Losing weight for better health is an admirable journey, but it’s not easy as the movies make it out to be. It’s filled with confusion, frustration, and forcing yourself to trod along even if you feel really bad, especially when it seems like the diet isn’t working.
In cases like that, it’s best to take a step back and look at why it isn’t working. And then address it by how to make it work.
Why it’s Not Working
Lack of Sleep
Perhaps you’re too busy going over your business’ banking and finance, going over numbers late into the night. Or maybe you’re studying through the night in preparation for an important exam. Regardless of the reason, if you don’t get enough sleep, it’s a potential contributor to why your diet isn’t working. When we lack sleep, our bodies naturally look for more calories, as sleep deprivation increases the hormone that makes us feel hungry and decreases the hormone that makes us feel satisfied.
You Might Not Be on a Caloric Deficit
Simply put, a caloric deficit is what triggers fat and weight loss. Our bodies need calories to function, and being on a caloric deficit means that you’re not providing your body with enough calories. While this might sound rather negative, think about it this way: you’re probably eating too much while moving too little. Think about your activities and your lifestyle and decide whether you eat less, or move more. Often, the best option is to do both: eat better food with fewer fats and sugar, and move more through exercise and other activities.
Processed Foods and Hidden Sugar
Many of the ready food that we consume is filled with sugar, fats, carbs, and other substances that make actual dieting for weight loss hard, if not impossible. Whenever we eat food rich in sugar or filled with processed carbs, we release insulin that directs our blood sugar to the body’s fat reserves, thereby making us feel hungrier than before. This is why sweets don’t really make us feel filled.
Dieting is all about proper portions. They’re what controls the calories we consume. If you’ve been estimating the amount of food you’ve been eating, then that might be the culprit why you’re not seeing any progress. This is an easy mistake to make, as we often believe that we have a good grasp on how much we’ve been eating.
How to Make it Work
It’s hard to find healthy food out in common restaurants. After all, most of their focus is on speed and efficiency and not health and wellness. That’s why any fitness enthusiast will tell you to prepare your meals in advance. Not only does this save time in finding a good place to eat at, but it also allows you to control the portions and the macro-split of the food you’ll be consuming. This also helps you make sure that the diet you make is well-balanced and delicious, preventing fatigue from eating the same food over and over again. Meal prep makes dieting easy and is something that everyone going on a weight loss journey should do.
Know Your Food’s Nutritional Information
As mentioned before, you might not be aware that the food you’re consuming has quite a lot of sugar and calories in it. Especially when going for ‘sugar-free’ or ‘less calorie’ options. What often happens is people go for these alternatives to make up for the taste, and end up relying on them too much. However, these very ingredients also contain sugars and calories. Though the amount may be small, when accumulated, they make up for a significant addition to your macro split, thereby ruining your diet. Always be aware of the nutritional information of the food you’re consuming, it goes a long way in making sure you follow your caloric requirement.
Eat Only What You Plan
It’s easy to be tempted to eat a cake or a burger when we’re supposed to be dieting. Especially when there’s a sudden pang of hunger- and that’s something we often feel throughout the day. We’ve already talked about preparing your meals in advance, but another part of that preparing snacks. To combat the sudden pangs of hunger, or any urge to eat, it’s best to also prepare your snacks.
You can go for controlled options such as low-calorie biscuits, or sugar-free treats. Or another way you can go about it is to spread your caloric requirements to all of the food you consume throughout the day. This can mean reducing your lunch or dinner but adding up something more substantial to your snack- that’s fine, as long as your daily caloric requirements are met.