If weight loss is your main goal but you feel that you aren't reaping the rewards of your work, then it might be time to get to the bottom of what's really going on. You might be doing all the right things but there are small changes you might be able to make to really jumpstart what you're looking for.
1. You Don't Know How Much You're Eating
Whether or not you're tracking your calories, macros, points, etc., right now, food journaling can be an important aspect when it comes to fat loss. If you aren't into the smartphone apps, grab a pad of paper and a pen. Write down every single thing you put into your mouth, including water, and the time that you consumed it. Food journaling helps to keep your intake accountable while also giving you an idea of what might be stalling your progress. Occasionally, we even realize that sometimes people aren't eating enough food when they actually sit down and start writing it out. Being able to look at the diet through journaling is helpful in working towards a balanced diet that meets your goals.
If you're looking to try macros or calorie counting, try downloading an app like MyFitnessPal where you can set a goal and then input your exact foods and get the carbohydrate, fat and protein breakdown.*
2. You Don't Drink Enough Water:
Water is a significant aspect when it comes to not only hydration but your body composition as well. Not only does drinking water sometimes help to reduce calorie intake by filling you up with water instead of extra food, but it keeps you from drinking other things instead like soda or juices. Drinking water helps to spike your metabolism with thermogenesis, gives you extra energy since your body is made up of good H2O and keeps you feeling good (no headaches, less sluggishness).
3. You Aren't Sleeping
If you aren't sleeping, your body will be mad. First and foremost, a lack of sleep will mean a tired body. A tired body doesn't want to exercise or eat healthy-it wants it's rest. Second, not sleeping enough causes an automatic fight or flight response in the body and forces cortisol to rise. Increased cortisol tells your body that something is wrong and processes begin to shut down. In a fight or flight response, your weight loss will surely slow. Aim for a sweet spot of 7-8 hours a night.
4. You're Worried About It/Obsess
Similar to the way not enough sleep can be harmful, so can worrying about your weight. Anxiety about food, weight and exercise cause a similar fight or flight response in the body and produce inflammation and higher cortisol. When we get anxiety about something, whether it's work or food, our bodies react the same. This response will force your body to keep weight on, change your energy levels and affect your metabolism and blood sugar. To combat this: Be strict without constantly reducing intake or foods in an effort to lose more weight. Take diet breaks between periods of dieting to allow your body time to adjust.
5. You're Not Getting Enough Movement/High Enough Calorie Burn
There are a few ways we burn calories throughout the day. The first is NEAT or Non Exercise Activity Theromogenesis. NEAT is your daily movements throughout the day: tapping your feet, getting up and down, everything! NEAT is the primary way we burn calories each day from living and can easily be increased by walking around at work a little more, going up and down stairs and parking the car further away. Secondly, you also have your exercise burn: these are the calories you burn while adding exercise to your life. If you have a desk job where you sit all day and add exercise to your regimen, you still might not be burning enough calories to reach your desired goal. Increasing NEAT by getting extra steps in and/or adding some additional cardiovascular exercise to your routine can help bump up your daily caloric expenditure and get you closer to your goals.
If any of these aspects sound familiar to you, try incorporating one or two new aspects that are the most significant to you and watch for changes
that might occur!
*if you're not working with a trainer or getting nutrition assistance, there are many websites available that can help calculate your caloric needs however, for a more accurate breakdown and modifications based on progress, we suggest working with someone that understands nutrition.