Losing weight sounds simple in theory, right? Eat right, exercise and all is well and good in the world. However, there are plenty of sneaky things that are often overlooked. With the way foods and drinks are marketed and packaged these days (not to mention what companies can get away with putting IN food), it’s easy to do. There are several things that can easily add up and completely destroy your weight loss efforts leaving you to wonder “what am I doing wrong?” or “why isn’t this working for me?”.
According to many fitness professionals, including Jackie Warner, diet accounts for up to 70-80% of your results. Do you realize what that means? You can’t out-exercise a poor diet. It’s so true. You might get away with this when you’re young, but eventually it’ll catch up to you.
Sugar, in various forms, are in just about everything. If the product contains a barcode, it probably has sugar in it. Ever seen “high fructose corn syrup” on a food label? It’s hard to find products that DON’T have it. Sugar was the hot topic on 60 Minutes Sunday night and what I heard was incredible. If you missed the broadcast, you can check out the written version here.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta: What are all these various diseases that you say are linked to sugar?
Dr. Robert Lustig: Obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease itself.
I’m not a nutritionist and I don’t consider myself an expert – especially when it comes to food – but I think the easiest way to lower sugar consumption is to keep your foods simple. Stick to fruits, veggies, lean meats, beans, oats, whole grains and healthy fats. Not sure how much sugar you’re eating? TRACK IT FOR 3 DAYS.
Wanna learn more about sugar in an easy-to-understand format? Check out this video: Sugar: The Bitter Truth (short version)
Well, weekends aren’t very sneaky, but it’s tough for most people (myself included) to keep up a good schedule like they do during the week. The ability to sleep in, not have to go to work and having fun things to do or social events to attend makes it easy to get lazy or a bit careless.
The best tip I can give here is to try and keep the same schedule on the weekends as you do during the week – as best you can. Whatever you do, don’t eat a strict diet all week long and then pay no mind to what you consume Saturday and Sunday. You can EASILY go way over on calories. Also, try to fit in AT LEAST one workout.
Liquid calories are probably one of the biggest culprits when it comes to the inability to lose weight. If you’re drinking a beverage that isn’t water, you’re probably consuming calories. Some common ones? Coffee, fancy coffee shop drinks, alcohol – including beer, wine, spirits and cocktails, juice, pop and energy drinks. And if you’re thinking, “Well I just drink diet drinks, they have zero calories.” Okay…but water is still better and doesn’t have any icky chemicals or added sugars, flavors, etc. in it. And your body NEEDS water. The only liquid calories I drink on a REGULAR basis are my post-workout recovery drink, Shakeology and water. (I always found that consuming pop, juice and/or alcohol always led me to eat more too.)
Some liquid calories are fine, but do you know how many you’re consuming per day? Might be worth finding out so TRACK IT! It’s the only way to know for sure and knowledge is power.
Not Eating Enough.
Did you know that you can prevent weight loss or even GAIN weight by not eating enough? What if I told you that you could LOSE MORE WEIGHT by EATING MORE? Starving your body is not the key to weight loss. Starving is key to feeling weak, lethargic and hungry. Think that makes for a super happy person? NOT LIKELY. (and this has nothing to do with eating disorders, or me bashing those who have or are dealing with one – I realize the impact those diseases have – believe me – I’m just talking about the general, extreme restriction of calories that some people think is required for weight loss. )
It’s true that you may need to eat less compared to what you are eating right now BUT if you’re working out on a regular basis, building muscle and burning fat and STILL not losing weight, it could be because you aren’t eating enough. When you don’t eat enough, you’re going to lose muscle – and fast. Remember that muscle burns fat… and muscles require nutrients to not only function properly, but also to grow. The more muscle you build, the more food you’re going to have to consume to keep those muscles! And of course the more muscle you have, the more fat your body will burn.
Not sure how many calories to consume? Check out this weight loss calculator. Test it for 2 weeks and make adjustments as necessary. It helped me.
So there you have it!
One of the major secrets to success when it comes to weight loss is being honest with yourself. How many calories are you eating? How much activity are you really doing? Are you working out AT LEAST 3 times per week for 20-30 minutes? How is your intensity? Are you really giving your workouts all you’ve got? Could you give a little more? How many calories are you burning? Tracking all of these things can provide a lot of insight as to what you may need to work on to get on the fast track to your goal weight.
I know you can do it! Need help getting there? Ask!