1 – Snacking at night
You might think that a little nibble on something light shortly before going to bed isn’t going to hurt, but the body starts making melatonin during the evening hours and this hormone slows down the functions of the body (metabolism) and starts preparing it for sleep. Even your digestion process slows down. When you’re putting in effort to eat well it can feel like you’re doing everything right, but a habit of late-night snacking is so easy to slip into, and it could be ruining your weightless goals. Try to make your last meal at least two hours before you go to bed.
2 – Skipping lunch
Yes it might seem like a great way to lose weight, but foregoing your usual breakfast or lunch actually throws your normal hormone levels go off kilter, rushing your body into starvation mode, which makes it reluctant to burn off excess fat as an energy source. It also means you’ll probably be ravenous by the time you next get near a source of food, making you more likely to binge on the first bit of sugary junk you can get your hands on. Eating well-spaced meals and snacks throughout the day can help maintain a balanced blood sugar level, stave off hunger, help reduce portion size and ultimately aid weight loss efforts.
3 – Doing too much cardio
If all you ever do is cardio, cardio, cardio, you’re making weight loss a hard slog. Cardio is all good, but by itself is nowhere near as effective as a well-rounded cardio and strength-based workout plan. By incorporating weights and high intensity interval training (HIIT) into your workout regime you can maximise the amount of fat you burn and your weight loss efforts. Lean body weight (less fat, more muscle) increases your metabolism further, which in turn staves of weight gain and helps burn fat. Variety is key with any training regime, just don’t miss out that strength training element.
4 – Eating toast for breakfast
The only thing worse than skipping breakfast is eating a whole pile of carbs for your first meal of the day (toast and pastries, we’re looking at you). Remember you’ve been fasting for several hours and eating straight carbohydrates first off can cause your blood sugars to spike drastically, promoting an insulin response, which in turn encourages fat cells to store more fat. Such a breakfast will leave you feeling hungry in just a little while when your blood sugars dip. Make sure to get a well-balanced breakfast of protein and some complex carbs as well.
5 – Not sleeping enough
Being healthy means the right combination of nutrition, rest, sleep and exercise. Each of these is equally important. If you find that you are eating right and workout out regularly, but too much stress keeps you from getting adequate sleep, you will not be able to get down to your goal weight. When the body suffers from lack of sleep, it releases a stress hormone, cortisol. When cortisol levels are high it can lead to insulin and blood sugar levels becoming imbalanced. This can cause havoc with fat storage in the body.
6 – Not enough fluids
When you drink water it can increase the body’s ability to burn fat. Just drinking water won’t help you lose weight, but if you are dehydrated no matter how well you eat you are not going to lose as much weight as if you were hydrated. The dehydrated body can’t burn fat. By drinking at least two litres of water a day you can help your body get into fat burning mode easier.
7 – Misunderstanding your calorific intake
Just because a food is in the “healthy” section of a menu or supermarket, it doesn’t mean it’s low in calories. Whole grains, nuts and avocados are super foods when it comes to nutrients, but are also very high in calories. Try to limit these high-calorie foods by cutting back your portion size. Calories are a tricky business and always worth counting to help keep you in check. Use an app like MyFitnessPal to help stay on top of your calorie counting.
8 – Too little protein
If you skimp on protein, the body goes into a Catabolic state and starts burning down its own muscle for fuel. This leads to a decreased muscle mass, which translates into a lower metabolism and fewer calories burned. You need protein to build your muscles, which in turn speeds up your metabolism. Make sure to eat a well balanced meal consisting of enough protein, carbohydrates and vegetables.