By Chef K.T. Murphy
Lets get real and drop the crap with diets for loosing weight. You are being mentally abused by marketing and becoming a pawn.
Clean Eating Rules by Chef Murph
- Eat Real Food Not Processed Crap
- Burn 1.5 to 2 x more then you eat
- Just Do Rule 1 and 2
Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight has probably felt frustrated at one time or another (or always). Even when it seems you are following the letter of the law when it comes to a diet plan, you could still stall out or not lose weight. What’s the problem? Is it you?
It can be hard to find the reason why your diet is not working for you. Just because it is not working right now, though, does not mean it won’t work in the future. Learning about the factors that influence weight loss can help you find those that might be affecting you. And making minor adjustments to what you are doing can sometimes be enough to get you back on track.
If you are frustrated by your weight-loss efforts but can’t seem to figure out what is happening, try reading these 25 reasons to find the ones that might speak to your situation. Not everyone has the same experience, and your problems are likely from a combination of factors. The following are the most common, and once you know what is hindering your efforts, you will be equipped to make the necessary changes.
#1. Your Diet Leaves You Hungry
Hunger is a driving force behind our eating habits (duh!). When your diet is depriving you of vast parts of the food spectrum (i.e. ALL carbs), then you may not be substituting foods that fill you up, which is why you end up feeling hungry all the time. Instead of just eliminating certain foods for your eating, you need to focus on replacing those foods with healthier, more filling options. Fiber is key to adding bulk to your meals, and protein will help you satisfied longer, as well. If you are always hungry on your diet, then you are not making the best food choices you can.
#2. You May Not Be Eating Enough
This is one of those reasons that sounds weird until you think about it longer. Yes, cutting your intake of calories and increasing your output of activity will help you lose weight. But, if you have started to lose weight and then suddenly find that you are no longer losing, your instinct may be to restrict your caloric intake even further. While that may work for some people, others may find that they stop losing and may actually start gaining a little weight.
Cutting calories helps you lose fat, but it can also help you lose muscle. Your body can go into a state of survival by slowing down your metabolism to compensate for the reduced intake. This can cause you to stop losing weight. If you are exercising and building muscle, you could even see an increase on the scale. Instead, make small adjustments to increase your calories and see what happens. Sometimes, just adding a few hundred more can make a world of difference and tell your body it is okay to keep shedding pounds.
#3. Your Diet Eliminates a Whole Category of Macronutrients
Some of the most common diets focus on no carbohydrates or no fat. But guess what? Your body needs protein, carbohydrates, AND fat to stay energized and to care for your cells and tissues. Without all three of the things, your body will not remain healthy, and your diet will fail. You need a varied diet that includes the right amounts of all three of these to be healthy and to lose weight. Since it is impossible to live long term without carbs or fat, it should not be a part of your diet plan either, because you will regain the weight when you start including these in your meals again. Instead, focus on healthier sources of all these things, including plants as your primary source for carbs and fat.
#4. You Don’t Really Know What You are Eating
Often, people think they are eating healthy or are reducing their intake, but they fail to account for many of the foods and drink that pass through their lips each day. If you are not recording everything you eat or drink, you have no idea how many calories you are getting or what nutrients you might be lacking. In today’s age of smartphone apps and fitness trackers, there is no excuse not to know. Those who monitor what they consume and how much they move are more likely to lose weight and to make healthy habits a part of their long-term lifestyle. Information is power, and if you do not have the data, you are not making the best choices.
#5. You Aren’t Eating When You Should
The frequency with which you eat and that will be most helpful to your weight-loss efforts is dependent on you. For some people, eating three larger meals per day and limiting food to these times is essential for eliminating overeating, snacking, or other problem habits. For others, consuming four to five smaller meals more frequently helps them maintain control and prevents binging because of hunger levels. Knowing your own body and what works best for you is crucial here and being consistent will make all the difference for you.
#6. You Give Up Too Fast
A lot of people fail at losing weight because they do not see results instantly and therefore assume it is not working. Or, you may lose a few pounds right away, but things start to slow down, so you give up. Or you have a bad week, and the scale moves in the wrong direction, so you give up. Do you notice a pattern here? The problem is not the diet. The problem is YOU!
