Have you been trying to lose weight time and time again and are still unsuccessful? Or, perhaps, you have lost a couple of pounds only to gain it all back once more? Well, if you are tired of this struggle, here is something you may not have considered changing as yet: your lifestyle.
That’s right! Most people get used to their daily routine since they have been following it for months and years. So, although you may be hitting the gym and eating healthier, you might not be taking your lifestyle into consideration.
If you were to do this, you may notice that there are quite a few missteps you are making on a daily basis. Don’t believe this? Well, then take a look at some of these common mistakes and identify whether you are guilty of them as well.
What Will I Learn?
Are You Continuing to Follow Fad Diets?
Be honest: have you ever tried a lose weight quick program? There is a good chance that you would have, considering that over half of all adults have been on at least one fad diet during their lifetime. This isn’t too surprising to learn, though, considering that there is always another one around the corner.
Now, the allure of such diets is clear. They promise quick results with minimum effort – it is no wonder that people flock to them. Despite this, though, it is estimated that almost 70 percent of all these diets fail! Even if people do lose weight with these programs, they end up gaining it all back.
Fad diets are far too restrictive to continue with for too long. So, you are bound to give up on it at some point or another. For proper weight loss – and maintenance – it is a much better idea to follow a healthy and balanced diet, coupled with exercise.
How Good Are You at Controlling Your Environment?
Just because you are trying to lose weight doesn’t mean that your life has to undergo a total overhaul. Still, there are quite a few changes that you need to start making. To begin with, you should have better control over your environment.
Take a look at your home, workplace, favorite hangouts, and even your friends. Are there any specific triggers that keep derailing your weight loss plans? For instance, it can be as simple as keeping snacks in the pantry and then reaching for them when you are bored.
Or, it could be that you head down to the vending machine in the office whenever you are frustrated at work. The best way to reduce such missteps is to find a way to curb these issues. For example, only keep clean, low-calorie foods in the house. Or, take healthy snacks to work so that you will not binge on calorie-laden food.
How Does Lack Sleep Affect Weight?
It can often seem that people are sleeping for shorter and shorter periods of time. Longer working hours coupled with digital distractions mean that people are up for a longer time. Stop for a moment and count how many hours of sleep you are getting on a daily basis. Is it seven or eight? If not, then you need to make some serious changes.
See, what most people fail to understand is that sleep has a huge impact on weight loss. An excellent point is that not getting enough sleep could have you reaching for unhealthy snacks. When you are tired, your brain is more likely to crave high-carb, fried foods. Now, you don’t need to be told that this can seriously derail your weight loss plans if it happens often enough.
Thus, you need to focus on getting your sleep schedule back on track. Before anything else, though, do some research into what your natural circadian rhythm is. It is this system that is responsible for when you falling asleep and wake up as well. By identifying your natural sleep times, you will know what time of the night to go to sleep and at what time to set your alarm clock.
Following these natural patterns, your body will be able to manage its metabolic activity more efficiently. Not to mention, you will be better rested, making it easier for you to get more exercise on a daily basis.
You may also like to read: Can You Build Muscle with Little Sleep?
Do You Drive Everywhere?
Even if you don’t drive or own a car, there is a good chance that you probably still drive to most places. This is because it is now easier than ever to get a car service to come to your door, even for short distances. As a result, you end up sitting in a car for quite some time each day.
Well, the thing is, most people lead sedentary lives as it is. Due to the modern world, a large number of people spend much of their day behind their desks. Does this apply to you? Well, if so, it is time to leave your car keys at home and walk.
Walking is something you should do even if you hit the gym several times a week. Even if you only walk a couple of thousand steps (a mile or so) each day, it is going to start adding up. Before you know it, you will be spending even more time dedicated to your weight loss. If this isn’t enough reason to walk more, you should know that a brisk pace can actually ward off a number of diseases.
Does Stress Affect Weight Loss?
These days, you may be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t stressed out at least some of the time. After all, there are a lot of things to worry about. Unfortunately, stress isn’t just bad for your mind, it can wreak havoc on your weight loss plans as well.
Do you tend to eat more unhealthy food when you are stressed out? Well, there is a physiological reason behind this. When you are in an unpleasant situation or feeling anxious, one of the hormones that your body releases is cortisol. This hormone has a tendency to not only make you eat more but also crave foods that are high in calories.
To add to this, stress also causes your metabolism to slow down. This circumstance is particularly noticeable in women. Therefore, when stressed out, your body will be in a state where it is reluctant to lose weight.
What Should My Grocery List Be?
As you are well aware, one of the first steps to weight loss is to start cooking at home more often. This gives you better control over what is going into your body. In turn, you can meet your caloric and nutrient needs with greater ease.
Of course, this is only possible if you grocery shop with intent. After all, this is the food that you will end up cooking. To avoid buying anything unnecessary, make a list of all the dishes you are going to make throughout the week.
Then, when you do head to the grocery store, make sure that these ingredients are the only items that you pick up. If you follow this plan, you will be surprised at just how much easier it is for you to lose weight.
How Can I Socialize My Diet?
Now, any good weight loss expert will tell you that it is important to have a cheat day or cheat meal. After all, you need to lead a balanced life where you are able to enjoy yourself. This doesn’t mean though, that you should forget your diet plans when you are out.
See, what many people do is to let completely loose when they are out at a restaurant, bar, or club. If you do this enough times, however, you could end up erasing all your hard work. So, before heading out, make sure to do some calculations about the number of calories in certain foods or alcoholic beverages.
Then, give yourself a limit to stick to. Perhaps you don’t mind going 500 calories over your regular schedule every now and then. By creating this kind of a plan, you will be able to have fun but not do too much damage to your weight loss schedule.
Do You Have Support with Your Weight Loss?
If you are trying to lose weight by yourself, then you may have found that you’re backsliding a bit. It is easy to do so when the only person holding yourself accountable is you. Not to mention, going on this journey alone can be rather lonely.
This is why it can help to have a friend along for the ride as well. Find someone who has similar goals and lifestyle as you. Then, meet up and figure out how to begin losing weight together. In many instances, it is as simple as scheduling fitness classes together instead of heading out to a café or happy hour.
Furthermore, you may just think again before gorging on that piece of chocolate cake if you know that your friend is also struggling to stick with his or her diet. Also, there is no need to restrict to just one individual, you can actually start a weight loss program with your friends or family!
As you can see, there are quite a few lifestyle mistakes that you may be making. Of course, now that you are aware of them, it will be a lot easier for you to correct these errors and get back on track with your weight loss journey.
Joi Bellis has been a personal trainer for over 15 years, with degrees in Exercise Science and psychology. During her years as a fitness coach, she worked with clients with all kinds of weight loss issues and concerns. Her hands-on approach to training has helped her gain a better understanding of why people find it so difficult to lose weight and maintain their routine. In turn, she was able to create customized and individual programs to suit each person. These days, in addition to training, she spends much of her time passing on her experiences to all interested parties.