For some people it’s easy, but for the majority of people who try to lose weight it seems like mission impossible. With so much information on the internet(which much of it is conflicting) people are very confused when it comes to how they should lose weight. When I start to work with new clients and dig deeper into why they are having problems losing weight usually they same things come up over and over. I will go over the top 5 reasons people fail to lose weight:
- They eat too much of the right foods. Studies have shown that people always underestimate how much they eat and greatly over estimate how much calories they burn through activity. This is why people must be educated on how big a serving size is for certain foods and must weigh certain foods in the diet. Eyeballing never works and you will end up eating way more than you think, thus blowing your diet. The scale is something you should be using daily as well as learning how to read food labels.
- They eat too much fat. With the low carb craze people have dropped their carb intake while replacing it with fats. This was made famous by the Atkins diet, which basically said drop your carbs and eat all the fat you want good or bad. Although this did work for some, it did not work for a lot. There are also people following low carb but eating a lot of so called “healthy fats” like olive oil, coconut oil, butter, nuts, etc. I agree these fats are very healthy and good for you, however the problem is that they are so calorie dense that you must eat them very sparingly or they will quickly add up and totally destroy your weight loss efforts. The egg yolks in the morning fried in butter, the big handfuls of nuts for snacks, the olive oil salad dressing add up very quickly. If you find that you can’t lose weight and are eating a lot of these fats then try cutting back.
- They eat too many meals. As in one of my previous articles I went over how eating too many small meals a day is bad for trying to lose weight. I don’t know where it started but everyone feels they need 3 big meals a day and at least 2 snacks. Whenever I tell clients that they will be eating 3 meals a day and thats it they look at me in horror as they ask, “what about my snacks?” Snacking is a huge problem for a lot of people as it doesn’t seem like they are eating much but those calories add up fast! For most people 3 meals a day hits a sweet spot in the balance between not being hungry while being able to cut back on food volume, which is key in weight loss.
- They don’t do any activity. For a lot of people the most activity they get is walking to their car in the morning then walking to their office then back home and thats it. Now, obviously I feel that working out in the gym with weights is the superior way to lose weight and get healthier, however it is not the only way. Being more active in general by increasing non exercise activity thermogenis (NEAT). This is just a fancy name for any activity you do that is not a part of your exercise program. So for example: parking your car the furthest in the parking lot or parking a few blocks down from you destination, taking elevator instead of stairs, walking your dog, gardening, doing vigorous housework, etc. Doing these things through out the day can not only greatly improve your health but also your weight loss goals. I have heard of people taking a walk for 5 minutes every hour. At the end of an eight hour shift that just accumulated to 40 minutes of walking a day. No need to go to they gym to walk for 40 minutes if you do that. Theres some food for thought.
- They totally fly off the handle on weekends. This one drives me absolutely nuts. Mondays can be a pretty rough day for me when I have to hear what some people ate on the weekends, and the bazillion excuses that they give me for why once again they blew the whole weekend. Listen, I don’t expect people to be perfect, however the weekend is not a two day eating binge. It’s usually the same people and these are the ones that will have a very hard time seeing any progress no matter how good there diet is throughout the week or how much they exercise. In general people can be pretty good with their diet throughout the week but once the weekend hits they totally undo all the hard work they did all week. Basically 2 steps forward 2 steps back. I believe this is a good approach for maintaining bodyweight, but when you are trying to lose weight you have to take your diet seriously on the weekends or it will never work. If I could pick a public enemy #1 for weight loss this is it. Like I tell my clients, “suck it up and just get it done and get to your goal weight, then we can do this type of thing when you are trying to maintain. Sure that may mean giving up some weekends or whatever but at some point you got to bite the bullet and just do it.
So if you are struggling to lose weight, have a close look at these things and I guarantee if you fix up these problems the weight will begin to fall off!