A common feeling shared amongst women is that we try our best to go by the book, doing what we’re told in order to lose weight.
However, the scales just don’t seem to be shifting. Sound familiar? We have asked Nardia Norman, Personal Trainer to give us the lowdown on other factors that we didn’t really think about, or know were relevant when trying to lose weight.
Desk job, sedentary lifestyle
It is not uncommon to be stuck behind a desk for a living. Although you may not have a choice, the lack of mobility will make it considerably harder for you to lose weight. If you’re spending long hours behind a desk, it is really important to monitor what you’re eating. Try and find opportunities throughout the day to get up and move around. This incidental activity will help your metabolism and your health.
Overeating and lack of exercise
This may seem like an obvious one, but a combination of the two is still the most common cause of weight gain. We tend to pile on the pounds if we take in more food (calories/energy) than we burn off through metabolism and activity. Sounds simple, right? However, many of us are still confused as to what too much food actually is, struggling with the issue of large portion sizes, too many side dishes, a lot of extra sugar and salt-laden sauces.
A rule of thumb when having meat, is you only need a piece that is approximately the area and width of the palm of your hand, and the same goes for wholegrain carbohydrate sources. One serving of vegetables is equivalent to ½ cup of most vegetables, or 1 full cup of raw leafy greens. One serving of fruit can be considered one medium piece of fruit (e.g. baseball sized apple) or ½ cup chopped fruit.
The time machine
The unfortunate truth is that – regardless of who we are – with age, our metabolism starts to slow and our energy decreases, making it easier to gain and harder to lose weight. If the scales are starting to creep up on you, don’t fret, it is very normal – more common when over the age of 30, as the amount of body fat is increasing whilst the amount of muscle is decreasing.
Make a few minor adjustments to your fitness and nutrition regime by adding strength training to increase depleting muscle mass and increasing the amount of vegetables and whole foods into your diet.
Not eating the snacks your body requires
Maybe you aren’t seeing any progress, and you feel like you’re doing everything right, but have you considered that you might not actually be eating enough? Missing meals and eating too little can send your body into starvation mode, causing your metabolism to slow down in order to conserve energy, as it doesn’t know when the next round of calories is coming.
So ladies, stop skimping on the snacks, listen, and feed your body when it needs fuel. Thinking you’re doing the right thing by eating less could, in fact, be hindering the stubborn shred!
Not getting enough Z’s
The need for sleep is often ignored. However, many of us fail to realise that a decent night’s rest can actually boost your mood, improve performance and impact the body’s capacity to lose unwanted kilos. The average adult needs roughly eight hours of optimal sleep time per night; the type of sleep that is deep and uninterrupted where you wake up feeling refreshed and supercharged for the day.
Within this time, our bodies are experiencing a significant transformation where certain hormones that regulate appetite and fat storage are being released and controlled.
Do you have any other suggestions? Share with us below.