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6 Big Mistakes You’re Probably Making When You Try to Lose Weight

Dec 31, 2017

Did you know that 80% of all people who try to lose weight don’t even make it to the one-month mark? And a massive 95% of those who do manage to sick to their diets pile the weight back on within the first year?

These are shocking statistics, as I’m sure you’ll agree. So shocking, in fact, that they might even have you forgetting your weight loss goals and reaching for the tin of Quality Street leftover from Christmas.

But don’t give up. Losing weight is a powerful way to transform your health, reduce your symptoms of the menopause and get that spring in your step. But it’s vitally important that we do it the right way so we don’t feel deprived, we don’t feel hungry, tired and irritated and we nourish ourselves from within.

As you’re about to find out, the best way to lose weight is to focus on health rather than the weight loss itself. The weight loss will still come, but without any of the discomfort along the way.

So let me explain which weight loss mistakes you’re probably making, and what to do about them.

#1: You’re not eating enough

When you don’t eat enough for your body, you’re likely to gain weight, not lose it.

Lack of food causes your body to go into starvation mode. Your metabolism slows as your body doesn’t know where your next meal is coming from, and holds onto as much fat as it can, to ensure your survival. Obviously, weight loss isn’t going to happen when this is going on.

Your blood sugar levels are likely struggle too, and you’ll be reaching for those unhealthy snacks frequently, feeling hungry, getting that afternoon slump, suffering with headaches and dizziness, low energy and brain fog too. If that wasn’t enough, this causes your stress hormones to go into overdrive which impacts upon your overall hormone balance and worsens any symptoms of PMT or peri-menopause you might already be battling.

To check whether you’re eating enough, forget about calories, and instead focus on noticing how you feel. Are you satisfied yet? Do you need to eat more? Fill up on healthy vegetables and proteins with added carbs, healthy fats and a small amount of food to keep you fueled and feeling great!

#2: You’re filling up on carbs

Whilst carbs are an essential macronutrient which fuels our body, feeds our brain and keeps our energy levels up, eating too much of them could prevent you lose weight. Even if you’re eating a pretty healthy diet otherwise.

The reason? All carbs (no matter whether they’re complex or refined) get broken down into a simple sugar called glucose once digested. If you’ve read my other blogs, you’ll know that excessive sugars can disrupt your blood sugar levels and throw your hormones out of whack, especially if they’re already going through a time of transition, such as the menopause.

As a result, your body will try to hold onto that extra weight you’re carrying, and your ‘muffin top’ or thickening waistline will continue to be a problem.

Instead, try to increase the amount of protein, vegetables (especially leafy greens) and healthy fats you’re eating, and reduce the carbs as much as possible.

Additionally, do try to choose complex wholefood carbs wherever possible- the added fibre reduces the impact that the sugars will have on your system and they contain additional nutrition that will keep you looking and feeling great.

 

#3: You’re skipping meals

Skipping meals or avoiding food won’t help you lose weight. You’ll only end up feeling deprived, irritable, low on energy and ready to give up if you try.

You’ve probably already experienced this yourself. You push yourself through the morning, surviving on black coffee and not much else, then succumb to those doughnuts, Hobnobs or even a bacon buttie as a snack mid-morning. When you finally do get around to eating a proper meal, you’ll feel so very hungry that you binge eat, crave certain foods and actually gain weight.

This isn’t because you lack willpower and can’t stick to a diet- it’s because your body can’t survive like this. Without enough food to fuel you, your body won’t be able to operate at optimal levels and your body sugar levels will crash. Your body will therefore do anything it can to get you eating to help you survive, hence those cravings.

It’s far better to eat healthy foods throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels, your energy levels high whilst still losing weight.

 

#4: You’re eating low-fat food dairy

Forget what you’ve ever read about low-fat diets and weight-loss. It’s just not true. Our bodies need fats to survive, and without these essential fats, we’ll find it harder to lose weight, we’re more likely to feel anxious, worried or even depressed and those symptoms of the menopause will hit even harder.

Eating enough healthy fats will keep your hunger hormones satisfied, enable your body to produce enough sex hormones and nourish your nervous system to keep you feeling healthy. [Find out more about this in my “28 Days to Reset Your Mood” programme].  You’ll also be getting more essential nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin A, antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids, which are only found within foods rich in healthy fats.

If you do choose dairy, opt for full-fat wherever possible and be sure to include foods like avocados, nuts and seeds, olives, flaxseed, hemp seeds, salmon, tuna and chia seeds.

 

#5: You’re eating food you dislike

Eating food is supposed to be a pleasurable, delicious experience. It’s not supposed to leave you feeling deprived, even if you are trying to lose weight. You haven’t been ‘bad’ to get overweight in the first place, and you don’t need to punish yourself in any way whatsoever.

So be kinder to yourself. Eat with love. Choose foods that you know you love and don’t feel that you have to force yourself to eat chicken even when you absolutely loathe the stuff.

You could also take it to the next level and start exploring new foods that you think you might like. Who knows, you might discover a new passion!

 

#6: You hit the gym

Signing up for a gym membership and pushing yourself through sweaty workouts for hours every day can be tempting when you want to lose weight. But do this and you’ll probably gain weight, not lose it, especially if you exercise for more than 30 minutes at a time.

Undeniably, exercise is wonderful for our health and can really work miracles. But once you pass the 30 minute mark, your levels of stress hormones such as cortisol start to rise significantly, begin to interfere with your normal hormone balance (especially those sex hormones) and you could end up doing more harm than good. You’ll feel more stressed, your menopause symptoms could worsen and your body will hold on to that weight.

Instead, I recommend that you enjoy short HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) exercise sessions approximately three times per week and get active as much as possible. Try this video for a short but sweet workout.

Also make sure you include weight-training or body weight exercise because this increases lean muscle mass which helps get you toned, feeling empowered and also helps burn more calories.

It’s also worthwhile taking a friend along with you or finding a ‘workout buddy’- the two of you can keep each other motivated and have plenty of fun at the same time.

 

So as you can see, if you want to lose weight and keep it off in 2018 (and beyond!), stop making these common weight loss mistakes and instead choose a path towards enjoying healthy delicious foods and getting into the best shape of your life.

 


If you’d like to find out more about healthy weight loss and would also like to feel calmer, in control of your emotions and let go of old emotional scars, join me for my “Winter Cleanse: 28 Days to Reset Your Mood”.  Click the link for more details.

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