The battle of the bulge is on –any movement on the scale yet? “Losing weight is one of the top resolutions made every year, yet only 20 percent of people achieve successful weight-loss and maintenance,” says Jessica Bartfield, MD, internal medicine who specializes in nutrition and weight management at the Loyala Centre for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care.
Despite the fact that two-thirds of Americans say they are on a diet to improve their health, very few are actually decreasing in size. According to Bartfield, “Dieting is a skill, much like riding a bicycle, and requires practice and good Instructions.” But, this is not a case unique to the Americans alone, it is the case with most people on the heavier side and who go on diets to lose weight. Their constant complaint is that they do not lose weight.
Here are top four reasons why dieters don’t lose weight?
- Underestimating Calories Consumed
Most people underestimate the number of calories they eat per day. Writing down everything that you eat-including drinks and “bites” or “tastes” of food – can help increase self-awareness. Pay attention to serving sizes and use measuring cups and spoons as serving utensils to keep portions reasonable. Foods eaten outside of the home tends to be in much larger portion sizes and much higher in calories. So try and look up nutrition information of your favourite take-out meal or restaurant and select a healthy meal before picking up the phone or going out to eat.
- Overestimating Activity and Calories burned
Typically you need to cut 500 calories per day to lose 1 lb (pound) per week. This is very difficult to achieve through exercise alone, and would require 60 minutes or more of vigorous activity every day. A more attainable goal would be to try and increase activity throughout the day and get a total of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise most days of the week. Buy a tracker to track your steps; try to increase your goal of 10,000 steps per day. But, be careful – exercise is not an excuse to eat more!
- Poor Timing of Meals
You need a steady stream of glucose throughout the day to maintain optimal energy and to prevent metabolism from slowing down. Eat breakfast everyday within one hour of waking up, then eat a healthy snack or meal every two to three hours. Try not to go longer than 5 hours without eating a healthy snack or meal to keep your metabolism steady.
- Inadequate sleep
Studies have shown that people who get fewer than six hours of sleep have higher levels of ghrelin, which is a hormone that stimulates appetite, particularly for high-carbohydrate/high-calorie foods. In addition, less sleep raises levels of cortisol, a stress hormone which can lead to weight gain.
Avoid doing the above mentioned, avoid go on diets and have a normal balanced meal daily and you will be able to maintain your weight and health.
Good health practices are more than just learnt, they become a regular habit and a way of life.
If you found these tips valuable and have more questions or thoughts to share, drop a comment below! Explore more insights on maintaining a healthy diet through Healthy Reads. For personalized information and guidance, subscribe to GOQii’s Personalised Health Coaching here.