Losing weight is slow, challenging, and sometimes inconsistent. It is time you adjust your expectations to include a little more realism when it comes to weight loss. IF you are losing between one-half and one pound a week, you are doing great! While this may not be the speed you want, that is a healthy weight loss that is sustainable long-term. It takes longer than a few weeks to see actual results, especially if you have a long way to go. It is a marathon, not a sprint; Settle in and embrace the time to make new, healthier habits a part of your life.
#7. You Have a Lot of Stress in Your Life
There are several ways that stress levels influence weight loss. First, if you eat, binge, or snack when you are stressed, then it could be contributing to your weight gain. Emotional eating is a common culprit, and stress is the number one cause of this habit. Reducing stress or learning to cope more effectively with stress can help you control your eating, which leads to less weight gain.
Stress also slows your metabolism, making it harder to lose weight. The more ways you have to manage and reduce your stress, the easier it will be to shed those pounds. Find strategies that work for you. Try meditation, yoga, journaling, spending time with friends, or counseling. Find more productive ways to deal with your stress besides food.
#8. You Are Sleep Deprived
Like stress, sleep deprivation can both enhance weight gain and stall weight loss. Your body needs sleep for many reasons, and regulation of your hormones, including those responsible for hunger, is one. The more sleep-deprived you are, the more your body will be hungry for the types of foods that will likely lead to weight gain. Getting less sleep also increases levels of certain hormones that make it harder to lose weight.
Our bodies require at least seven hours of sleep per night. Some of us need at many as nine hours. Getting enough sleep is critical for your overall health as well as your weight-loss efforts. Be sure you have good sleep hygiene habits and getting plenty of exercise will also help you sleep better at night. Coping with stress effectively will improve the quality of your sleep, too.
#9. You Mistake Fatigue for Hunger
When it comes to the afternoon slump, the most common remedy for most people is to reach for a snack to get them through the rest of the day. But often, your body is not hungry or does not need extra calories. Instead, it likely needs movement. If you sit at a desk for work or are sedentary most of the workday, the afternoon is when your body is telling you “ENOUGH!” Getting up and moving around can often help you feel more energized. If you are truly tired, consider a cat nap instead of eating, as well. Drinking water is often a helpful tool for stimulating your brain for the last few hours of work. Eating more is not always the answer.
#10. You Are Eating Too Quickly
When you eat quickly, you do not give your stomach time to catch up with your brain, and your satiety signals come much later than when you are actually full. Eating quickly leads to overeating because, by the time your brain registers you are full, you are stuffed. You may still feel like you are hungry, but that is because it takes time for your body to tell your mind that you have had enough. Slowing down, putting your fork down between bites, chewing thoroughly, and taking your time at each meal will help you learn to hear those signals of fullness and stop before you reach a point of too much.
#11. Your Portions Are Too Large
Most people have no idea what an acceptable portion of vegetables, grains, or meat looks like on their plate. If you are serious about wanting to get your diet back on track, start by measuring all your food. Invest in a small kitchen scale and pre-measured scoops, and before you place anything on your plate, be sure you know exactly how much you are eating. You are likely eating more than you realize. The more you measure and weigh your food, the easier it will be to estimate the correct portion sizes in the future.
Use your fist 2 greens 1 protein
#12. You Aren’t Getting Enough Fat
When you are trying to lose weight, your logic may tell you that you need to stay away from fat because, after all, aren’t you trying to lose fat?!? Unfortunately, most low-fat or fat-free products or diets today replace this essential macronutrient with other, less healthy options, usually in the form of simple carbohydrates or salt. While it is true that you want to avoid unhealthy fats, particularly trans fats, your body needs healthy fats, like omega-3s to feel satisfied as well as to function properly. Focus on replacing the oils and other fats in your diet with plant-based foods like avocadoes, seeds, and nuts, or get your fat from eggs or cold-water fish like salmon. Learning to eat the right amount of fat in conjunction with healthy carbs and proteins is an important part of long-term weight-loss success.
