We sometimes end up getting things so wrong! Healthy eating, weight loss and exercise can be tough, yet – unwittingly – we can make things tougher. We think that we are making healthy choices, but we often don’t realise that we are sabotaging our efforts; which leads to a lack of weight loss and often makes us think,
I read an interesting article online recently which listed the top ten reasons we often don’t succeed. I thought I would share it with you, just in case there is a little gem in there for you! So let’s take a look…
This term is often heard, but not quite understood. What exactly is an ’empty calorie’ anyway? According to the article, it is a calorie that adds little, if any, nutritional value, but which features in our daily intake. I don’t know about you, but if I am going to use a precious calorie, I want to get my money’s worth so to speak! A significant portion of empty calories for most of us comes from liquids. Things like sugar-packed fizzy drinks, coffee-type drinks, energy drinks and a wide array of alcohol and spirits increase daily calorie intake without giving any real benefit to our bodies. And for those of you sitting there feeling quite smug, as you only drink ‘diet’ drinks, low-calorie diet offerings may not be making your job easier. The artificial sweeteners in them trigger the same hormones as sugar in many instances, often leading to snacking that will add on the calories you saved by opting for the ‘diet’ option in the first place. So join me in my council-pop drinking habit…you can’t beat a good glass of water!
Bad news for office workers! Sitting at a desk or being a couch potato and reclining on a sofa for too many hours per day does not elevate your heart-rate enough to increase your basal metabolic rate. Which basically means you won’t burn enough calories to make a dent in the size of your bum…although your bum might have the imprint of your office chair on it! There is some good news though – even small bursts of activity can help. So just getting up from your desk each hour to pop and get a glass of water, or doing some stretches, can really make a difference. And getting off the sofa during ad-breaks – to make a cup of tea, or to wash a couple of plates, can help too!
If exercising for an hour each day helps us to lose weight, then my other half – who used to be a bin man and would walk about 10 miles each day – should practically be non-existent! The same goes for anyone with an active job. But these people often have trouble keeping weight off too, and the reason for this is that our wonderful bodies quickly adapt to routine. So if you are an active person anyway, you need to go above and beyond this to lose weight and tone up. This doesn’t mean hours on end in the gym, it could be as simple as 30 minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training), and ensuring that you focus on different muscle groups and try new exercises on a regular basis. Your body won’t adapt to the predictability, and your mind won’t get bored of the routine either.
Hit the Weights
Okay – as lovely as Fatima Whitbred is, I do not want bulging biceps! The thought of lifting weights can be scary for women but the benefits are immense. And, unless you are taking a body-altering drug, or exercising for hours on end with incredibly heavy weights, you will not end up being mistaken for the Hulk. Lifting weights boosts your resting metabolism (the basal metabolic rate I mentioned earlier) which means that even when your workout has finished, your body will continue to burn energy…perfect! And although muscle weighs more than fat, it is far less bulky, so your weight might not drop instantly but your body will tone up.
This is a stupid way of trying to lose weight! Not only does the uncertainty of when your body will get its next meal mean that it can switch to ‘starvation’ mode, and start hoarding your food, it can often lead to snacking too. The hunger you create in skipping meals can send you running straight for high-calorie snacks…which will cost you far more than a healthy meal would have done in the first place.
Food Diary / Tracking
If you don’t have evidence of what you are eating on a daily basis, you may be surprised at how inaccurate your guesses are. It’s fairly easy to remember what you ate for your main meals, but snacks can often be forgotten. Don’t forget to keep a food diary – and take pictures of what you eat on your phone if you really don’t want to / can’t be arsed to write it down!
Buy Into “Healthy” Foods
Any trip to the supermarket will provide you with thousands of low-fat, low-sugar or fat-free options. You may believe you are saving calories and increasing your likelihood of weight loss by purchasing such items, but are you really? If the fat isn’t replaced with sugar – which it often is! – then the lack of fat, which we need to get the benefit from things such as fat-soluble vitamins, leaves us feeling less satisfied. And this can, and often does, lead to extra snacking!
Getting older can be a bitch in more ways than one! Not only is it not as acceptable to wink at cute young men (or women), losing weight gets harder as we get older. Your metabolism isn’t the same in your thirties or forties as it was when you were younger, and the simple fact is that you have to put in more effort to burn calories than you would have done a few years ago.
A good night of sleep allows your body to produce an ideal amount of human growth hormone, which burns fat even when you are resting. If you’re struggling to get sufficient sleep, then you are already putting yourself at a disadvantage when you’re trying to lose weight. To say ‘get some sleep’ can be a little annoying for those of us – me included – which suffers from insomnia at times…but it really can help your weight loss campaign.
Not Drinking Enough Water
This is one of my ‘ra-ra cheerleader’ shout outs about the wonders of water! Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, and a well hydrated body also processes food more efficiently. Whilst those with a healthy diet will get a relatively sufficient level of water from fruits and vegetables, you should try and aim to drink between 1.5 and 2 litres of water each day…and yes, unflavoured still water is best!
So there we have it – another Weight Loss Bitch list of things to do / not to do! I know some of these things may sound repetitive, but I like to give myself constant reminders in the hopes that one day it will all sink in and I will become a lean, mean, fat-burning machine…without it feeling like too much effort.
Let’s have a look at the usuals…
As I had heard a rumour about a little bit of sunshine today, I decided to plan a BBQ at the stables! We were having a bit of a DIY day up there, trying to tidy up after a chaotic few months of bad weather, and ended up wrestling with a tarpaulin which covers the front of our haybarn. So by the time the food was cooked we were ready for a rest! As I am still without Freddie, my Dad picked me up and we spent the whole day at the stables, which was lovely – although I think this fresh air has knocked me out as I am feeling rather sleepy now. So I have had a lovely day spent with horses, family, fresh air and fun – perfect!
Breakfast: Banana and Benefit bar (3 syns).
It has been a lovely food day today, but I did stuff myself at lunch a bit! There were burgers and rolls and cheese and sauces…but I steered clear of those and instead had salad and cous cous then some homemade delights – the potato salad, pasta and coleslaw were all Slimming World friendly and made with extra light mayo and a little bit of pesto. I didn’t go mad on the potato salad, but my Mum makes the best version so I couldn’t refuse a little bit. It felt really greedy to have two plates, but they were small paper plates and by the time I had loaded on my salad, there was no room for the BBQ food…so I had it on two plates! I was planning on a fish and rice dinner but just didn’t want that much and decided to use my HEs up instead…no superfree – naughty…but I was going to eat that amount anyway, so the superfree would have been an addition for the sake of putting something lettuce-like on the plate!
Exercise: Horse chores!
I spent a little bit of time shifting compacted mud / straw / poo and shovelling it around – at least 15 minutes. And then I was my Dads DIY right-hand (wo)man for a while too – so a far more active day today!
With lots of best wishes for the coming week,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx
If you would like to check out the article for yourself, then follow the link below: