Why weight loss doesn't work sometimes is a mystery, which needs some solving. Let’s look at an example…Anita’s day starts like this: She wakes up at 7am, downs a fruits smoothie (bananas, grapes, orange juice, milk and strawberries if in season), then she goes to the gym and runs on the treadmill for 45 minutes. She is back by 8:30 and grabs a whole wheat toast while leaving for work by 9:15.
Each day she burns 50 more calories with each treadmill session. At work she sips a cup of tea with two teaspoons of sugar and opens a packet of biscuits to dip into the tea, something she is careful to carry in case a hunger pang stikes. When a colleague asks her to come along to the canteen, she succumbs to a plate of idlis, thinking - how much can that hurt?
Till this point, Anita has already consumed about 1000 calories. And she has not even reached lunch yet. Here’s what’s going wrong for her and why she won’t see weight loss results any time soon…
Counting calories does not work for everyone: A simple calorie in, calorie out framework can add to stress and binge eating. The law says, burn more calories than you expend and you will lose weight. But this is difficult to maintain. If you are off by a few calories a day you will gain weight, slowly but surely, for the rest of your life. Instead eat food that keeps you full and nourished and replace endless cardio workouts with a healthy mix of cardio and weights, or strength training through any other workout routine for a stronger, happier and healthier you.
Anita thinks she’s eating healthy, but isn’t: Our girl is eating a lot of fruits the sugar content of which is exceptionally high. The biscuits, the idli etc not only add calories but most of them are empty calories, which will make her feel hungry within an hour of consuming then. What should she do? She would be better off eating things that are higher in protein and healthy fats but will keep her feeling full and satisfied for a much longer time so she can focus on work and her mind does not wander towards her next meal soon
Anita is under too much stress. Waking up everyday at the same time, going to the gym and pushing herself to run for 45 minutes and thinking about every morsel that goes into her mouth is stress enough. Add work pressures and relationship pressures to the equation and you have a body that is producing cortisol, a hormone that catabolizes muscle, worsens insulin resistance, and promotes storage of fat. Take a step back from your life and identify stress levels. They maybe holding you back
She is not mixing up her workouts. By staying at 75% of her heart rate on the treadmill and not mixing up her workouts with strength training and sprints, she is burning glycogen and not fat. In this process she will gain weight over time, lose muscle, release more cortisol, and compromise any progress she might have made.
She is not eating enough protein and building muscle. This is the only way towards long-term fat loss. Muscle is always hungry and craves protein. Apart from the organs and the brain, muscle mass is one of the biggest consumers of energy and the more muscle you have the more the fat loss.
She hasn’t got rid of the junk in her house. Be honest with yourself. When you get home, do your hands reach for the nearest packet of chips or that box of mithai that came with a wedding invitation? Getting rid of temptations at home and focusing on healthy wholesome food is a big part of healthy weight loss.
Does this sound like you? If it does then a re-assessment of your weight-loss formula is in order to reach your maximum fitness potential.
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