There is nothing worse than feeling like you are doing everything you can, but that last bit of stubborn fat just won’t shift. However, you could be preventing fat loss from a few bad habits that you have without knowing, or you could have simply reached a plateau in your training routine. I’m not going to go all ‘nanny-state’ on you, but if you are struggling, here are some things that could be getting in your way.
Your portion sizes are too big – It’s easy to think that because you are eating something healthy, you can eat as much as you want. However, just because something is healthy doesn’t mean you can over-do it. I’d never advise you to go hungry, but if you are eating high-calorie healthy foods, and not watching your portion sizes, you could easily start to gain weight, and store extra fat. Nuts are the perfect example of this, whilst they are a great source of good fat and protein for the body, they are also extremely calorie dense, and extremely easy to over-eat because they taste so good and you just seem to put them into your mouth, one after another. Make sure you are sticking to sensible portion sizes in all the foods you eat, including the healthy ones.
You consume liquid calories – If you are someone who drinks a lot of coffee, tea, juice or even worse fizzy drink, then you could be blowing your daily calorie intake in drinks. A large latte or hot chocolate from a high-street coffee shop could contain the equivalent calories of a meal. Liquid calories are also just empty calories, and unless it’s natural fruit juice they generally provide no nutritional value to the body (although be aware of the calories and sugars, albeit natural sugars in fruit juices). Stick to water, black tea or coffee, without sugar to get the fewest calories out of your drinks.
You’ve hit a plateau in your training – Your body will get used to any type of exercise, so if you are continuously doing the same thing day in and day out, then the body won’t respond the way it did when you first started. That’s why it’s important to keep the workouts changing on a constant basis. This is why I like to change the sessions I design for people. Just when your body adapts, the intensity or type of exercise changes – so not only will you find you’re capable of increasingly complex and challenging moves, it will help you break through plateaus and boost motivation because you’re doing something different. It’s also the best way to keep enjoying your exercise.
Mindless eating – We seem to be getting so distracted with technology that we don’t pay attention to what we put in our mouths. I’m always amazed at how many people I see in coffee shops, using their phones, whilst eating away. I also know of so many people who will sit at their desk and snack whilst still tapping away on their computer, or eat snacks in front of the television or social media. Mindless eating is when you are eating while doing something else and not concentrating on what you are eating. The problem with mindless eating is that when you aren’t paying attention to the food you often find yourself over-eating. Try and make sure that when you sit down to eat a meal, your focus is on that and that alone (although do not ignore the other people around the table).
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