You jog four times a week, snack on health foods and never eat dessert. On paper, you’re doing all the right things. Right?
Well, not exactly. There are dozens of reasons you might not be able to shift those last few pounds. Here are six of the most surprising ones.
1. You’re eating on the run
Take time to really enjoy your food if you want to lose weight. (credit: @ohhcouture)
We get it. Life’s busy. But grabbing your meals on the go or eating while distracted in front of your computer is bad news for your waistline. Weight loss experts are increasingly stressing the importance of mindful eating – taking the time to sit still and savor each bite.
If you’re totally distracted, you’re far more likely to just hoover your food down. Totally missing the signals from your body that you’re full! Also, rushing around like mad all the time can make you kinda stressed. And high levels of the stress hormone cortisol are known to increase junk food cravings, as well as belly fat. Yikes!
2. Your fridge is full of ‘diet’ foods
Diet, lite, fat-free… these foods aren’t the answer.
Low fatcheese, ice cream, milk, pudding… Sound like your grocery list? Sure, low fat and diet foods might seem like the innocent option. But what they lack in fat,
they often make up for in added sugars, salt and other additives to boost the flavor.
While it’s smart to eat fewer saturated fats, simply replacing your favorite foods with low fat versions won’t mean you’ll drop a dress size. Also, you’ll be tempted to eat a much bigger portion of these less satisfying versions, which cancels out any benefit.
3. You’re not drinking enough water
If you’re hungry, try drinking a glass of water before you eat.
Drinking enough H20 is vital for the functioning of your organs, and your body’s digestive and detoxification processes. Water can also help you from over-indulging by, essentially, filling you up. Several studies have linked water intake with weight loss,
including a recent study
of obese adults. The group that drank 500ml of water half an hour before meals lost almost three pounds more in 12 weeks than those who did not.
Watery foods also contribute to your daily intake (eat those greens!), as well as herbal teas. All the more reason to sip on SkinnyMint Morning Boost throughout the day! It’s all natural, virtually calorie-free, and formulated to give you energy to power through your day.
4. You’re only doing cardio
Don’t be afraid of working with weights. (credit: @victoriasport)
Sure, running might make you lose a heap of weight when you start. But it’s easy to reach a plateau if your only exercise is steady state cardio. You can also end up losing lean muscle mass!
Weight training will help you gain or conserve this lean muscle, and fire up your metabolism so you burn more calories while you’re sitting still. It’s time to lift it to lose it, ladies!
5. Your eyes are too big for your stomach
Forget what your mama taught you about clearing your plate! (credit: @taramilktea)
Two words. Portion control. If you’re doing everything else right – eating a good balance of lean protein, leafy veg, some good fats and low-GI whole grains – and the weight is sticking, your portions might be to blame.
If you’re truly ravenous come dinner time, try to eat smaller meals, more regularly. And don’t overload your plate to start with, then feel you have to eat everything! Avoid food wastage and overeating by putting slightly less on your plate than you think you can eat. You can always go back for seconds if you don’t feel satisfied.
6. You’re consuming too many calories from healthy foods
To lose weight, you still need to be mindful of calories. (credit: @eatwithinyourmeans)
Yup, you heard that right. Just because foods are considered ‘healthy’ doesn’t mean you can eat your fill without gaining weight. We know we need good fats in our diet for a healthy heart and glowing skin, but don’t go mad. The calories in foods like avocado, dark chocolate and nuts add up. So stick to no more than a handful of nuts per day, a square or two of chocolate, or half an avo.
How did you manage to shift those last few stubborn pounds? Tell us in comments below. And if you’re still struggling, why not try these six healthy food swaps?