Friday, August 9, 2013

Top 5 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Weight

Cheat day  

Have you ever been frustrated by your weight? You cut your calories, log your food intake and diligently work out, sweating through spin classes and hammering it the weight room. But your fat isn't budging, and the mirror doesn't lie. Maybe it's your thyroid or one of those obesity hormones? Nah. Chances are you can't blame your hormones or even a sluggish metabolism (sorry).

The majority of people who are frustrated with their progress are making one or more of the following five nutrition mistakes.

1. You Take Cheat Days

If you are slashing calories and eating "clean" (healthy, less processed foods) five or six days per week, shouldn't you be allowed one cheat day? No! Aside from the fact that I hate the term "cheat day" (because it implies an allowed eating binge after days of dietary deprivation), cheat days (and even cheat meals) can literally cheat you out of achieving results. While diligently watching your food and beverage intake and eating enough to fuel your body but also lose weight, a cheat day can tip you over your calorie budget for the week so your fat doesn't budge one bit.

Here's an example. I had a client years ago who ate about 1,500 calories every single day during the week, but he wasn't losing weight. So I asked him to bring in his food log for the weekend. Beer, hot dogs, sausage, chips and more beer later. I calculated Saturday's tally at over 4,500 calories. He really only needed about 1,800 calories daily to lose one to two pounds each week. That means his Saturday added up to an additional 385 calories per day for the week (and this doesn't even include his diet disasters on Sundays).

If you want to eat something "off your diet," go right ahead, but do so in a smart, portion-controlled manner instead of blowing it out. (Don't cut calories or deprive yourself of everything you enjoy to avoid the need to blow it out!)

2. You Skip Breakfast

I've heard every reason in the book for why people skip breakfast. However, a wealth of research data supports breakfast and weight management. And it makes sense. If you feed your body first thing in the morning, you will have the energy you need to train hard; and the harder you train, the more calories you burn. Plus, you won't search for snacks after dinner because you’re still hungry. Keep your stomach full and hunger pangs at bay by eating your morning meal.
 

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