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We’ve all heard all the things that we should be doing to lose weight. But what about what we shouldn’t be doing? There are a number of things that may be hindering your weight loss progress. Here are 9 things to focus on to make more progress in your weight loss goals.
1. Skipping breakfast
Many people think skipping breakfast will help them lose weight by cutting calories. Eating breakfast boost metabolism and helps to stave off cravings later in the day.
2. Not getting enough sleep
Studies have shown that not getting an adequate amount of sleep can lead to weight gain. Sleep helps to regulate your appetite-controlling hormones, which when become unbalanced from lack of sleep, can lead to an increase in your appetite. If you feel you’re not getting enough shut-eye, try adopting a relaxing evening routine that can help you fall asleep fast and get between 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
3. Skipping meals
A deficit in calories is essential for weight loss, but if you reduce your calorie consumption too much, you can hinder your results. Very low calorie diets can slow down your metabolism and can lead to overeating later. Also, if the body doesn’t have enough fuel for its functions, it will conserve energy (calories), and not burn it.
4. Eating a fat-free diet
Fat has been deemed as something to avoid when it comes to weight loss. But not all fats are created equal. The fats that you want to avoid are hydrogenated fats, while the good fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are beneficial to your health and help you lose weight. These healthy fats, found in foods like avocados, nuts and olive oil, help to increase metabolism and burn away belly fat. They can also help keep you full for longer, which makes you less likely to snack.
5. Avoiding carbs
There’s a common belief that carbs should be avoided in order to lose weight. But not all carbs will hinder your progress. Carbs that should be avoided are refined carbs. Refined carbs (white bread, pasta, white rice) spike your blood sugar which makes your body produce extra insulin to bring your blood sugar down.The more insulin in your blood, the more your body converts carbs to fat which then gets stored in your body.
Complex carbs (which include foods like whole grains, beans, legumes) on the other hand, don’t cause rapid spikes in blood sugar, and are the body’s source of fuel. They also contain fiber which make you feel full for longer and help prevent you from snacking.
6. Not doing strength training
If you’re just doing cardio and no strength training, it may be causing you to burn fewer calories overall. Doing too much cardio can eat away at your lean muscle mass, which is necessary for increasing your metabolism to burn more calories. To lose weight and build lean muscle is to do strength training in addition to cardio. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you’ll burn.
7. Not drinking enough water
Drinking water when you feel like snacking and before meals can make you feel fuller, so you’re less likely to overeat. Drinking water also flushes out toxins from the body and also boost your metabolism to help you burn calories.
8. Mindless snacking
A handful of chips may not be too harmful, but if you’re eating them mindlessly out of a bag while watching your favorite TV show, you’re likely to consume several hundred calories. Reading a book, watching TV or surfing the internet are distractions that take your attention away from eating. These distractions make it harder for you to tell when you feel full and you may wind up overeating. Be mindful of what you’re eating and try to minimize distractions. Also, if you choose to snack, check the serving size on the nutrition label, place that portion in a bowl, and sit down and enjoy the snack.
9. Eating hidden sugar
You may be avoiding the most unhealthiest sugar-filled foods like cakes, pies, cookies, candy, etc, but you may not realize that you’re still consuming sugar from several processed foods. If you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy, it’s best to avoid or at least limit these items. Consuming too much sugar can spike your blood sugar and that signals your body to store fat, especially in your belly. Limiting your sugar intake can help prevent this storage of belly fat. Some foods that contain hidden sugar are:
Condiments like ketchup and barbecue sauce
Canned or boxed soups
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