weight loss

JumpStart Your Spring Weight Loss

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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 its fat storage. Plus, how often have you turned to a favorite food or snacked endlessly when you're stressed out? Get ahead of your stress 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 the 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 increases 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 its 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, incorporate 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.

If you find yourself stuck on a plateau or not losing weight like you want to, put a little spring in your step and make sure you aren't doing these five things to sabotage your weight loss!

Hormones

Hormones are often a hidden reason why people have difficulty losing weight. There is more to losing weight than just exercising and sticking to a healthy diet. For optimum weight loss we have to activate certain hormones in the body which are the T3 and T4 hormones released from your thyroid. These help get your metabolism moving and when they are out of sync it is dicult for your body to break down food properly. Couple that with estrogen and testosterone not working properly and often, especially in females, iron deciency and the weight loss process slows signicantly. Overeating is a big problem for many people and can often be handled better by sticking to a diet which involves eating more protein. Leptin is a hormone that tells your brain you are full, this helps avoid over eating. Eating protein helps your brain become more sensitive to leptin. Fatty processed foods can cause inammation in the brain thus causing leptin to be less effective which can cause you to eat more, even when you are not really hungry. Leptin is produced while you are sleeping and anything less than 6 hours may mean that there isn’t enough of this hormone being produced. This will make it less effective in communication with your brain. Your body will do this on purpose so you will eat more in order to make up for the lack of sleep and energy. This is not what you want when you are trying to lose weight. Ironically when trying to lose weight it is important to eat regular, proper portioned meals as these will help activate your hormones. Skipping meals will have the opposite effect and slow your metabolism down.