With the warm weather setting in, many folks are starting to acknowledge the few (or more) pounds they put on during those winter months. Second to New Year's Day, Spring is the time when many people make a commitment to lose weight. If you are on a mission to lose weight by summertime, make sure you aren't sabotaging your efforts with one of these common missteps:
1. You are not on top of your stress
Often overlooked in weight loss, stress can keep you stuck at a certain weight or cause you to gain. If you're stressed to the max, your body produces a hormone called cortisol, and if not controlled, your body can increase it's fat storage. Think about it, how often have you turned to a favorite food or snacked endlessly when you're stressed out? Get ahead of your stress and you can watch the numbers go down on the scale. Take a walk, get some fresh air, meditate, do something fun, read a book, laugh, call up a friend or seek some alone time. Find ways to reduce your stress and commit to doing a few of those things each week. Managing your stress effectively is an essential component of weight loss.
2. You're eating too many carbs
You're eating too many carbs. If you want to slim down, one of first things you should do is reduce your intake of starchy carbs. Avoid white breads and white rice, potatoes, fried foods and processed foods. Add lean proteins to keep you feeling full longer.
3. You are skimping on sleep
Straight to the point: Missing sleep increases your stress level and makes you hungrier. With a lack of sleep (less than seven hours a night) your ghrelin level gets off and stimulates your appetite more and your leptin level (responsible for suppressing your appetite) goes down. If you want to lose more fat, get more sleep! Your body will be able to operate at it's best!
4. Setting unrealistic goals
Before crafting your goals, look at where you are in terms of your eating habits. With summer around the corner, it can be tempting to create super lofty goals and just focus on the big picture, which can be daunting and wind up sapping motivation. Instead, build in challenging-yet-doable food goals from your starting point. Be sure to revisit and revise these goals as you move forward.
5. You do the same thing all the time
Your body gets used to the same exercise if you do it every day, and weight loss can be much more effective when you surprise your body once in a while. Change up your workout and mix it up by increasing the intensity or duration of your exercise.