Top five mistakes that can ruin your weight loss plans
The truth is that real fat loss comes with lasting, healthy lifestyle changes. You’ll get to your goals quicker when you stop making these five lifestyle mistakes:
#1: Lack of sleep
You need to sleep more. Adults need an average of eight hours of sleep every night, and chances are that you aren’t getting that much. When you don’t get enough rest, you’re more likely to be hungry, to overeat, and therefore gain weight.
If you’re tired, you probably won’t feel like cooking a healthy meal, and you’ll opt for fast (fattening) food instead. This same lack of energy will also cause you to skip the gym. On top of that, sleep deprivation causes your metabolism to slow down, and that is not something you want!
#2: Too much TV time
Many people have a habit of sitting in front of the TV for hours. Yes, you may be worn out and need a break, but sitting on the couch, zoned out, watching TV is not the way to lose inches.
Watching TV is only fine if you also use the time to burn some calories! Keep some hand weights next to the couch. Stand up and do some squats or lunges. Get on the floor and do some sit-ups or push-ups. If you’ve got the equipment, watch TV while cycling on a stationary bike, or jogging on a treadmill.
#3: Skipping breakfast
If you try to cut calories by skipping breakfast, you’ll be excessively hungry by mid-morning. As a result, the healthy calories you would’ve eaten at breakfast are replaced by calorie-filled snacks and an over-sized lunch.
Fitting breakfast into your schedule may mean lifestyle changes, but research shows that the habit of eating a healthy breakfast is key to losing weight and keeping pounds off. Go to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual and set your alarm 10 minutes earlier to give yourself time to eat breakfast.
#4: Drinking too much sugar
If you’re one of the millions hooked on fizzy drinks, alcohol, or other sweetened beverages, your fitness goals might remain out of reach until you replace those drinks with water.
Your brain also often confuses thirst with hunger. So at the first sign of hunger, don’t grab a snack or calorie-filled drinks. Grab a glass of water instead.
#5: Not doing the right physical activity
Weight loss is about burning more calories than you consume. Therefore, it should make sense that dieting and exercise must go hand in hand. If you want to speed up weight loss and keep it off, try to increase the amount and intensity of your physical activity.
For many people, this is the most difficult lifestyle change of all, but the benefits are worth it. Aim for 30-60 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. When exercise is a normal part of your everyday routine, it’s more likely to stick, and your body will become slimmer and more toned.
We’re not going to lie, these lifestyle changes aren’t easy to make, and changes won’t happen overnight. Chances are you’ll have some setbacks. But don’t give up. Each day is a new beginning, and it starts out with no mistakes in it. Begin each morning with the determination to stick with your healthy eating habits and lifestyle changes.
By Chad Smith, personal trainer and co-owner of Home Team Fitness LLC. Go to www.getsmithfit.com for more information.