Whether it’s a big party on the cards or a wedding that’s coming up, losing a few extra pounds can make a huge difference in how you look. Though 10 pounds is not an unachievable target, losing it can sometimes be more daunting than you think. Switching to a healthy diet and exercise is a given, but you still may not be losing weight because of the 6 reasons listed below.
1. You’re Not Drinking Water Before You Eat
When you’re working hard not to overeat, you sometimes end up thinking a lot about your next meal. And sometimes, your body might be sending you mixed signals. You may actually be thirsty but your instinct tells you to eat instead. This is when you end up piling on extra calories. Studies have shown that drinking up to 16 ounces of water 30 minutes before a meal can help reduce your food intake. So make sure you down a glass of water and then decide if you’re really feeling as hungry.
You’re Having Too Much Added Sugar
If you’re not careful enough, sugar enters your body without you even realizing it. Seemingly healthy packaged foods have added sugar which can make you crave for more sugar. Thus begins the endless cycle of sugar consumption. To snap out, make sure you read the labels and know exactly what you’re putting into your body. Also, watch out for added fiber which can make you bloat if your body is not used to it.
3. You’re Consuming Too Much Salt
According to a 2016 study published in The Journal of Nutrition, too much sodium may mess with your body’s sense of being full, causing you to overeat. Excess sodium also makes your body hold onto water. So watch how much salt you’re having. Many sources of sodium do not come across as salty foods. Some of the highest sources are actually bread and grains, but you can’t taste them because they’re baked in. While there’s no need to give up whole grains or canned beans, both of which are healthy and rich in fiber, make it a point to track your sodium intake.
You’re Not Eating Enough Fat
It seems counterintuitive to eat fats when you’re trying to lose weight but research suggests that a low-fat diet will increase your appetite. This is because carbs digest way too fast without fats which makes your blood sugar spike and drop fast. Fat slows down your digestion and the release of sugar into your bloodstream. This process makes you less likely to overeat. Get 20 to 35 percent of your calories from healthy fat sources like salmon, sardines, nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil.
5. You’re Eating Protein Only During Dinner
Protein is good for you if you’re working toward losing weight. A 2016 study published in the The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who had more protein in their diets lost more body fat than the control group. This is because protein helps build muscle and more muscle burn more calories. Out of every pound that you lose, about two-thirds is fat and one third is muscle. By spacing out how much protein you have at each meal, you maximize your body’s muscle synthesis. Aim for at least 25 to 30 grams of protein for every meal.
You’re Not Sleeping Enough
A 2016 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition combined the results of 11 studies with a total of 172 participants and found that partial sleep deprivation led the participants to eat an average of 385 more calories the next day. When you’re tired, you think eating something will wake you up. Not getting enough rest makes your body latch on to more calories in order to compensate. Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night so that your body has enough time to rest.