#13. You’re on A Diet, Not Changing Your Lifestyle
Most people try to lose weight by eating things they never normally eat or adopting habits that are not sustainable for the long-term. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, you need to focus on making changes to your eating that you can live with forever, not for right now. No one can live off juice for years, so when you lose weight quickly with a juice cleanse and then return to your normal eating, it should not surprise you that you are going to gain back the weight.
Instead of focusing on the immediate need to lose weight, your focus should be instead on building healthy habits that will last for the rest of your life. Making slow, steady changes to how you eat and how much you move is more likely to result in meaningful, lasting change than any fad diet or weight-loss craze. Find changes you can make and stick with and devote your energy to those. You will thank yourself down the road.
#14. Your Workouts Are Too Strenuous
In the frenzy to start exercising and losing weight, people often jump in with both feet to intense workouts or regimens that can end up doing more harm than good. Injuries are common in the early days of new exercise programs, and if you hurt yourself, it can derail your fitness and weight-loss goals significantly. Starting slow and easy is the best option. Focus on building more activity into your day to get yourself moving more. After this has become a habit, then you can increase your intensity and build in more strenuous activities. Going from 0-100 in the first weeks will often cause pain and even damage that you can put you off wanting to exercise in the future. Protect your body and start slow for best results.
#15. You Eat Too Many “Diet” Foods
While it may sound strange, eating foods that are sugar-free, “lite,” or calorie-free could be ruining your chances of losing weight. The first problem with many of these foods is that the serving size is quite small, and when you end up eating a reasonable, human-sized portion, it is no longer “free” of anything. If you eat multiple products a day like this, you could end up consuming 100 or more extra calories that you are not even aware of.
Many of these products also contain sugar alcohols, which can be extremely hard to digest for some people. Foods that use these types of artificial sweeteners often increase cravings for other sweet things, so you can end up overeating in the long run when you rely on these types of foods. And drinking diet soda is also included in this category of foods to avoid. Those who drink these beverages are at higher risk for diabetes, heart problems, obesity, dementia, and stroke. Do yourself and your health a favor and avoid these products at all costs.
#16. Your Reward System is Off
For many of us, when it is time to celebrate, reward yourself for hard work, or treat yourself after a long day, we immediately turn to food. Had a great workout? You deserve a treat! You walked two extra miles today? You earned that glass of wine. You lost three pounds last week? Splurge a little! Sound familiar?
While you need to reward your hard work and dedication when it comes to taking control of your health, you need to find a way to do that without food. Reward yourself with experiences, not calories. Make a list of things you want to do, places you want to go, or items you would appreciate having, and use this to honor your commitment next time you want to congratulate yourself.
#17. You Take the Weekends “Off”
Another significant reason that you may not be losing the weight that you want to is that you do not actually follow your eating plan every single day of the week. A lot of people think that taking the weekends off from their diet should be okay because you have done so well the other five days. But this logic does not track. You are more likely to overeat and indulge on the weekends because you have more free time and are socializing more.
Sticking to your diet is essential every day. You are trying to develop new habits for the future, which requires consistent effort. You can’t become a great musician by only practicing a few days a week, and you will not reach your weight loss goals unless you commit to it full-time.
#18. You are Using Someone Else’s Diet Plan
So, your best friend lost 30 pounds of this miracle, new weight loss plan, so you thought you would try it too? And now you are frustrated because you have only managed to lose a few pounds and can’t seem to stop feeling hungry? The truth about diets and eating plans is that each of us is different, so not all diets work for all people. If your metabolism is naturally slow, for example, you may not lose weight as quickly as others. If you have a lot more to lose, your weight loss will differ, too.
Find the plan that works best for you, your body, your needs, and your lifestyle. Figure out what your health needs and focus on that. It does not matter if something did not work for your friend, as long as it works for you. Do not let others derail your progress, either. Stick to what you know is best for you.
#19. You Have Overweight Friends
If many or all the friends in your life are overweight, you are much more likely to be, as well. The more people in your life, including those you see daily as well as those in your wider circle, who are obese or heavy, the more likely you are to view being overweight as normal. You view being overweight as acceptable because you care for so many people that are, and when you spend time with them, you are more likely to engage in behaviors and habits that encourage weight gain.
