. Not drinking enough water
Water plays a role in food metabolism and in your body’s ability to burn calories for energy. Water also aids weight loss because it keeps you feeling full.
Drinking two cups of water before meals, combined with a calorie-restricted diet, has been proven to promote weight loss. And often, thirst is confused with hunger, so before you reach for a snack, try a glass of water. You can change things up by adding in some fresh fruits for natural sweetness.
6. You’re underestimating how much you eat at restaurants
Salads may be healthy, but you can’t quite determine what ingredients have been put in. Cooking at home saves you from some unwanted kilos.
7. Eating mindlessly
If you eat while focusing on other things, chances are you will overeat. In fact, many people only realise they have eaten a lot only after they are done. Mindful eating will help you eat less and lose weight. It will also reduce chances of repeating the same habits.
Learn to focus on eating only. Don’t watch TV, listen to music, or use the phone while eating. Sit at a table, focus on the food in front of you and chew every bite slowly.
8. Emotional eating
Many people turn to food when they are depressed, sad, lonely, or excited. These emotions trigger a fight or flight response, which stimulates appetite.
Learn to deal with emotions without involving food. Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Playing sports may help, but won’t fix the problem, so seek professional help if nothing seems to work.
9. You binge on healthy foods
Nuts, avocados, whole wheat pasta, olive oil, and dark chocolate are all natural and healthy, but they aren’t void of calories. You still need to watch how much you eat of the good stuff.
10. You’re prioritising exercise over diet
Many people believe that they can indulge in a few more scoops of ice cream after an intense gym session, which does more harm than good. The truth is, healthy bodies are made in the kitchen. Research has shown that diet is more important than exercise when it comes to healthy weight loss, although both are crucial overall.