Are these 5 cut-downs sabotaging your weight loss success? Here´s how to turn it around!
You’re doing everything right you assume. You cut down and cut out food wherever you can. It´s hard and you’re hungry, really hungry. But you hang in there, hoping for great results because you´re motivated and you want this bad – You want to see a change.
At the end of the week, you climb up to face the scale. Hopeful. Exited. Looking forward to seeing where all your hard work has taken you. And then… Nothing!
No reduction, no, non, nada!
But how can this be you wonder? Irritation starts creeping up on you. You think to yourself what does it all matter anyway – All your hard work for nothing. You finally decide that it´s not worth it and quit before you´ve even begun.
If this has happened to you, you´re not alone.
When you try to lose weight a few things that can really obstruct your success, making you want to quit before you see any results – Here are 5 common reasons why people don’t succeed with weight loss, and what you can do to turn it around.
1) You deny yourself specific food
Have you ever been told, that to lose weight you have to cut out certain foods?
Certain foods ARE energy dense and low in nutrients, yes – and should be limited.
But what most people don´t realize it this. Telling your brain you CAN´T have something will make it instantly focus on and crave this specific food. It makes your diet a living hell until you finally give in and overindulge in the food you told yourself you couldn’t have.
This sort of eating can lead to unhealthy eating patterns and become a vicious circle.
You might end up in with something along the line of this;
You tell yourself you can´t have a specific food –> You brain is now focusing on this food –> You crave this food –> So you finally give in and overindulgence in it –> Now you feel guilty and depressed about your own shortcomings –> This might make you overeat –> Next day you feel bad and want to fix the problem –> You now go back to restricting yourself.
Restrictions get in the way of both health and weight loss.
Instead of thinking you CAN´T have a specific food, think this; I can have it if I want and perhaps I will one day – but for now, losing weight and staying healthy is more important to me.
In other words.
Tell yourself that you can eat anything in the world, but choose to mainly eat food that will take you to where you want to go health-wise. Accept that some foods will have to be kept in modest amounts, in order for you to reach your goal, but it doesn´t mean you can´t ever have a bit of it.
2) You eat too little
To lose weight, one thing is true.
You have to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight. After that, it gets really complicated.
You would think, that cutting down on calories would make your body burn more fat.
Unfortunately, though, that’s not how it works.
We all have a basic energy need, necessary for proper maintenance of our body. If you eat less energy than your basic metabolic rate requires, the body will read that, as if you are starving. It will think the food is scarce and will turn down as many bodily functions as possible. To a point where it can still maintain the absolutely necessary.
This means metabolism slows down, and the body starts eating off its own available energy stores. that being fat, protein (amino acids) and carbohydrates (glycogen stored in the bloodstream, muscles, and liver).
Being low on energy you end up feeling drowsy, perhaps irritated and low on motivation. Your body will try to remind you to eat, by cranking up appetite hormone secretion.
This will keep you constantly hungry, and it will make your brain focus on what to eat next and when/ how to get a hold of something to eat. A really obstructive pattern for your life and ability to get other stuff done during the day.
It´s an extremely demanding and strenuous state to be in and it can really set you on edge. This way of life affects your whole system and your ability to concentrate and to stay focused.
No wonder most people can’t stand it for more than a couple of days.
Instead of eating less, you have to eat more – but less energy dense food. Food that still tastes great. This way you can achieve caloric deficit, AND make your body think it´s not starving.
You can do this by eating after the Y-shaped plate model, 3-4 times a day – The plate is divided into parts of five (in your own head). Most of the food on the plate should come from non-processed, fresh produce.
Eat 1/5 part wholegrain carbohydrates, 3/5 parts coarse vegetables, 1/5 part lean protein, from either animal or vegetable sources. Include at least 2 tsp. of fat like oil, butter, pesto or the like with each meal. Don´t eat below 1350 calories (if you´re a woman) and 1650 calories (if you´re a man) each day.
