1. Eating too much of healthy foods
Just because a certain food is considered ‘healthy’ does not mean that you can eat as much of it as you like. As losing fat comes down to calorie balance, it’s easy to overeat on foods that we think are fair game. For example, a heaped tablespoon of peanut butter contains around 350 calories! Although considered a healthy snack, this is the calorie equivalent of a portion of regular fries from McDonalds. Download the calorie-tracking app MyFitnessPal and keep track of the food you are eating. Moderation is key, even with healthy products.
2. Not exercising enough
You think that a light stroll in the park or a slow twenty minutes on a cross-trainer is going to be enough to start dropping body fat? Think again. Lighter activities like slow walking or gardening might seem like sufficient exercise but longer calorie burning sessions are required. Gardening for an hour burns around 200-400 calories. An hour of jogging burns around 600-800 calories. To put it simply: dig out those workout trainers, as you won’t make progress unless you put in the hard work.
3. Not creating a support network
If you have a significant amount of body fat that you need shifting, it’s going to be a long journey to full health. Creating a support network can be a major key to your success. If loved ones, who you spend most your time with, are not on board with your journey, it can make things a whole lot tougher. Our recommendation: sit your family and friends down and explain how important this is to you. If you can’t gain their support then try and find likeminded people who are on the same path as you. Weight loss support groups and exercises classes at your local gym are a good starting point. If you want a more personal approach, hiring a qualified personal trainer is a sure-fire way to success.
4. Not getting enough sleep
Studies show that when we are sleep deprived we make poorer food choices. We’ve all been there. We go to bed with the best intentions of restarting our health kick, but our alarm goes off the next morning and we feel exhausted. Your sleep was anything but restful, probably because you spent hours on your phone and went to bed much later than should have. You reach for that morning coffee and ANY food that is going to give you energy to get you through your busy day ahead. Those good intentions seem a lifetime ago and, once again, you utter the words: “I’ll start tomorrow”. Sleep is critical for weight loss. You need to create a calming environment leading up to bed time and limit the use of any white light-emitting devices, like laptops, phones or tablets. These devices disrupt your sleep patterns and prevent you from entering into REM sleep phases. These are your body’s restorative sleeping phases that you need to recover and process all that has happened during the day. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to wake feeling refreshed and energised.
5. Unconscious eating
We all know that heart breaking feeling. You reach your hand to the bottom of a crisp packet and realise that you’ve already eaten the last crisp. You didn’t mentally prepare for this so feel you have been short changed! This is a prime example of unconscious eating. You will eat more food if you are not focusing on what you are putting in to your mouth. Make meal time an occasion and make sure that you savour every bite that you take. You will be more responsive to hunger cues and you’ll be less likely to overeat.