Everybody has a few bad habits and some of them may be the reasons why you aren’t able to shed those extra pounds that have been clinging to you since forever. Your first step should be to find out what these bad habits are in the first place so that you can create an effective plan to eliminate them. We’ve combined the most common reasons why you may not be able to lose enough weight no matter how hard you try:
1. You’re not having enough protein
Getting too many of your daily calories from carbs (especially simple sugars) and fats is one of the most common ways people sabotage their weight loss efforts. Your body takes twice as long to digest protein compared to carbs, thus making you feel fuller and satiated for longer. Furthermore, protein consumption stabilizes blood sugar levels and reduces cravings. Some great sources of protein include lean beef, poultry, fish, eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts and nut butter, protein powder, whole grains such as quinoa and collard greens.
2. You’re not sleeping enough
How is sleep connected to weight loss? Well, here’s the deal – if you’re not getting enough sleep, you will have a lot of trouble trying to shed that extra fat. The reason: your body produces two hormones, leptin, and ghrelin. While leptin stimulates feeling of satiation during a meal and tells you when you’re full, ghrelin increases your appetite. Researchers at the University of Chicago have found that not getting enough sleep elevates ghrelin levels and reduces leptin levels and increases ghrelin levels causing increased cravings for sugary snacks during late night hours.
3. You’ve eliminated certain foods for good
When you try to cut off certain foods altogether, you crave for them even more with time. Your diet may be going fantastic right now but like with most people, there will come a point when you will want to call it quits and indulge in your favorite unhealthy foods.
Many people think that they have to give up what they love when they’re on a certain diet, which include diets that cut out carbs, sugar, gluten, dairy or fat. This can make a diet unsatisfying and sometimes even unhealthy, especially if you’re cutting out a macro.
The solution: have everything in moderation and learn to control your portions. Soon you’ll develop a habit of having an occasional “unhealthy” snack and still enjoy your new lifestyle.
4. You’re grazing too much
Let’s face it; most of us have been grazing since we were kids. We would open the fridge every time we pass it and graze the fridge, have a slice of that cake here, and have a spoon of Nutella there and maybe a cookie or two. Unfortunately, this habit follows you till adulthood and you continue to do it thinking it’s harmless to have a tiny bit of everything delicious in the fridge. You’ve just consumed several extra calories which can add up if you do it every day. Plan your meals and avoid snacking unnecessarily.
5. You eat while you’re distracted
Eating while browsing the internet, driving, going through your Instagram feed or watching television may cause you to overeat. The solution is to stop eating when you’re focusing on other things or stop getting distracted while you eat. Try to eat slowly so that you can enjoy and respect the nutrients in your food. Chewing more triggers the brain to think that you are eating more, allowing you to eat less than you normally would.
6. You’re not drinking enough water
You’re already dehydrated by the time you are thirsty so avoid waiting too long to rehydrate. About 70 percent of your body is water, therefore, try your best to have 8 or more glasses of water per day to replenish your system.
When you’re dehydrated, you might feel hungry as well even though it’s not your next meal time yet. Instead of reaching out for a snack, have a glass of water and see if you feel better. Always carry a bottle of water with you so that you are hydrated throughout the day. Drinking plenty of water will also ensure you don’t eat too much during your meals.
7. You’re rewarding yourself with unhealthy food
Even if you exercise intensely every day, you need to focus on what you put in your body. Exercise is a way to burn some extra calories, tone and condition your muscles and improve your cardiovascular health. The benefits of exercise are countless, but it cannot replace a healthy diet. Therefore, no matter how much you exercise, avoid rewarding yourself each day with unhealthy food — it will only add more calories than you spent during your sweat session.