3) You trim the fat
The faint whisper of the 80´s fat-free craze still roams our minds when we think about dieting and weight loss.
Hence many mistakenly think that to lose fat, they need to cut down on fat.
This couldn´t be further from the truth.
Fat is both an important source of energy, as well as an important component for a number of your vital bodily functions.
While fat comes last in the satiety hierarchy after protein and carbohydrates, it is still important for taste and how you like your food.
In this way, it still affects appetite, satiety, and food intake
It´s a myth that fat will turn in to fat in your body. All macronutrients will be stored as energy – hence fat – if they are in excess.
So when you want to lose weight it´s of extreme importance that you include fats from various sources in your diet if you want to have a successful weight loss.
Make sure you get 1-2 tsp. of fat of various kinds with each of your main meals.
I recommend using butter, rapeseed- flaxseed- and olive oil. Avoid using too much margarine, coconut-, grape seed-, sunflower-, and sesame oil.
4) You ditch the activity
While you can easily lose weight exclusively by changing your diet, incorporating exercise in one way or the other, is a good investment. Plus it increases your metabolism even when you´re not active. It gives you loads of health benefits, AND it makes you less prone to relapse after a weight loss journey.
Think it´s too hard to incorporate?
Well, the good news is you don’t have to start a running regime or anything like that, to see an effect of exercising.
Different things work for different people. You probably heard this before, but it´s important to find an activity that you find relevant and interesting. Perhaps even fun.
It could be listening to your favorite audiobook while walking in nature for 30 minutes. Or you could join forces with a friend and catch up on each other´s lives a couple of times a week for a brisk stroll.
You could also stand up at work instead of sitting down. Or, if you´re able – do 10 squats in the bathroom every time you’re there.
If you´re home alone, why not crank up the music and give it all you got for 20 minutes. It will keep your heart rate up and make you feel amazing – Yes, I´m talking from experience.
When you shop try carrying the trolley wherever possible.
Also, you could take the stairs – really – it´s a cliché, but how many actually do this. I almost ALWAYS have the stairs to myself in my building, and I just feel so much better doing these little things.
So be curious, and explore where else you could sneak in a bit of activity each day, and I promise you, you will see better results, even if you haven´t in a while.
Remember, you might think those little things don’t make much of a difference – but it all adds up in the end. If you do something every day it will become easier and keep you motivated.
5) You avoid setting goals
Think goals are insignificant and don’t really work? – Think again!
You could have lost 1 gram of weight by tomorrow, and if your goal were to just “lose weight” you would have reached it.
However, I bet that´s not what you really wanted, is it?
Setting goals will force you to be specific and consider the different aspects of your weight loss journey.
It takes more commitment than just thinking about it. AND it will keep you focused when things get hard.
Having a goal gives you something to move towards. According to science, this can be extremely important for your process and whether you succeed or not.
By having a plan and setting realistic, time specific, measurable goals, you´ll make it easier for yourself. You´ll find it much easier to plan a strategy that actually works – if you have a goal.
Now it´s also necessary to set realistic goals and to NOT believe anyone who claims that you´re able to shed several kilos each week.
It might help you to know, that it is only humanly possible to lose a couple of hundred grams of fat per day. So try not to be too disappointed if the scale only goes down a bit each week – it´s still a success.
Also, hormones and fluid can have you fluctuate a couple of kilos from time to time. Don´t let this stop you, and keep going at it.
By eating according to my previous listing, you´re even able to do so without going hungry or having to think about it too much.
In this way, you´re able to keep your mind on your daily tasks, while you slowly but steadily decrease your body weight.
So set goals, be patient and know that you´re doing a great job. It might be slow at first, but hey, imagine where you can be in 10 weeks, or half a year even.
Your goals should help keep you focused and guide you to where you want to go.
Need help setting goals – join my email list to receive a free copy of the worksheet ” how to set yourself up for weight loss success. There you´ll have access to a guide on how to set goals for yourself.
Photo credit: Thoughtcataloge.com