Many things can hinder your weight loss success and chances are you don’t realise the cause.
If you’ve tried to lose weight many times with only short term success, you may find the cause below. You’ll see that many things can hinder weight loss success. If you can relate to one or more, I’ve provided solutions to help you overcome the problem.
1. Portions – A little extra food here and there soon adds up and will prevent the number on the scales from moving down.
Solution – Keep a food diary for a week – Weigh and measure your portions then enter the total calories and fats into your diary or an app, tally up at the end of the day to see how close you are to your calorie goal. This will give you a true indication of how well you are sticking with the plan.
2. Hydration – If you’re not drinking enough water it can sabotage your weight loss efforts. The feeling of ‘thirst’ can often be mistaken for hunger.
Solution – Next time you feel hungry, especially if you have just eaten, reach for a glass of water rather than a chocolate bar or other treat food. Aim for 8 glasses (2 litres) each day. If you forget to drink up, download an app to remind you – search ‘drinking water’ in the App Store or Google Play.
3. Sleep – If you’re not getting enough sleep chances are you will use sugar fixes to get you through the day.
Solution – Avoid anything that stimulates your brain too close to bedtime. Avoid caffeine at least 5 hours before turning in. Turn off any ‘blue screens’ at least an hour before bed. Set a bedtime, if there are things still not done, write a list and leave for another day. Aim for 8 hours each night.
4. Exercise – Exercise kick-starts your metabolism and can make you hungry. But don’t overestimate how many calories are being burnt by the exercise you do. A half hour on a walking machine will only burn around 100 calories, which is about the same number of calories in ONE Tim Tam.
Solution – If exercise makes you hungry, make sure you eat a quality snack, preferably with protein and fibre, that fits into your daily calorie allowance. My Premium Breakfast Shakes are a perfect post-workout snack.
5. Stress – Short term stress can shut down the appetite, but prolonged stress triggers the hormone cortisol which in turn increases the appetite. Cortisol levels will normalise when the stress goes away, however if the stress is maintained long term, so too the appetite will remain increased.
Solution – Remove the cause of the stress, often easier said than done. The next best thing is to include some gentle exercise into your day. If you’re stressed at work, take a walk at lunch time. Other ways to de-stress include tai chi, yoga, meditation or timeout with family and friends.
Need help with your portion sizes? Here’s my portion size tips