General Health Thursday February 28, 2013

5 things stopping you from losing weight

Trying to lose weight can be a tough battle, we know that we need to ‘eat less and move more’ but sometimes following that advice is not as easy as it sounds! Weight loss can be more complex than that, especially when there are several issues that can stop or derail your weight loss efforts. Here are 5 common problems that you could be facing if you are having difficulty losing weight:

1. Portion Control

In today’s world of fast food and super sized restaurant portions it is easy to lose sight of what a proper portion size should be. If you feel you are eating all the right things but are still not losing weight, focusing on making sure you are eating the right portions for your size is a good place to start. Protein like meat or chicken should usually be about the size and width of the palm of your hand. A portion of rice or pasta is about one heaped handful and a portion of veggies two handfuls together. You could even purchase some measuring cups to help!

2. Emotional eating

Are you eating when you are unhappy, stressed or anxious? If you eat when you are feeling like this it is more difficult for your brain to register feelings of fullness and the signs to stop eating. Your digestion is also compromised so you will not absorb all the nutrients from your meal, and may even end up with a bad stomach! Taking time to relax before eating will support your weight loss efforts by ensuring you stop when you are full.

3. Eating low fat products

You might think that eating low fat is the best thing if you are trying to lose weight. However that is not always the case. Many low fat products replace the lost taste and texture with added sugars and chemicals. When you eat these higher sugar foods they can affect your blood sugar causing a sharp rise in energy followed by a dramatic ‘crash’. That crash makes you crave more sugar and the cycle continues. Don’t fear some fat as it is needed for nutrient absorption, go for naturally low fats foods and read labels to identify added sugars.

4. Not eating enough protein

Out of all of the macro nutrients, protein will keep you full for longer. It takes longer to digest than carbohydrate or fat, and helps to regular sugar levels in the body. If you aren’t eating enough protein with your meals you may find yourself becoming hungry again after just a couple of hours. Good protein sources include eggs, fish, chicken, lean meat, beans and the grain quinoa. Tofu is also a great option for vegetarians!

5. Not eating enough!

It might surprise you to know that not eating enough could actually slow down your weight loss. If you are not eating enough your body goes into ‘survival mode’ as it believes that food is not plentiful and therefore holds on to any energy within your body – i.e. fat. Your metabolism slows down to reserve energy and weight loss efforts can come to a halt. If you feel that you are not eating a lot, especially if you are exercising, increasing your intake just slightly could help get you back on track.

Laura Agar Wilson is guest blogging for HealthExpress. You can find her regular posts at keepinghealthygettingstylish.com

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