Losing weight is a science. But not the type of science that lets you cheat off the kid next to you and get a 90 on the midterm without opening a textbook. It’s the type that’s hard, frustrating, and most of the time, pretty damn random. Like, you could be going to the gym everyday, saying no to the bread basket, and heroically limiting your alcohol intake to two nights a week, but you’re still not seeing any results… and it sucks. If you feel like you’ve been doing all the right things and you still haven’t lost those three pounds from your summer beer belly, here are a few things that could be holding you back:
1. You’re Too Obsessed With Calories
People tend to focus all their efforts on calorie intake when they’re dieting, but this mindset rarely actually pays off. Calories are important, but they’re not everything, so stop Googling how many calories are in an apple. If you’re avoiding healthy high-calorie foods and eating a bunch of shitty low-calorie snacks throughout the day, you won’t end up losing weight. This is because low-calorie foods like 100 Calorie Packs are usually just made up of carbs and sugar, and you need healthy fats and protein in your diet if you want your body to look its best. Foods like salmon and almonds, for example, are higher in calories, but they’re filled with the nutrients your body needs to feel full and function properly. Put away the Halo Top and start eating real food.
2. You’re Eating Healthy, But Like, Restaurant Healthy
This is another huge mistake a lot of people make when they’re trying to eat healthy. As much as we hate cooking (or doing anything that’s harder than ordering Seamless), restaurant food isn’t that healthy. Think about it. Even if you’re ordering the salad or the veggie sides on every menu, you never know how much butter, oil, or sauces are going into your food, and those ingredients alone could add hundreds of calories to your dish. If you just take like, 10 extra minutes to prepare your food at home, you could be avoiding a ton of extra fat and calories in your meals, which is obviously a game changer.
3. You’re Overestimating Your Workouts
If you’ve been hitting the gym everyday and you’re super proud of yourself, we’re not saying you should stop, but at least consider what your workout is actually doing for you. Fitness is important when losing weight, but what you eat is like, 80 percent of the battle, so keep that in mind when having that post-workout glazed donut. If you just did 20 minutes on the elliptical and then did a few squats and planks, you probably haven’t burned THAT many calories that would allow you to indulge and still see results. Keep working out, but be realistic about your workouts. And FYI: The calorie count on the treadmill is wrong. Like, SO wrong. Sorry.
4. You’re Actually Dieting Too Hard
This one’s tricky, but if you’re a disciplined betch that hasn’t had a cheat day in two years, it’s possible that you’ve dieted your body into a major plateau, and you’ve stopped losing weight because your metabolism is working against you. If you’ve prided yourself on “living a healthy lifestyle” for a while and haven’t eaten a piece of cheese since last January, you may need to take a little diet break just to get your metabolism moving again. When you’ve been dieting for a while, your body feels its effects and starts holding onto fat, which could actually make you gain weight. Try eating more calories and carbs for about a week and then get back into things. You may gain like, a pound or two during that week but it’ll go away once your metabolism gets back on track.
5. Your Body Is Over Your Workouts
If you’ve been doing the same three-mile run for the past six months, your body might not be burning as much fat as it did when you first started running. Your body plateaus over time if you don’t change things up, so it’s possible that you’re not losing weight because your body isn’t getting that much out of your cardio workouts anymore. If you’re looking to change things up, try stepping off the treadmill and lifting weights instead. Not only will you be working different muscle groups than you’re used to, but your body will actually burn more calories when it’s resting because you’ll have more muscle on you. Steady-state cardio, like running and biking, burns fat when you’re working out, but adding some definition to your body will allow you to burn fat when you’re lying on the couch watching Broad City. It’s basically magic. Pick up the dumbbells.
6. You’re Not Sleeping Enough
If you’re sleeping less than like, seven hours a night, you’re probably ruining your chances of losing weight. Not only does more sleep help your body recover and burn fat, but when you cut back on sleep over time, you’re screwing up your metabolism and your hormones. Have you ever noticed that you crave carbs and unhealthy foods when you barely slept the night before? That’s because your body has no energy, so it’s telling you you’re hungry. According to science, when you get less sleep, your body produces more of a lipid called endocannabinoid, which is responsible for making you hungry af throughout the day. Start going to bed earlier and notice how much less hungry you are. Then write us a thank you note.