If you're trying to lose the "Quarantine 15" pounds you've packed on since the spring, there are subtle things that can sabotage your diet. In order to set yourself up for success, you need to be aware of these critical tips that may be inhibiting your weight loss:
- You reward yourself with a sweet treat or cocktail. Many people celebrate weight loss milestones with a special treat or cocktail. According to Leah Kaufman, MS., a New York City-based registered dietitian, make an effort not to reward yourself with food. She tells Eat this, Not That! a better choice is treat yourself to a manicure or dance class.
- You don't weigh yourself. To stay on track, weigh yourself once a week at the same time to ensure continued success. Research shows that people who don't keep track of their weight tend to pack on the pounds.
- You drink sodas and sports drinks. The evidence is clear that these beverages, even diet drinks, are unhealthy for you. "They contain too much sugar or sugar substitutes that may cause health problems," Lisa Lynn, author of the "Metabolism Solution," tells Newsmax. Try drinking mineral water if you enjoy the bubbles and add fresh lemon juice.
- You drink fruit juice. So-called healthy fresh fruit juice is loaded with sugar and has little fiber. A glass of apple juice, for example, has a whopping 9 teaspoons of sugar that can derail your diet. Choose fresh fruit instead. The fiber fresh fruit keeps you feeling fuller longer, says Lynn.
- You're not eating enough. When you don't take in enough nutrients, your body goes into starvation mode, saving calories for later use. "Even though you've cut back on calories, you feel exhausted and the scale isn't budging," says Jessica Cording, a NYC nutritionist. Never eat less than 1,200 calories daily.
- You're skimping on sleep. Lack of sleep throws your hunger hormones, leptin and ghrelin out of whack. "That means you're less in tune with your hunger and fullness cues," Cording explains, prompting you to overeat and seek out calorie-dense foods. Aim for seven to nine hours sleep every night by establishing a soothing nighttime routine and allowing at least two hours before your evening meal and bedtime.
- You are fasting excessively. Lynn, who was Martha Stewart's personal trainer, says that studies show fasting for more than 14 hours actually slows the metabolic rate. "Your body goes into energy-saving mode so it slows down," she explains. If you want to try intermittent fasting to lose weight, aim for short periods. Research shows that fasting for shorter periods, say 6-12 hours, actually increases your metabolism by 14%. "Include lean proteins and fibrous vegetables to provide the body with the right amount of amino acids, vitamins and minerals needed to feed muscle but starve the fat," she says.
- You aren't drinking enough water. Lynn says that drinking water is one of the easiest ways to boost your metabolism and increase our body's fat-burning capacity. "Of course, drinking lots of water alone will not cause weight loss but even if you are eating the perfect diet and are dehydrated, you will lose less weight," she says. Don't wait until you are thirsty to drink a glass of water. Water is also a great appetite suppressant, so Lynn suggests drinking an 8-ounce glass before every meal and one between meals.
- You're not getting enough protein. Your body needs protein to do everything from fueling cells to building muscle mass, says Cording. "When you aren't getting enough protein, you feel sluggish and have a lower metabolic rate because the body doesn't have enough fuel to do its job.
© 2021 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.