Do you do everything right and still no results?
I have been a personal trainer for a decade now and help dozens of people lose 10,15, 50, and even more than 100lbs. The results come once these 6 problems get solved.
First let's talk about sleep. Everyone needs to pay attention to this weight loss stealing beast. Your body needs 7.5 hours of sleep no maybe about it. Start putting more emphasis on getting to sleep and enjoying the results. Your body and waist line will thank you.
Consistency is the second thief of results. No matter if it's exercise or healthy eating choices. If you are not consistent you won't get results. Over the years I have seen people miss this small details and lose big results. Get a journal and write down when you actually go to the gym, not when it's scheduled.
Often times people have a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule in their head. In actuality, they make the gym two of their planned three days. Depending on your intensity, that can be 500-800 calories a week you didn't burn. That's a big deal in the weight loss game. Write it down, meet a friend, hire a trainer to keep you on your toes.
Low intensity, high goals is number three on the list. I get people coming in expecting to lose 10 pounds in a month. That's a very real goal, but the intensity and focus it will take is really hard. In fact, most people are not willing to do what it takes to lose those 10 pounds. I have said it before, it's simple math. Losing 10 pounds of fat means creating a calorie deficit of 35,000 calories. About 9,000 a week, or 1,300 calories a day.
If all you are willing to do is go for a walk (which is fantastic!) you will only burn 250-300 calories. Again, that is great if you are getting up and walking. However, you are still about 900 calories a day shy of your goal.
That means you need to cut calories. Finding a way to make sure portion size is correct, and you are sticking to about 1,600-1,800 high nutrient calories should help you with another 700 calories. The average calorie intake right now in North America is 2750. So losing 10lbs with walking is possible, but it means one hour everyday, and being a consistent healthy eater. It's in the math.
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For starters, try eating off of plates your grandmother used. Next, change your expectation. Restaurants are in business to sell food, and lots of it. It is time to shift our perspective on what a reasonable amount of food is. If you use a smaller plate, you will probably begin to scale back on your portion. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/1449296422/" target="_hplink">Wonderlane</a></em>
We want to scale back on our meat and potato portions and increase our intake of veggies.<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-lisa-young/healthy-food_b_1665279.html" target="_hplink"> Fruits and vegetables</a> are relatively low in calories and high in fiber. An easy trick is to fill half your plate with fruit and veggies. One quarter of your plate protein (meat, fish, poultry, tofu) and one quarter healthy starch (brown rice, quinoa, barley). <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/6963428304/" target="_hplink">USDAgov</a></em>
You are better off eating -- and chewing -- your calories than drinking them. Somehow, when we drink our calories, we do not feel full and the calories we just guzzled down do not seem to register. So... we want more. Eat an orange instead of drinking the juice. And steer clear of empty soda calories -- choose seltzer or water instead. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mizzmurray/5848887942/" target="_hplink">lisamurray</a></em>
Steer clear of the jumbo bags of chips, cookies, and nuts sold at price warehouse clubs such as Costco. We all love a good bargain, but beware when it comes to buying food. While you may want to stock up on toilet paper or paper towels, when it comes to food, buy smaller servings. Single-serve bags of chips will really help you practice portion control while snacking. <em>Photo from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Popchips-6-Flavor-Variety-0-8-Ounce-Single/dp/B001RVFDOO/ref=sr_1_12?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1346881740&sr=1-12&keywords=100+calorie+packs" target="_hplink">Amazon.com</a></em>
In many cases you have a choice between a small, medium, or large. Order the small size whenever possible. And don't be fooled by the label; even a drink labeled small, for example, can be big. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sylvar/5111726141/" target="_hplink">sylvar</a></em>
If you can't stop at one serving of chips, then don't even start. Choose a treat you CAN control.
Read the food label, serve yourself one portion, and put the rest away. Practice this for chips, nuts, pretzels and other treats. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/the-travelling-bum/5864314419/" target="_hplink">The Travelling Bum</a></em>
Just because a food is labeled organic or trans fat-free doesn't mean you can eat as much as you want. Calories are still calories. <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/fruitnet/1064944536/" target="_hplink">Eurofruit, Asiafruit & Americafruit</a></em>
They may be a bargain for your pocketbook, but not for your health. If you must visit a buffet, do a full lap around the buffet before choosing your selection and wear tight-fitting clothes (you'll probably eat less). <em>Flickr photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/yakobusan/6368766007/" target="_hplink">@yakobusan Jakob Montrasio 孟亚柯</a></em>
Restaurant portions are huge. Order one main dish and an extra veggie dish or salad and share both. And order one dessert for two or three people and you will still feel satisfied.
Eat slowly, savor your food, and enjoy your company.
Not having fun. Have you ever heard the expression "time flies when you are having fun"? Well, it goes for exercise as much as anything. Going to the gym if you hate it becomes old news fast. It means you probably won't be doing it in a few weeks.
New Years resolutions fail all the time because people lose their fun. If you find something that burns calories, takes you away from the TV and snacking, then you will have something. To succeed at weight loss means you have made it routine. To make it routine you have to like what you are doing. Include your friends, co-workers and family. Find the positives -- eat right for energy, and enjoy weight loss and a whole lot of great things. Fun is the root of fitness success.
Skipping breakfast. You need to put food in your stomach first thing when you wake up. It has to be high vitamin and mineral content, high antioxidant, contain protein and fiber, and it has to taste good. I have found smoothies to be a solid go to for this. Some people with more time in the day are successful with an egg-based morning breakfast. What ever you chose, do it every morning and make sure you start your day by kick starting your metabolism.
Portion size is the absolute most important thing in weight loss. It's why I left it to the end. If you can forget everything else, just focus on eating smaller portions. I do corporate seminars and I say it all the time. You would never go back to a restaurant or recommend it to friends if they actually gave you a proper serving size.
If you are struggling with weight loss, or if you are doing everything right but can't seem to get the weight off, buy a scale. Not for you to step on, but for your food. Look at the serving size on the container, or Google the amount of calories in your food. If your goal is 1,800 calories over four meals, you have 450 calories at each meal. Or two big 700 calorie meals and two small 200 calories meals.
The problem is, too many people miss the labels and eat too much of a good thing. Don't forget that little candies and tasting foods are still calories. Sounds silly, but it's true. Three hard candies are 60 calories. In two months, that is a pound of fat. Make sure you are looking at your calories, sticking to small portions and learning how to eat healthy!
My mission is to make this nation healthy, One Fit City at a time. I'd love your feedback, what works for you, and how you have lost the weight. Part of my encouragement to readers is to offer a vacation giveaway I couldn't offer it without the support of Fareconnect.com. It's a daily challenge to reach your health goals. Don't let small things stop you along the way. Keep the big picture in mind, your health.
Follow Jordan Cieciwa on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@fitcityjordan