You might be sabotaging your weight loss efforts without even realising it, as fitness trainer Sam Wood explains. Here are the key habits to keep an eye on…
You’re eating healthy and working out but something’s just not working. On paper, these two things have been drummed into us as the key to getting fitter or losing weight. But in reality, shifting those kgs or building muscle is a lot more complicated.
Could you be sabotaging yourself without even knowing? Possibly.
Here are seven things you need to consider.
Like what you see? Sign up to our bodyandsoul.com.au newsletter for more stories like this.
#1. You’re eating too much (of the good stuff)
If you are eating a diet that consists of healthy whole foods and is free of artificial ingredients, refined sugar, and carbohydrates, that is fantastic.
However, it is important to remember that just because a food is considered healthy, this doesn’t mean it can be eaten without regard for portion sizes. Avocado and nuts, for example, are delicious and healthy but very nutrient-dense, so if you’re eating large quantities of either (or both) you may well be exceeding the energy requirements for your body. Practice portion control and remember, everything in moderation, even the stuff that’s good for you.
#2. You’re not eating enough
Too often people drastically restrict their calories to lose weight fast. Calories are not the enemy and while restricting your calories might work in the short term, it is not a sustainable approach, will not lead to long term results, and can actually do more harm than good.
From a training perspective, when you’re not fuelling yourself properly, you’re weak, tired, and hungry so a workout is the last thing on your mind. When you have no energy to exercise, that’s a problem. Severe calorie restriction can have a number of negative health impacts but can often lead to a vicious cycle of restricting and binging which can be incredibly hard to break.
#3. You’re not challenging yourself
If you are nailing your nutrition and training regularly but not seeing a shift in your weight, it might be time to up the ante with your workouts. We can do this through variety and/or intensity.
The same routine at a higher intensity or a new routine doing moves that get us uncomfortable is what our body needs to create adaptation. Make sure that for at least two of your weekly workouts that you are pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. That’s where the magic happens.
#4. You’re neglecting incidental exercise
So often overlooked but this is one of the easiest ones to fix. Literally, find 15 to 20 minutes where you can fit walking into your day.
Take the stairs instead of the escalator, walk your dog instead of driving it to the park, park a block away from your destination, etc. This is such a simple way to burn extra calories without flipping your world upside down.
#5. You’re not getting enough sleep
When we consistently don’t get enough sleep, our metabolism cannot work efficiently. When this happens, we can start to store unused energy as fat.
Being tired and grumpy often increases the likelihood we’ll skip our workout or reach for unhealthy foods in a desperate attempt to boost our energy. Seven hours is the magic number.
#6. You’re stressed
Stress increases your cortisol levels, messes with your digestive system, can have a negative impact on your sleep and can cause junk food cravings. If you’re embracing a healthy lifestyle, this must include your mental health.
Mindfulness tools can help with stress management, you just need to find what works for you. Remember, where the mind goes the body follows. Healthy mind = healthy body.
#7. You’re not being patient
Results don’t happen overnight. If you’re confident that you’re doing the right thing, trust the process.
Sam Wood is a fitness expert and founder of 28 by Sam Wood. Follow him on Instagram @samjameswood.