DIET MISTAKES CAUSING YOUR WEIGHT-LOSS PLATEAU
Even though I have been writing about how to lose weight for a decade, when the pounds clung on me like a codependend boyfriend, I couldn’t lose weight so easily as I thought I would. Unfortunately, many women worldwide have this issue. Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, the author of Why You Can’t Lose Weight says: “Body weight can fluctuate by up to five pounds on any given day, so the amount you shed can easily get lost.” I made some research why our efforts are not good enough and here is what I discovered:
YOU DON’T DRINK ENOUGH WATER
The key factor when it comes to losing weight is water since it helps suppress appetite and you are less likely nto overeat. Morever, dehydration inhibits the kidneys to function properly and the body turns to the liver for additional support. As a result of the hard work of the liver, the fat you consume tends to store rather than burn off.
Another important thing you should know is that while you add fiber gradually, you need to increase the water intake as well. If you don’t, fiber instead of helping digestion will lead to constipation.
Dr. Smith Says you should drink water about half of your weight, especially if you are exercising. “If you consume an aggressive amount of fiber, another eight to 16 ounces a day is a good idea,” Dr. Smith adds.
YOU SKIP ON PROTEIN
According to many studies, the consumption of protein actually results in more pounds shed because it enhanced the feeling of satiety and prevents losing muscle as you lose fat. Cari Coulter, RD, the program director for Wellspring Weight Loss Camp in Kenosha, Wisconsin says: “Your body expends more energy to metabolize protein than carbs or fat. So higher-protein diets make you burn slightly more calories.”
It depends on your weight how much calories a day you need, but according to Dr. Smith, most women should get 40 to 80 grams. In order to achieve that, I have 2 eggs (13 grams) and Greek Yogurt (18 grams) for breakfast. For lunch and dinner, I tend to eat a few ounces of lean poultry (25 grams) or fish (22 grams) or a heaping helping of black beans (15 grams) or lentils (18 grams). As a snack, I eat a handful of raw almonds (6 grams).
MORE REASONS WHY YOU’RE NOT LOSING WEIGHT
YOU SIT AT A DESK ALL DAY
Even though I exercise for an hour every day, outside of that I spend my time in front of my computer. Unfortunately, many experts claim that one hour of workout can’t compensate a sedentery lifestyle, because sitting for just a few hours causes your body to stop making a fat-inhibiting enzyme called lipase. In order to burn additional 59 calories per day, make sure to get up and walk for 2 minutes during each of those hours.
In order to be more physically active, walk more, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park far away from the mall, etc. My family at first laughed at me whan I jogged in place while brushing my teeth, but now it’s all normal for them. Move more mission for me is accomplished.
YOUR NUMBERS ARE OFF
I will show you how I determined how many I should eat per day. First of all, I got my metabolic rate using the online calculator at fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/bmr, and then I just entered “moderate” for my activity level, because I exercise on a regular basis. The result showed me 2,400 calories per day. After that I added the calories I burn during my exercise, usually about 500, according to my heart rate monitor. As you can see, this means that I can eat almost 3000 calories per day and I won’t gain weight. I used a calculator so that should be it.
However, Coulter says not so fast, because the BMR calculator already factors in the calories you burn with your workouts which is why you shouldn’t add them in again. Before this, I thought that my daily needs were 500 calories higher that they really were. No wonder I’d been maintaining instead of losing excess weight.
YOU WORK OUT REGULARLY
A well known fact is that people tend to eat more when they exercise because either they think they have earned it or because they are overestimating how much they have burned. Finger says that people who are at an early stage of a fitness program tend to do this because their body is getting used to the decrease in calories consumed and the increase in calories burned.
Michele S. Olson, PhD, a FITNESS advisory board member and professor of exercise science at Auburn University at Montgomery in Alabama explains that working out can make you retain water since the plasma in your bloodstream will store an extra 2-4 pounds of water to ensure you don’t get dehydrated. Unless you become inactive, you’ll always have to wear that water. In order to minimize additional water retention, you need to drink a lot of water.
YOU’RE A STRESS CASE
Many people who are under stress tend to eat a lot of food, and I do the same thing. Dr Smith says: “The stress hormone cortisol triggers the fight-or-flight response, which is an appetite stimulant. In addition, it steps up the production of a certain brain chemical, neuropeptide Y, which increases cravings for carbohydrates.”
But the bad new is that even when I manage to avoid eating too much, stress can still prevent my slim down. According to Dr. Smith, too much cortisol slows down the metabolism and excessive stress causes fat to be stored in the belly. He also says that exercise reduces stress. The damaged caused by the stress in the body can be repaired by balanced and nutritious meals.
GET WEIGHT-LOSS RESULTS
After just 3 months of this journey, I have lost even 12 pounds. I managed to achieve this by reducing stress, increased water intake as well as protein intake and a lot of physical activity. However, the best thing I have done during this period is not weighing myself. Now I weigh once per week and I don’t get upset by the fluctations because I know the fat is coming off, no matter what the scale says. I feel enlightened — in more ways than one.