Last month I wrote about 10 common eating and drinking mistakes that hold many people back from realizing their weight loss goals. After cleaning up your diet, if you are still not seeing the results you expect, it is likely that one or more of these 5 bad habits could be preventing you from getting the maximum benefit from all the hard work you put in.
You are doing too much cardio (and not enough weight training)
Cardio is great for burning fat, but on its own it’s not enough. Weight training (obviously) helps you to build muscle, and by building muscle your body has to burn calories, which in turn boosts your metabolism. The higher your metabolism, the more calories you are burning — even while you aren’t active.
You are not getting enough sleep
In today’s world, this is all too common. Sleep is often overlooked, but it is essential to energize your body and allow it to repair and recover. There has even been research showing that the biggest spike in fat burning hormones occurs during deep sleep. Shoot for 7-8 hours/night.
You aren’t being consistent
We all have good intentions when starting a new workout and healthy eating regime, but many of us let it slip from time to time. Nobody is perfect, but if you are repeatedly finding yourself “falling off the wagon” then this could be a big factor in to why you aren’t losing weight. Once you have been exercising regularly your body will actually adapt and accept the new routine, so you will find that you begin to crave exercise, and will be much less likely to skip workouts.
You’ve kept your “fat clothes”
If you have already managed to drop a dress size, then one of the worst things you can do is to keep your “fat clothes”. By holding on to them, you are effectively allowing yourself to gain that weight back, because deep down you know that those clothes will always be there. Get rid of them! Donate them to charity, and once they are out of your life you will feel more inclined to keep the weight off because you won’t have those clothes to easily fall back in to.
You are too stressed
Everybody gets stressed, but if you are particularly stressed then it can actually interfere with your weight loss. Stress triggers the production of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body, and if too much of this is released then it can actually interfere with testosterone, which is the hormone responsible for building and maintaining muscle. A decrease in muscle mass leads to a reduced metabolism, which burns calories at a slower rate. In addition to your regular exercise, add in some yoga, meditation and/or restorative breathing to combat the stress in your life.
It can be hard to make the changes needed to reap the full rewards of your new healthy lifestyle, but you can do it and you deserve it! Nobody is perfect and everybody has barriers to overcome. Identifying yours is an important step before you can make a realistic plan to move past them.
About the writer: Ken Grall is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and owns and operates an Edge Fitness in Madison, Wisconsin. Learn more about Ken.