Struggling To Lose Weight? 4 Things You Should Know

If you've been struggling to lose weight, you need to assess what you're doing wrong. There could be many factors which are hindering your weight loss progress. Here are a few of them:

Not exercising hard enough: Just because you're running a few times per week in the park doesn't necessarily mean you'll be losing weight the way you'd hope. It really depends on your bodyweight as well. If you're quite overweight or obese, it will take quite a long time to lose weight and patience and consistence are required. But even that, you might still have a hard time burning fat. One major reason for this is in your workout itself. A big mistake I noticed is many people jog, which is a steady slow pace with knees low. Jogging does burn fat but the truth is not a lot. If you really want to melt away your protruding belly fat faster, it's time to increase the intensity of your workout. Try to pick up your pace and keep your knees high during your strides. Incorporate the high intensity interval training(HIIT) in your routine - Fast pace(1 min), medium pace(2 mins), slow pace(3 mins). Repeat for a total of 5 sessions and a duration of 30 mins(5 sessions * 6 mins per session). In just 30 minutes, HIIT will obliterate belly fat faster than long monotonous jogs which never seem to end.

Not paying attention to what you eat and drink: If you're exercising hard but not following a proper nutrition routine, it's highly likely your diet is the culprit here. Many people think that they can eat and drink anything they want if they are exercising but this can't be further from the truth. What's the point of jogging 3-5 times per week and eating the wrong kinds of foods afterwards? It's true you'll burn calories but you'll also gain them quickly afterwards. All your hard earned efforts will be mostly in vain. You need to discern between the right and wrong foods.

The wrong foods usually include calorie-laden ones which are loaded with either too much salt, sugar or fats or foods which have low nutritional value. Some examples include most simple carbs like table sugar, fruit juice, biscuits, corn syrup, donuts, pastries, cakes, deep fried foods, potato chips, chocolate, jam, candies, soda pop, soft drinks, beers, baked goods made with white flour, bread/pasta made with white flour, white rice, cereals with added sugar and so on. These foods and drinks are mostly empty calories which means they don't have much nutritional value and will result in an increase in your blood sugar levels known as insulin. Simple carbs are digested and converted to sugar fast and will make you more prone to extra stored fat in your fat cells because when some of these sugars are not used up as energy on time, they naturally get stored as fat. This is why eating too much simple carbs in a single meal is bad for your waistline. The reason many people tend to overindulge in simple carbs is because they are not filling. For example, it's not uncommon to see people eating 2-3 big dishes of white rice for dinner.

The best way to eat for weight loss is to substitute those simple carbs for complex carbs. Complex carbs are nutrient-dense, satiating and get digested slowly triggering a sustained release of sugars in your bloodstream. The slow absorption of sugars provides a steady supply of energy making you less prone to getting those sugars converted into fat and stored. Some examples of complex carbs include sweet potatoes, wholegrain cereals, oatmeal, rolled oats, oat bran, buckwheat, muesli, multi-grain bread, whole barley, brown rice, yams, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, navy beans, garbanzo beans, soyabeans, lentils, broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, artichokes, cabbage, cauliflower, water cress, okra, spinach, celery, brussels sprouts, strawberries, apples, oranges, pears, prunes, plums and the list goes on and on. And your beverage of choice should be water.

Not controlling your food portions: If you eat too much in a single meal, this will result in an excess of calories and you'll usually gain more weight because your body is only capable of assimilating a certain amount of calories per sitting. The rest will get shuttled into your fat stores. But the great benefit about using complex carbs is they will prevent overeating as they can keep you full even without eating much. It's imperative though that you control your food portions, usually a fist-sized portion of each food item is recommended. This way you can have more meals but smaller ones, talk about 4-6 small meals per day. Eating smaller meals at regular intervals will keep hunger pangs at bay so there is no need to have any unhealthy snacking. Furthermore, this eating methodology will rev up your basal metabolic rate(BMR) which means your body will burn more fat even when at rest. A few ounces of fish, some brown rice, some lentils and some broccoli florets drizzled with some olive oil make a great weight loss portion controlled meal.

You have a medical condition: If you're exercising and adhering to a proper nutrition pattern but seeing no meaningful results, you might have an unsuspected medical condition which is preventing you from losing weight as effectively as you should. One such condition is a thyroid problem. Located in your neck area, the thyroid is an important endocrine gland which produces thyroid hormones that manage your bodily functions including heart rate regulation and metabolic activity. Since there is a direct connection between weight loss and metabolic rate, it's not difficult to understand how a thyroid problem can indeed sabotage your weight loss efforts. Hypothyroidism is one of the most common thyroid disorders and occurs when your thyroid gland malfunctions resulting in:

(1) Extreme fatigue and weakness - In the worst case, this can become a chronic fatigue syndrome. When this happens, your metabolism becomes sluggish making you more prone for fat storage. Also it's difficult to exercise well and give your best when you're excessively tired and sleepy.

(2) Moodiness and depression - This leads to demotivation and reluctance to train as hard as you can or to eat like you really should. If your mindset is not there, this results into negligence.

(3) Arthritis - Having joint pains will severely impede your ability to exercise correctly leading to a poor workout.

All the 3 conditions above won't enable you to lose weight effectively and you will ultimately gain more weight. Some people have recourse to hormone pills which can help cure the thyroid problem but it's recommended to consult your doctor first for advice.

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