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Everybody has a few bad habits and some of them may be the reasons why you aren’t able to shed those extra pounds that have been clinging to you since forever. Your first step should be to find out what these bad habits are in the first place so that you can create an effective plan to eliminate them. We’ve combined the most common reasons why you may not be able to lose enough weight no matter how hard you try:
Getting too many of your daily calories from carbs (especially simple sugars) and fats is one of the most common ways people sabotage their weight loss efforts. Your body takes twice as long to digest protein compared to carbs, thus making you feel fuller and satiated for longer.
Furthermore, protein consumption stabilizes blood sugar levels and reduces cravings. Some great sources of protein include lean beef, poultry, fish, eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts and nut butter, protein powder, whole grains such as quinoa, and collard greens.
How is sleep connected to weight loss? Well, here’s the deal – if you’re not getting enough sleep, you will have a lot of trouble trying to shed that extra fat. The reason: your body produces two hormones, leptin, and ghrelin.
While leptin stimulates the feeling of satiation during a meal and tells you when you’re full, ghrelin increases your appetite. Researchers at the University of Chicago have found that not getting enough sleep elevates ghrelin levels and reduces leptin levels and increases ghrelin levels causing increased cravings for sugary snacks during late-night hours.
When you try to cut off certain foods altogether, you crave them even more with time. Your diet may be going fantastic right now but like with most people, there will come a point when you will want to call it quits and indulge in your favorite unhealthy foods.
Many people think that they have to give up what they love when they’re on a certain diet, which includes diets that cut out carbs, sugar, gluten, dairy, or fat. This can make a diet unsatisfying and sometimes even unhealthy, especially if you’re cutting out a macro.
The solution: have everything in moderation and learn to control your portions. Soon you’ll develop a habit of having an occasional “unhealthy” snack and still enjoy your new lifestyle.
Let’s face it; most of us have been grazing since we were kids. We would open the fridge every time we pass it and graze the fridge, have a slice of that cake here, and have a spoon of Nutella there and maybe a cookie or two. Unfortunately, this habit follows you till adulthood and you continue to do it thinking it’s harmless to have a tiny bit of everything delicious in the fridge.
You’ve just consumed several extra calories which can add up if you do it every day. Plan your meals and avoid snacking unnecessarily.
Eating while browsing the internet, driving, going through your Instagram feed, or watching television may cause you to overeat. The solution is to stop eating when you’re focusing on other things or stop getting distracted while you eat. Try to eat slowly so that you can enjoy and respect the nutrients in your food. Chewing more triggers the brain to think that you are eating more, allowing you to eat less than you normally would.
You’re already dehydrated by the time you are thirsty so avoid waiting too long to rehydrate. About 70 percent of your body is water, therefore, try your best to have 8 or more glasses of water per day to replenish your system.
When you’re dehydrated, you might feel hungry as well even though it’s not your next meal time yet. Instead of reaching out for a snack, have a glass of water and see if you feel better. Always carry a bottle of water with you so that you are hydrated throughout the day. Drinking plenty of water will also ensure you don’t eat too much during your meals.
Even if you exercise intensely every day, you need to focus on what you put in your body. Exercise is a way to burn some extra calories, tone, and condition your muscles and improve your cardiovascular health. The benefits of exercise are countless, but they cannot replace a healthy diet.
Therefore, no matter how much you exercise, avoid rewarding yourself each day with unhealthy food -- it will only add more calories than you spent during your sweat session.
Fact: The starvation response is a term for a reduced rate of metabolic activities and organ functions. It occurs when:
Food intake is drastically reduced or eliminated over many days and weeks. However, if a meal is skipped or ritual fasts are performed, the body does not go into starvation mode. Digestion uses about 10% of the daily calories in 24 hours.
If normal eating does not occur, there will be a slight decrease in calorie usage due to less time is spent breaking down the food. However, there will not be the process of energy conservation or the decrease in organ function that occurs during starvation. During true starvation mode, the decreased need for calories equals about 200-300 per day and the calories are provided to the body by the breakdown of fat and muscle tissue.
Fact: Dramatic restriction of carbohydrates may temporarily show a quick drop in the number on the scale but it is not because of a loss of body fat or a change in body structure. This is due to:
1. Carbohydrates have water in their chemical structure and can hold more water than other energy sources.
2. The drastic restriction will cause a temporary loss of weight due to a loss of water and possibly lead to a measure of dehydration.
3. There is no loss of body fat from these diets, which is the main objective of weight loss. To lose one pound of fat which equals 3500 calories, it requires either eating fewer calories or using more energy from exercise.
4. Carbohydrates are an essential source of energy for the body and should not be eliminated nor should they be consumed in excess.
5. Fad diets do not ultimately succeed, as they are not in keeping with the way the human body functions. With this type of diet, it is common to increase fat intake as a result of the decreased levels of carbohydrate, with the fat contributing far more calories.
6. Individuals can also find themselves becoming tired, as the primary energy source of the body, carbs, has been restricted. Water in the body is tightly regulated and will eventually return to normal levels, and with that, the weight itself will return.
Fact: Thyroid problems and their metabolic effects are uncommon except women over 60. Obesity itself is what causes changes in hormones such as:
Insulin (conversion of glucose to energy)
ghrelin (feelings of hunger)
leptin (feelings of fullness)
These hormones are produced in the overweight or obese person but the cells of the body become resistant or insensitive to their effects. The result of this is:
1. Muscle tissue which makes up 35% of a woman’s body and 45% of a man’s body becomes resistant to insulin resulting in a
higher level of sugar in the blood possibly diabetes.
The unused glucose is converted to body fat which increases the problem of excess fat
2. The job of ghrelin is to let you know that there isn’t any more energy in the blood for the functions of the body; it’s telling you to “feed me”. If you don’t, the body will consume its own fat stores (that’s normal) but more importantly muscle tissue, and that’s bad.
3. The job of leptin is to tell you that enough food has been consumed for the body’s needs, and any more will just be converted to fat, “stop eating”.
The over-weight person is not getting these signals correct. They are overweight, not that they are over-weight because their hormone levels are insufficient or poorly acting.
Fact: Gluten is the protein found in grains. And while a very small percentage of the population is allergic to this protein, there is no negative effect on everyone else. The protein in plant-based foods is incomplete (lacks all the amino acids to maintain muscle tissue) and must be combined with a different plant-based protein such as:
To eliminate gluten from the diet is unnecessary. And for those who are vegans or don’t consume enough protein from animal sources to supply sufficient dietary protein, the muscles of the body will have no chance to be replaced during normal growth of cells with lean body mass and the shape of the body will suffering
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