By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
Sometimes you feel like you’re doing all the right things but no matter how hard you try your weight won’t budge. Let’s talk about some of the most common mistakes people make when they are trying to lose weight.
1. Not Eating Breakfast
This also goes for skipping meals. When you don’t eat regularly this sets you up for eating larger amounts later in the day combined with excess hunger that then causes you to make poor choices. You are naturally more inclined to reach for the calorie dense meals and snacks when you are over hungry, so be sure to eat a balanced diet throughout the day.
2. You Eat While Distracted Or Stressed
Eating in front of the TV, computer or while focusing on something else will essentially cause you to eat more than you realize or you should. Sitting to enjoy your meal and being mindful of what you’re putting into your body while taking the time to chew your food thoroughly will support the production of your satiety hormones leaving you more content and satisfied without over eating.
3. Snacking Too Frequently
Nibbling during food preparation or sticking your head in the fridge and grabbing things here and there are also culprits of over snacking. Mindless snacking, eating due to boredom, stress, irritability or you just need a break from your desk, can cause you to eat too many calories without realizing it. Keep snacks to 1-3 at the most per day. Portioning out snacks can also be helpful. Keep easy to grab vegetable sticks and fruits available so you go for those first.
4. Portion Distortion
When asked what portions sizes people thought were normal, a study revealed that most people estimated double what they should be having. Portions have been growing, and so are plates and cutlery. If you compare portions from the 1970’s to now, we are eating considerably more food at meals. To get the hang of real portion sizes it can be useful to measure or weigh food portions to get a better idea.
5. Eating Too Many Calorie Dense ‘Health Foods’
Foods like dark chocolate, nuts, Cacao Mint Bliss Balls and other yummy health treats can still be considerably calorie dense. Sometimes we mistake the idea that just because it’s healthy we can eat more of it. Nutrients in these foods support satiety and satisfaction but if over eaten they can sabotage your weight loss attempts. Still enjoy these wonderful health treats and foods but remember portion control and save them for special occasions.
6. Lack of Sleep
Studies show if you get less than the recommended 7 – 9 hours of sleep a night you are more likely to snack, eat larger meals and have greater food cravings. Learn more on the effects of sleep on your waist line and some helpful sleep tips.
7. Lack of Vegetables
People who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables are more likely to lose weight and keep it off since a diet full of plant-based foods offers a wide variety of nutrients, less calories and its high in fiber which helps keep you full for longer. A high plant–based diet supports a healthy gut, which has been shown to help maintain a healthy weight. Colorful fruits and vegetables also support healthy detoxification pathways, by nutritionally supporting your fat burner you will support weight loss.
8. You Self-Sabotage
Negative thoughts about your own ability to succeed has an enormous impact on your success. Be mindful of the messages and internal dialogue you may be telling yourself.
If you are thinking, ‘I’ll never be healthy’, ‘It’s my metabolism’, ‘I have no will power’, then how will you ever achieve what you want for yourself?
Give yourself positive reinforcement daily. ‘I can do this’, ‘I’m in complete control of my health and myself’, ‘I am a strong healthy person’, ‘I can do anything that I set my mind to’ ,‘I deserve the best life has to offer me’. You will be surprised how many people talk themselves down. In clinical practice I’m always trying to decipher what’s going on in someone’s mind because that’s where all the power is!
9. Not Drinking Enough Water
Dehydration creates hunger! It is really important to be well hydrated to have an efficient metabolism, healthy digestion and weight control. Enjoy water, herbal tea and fresh juices.
10. Lack of Exercise
Not exercising and being sedentary all too often causes the metabolism to become sluggish. It is important to commit to cardio combined with strength training exercises to fire up your metabolism to burn fat. We have some great Reboot exercise programs to get those calories burning. Getting into an exercise rut can also be a culprit, the body will become accustomed to the same movement so changing and mixing it up will help move those pounds out.
11. It’s all in Moderation!
This is a lie that people tell themselves all too often. I recently read an article called ‘moderation is bulls#%t’. I loved it as I’ve seen these simple words be the undoing of many a health plan. We all need a little treat absolutely, but too often and those little treats can be enough to completely sabotage and halt your weight loss success. I’ve seen people eat ice cream one day ‘oh I never normally eat ice cream’, next it’s a packet of crisps, ‘Oh I never eat these things’, another day it’s a donut, ‘I haven’t had one for ages’, but it all adds up! When you look at all the moderation you may in fact be eating it regularly rather than minimally.
If you are ticking all the boxes and something doesn’t feel right it can be a good idea to have a check-up with your doctor or health care practitioner to make sure there isn’t any undiagnosed medical issue such as a thyroid disorder.
While keeping in mind all of these suggestions, commit to following a healthy whole food plant-based diet that will certainly help you gt the weight loss success you desire!