When it comes to weight loss, you feel like you’re doing everything right. You’re exercising every day. You’re choosing healthy options for your diet. But you’re just not dropping that weight. Why is that?
There could be lots of reasons why you’re not seeing results even if you think you’re “being good.” Take a look:
Choosing Nutritious Food – But Forgetting About Calorie Intake
When trying to lose weight, it’s of course important to be mindful of what you put on your plate. But you also need to be careful about how much of that healthy stuff you eat. Even if you opt for a nutritious meal, you could easily be eating more calories than someone who chose a less nutritious option. Help yourself out by keeping track of your calories to make sure you’re not overdoing it.
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Ordering the “Healthiest” Menu Item
The same goes for ordering the healthiest option when you go out to eat. You could believe that choosing the turkey sandwich is better than choosing pizza. However:
A turkey sandwich that comes on focaccia with cheese and mayo can deliver 970 calories. Two slices of pepperoni pan pizza total 520 calories. Put your sandwich in a spinach wrap instead of regular bread? It’s the same difference, says Tara Gidus, RD, a former spokesperson for the ADA “My clients think they get more nutrients and save on calories with ‘healthy bread,’ but often that’s not the case.”
Being Slowly Active
It’s great to incorporate exercise into your daily life (i.e. taking the stairs or going for walks), but it’s short bursts of intense activity that are going to burn more calories. For example, walking the mall for an hour could burn off up to 150 calories, but running or picking up the pace for 1 minute out of every 5 will burn over 1/3 more calories.
Choosing Diet Treats Over the Real Thing
When you’re in the mood for a little treat, it’s easy to justify reaching for the fat-free, sugar-free alternative to your favorite snack. But this might not be a wise move overall for weight loss:
[R]esearchers at Cornell University found that overweight people who choose low-fat versions of snack foods rather than the regular kinds consume, on average, twice as many calories. “The terms fat-free or sugar-free can create a green light effect, triggering people to eat more,” says dietitian Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD. But many fat-free foods have about the same number of calories (or more) as their full-fat counterparts.
So instead, try going for reasonable amount of your actual favorite treats. You’re not likely to stick to your diet if you cut out all of your favorite foods anyway.
In fact, being successful with budgeting and with weight loss has to do with many of the same principles.
Too Many Crunches, Not Enough Cardio
Many women make the mistake of thinking that crunches and ab work alone will give them the slim tummy they’re working toward. But all the crunches in the world won’t give you toned abs if you can’t get rid of the fat layer on top of them. Make sure that you’re incorporating cardio in your workout out routine. According to Prevention, “Interval training, in which you alternate high-intensity bursts of activity with easier bouts, has been shown to zap more belly fat than steady-paced moderate workouts.”
Try out this 7-minute interval training workout that you can do right at home.