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Updated 12 October 2015

5 ways you could be sabotaging your weight loss

If you feel like you’re constantly dieting but not getting anywhere, take a look at these five things you could be doing which may be sabotaging your weight-loss efforts.

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Losing weight can be one of the most frustrating things you’ll ever attempt. Everyone has advice on how you should do it, but not everyone is the same. If you feel like you’re doing everything "right" but you’re still not losing weight, the reason could actually be quite simple.

Read: 8 reasons to lose weight

1.    No variety:  If you’re eating the same foods every single day – healthy or not – your body will soon adapt and stop changing. Not only can this get very boring eventually, and perhaps be unsustainable in the long-term, but you’re likely depriving your body of different vitamins, minerals and nutrients from different foods. No single food can supply all the nutrients in the amounts you need. Mix things up and experiment with different foods and combinations.

2.    Weekends are a fail: If you eat clean during the week, but find your willpower lacking come the weekend, your weight-loss efforts will reflect this. One study found that people can consume up to 20% more in calories over the weekend than during the week. And those calories all add up.

3.    Not enough sleep: There are numerous studies which all show the benefits a good night’s sleep can have on one's weight-loss. Not only do you need the extra energy to keep up with any increase in exercise you may be doing as part of your weight-loss plan, but a lack of sleep can directly affect your body's ability to control appetite. One study showed that less sleep leads to more eating and more weight gain and another showed that a lack of sleep can lead to junk food cravings.

Read: Good sleep ups quality of life, lessens depression

4.    You’re only doing cardio: If you live on the treadmill but never lift weights you’re missing out on one of the fundamental benefits of exercise – weight training. The persistent myth that you must do endless hours of cardio to lose weight is slowly being chipped away as more people are realising that strength training, done correctly, will fast-track their weight-loss goals. Not only this but it will build muscle mass and increase your metabolic rate – which is what you want, as a revved-up metabolism burns calories long after you've packed away your weights.

5.    Mindless eating:  Whether you finish off your child’s food when they’re done eating, or you sip on a smoothie between meals every day or have a juice with your breakfast in the mornings – it all adds up. Especially the liquid calories: alcohol, smoothies, juices, and sodas pack a calorie punch and regular consumption will seriously hamper any weight loss efforts.  Be aware of everything you put in your mouth and ask yourself if it's taking you closer to your goals, or further away. The choice is yours.

Read more:
Dieting but not losing weight?
Would you stop eating out to lose weight?
Should protein and carbs be eaten separately?


Amy Froneman (ACE-certified personal trainer) www.thekettlebelle.co.za

References:

Dietary guidelines from Health.gov. Read the full article here.

Weekend eating wrecks diets, study shows. Read full article here.

Sleep deprivation linked to junk food cravings, study. Read full study here.

Resistance training better for weight-loss. Read full article here.


 
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