Are you trying your best to move more and eat well but still struggling to drop that extra weight? Here are five surprising explanations why your diet isn’t working.
You reward exercise with food
Research suggest that often we overcompensate how much we eat when we exercise and wind up taking in more calories than we burnt. It’s also easy to fall into the trap of thinking we ‘earned’ a treat or a big meal after a workout.
Try this instead: After exercising, stick to your normal portion size then wait 15 minutes before helping yourself to some more if you’re still feeling hungry. Also focus on upgrading the quality rather than the quantity of your meals and look for ways you can treat yourself to non-food rewards, like a pedicure or bubble bath and new book.
You ‘pick’ here and there
Those little bites you have when you’re cooking, walking past the kitchen, watching TV or making the kid’s dinner all add up. Most of the time we don’t even realise we’re doing it, let alone count it as part of our food intake for the day.
Try this instead: Try to be mindful and pay attention every time you eat. Or you might like to keep a food diary for one week so you can get a clear picture of exactly what you’re eating and when.
You’re not drinking enough water
It sounds like something so small, but drinking enough H2O plays a big part when it comes to shedding unwanted weight. Not only does it help suppress appetite so you’re less likely to overeat, but it keeps your kidneys hydrated so they can function properly. If your kidneys are dehydrated, your body turns to the liver for additional support and because your liver is working so hard, the fat you consume is likely to be stored rather than burned off.
Try this instead: How much water you need depends on a variety of factors like age, health status and climate. But as a baseline, aim to drink two litres of water every day. To see whether that’s enough for your body, the proof really is in the pee! You’re on the right track if your urine is clear or pale. If it’s darker, keep on sipping and drinking!
You’re not getting enough sleep
Getting enough sleep when you’re a mum is easier said than done, but did you know that being tired could actually affect your weight goals? Not having enough ZZZZ’s means you’re more likely to make poor food choices, won’t have enough energy for your workouts and your cortisol levels (the hormone responsible for metabolizing fats, proteins and carbohydrates) increases, which can cause belly fat to accumulate.
Try this instead: While it might feel like the Holy Grail, aim to get at least seven hours of sleep. Try and go to bed at the same time every night and make your bedroom a technology free space.
You skimp on protein
When it comes to weight loss, protein is really important because it enhances the feeling of satiety and prevents you losing muscle as you lose fat. A new study analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also found that people who balance their protein throughout the day, eating some at each meal, saw more weight loss or maintenance than those who skipped it at some meals.
Try this instead: To help achieve and maintain a healthy weight, combine sensible proportions of good quality, lean protein with low-GI carbohydrates in every meal. It depends on your weight, but most women should try to get 40 – 80 grams of protein a day.