Sunday, June 26, 2011

Reasons why you are NOT losing weight

You’re constantly on a diet.
You’re NOT losing weight.
You’re not alone!

Many people go on diets for days, months, even years and yet the digits they read on the scale are still the same or barely lower. All the deprivation and the hard work are wasted. All for nothing! Dieting becomes their enemy. They dread it, but something inside them keeps pushing them to try and face it... No response!
This isn’t a twist of fate. There is a reason for this. Identifying it could help you find the solution. Here is a list of possible mistakes that dieters make and that could explain failure to lose weight.

1- Complete food deprivation v/s binge eating
I’m sure you went through the “I’m so fat that as of tomorrow I’m only going to eat vegetables” phase. Many people think that this is the solution and that this could “clean their bodies”. This is absolutely wrong! Here’s what it’s all about:
In order to support all of the functions that your body performs on a daily basis, it needs to burn a certain amount of calories. The rate at which your body burns calories is known as your metabolism. During starvation periods, your metabolism will decrease and will stay low for a certain period of time. So, when you start eating at a normal pace again, the odds are you will gain back all the weight lost and sometimes more.
Besides, complete food deprivation causes a certain frustration for most of us. It is often followed by an episode of binge eating or in other terms uncontrollable eating which again leads to weight gain.
Therefore, it is better to have at least 3 balanced meals everyday rather than a single large one!

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2 - We don’t know what we’re eating
How many times have you said “I don’t eat anything all day and yet I don’t lose weight”?
Well, we often underestimate what we eat; we either forget we ate certain foods or we mistakenly think that they are low in calories. I will give you an example of both: Imagine there’s a bowl of almonds in the kitchen, and every time you pass by the kitchen you grab 4 or 5 almonds. What are 5 almonds anyway? They’re tiny insignificant things that you don’t count. Well, no! Although considered as a healthy snack, 5 almonds are 45 calories of fat! Now multiply it by the number of times you went into that kitchen and… there you go!
So, for that specific reason, it is best to keep track of everything you eat through a food diary in order to find the excess!

3 -   We are not as active as we should be

As technology advances, we find ourselves stuck at home with all sorts of machines: TV, computer, laptop, iPad etc… this cuts down on the time we spend outside, doing activities that not only make us burn calories but also prevent us from eating. An hour spent in front of the TV is a time where your body is resting and your mouth is moving! So, more calories ingested and less calories spent!  
Besides, even people who engage in a physical activity have the tendency to consume more calories than they have burnt during his activity. Let’s say I walked for an hour. My body burnt around 300 calories. I go home and I say “today I was on the treadmill for a whole hour; I can allow myself a chocolate”. What I didn’t know is that this chocolate bar can easily replace those 300 calories I worked so hard to lose!
A regular physical activity is strongly advised. However, if the goal is to lose weight, the calorie intake should remain the same!

4 - Social encounters almost always include food and drinks

Social encounters are a very big problem especially here in Lebanon. Almost everything you do involves food or drinks. And that creates a problem for dieters. They can’t stay home but if they’re going to see their friends they will either cheat or get tortured all through the outing. The key is to learn how to make the healthiest choices at restaurants; balance your alcohol and fat consumption; and most importantly not to draw attention to yourself. When a dieter is on the table, everyone watches what he or she is eating and try to give their opinions. This makes it very uncomfortable and completely inefficient!
Nowadays, most restaurants offer light platters. Try to stick to those and if you’re having a hard time, consult with your dietitian!

 5 - Increased restaurant portions

It is totally acceptable for anyone to crave fast food. After all, it’s absolutely delicious. The problem however, is that all portions have increased and the temptation to upsize a meal for a small amount of money becomes irresistible.
As tempting as it sounds, try to stick with the regular portions. You’d want to save yourself as much calories as possible!

Losing weight is not mission impossible! All you need to do is pick your food smartly, exercises regularly and you’ll be in shape in no time!