If you’re serious about your weight loss goals, it’s crucial to take a look at your lifestyle as a whole and not just your diet and exercise routine.
There are several habits most people have that thwart their fat loss efforts, leading to discouragement, feelings of hopelessness, plateaus, and even weight gain. Read on to learn some common habits and avoid making these mistakes in your life!
1. Nutrient Deficiencies
Studies have found that obese individuals tend to have higher rates of nutrient deficiencies. This may be due to the consumption of low-quality, nutrient-poor foods, even if they are fortified with vitamins. Low levels of vitamins and minerals prevent the proper functioning of metabolic pathways that burn energy and control weight gain.
2. Inadequate Sleep
Adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night for overall health and well-being. A lack of quality shut-eye has been linked to overeating and making poor food choices. When you’re sleep-deprived, the frontal lobe, which is the area in your brain that’s involved in decision-making, is suppressed, making it a lot easier to reach for the chocolate, chips, or candy instead of a healthier option. Sleep is a time for the body to recover and repair. The pituitary gland in the brain releases growth hormone during sleep, which has been proven to aid in fat loss and weight management.
When most of us notice that we’ve gained a few inches and that our jeans are tight, we amp up the gym time and cut back on calories. But what do you do when this doesn’t work? Many clients have told me that they’ll exercise even more and eat even less. Over-exercising (and under-eating) puts stress on the body and increases cortisol. Cortisol blocks fat burning and sends your body into fat-storing mode, thwarting your efforts to drop pounds.
4. Eating a low-fat or a low-calorie diet
I’m bold enough to assert that most women who are trying to lose weight in North America are under-eating. An outdated approach to weight loss has been to cut back on fat to lose weight. This is because, gram for gram, fat has more calories than carbohydrates and proteins, and we know that creating a calorie deficit through diet and exercise leads to weight loss. The problem with this approach is that it consequently supports a diet that is higher in carbohydrates to compensate. Many low-fat foods are processed with added sugar to make up for the missing flavour and texture that comes with removing fat. You can see this by comparing the labels of “regular” and “low-fat” foods in your local grocery store, particularly on items like breads, crackers, yogurt, and snack foods. This is problematic because a high-sugar diet compromises weight loss by causing blood sugar fluctuations. Fats are crucial for the maintenance of good health, and they play a powerful role in fat loss. You need to eat fat to lose fat!