Losing weight is one of the best ways to look and feel better from the inside out. But it’s complicated, and several factors can stall your efforts — many times, your habits are to blame.
Here are three of the most common weight loss roadblocks we see.
We're not necessarily talking about what you eat, though that does play a significant role in your ability to lose weight — we want to talk about how you're eating. Some of the most common weight-loss faux pas show up in your eating habits. Here are a few of the most common:
Distracted eating (eating while you work, scroll on your phone, or watch TV) sabotages your diet. When you're distracted, you're not paying attention to how much you consume. It also likely means you're not savoring what you're eating, so you'll grab another helping to satisfy your cravings.
So, we recommend evaluating which harmful eating habit (or habits) you struggle with and then taking steps to avoid them. Watch TV while you eat? Start having your meals in another room. Can't stop snacking? Stop adding them to your grocery list or swap them for healthier options (think fruits, proteins, and vegetables).
Skipping breakfast? Set an alarm to wake up early enough to eat, or do your best to at least grab a piece of fruit or slice of toast on your way out the door — a small, healthy breakfast is better than no breakfast.
If you turn to food when you get sad, angry, or anxious, try replacing eating for comfort with a hobby, exercise, or even a conversation with a friend.
Remember to eat slowly, as well. You'll enjoy your meals more and be able to listen to your body when it tells you you're full.
Fancy frappuccinos, loaded cocktails, or fizzy soft drinks — whatever your pleasure is, you may be adding hundreds (if not thousands) of calories simply through your liquid pick-me-ups.
The solution? Make tweaks where you can. Tone down the cream and sugar in your coffee. Try cutting back on the number of alcoholic drinks you consume or swapping for a lower-calorie option. Give water a try instead of soda; you can make water less boring by investing in a cool water bottle, infusing it with fruit, or drinking sparkling water if you prefer some carbonation.
Need to lose pounds? Catch some Z’s. Your sleeping habits play a larger role in weight loss than you may realize. Here are a few ways poor-quality sleep makes it harder to shed weight.
When you're short on sleep, you need to get energy from somewhere, anywhere. In those moments, it's easy to lean on a sugar-laced latte. Later in the day, you're too tired to work out and make dinner at home, so you swing through the drive-thru.
Sleep deprivation changes your brain chemistry. It dulls the activity in your brain's frontal lobe, where your decision-making and impulse control centers are. In short, you literally don't have the mental clarity to make healthy decisions.
To top it off, a sleepy, an overtired brain stimulates its reward centers and becomes desperate for something that feels good — often, that means grabbing a second slice of cake at the office party.
Studies have also revealed that sleep-starved folks tend to snack late at night, eat high-fat snacks, have more cravings, and eat bigger portions.
Your metabolism is your body's built-in energy system; it's the process that takes the food you eat and turns it into the fuel your body needs. A slow metabolism allows food to become stored as fat rather than immediately usable energy.
Your body needs adequate sleep to keep your metabolism running. Without rest, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol, which tells your body to conserve energy.
Bottom line: Too little sleep makes you hang on to fat.
Sleep deprivation makes you metabolically groggy and more likely to develop other conditions, like insulin resistance, that make it hard to lose weight.
So, it's not that sleeping equals weight loss, but not sleeping can result in difficulty losing weight.
It can be tough to get sleep, especially if you've been struggling for years, but follow these simple strategies, and you may see improvement:
Want to get started with a medically supervised weight loss program? We'd love to talk with you. Call or click to schedule an appointment with our compassionate and experienced team of women’s health specialists at our Scottsdale, Arizona, office today.