Ok, so you’re eating healthy and working out regularly, but you’re not losing any weight. What gives? Well, sometimes….actually, often times, it amounts to human oversight. In other words, we may be over-looking some critical points in our healthy lifestyle habits, and this can mean the difference between losing weight and not losing weight. So, before you throw in the towel, or blame it on genetics (which is quite rarely ever a factor), realize that it’s most likely just an accumulation of a few small diet mistakes that may be keeping you from your target body weight. Let’s cover what these common diet oversights often are, to help pinpoint where you might need a little adjusting to get back on the weight-loss-track.
Canceling Out The Benefits Of Your Workouts – Too many of us rationalize that we are entitled to extra helpings of food, or frequent sweet treats, just because we finished up an hour-long exercise session. You say “Its ok to splurge a little”. Not so fast. It doesn’t work that way. People often underestimate how many calories they eat, while at the same time overestimate how many calories they burn exercising. This can add up to frequent overdosing of fat and calories, and all that extra exercising you are doing is really just helping to keep your weight stable. If you are truly hungry after working out, then by all means grab something to eat, BUT reach for a small helping of food. A great post-workout, refueling combo is a small and equal portion of a healthy protein and a healthy carb. For example, a piece of vegan cheese along with an apple, or a couple tablespoons of hummus with some fresh, raw veggies to dip. Also, reward your exercise efforts with non-food treats. Book a pedicure for yourself after 10 workouts, or buy a new jogging suit after you’ve diligently worked out for a month. Don’t cancel out your exercise efforts by rewarding yourself with an ice-cream cone.
You’re Clueless About Calorie Counting – Overeating during mealtime isn’t the only way to pack on excess weight. Daily nibbling on an extra piece of cheese, eating the leftovers off our kid’s plates, and all those other unaccounted for daytime snacks can translate to an extra 10 pounds in just 1 year. Every bite and every swallow counts, not just the ones you take when you sit down to a meal. Dieters who keep food journals are much more successful than those who have no clue as to how many calories they are eating and drinking throughout the day. If you think this may be your diet downfall, then go out and get a notebook right now. Write down every morsel of solid food and every sip of liquid you take during the day. After about 3-5 days, go back and review your food journal. Most people are often quite surprised at all the “extras” that snuck their way into their mouths. When you write down everything that goes into your mouth, you are much more aware of what you put into your mouth.
You Eat A Small Breakfast – When it comes to your morning meal, size matters….a lot. Studies show that eating a substantial breakfast can help you lose some serious weight. In one particular study, 94% of the participants were put on an overall low-calorie diet. Of these participants, half ate a big breakfast (averaging 500-600 calories), while the other half ate a low-calorie breakfast (averaging 250-300 calories). The results? After 8 months, the larger-breakfast group lost on average of 40 pounds! The smaller-breakfast group lost an average of just 10 pounds. Our metabolisms naturally run higher in the morning, so our internal fat-burning furnaces are stoked for maximum calorie burn during this time of day. Around noon our metabolisms start to slow down, and after 6pm, they are significantly slower than in the morning. You can notice this subtle metabolism shift, by noting your body temperature in the morning and in the evening. You don’t need to take your temperature, just notice if you feel a bit more chilly at night. This is your body winding things down, and getting ready for rest and recovery. Our evening meal should be much lighter than our first meal of the day. Don’t eat too much, or too late at night, and close the kitchen 3-4 hours before bedtime.
So, if despite your best efforts, you just aren’t losing the weight you think you should be losing, then pay close attention to some of these common diet downfalls. If any of them apply, then just fine-tune your routine, and you’ll be back on track and on your way to losing weight right away.
Bon Veggie Appetit!
Gina ‘The Veggie Goddess’ Matthews