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Hit Your Weight Loss Goal

June 23, 2010

(Article first published as Why You Can’t Lose Weight on Technorati.)
American’s are waging a losing battle against overweight and obesity, despite the best efforts of many who have tried time and again to lose weight and failed. Two-thirds of those people indicate they’re on some type of weight reduction program, yet 95% will be unable to maintain any type of weight loss for more than a year.

Most people trying to lose weight understand that a healthy diet and exercise are essential to drop pounds, but despite their best efforts, sustainable weight loss is beyond reach. It’s important to understand the reasons which prevent weight loss, as well as the steps which should be followed to help trigger the body’s metabolism into fat burning action.

Underestimating Calories
In a study by the USDA, 80% of participants underestimated the number of calories consumed in a day by 700. The most common miscalculation is in serving size, especially when judging the highest calories items such as desserts, breads and pasta. Always use a dietary scale to weigh food items and keep track of everything you eat using a dietary log.

Balance Fat Intake

Fats have been maligned for the last half century because of a poor understanding of this essential nutrient. The problem is with the type of fats we eat. Highly processed or overcooked trans-fats from frying are typically coupled with refined carbohydrates, leading to a recipe for weight gain. Replace trans-fats with oils in their natural state, especially Omega-3 fats from fish, nuts and seeds. The body will use these fats for cellular construction and not for fat storage.

Eat Protein for Breakfast Everyday
Many people trying to lose weight will cut breakfast, thinking they’ll be better off without the calories. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Studies show that when breakfast is skipped, people will make up the calorie deficit plus an additional 25% in meals later in the day. Additionally, there is a much greater tendency to snack between meals. Eat breakfast every day, and be sure to include a healthy protein source, as this will initiate your fat burning metabolism which remains fueled through the day.

Cut the Carbs
The primary source of excess calories in the typical diet is from refined carbohydrates. Begin by substituting that order of fries for a double serving of vegetables. You’ll get half the calories, twice the nutrition and will feel more satisfied. Most people consume less than half the servings of vegetables and are nutritionally deficient. The body has an amazing ability to gauge the vitamins and minerals we eat, and will alter our metabolism toward fat storage when we’re deficient. Continue to cut servings of breads, fries and sweets in favor of raw leafy vegetables to drop pounds quickly.

Eat Enough, But Not Late at Night
When people begin a weight loss plan, they sometimes reduce calories very quickly and to insufficient levels so the body thinks it’s starving. The body holds onto precious fat reserves by slowing down our metabolism, making it impossible to lose weight. Men and women should eat a well balanced, healthy diet of 1500 and 1200 calories per day respectively to avoid the starvation mode plateau. Also, be certain to avoid eating anything within 3 hours of going to bed, to ensure full digestion and a good night’s sleep.

Make it a Lifestyle!
The only way you will achieve sustained weight loss is to view your new eating and fitness program as a permanent lifestyle change. The top mistake made by 95% of dieters is that they’re making short term modifications to reach a number on the scale, and then will revert back once they hit their goal. This guarantees the weight will return, plus a few pounds for survival insurance. Set in your mind this is how you need to live your life for the rest of your life, and enjoy the happy and healthy benefits of permanent weight loss.

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