We’re all on the same journey - one that leads to a healthier lifestyle. Gym workouts, cardio, diet - we have tried it all. But somehow, they all tend to hit a plateau stage. And we’re back to square one. Losing weight may seem like a lot of work - and it sure is - but that doesn’t necessarily make it hard. If you want to shed kilos and keep it that way, it is about the smaller and more permanent lifestyle changes that you need to make. Often, in the hurry to lose weight, we avoid the things that affect our health the most - without even realising it! Here are 5 mistakes you make that sabotages all your fat loss efforts
1. Not getting enough sleep
In the busy work-life schedule that we constantly strive to manage, we often forget that at the core of our physical and mental well-being, all we need is a good night’s sleep. Cutting down on your sleep can limit the benefits of dieting and exercise. After a tiring 17-hour-day, our body needs a minimum of 7 hours resting period to heal. Inadequate sleep affects our mental health and increases stress. Stress produces hormones that make you feel hungrier and you end up eating too much. So, to achieve your desired results, you must have peaceful 7 hours of sleep.
2. Totally avoiding outside food
Let’s admit it, we all have cravings. Indulging in a plate of Nachos with cheese or savoring the cake that came after - at some point we do want to relish our taste buds with delicious food. And you know what? It’s totally okay to do that (sometimes). We all deserve a cheat day after a rigorous week of workout. There is no harm in rewarding oneself with a sumptuous pizza on a weekend, as long as you know that you won’t be eating this daily and would get back to exercising the very next day. People who totally give up on bad foods end up reaching their goals much later than those who have a cheat day once a week. So, align your goals with your diet and allow yourself to eat your favourite junk food once in a while, too.
3. Only sticking to cardio
Most people think cardio is the only way to lose weight. That is not true. The ideal way to lose weight is to combine cardio with weight training. Resistance training compliments your weight loss journey. To gain muscle and increase your metabolism, you can start by lifting weights along with your regular cardio. This helps gain muscle mass and also boosts belly fat loss which is one of the most difficult fat to lose. Adopt a strategy that combines cardio with aerobic exercise and weightlifting and you’ll see wonders happening to your body.
4. Not consuming enough protein
Protein is one of the most important nutrients that help in good weight loss. Protein reduces your appetite, so you end up eating less. At the same time, it fills up your stomach, so you don’t feel hungry for longer periods of time. Foods such as eggs, tofu, cottage cheese, are all rich in protein. Even if you are not consciously trying to lose weight, protein intake will help you maintain your weight and increase muscle mass. When you exercise, protein also helps in body building and muscle repair. Ideally, you should consume 0.8-1g of protein per kilo of your ideal body weight. So, if you weigh 70kgs, you must have 56 grams of protein. An adequate amount of protein along with the necessary fats and carbohydrates will help you maintain your calorie intake.
5. Sticking to a routine
When aiming for fat loss, it is essential to mix-it-up a little and try different exercises and combinations of diets instead of sticking to one. One must change the exercise regime every 2 weeks to avoid hitting a dead end. As far as diets are concerned, a nutritionist can best guide you based on your body’s needs but be sure to ask questions and try different plans to find the one that suits your body the best.
Whip up some quick-fix recipes to boost your fat loss efforts! You one day meal plan could include the Fruit Smoothie Bowl for breakfast, Tofu Scramble With Potatoes for lunch and the Quinoa Fruit Salad for snacks.
At the end of the day, the key to a successful fat loss strategy is - Not Giving Up. It takes time, sure, but the results are truly worth it. Adapting a healthy lifestyle will reward you not only with a better body, but also with a better feeling each day, that you have achieved what you wanted. Finally, remember the basics - avoid having junk food regularly and make sure you exercise enough