9 things putting the brakes on weight loss
No one said weight is easy – in fact, it’s tough to do as it requires a self-disciplined mindset to be ultimately successful. Then there are the barriers each of us faces getting in the way of losing extra weight. Add in other certain factors sabotaging your valiant efforts and it becomes even tougher. Consciously or subconsciously weight loss efforts can be influenced by your actions, feelings, and your environmental surrounding.
Sometimes you may feel like throwing in the towel believing you’re a failure as the motivation you started with is beginning to wane. First, don’t give up. The task of shedding pounds is not an easy road to take but well worth it. If you’ve hit a weight loss plateau struggling to get the scale to budge, there are often several things slowing you down. Once you address the issues at hand and know how to solve the problem, you can get back on your weight loss track leading you to a healthier overall lifestyle.
Here’s a look at what might be limiting actual pounds lost and how to fix that:
1. Restricting calories to eat junk food
You’re ‘good’ all day in order to eat that chocolaty rich dessert tonight. Every so often this might be ok but if it becomes a frequent habit, it could backfire on you. The junk food habit needs to be broken to where it is very infrequent. Otherwise frequent consumption of high-calorie sweets and snacks will never satisfy you. Each meal and snack needs sufficient protein (about 25-30 grams at each meal; 10-20 grams at a snack) and fiber to keep you feeling full without filling you out.
2. Frequent eating out
According to a 2016 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition it doesn’t matter whether you eat out a lot at a fast food or full-service restaurant – eat at either one and you’ll consume about 200 calories more than eating at home. The message here is to stay home and cook and save a ton of calories.
3. Prescription medications
It’s been known for a while that certain medications can cause weight gain. Prescription medications to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, bipolar, and schizophrenia are all drugs that can have the possible side effect of pounds gained. It’s important to treat the medical condition but if you notice this happening, discuss with your doctor about an alternative medication without this side effect.
4. Watching cooking shows
The innocent act of viewing cooking shows may have a side effect of causing weight gain. Women who watch cooking shows where high-calorie, indulgent recipes are made and who also cook from scratch, weigh about 12 pounds heavier than women who cook from scratch but hardly ever watch a cooking show. It may be time to scratch cooking shows from your viewing list.
5. Lacking sleep
The lack of sufficient shuteye can be sabotaging your dieting. People with shorter sleep durations have a higher body mass index along with feelings of increased hunger and appetite. When you’re tired it can turn into a vicious cycle of grabbing sugary calorie-laden treats midday, skipping the gym and going through a drive-thru instead of cooking at home. Get to bed earlier and aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
6. Family and friends
You gotta love them but sometimes if you’re the one trying to watch your weight and they’re not guess who has the upper hand. It’s hard when mom insists on that second helping of lasagna or your friends like to get together on weekends eating out and drinking. Your best bet is to be firm when food is pushed on you or change the subject – quickly. Pace yourself when out with friends choosing lighter fare food and low to no-calorie beverages.
7. Overestimating calories burned
You go out for a 30 minute jog and figure you’ve burned quite a few calories so you reward yourself by eating a few cookies. This is the perfect weight loss killer. The average person weighing 150 pounds would burn about 370 calories but having just a few cookies cancels it out. Calculating the number of calories burned each day varies greatly from person to person depending on several factors. When you’ve had a good workout, avoid rewarding yourself with food.
8. Your mental outlook
All of us have used food for comfort at some point in our lives. When we are hurting mentally, food can be our panacea helping us deal with emotional problems. If you’ve gained weight because you often use food to deal with depression or other problems, then it will be difficult to lose the excess pounds. Learning to pinpoint those behaviors and what drives them is important for becoming aware of what you’re doing and why. It can also help to work with a counselor to help you learn more about emotional eating and how you might be doing it without realizing it. Be willing to learn why you make the choices you do and how to confront them in a healthier manner.
9. You’ve set goals too hard to achieve
Setting goals for weight loss is good but if set too high, you’re guaranteed to fail. And when goals are hard to achieve, you will feel like a constant failure which can zap your motivation to even keep trying to lose weight. The key is to set reasonable goals. Any person attempting weight loss will have their own unique goals that are right for them. Set goals that you know you will achieve so you can be successful. For example, instead of setting a goal to walk three miles seven days a week when you haven’t exercised in over a year, set a more realistic goal of walking one mile, three days a week. Once that goal has been met, readjust the goal to make it more challenging.
Never give up when it comes to your health
Overall, give yourself a pat on the back for giving good effort in attempting weight loss. None of us are perfect and losing weight is no exception. Stay focused, have consistency in regular exercise, moderation in healthy food choices and weight loss becomes much easier.