Years of reading articles in health magazines and online blogs have taught you that the key mantra to losing weight is to burn the calories you consume (1).
But unfortunately, it’s not that simple – something you’ve already figured out. Despite trying to achieve the ideal calorie count through diet and exercise, you are yet to see the results of this arduous routine.
So, what’s standing in the way?
Your bad habits.
By focusing on the calorie count, you add to your stress levels, making it that much harder to shed those extra kilos. And this is just one example of anti-weight loss bad habits.
Let’s take a look at the top eight daily habits that prevent you from turning fat into energy.
To be honest, dieting never works. And the simple reason behind it is that depriving yourself of the foods you love can cause you to stress out and lead to loss of motivation. Moreover, if your dieting does work for you, it still damages your body in its wake (2). What you need to do, and this may sound counterintuitive, is eat everything you love eating! That said, striking a balance so that you don’t pile on extra kilos. Find that sweet spot and you’ll be able to manage your weight just fine.
2. Eating Too Much
If eating too little was bad, overeating is no lesser evil either. The problem with overeating is that you’d generally do it with what you consider tasty, which will turn out to be greasy, sugary and fattening by all means. This can increase your calorie intake, leading you to consume much more than your body needs (3). When that happens, your body activates its fat-storing enzymes, causing weight gain.
To stop yourself from overeating, you should consume nutritious foods with high fiber content. This will keep you fuller longer and your body will not feel the need to overeat as it’ll be nourished (4).
3. Skipping Meals
It’s a common belief that skipping meals can help you lose weight but it won’t. All you will do by ditching breakfast (or any other meal for that matter) is reduce your metabolic rate, which will lead to an increase in body fat (5).
You can speed your metabolism and decrease the fat content of your body by indulging in nutritious foods! Foods such as lean meats rich in iron, selenium and zinc, coffee, chili peppers, green tea, legumes etc. can boost your metabolism.
4. Having A Diet With High PUFA
PUFA stands for polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are most commonly found in vegetable oils such as safflower, canola, peanut, soybean, and sunflower oils. The problem with PUFA is that it can have adverse effects on your metabolism.
What PUFA does is that it blocks your thyroid from releasing its fair share of hormones to your cells, which consequently prevents the cells from carrying out their metabolic function. Hence, cut down on the PUFA by trying out olive oil instead.
5. Cutting Down On Carbs
Sure, a low carb diet is advocated for weight loss, but it’s not doing your metabolism any good. And if it can’t help your metabolism, it can’t help you lose weight. Diets with very low carbs slow down your metabolism, which can lead to weight gain. The key is to eat the right type of carbs, which include carbs that do not raise your insulin levels such as fresh fruits and vegetables (6).
6. Being Lazy
Laziness is the most potent enemy of weight loss! A sedentary lifestyle, i.e. one which lacks any physical activity, is responsible for making your metabolism sluggish (7). This, in turn, means that your metabolism is unable to convert body fat into energy, which not only leads to weight gain but also other health problems such as insulin resistance. So, it’s time to stop procrastinating and put those running shoes on!
7. Excess Exercising
Myth: Over excising can help you lose weight quicker.
Reality: It can lead to weight gain (8).
Nutritionists explain that when you work out too much, you cause a spike in the stress hormone – cortisol – levels in your body. Consequently, due to the high levels of stress, your body is unable to burn fat, making it harder to lose weight. You need to exercise moderately to reap the maximum benefits.
8. Perfectionist Attitude
While being a perfectionist is healthy, it can spell trouble for your weight loss plan. Perfectionists have the tendency to judge harshly and may end up despising themselves if they make one single slip up and upset their weight loss regime. Try being more forgiving towards yourself so you can keep the stress levels down and lose weight the healthy way.
Remember, losing weight is not just about dieting or just exercising alone. You need to have a holistic approach and do everything right to have a healthy body you can be proud of.