Before I decided to get real about health and fitness, I asked this question many times. Having worked for a major weight loss company, I have also been asked this question many times. The answer is always the same. We are not being entirely accountable. When we get serious about our health we will stop trying to cheat the system because we simply want results. Until we get honest about our habits we will not see them.
The most common error that we make is not tracking every bite that goes in our mouths. We advocate counting calories because too many calories will cause weight gain and make you unable to lose. Other factors that create other methods of accountability are irrelevant if your calorie count is too high. Count them and be truthful. There is a Calorie Counter Pro here on the blog that will tell you how many calories that you need to eat. It’s a free tool. Look in the Menu and you will find it.
If I eat too many carbohydrates my weight loss slows. Protein stokes the metabolic furnace and if we spend too many calories on carbs, we don’t have enough left for adequate protein. Read David’s recent article on Protein Supplements to understand more about how important protein is in your journey to health and fitness.
Eating added sugar will sabotage your weight loss efforts by causing cravings of all sorts. Have you ever eaten something sweet and the next thing you know, you want pizza? Or maybe a beer? Maybe both? Because sugar is a simple carbohydrate it triggers the release of serotonin. Serotonin is made from protein but a carbohydrate is required to get it into the brain. That’s why sugar is addictive. Serotonin is a feel good neurotransmitter and anything that gives us a shot of that has potential for addiction. When we eat sugar we crave more and more which translates to more calories. Since there is sugar in all simple carbs, like pizza crust, and there is sugar in alcohol, all of a sudden we have massive uncontrolled cravings. Just don’t eat the stuff. It will sabotage you every time. Besides causing cravings, it replaces nutritious food and soon your entire health initiative falls apart.
Sometimes we eat too many healthy foods. I love coconut oil. The problem is, if I eat three Tablespoons a day, which I have been known to do, too many of my calories are spent on fat. Then I don’t have enough for that all important protein. I am a weight trainer. I want all the muscle that I can get and skimping on protein is not the way to get it. I have had to reduce my coconut oil to 1 Tablespoon a day and increase my protein because I have goals, and I will achieve them.
Other healthy foods that people overeat are granola, other cereals, avocados and nuts. I have to buy individual packages of nuts or portion them out into small bags as soon as they come into my home.
A lot of people don’t think about the calories that they drink. I live in the South and sometimes I can’t believe the amount of sugar sweetened tea that people here drink. If you are going around all day with a sugar sweetened drink, you are never going to be as fit or healthy as you could be. You may lose some weight for a while and work out but you will never be your best. Drink water or try something like Crstal Light in your water. It’s tastes great. If you don’t like the aspartame in it, then find something similar with a sweetener that you like. There are many products like this available. You might make your own lemonade with Swerve, a natural 0 calorie sweetener, and lemon juice. It’s all natural, tasty and it won’t give you cravings.
While some people believe that they can out exercise a bad diet, that is not true. If you are trying to eat too much and then work it off, you will not be able to do that in the long run. While some doctor approved exercise is good to stimulate your metabolism and improve your overall fitness,it won’t make you lose weight if you are eating too much.
Be accountable and truthful about your caloric intake, be active and repeat. As David says, “Trust the process and be patient. Results will come.”