Seven Surprising Ways You Are Destroying Your Diet
Losing weight is a constant challenge for many people. Sometimes it feels like you are making all the right choices but not seeing the results you want. Are you having trouble losing weight? You might be making one of these diet blasting mistakes.
Consuming Hidden Sugar
Sugar is a major factor in sabotaging your diet and weight loss goals. Take a look at your everyday food intake. If you are eating processed foods, you are probably consuming more sugar than you realize.
The next time you reach for something prepackaged in a box, jar or bottle, check the label. You may find hidden sources of sugar.
Here are some of the major offenders when it comes to added sugar.
- Processed sauces like bottled BBQ sauce, steak sauce or pasta sauce can have more than 10 grams of sugar per tiny serving.
- Canned fruits have lots of added sugar. Choose fresh fruits whenever possible.
- Dried fruit sounds like a health food, but it can be saturated with sugar. In fact, dried fruit can contain as much sugar as candy. Even if sugar isn’t added, you are still consuming the natural sugar in the fruit in concentrated amounts.
- Your flavored yogurt is probably packed with sugar. One serving of yogurt can easily have more sugar than a serving of ice cream. Try plain yogurt with fresh fruit instead.
- A salad is a great choice for a healthy meal, but watch what you pour on top. Many commercial salad dressings contain a lot of sugar. You’ll have more control if you make your own.
Drinking Diet Soda
What could possibly be fattening about a food without any calories? Unfortunately, the faux sweeteners in diet soda can play nasty tricks on your body.
Many nutritionists believe that the artificial sweeteners in diet drinks can make your body crave more food, and one famous study found that rats consuming fake sweeteners took in more food calories than rats who didn’t eat the artificial stuff.
You may also be allowing yourself too many food calories because you know you aren’t drinking high calorie sodas. Consuming energy drinks carries the same risk, even if they are sugar free or diet.
Getting Too Little Sleep
When your body’s rhythm gets out of sync in one way, your entire system can get out whack. That’s why not getting enough sleep can cause excess stress, digestive issues and even make you more vulnerable to getting sick.
Lack of sleep can also change your metabolism, not allowing your body to burn calories as efficiently as it could. Combined with changes in your behavior, such as skipping gym time because you are tired or choosing comfort food because you are feeling stressed, missing sleep can seriously squash your weight loss goals.
Make sleep a priority by settling on a sleep schedule and sticking to it.
Neglecting Your Muscles
Is the way you exercise preventing you from losing as much weight as you would like?
Aerobic activity is great for boosting your heart pumping power and burning fat, but you’ll meet your weight loss goals more quickly if you include weight training in your fitness routine.
Lifting weights is about more than just creating bigger muscles. When your body gets stronger and more muscular, your metabolism increases dramatically. Your body will be burning more calories throughout the day, not just when you’re exercising.
You may need to look no further than your medicine cabinet to determine the cause of your weight loss issues. Many popular prescription medications list weight gain as a potential side effect. Anti-depressants and anti-psychotics are often in this category as well as certain drugs used to treat epilepsy, high blood pressure and even seasonal allergies.
If you regularly take medications, research them online to discover possible side effects. You should also talk to your doctor, who may be able to substitute a different medication.
Does your job require you to sit at a desk all day? That’s a potential reason you are having trouble losing weight.
Even without intense activity, you burn more calories standing than you do sitting. One study at the University of Missouri concluded that sitting stops the flow of an enzyme that burns fat.
Consider swapping your traditional desk for one that requires standing. Many companies are offering this option to employees who find that they feel better and have more energy when they work standing up. You can also get a convertible desk that will allow you to sit part of the time and stand the rest.
If you don’t have the option of getting a standing desk, try to take frequent mini-breaks. Stand up and move your body. Take a short walk around the office if possible. This will help keep your blood circulating and your body ready to burn more fat and calories.
Yes, you can actually starve yourself fatter. When you cut your body off from food, you are sending it the signal to fatten up for leaner times. As a result, your metabolism will go down and you’ll burn fewer calories.
Instead of eating as little food as possible, try eating healthy snacks often during the day. This will keep your energy and your metabolism up. It will also stop you from binging when you can’t stand fasting anymore.
When you find yourself unable to lose weight as effectively as you want to, take a look at your lifestyle. You might be making one or more of these common mistakes.
The good news is that a little bit of a change may be all you need to get back on track for weight loss success.