You have two choices. You can stop spending time with those who are heavier, or you enlist your overweight friends to work with you toward weight loss goals. Exercising with others makes the experience more enjoyable and having the support of someone who is going through similar struggles can help keep you on track. When your friends start to lose weight, you may even find yourself more motivated to keep going, and you can serve as inspiration for them, too.
#20. You Have Medical Problems
There can be a wide range of medical conditions that make it harder to lose weight or exercise. Thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, joint problems, autoimmune disorders, and digestive issues all affect your ability to lose weight. Your age and family history also play a role. But instead of using these as excuses not to keep going, you will have to devise a plan that allows you to be successful despite these challenges.
Working with your doctor or a licensed dietician can ensure that you are giving your body what it needs to manage your health while still successfully losing weight. There are plenty of people with your particular health issues who have managed to lose weight and keep it off, so you can too! You just need the right advice and support.
#21. Your Goal is Unrealistic
Not everyone is meant to be rail thin with two percent body fat. And your goal of weighing what you did in 9th grade is not reasonable, either (you weren’t even a fully formed person then, so give yourself a break!). For some, the goal is to lose 20 pounds in one month, while others think that losing weight will improve their marriage or make them more successful in their work.
All of these are unrealistic but for a variety of reasons. Instead of focusing on the scale, the calendar, or your idealized “future self,” focus instead on what you can do today to improve your health. What can you eat that is good for your body? What can you do to build muscle and help your heart? Setting attainable goals is key to a successful weight loss journey, and that includes getting real about how much weight you can lose, how long it will take, how east it will be, and how much this one accomplishment will change your life.
#22. You Aren’t Eating Whole Foods
Weight loss is challenging when your diet is full of processed carbohydrates, sugar, and additives. Eating sugar and refined carbs (which turn to sugar the instant they are processed) raises your blood sugar, causing your body to produce insulin. This hormone tells your body to store all that excess sugar as fat, and even though your blood sugar does drop down, you start to feel hungry again, which can begin the process all over.
Until you commit to removing sugar and refined carbs from your diet, you will continue to struggle with weight loss. These foods offer very little nutritionally to your body, and they keep you on a hormone roller coaster that stalls your dieting efforts. Instead, focus on eating whole foods that are not processed, so that you get the benefit of natural, complex carbohydrates, fiber, and nutrients that are missing from processed food. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, beans, nuts, and seeds are examples of whole foods with complete nutrition, healthy carbs, and thousands of micronutrients to make your body stronger and healthier.
#23. You Eat Too Much of a Good Thing
You read an article last week that says avocadoes are the best kind of fat, so now you are eating two a day. And when it comes to the scale, the numbers are starting to climb. Guess what? Even good-for-you foods need to be enjoyed in moderation, especially those with high fat contents. Whether its Goji berries, dark chocolate, or even kale, all foods have a place in your nutrition plan, but each should be enjoyed in the right portions to remain healthy.
No matter how much scientific evidence there is that something is good for you, you still must use portion control when enjoying it. Make sure you weigh or measure everything, especially things like nuts, seeds, dried fruit, nut butters, and avocadoes. Good fats are only good when they are proportional to the rest of your diet.
#24. Your Job Requires You to Sit A Lot
Many jobs today involve sitting in front of a computer, which lowers your energy output every day. It is not reasonable to change careers just to lose weight, so you must make up for the more sedentary hours at your desk with other activities throughout your day.
Some examples of ways to expand more calories are to stand while you work, walk around the office every hour, have walking meetings outdoors, walk to and from work, and take the stairs wherever you go. Finding ways to get moving even just a little can keep your metabolism revving and increase your calorie burning.
#25. You Think You Don’t Need to Exercise
Many people try to convince themselves that they can lose weight without incorporating exercise into their lives. While diet does account for more weight loss success than activity, they both work together to ensure long-term success.
And dieting without exercise is slowing your efforts down immensely. And as you lose weight, it will require significantly more reductions in calories to keep losing if you are not also exercising.
Exercise can boost your metabolism, which helps you lose weight more effectively. It also enables you to gain muscle mass, which you lose when you start losing weight. The more muscle you have, the faster you are burning fat. And exercise is part of a lifelong habit of health, so starting it now is the perfect complement to your new, healthier eating habits
All the best