It's extremely annoying when despite trying your best you can't seem to lose even an inch while the others around you are shedding off those kilos with ease.
Is it because right from the start of your program you planned to fail? If you find that you have even one of the common roadblocks to weight loss, you need to re-evaluate your goals.
Setting unrealistic goals
Most people start out on the wrong foot by setting an unreachable goal. “I will shed 10kg in a month” is not just impractical but also unhealthy.
A weight loss programme that promises such quick results is definitely doing so at the cost of your health. If you do manage to shed this unreasonable amount in a month, it would only be by starving yourself, which makes you lose muscle and not fat. And in the long run, this causes deficiencies.
A reasonable goal is to shed ½kg per week with the help of diet modification. And if you are combining exercise and diet, then aim for shedding 1kg a week for the first two months and 2 – 3kg in each of the following months.
Take into account the food choices available to you before setting the goal. Factor in breaks like travel plans or major events where you may not be able to stick to the diet so that you won't get frustrated with your progress.
Most people who don't succeed in losing weight are the ones who eat all they want for several days and then go on a strict diet for a couple of days and expect miraculous results.
Don't fool yourself, losing weight even if it is just 5 – 6kg takes time and effort; it is not something that can happen overnight without permanently changing your lifestyle.
Cheating on your workout
If you skip 10 repetitions [reps] of an exercise when the instructor is looking the other way, you are not doing yourself a favour. Cheating on your exercise won't get you any closer to your goal.
Cheating doesn't just mean skipping reps, it also means not pushing yourself hard enough to get out of your comfort zone. If you cannot do 30 reps of an exercise at a go, break it up into two sets of 15, but don't skip a count.
Waiting for tomorrow to start your diet
Believe me, the tomorrow you are waiting for, will never come. When you eat a high-calorie meal on one day, your body craves those many calories even the next day. It takes a day or two for the body to adjust to a lower calorie diet.
If you keep having heavy meals on and off, the hunger pangs are going to start. Most people can easily knock off 2 – 3kg, at the beginning of an exercise programme as the workout is new for the body.
Gradually, your body adjusts to it. If you keep eating calorie-laden meals even then, your weight is going to stay where it is for a long, long time. Stop eating high calorie food, today!
Your mind resolutely forbids you from reaching for that bar of chocolate… at least for a while. A few days of abstinence from high-calorie food, and you find yourself thinking, “I'm so stressed I need a reward” and soon you find yourself gobbling the whole bar.
Eating calorie-dense food when you are angry, frustrated or stressed is the most common reason for dieters to fall off the wagon. In times of stress, the energy needs of the body increase, your body also demands more carbohydrate-rich foods as they calm your system by releasing serotonin, a feel-good hormone.
The next time you feel stressed and feel like reaching for high calorie foods, take deep breaths for a few minutes, go for a walk or drink a glass of milk. These will not only help you tackle the stress, but also improve your health.
Not getting enough sleep or getting interrupted sleep leads to hormonal changes that cause your body to retain water and influence your appetite and food choices.
Studies show that people, who sleep for less than five hours daily, feel hungry throughout the day and choose snacks that are laden with calories such as cakes, cookies and sweets over fruits and vegetables, causing weight gain. Fix your sleep pattern by going to bed about the same time every day.
Ignoring health issues
A deficiency of vitamins like D and B12 causes your body to hold on to weight and slows down metabolism—that's why your body stubbornly refuses to shed the kilos. A malfunctioning thyroid gland also slows down metabolism causing water retention and preventing weight loss.
Get a few simple blood tests done before starting a weight loss programme and aim at improving your overall health balance for better results. Don't worry, vitamin deficiencies can be easily corrected with the right supplements. Thyroid problems too can be solved.
Choosing a bad time
If you choose an odd time of the day to exercise, you will probably miss it most of the time. Organise your schedule so that you don't have to miss your workouts.
Planning to go to the gym in the middle of a workday or just an hour before you have to be somewhere is a bad idea. Similarly, skipping your workout at the slightest excuse is inexcusable.
Most of us are aware of our day's schedules. Plan ahead; if you have a busy day ahead, finish your workout in the morning instead of waiting till the end of the day when it will be conveniently omitted.
Being satisfied by too little
It is a good thing to appreciate every little change in your body brought on by exercise and diet but it's not nice to go back to your old eating pattern the moment you lose your first two kilos.
Don't become complacent the moment you start seeing changes; keep yourself motivated by setting a new goal each week to stay on track.
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