At one point or another, we’ve all been in a place where we feel like what we’re doing in the gym or in our workouts just isn’t cutting it. (“Did I really only lose a pound this month?!”) If it seems like you’ve tried everything, see if any of these often-overlooked slip-ups are preventing you from making the most of your sweat sessions. Basically, they are the sneaky mistakes that are making you gain weight!
6 Sneaky Mistakes That Are Making You Gain Weight
1. Grabbing “Healthy” Foods without Looking at the Labels
Just because something is marketed as “zero calories” doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Often times, drinks and foods with zero calories on the label are still ridden with sugar. Try to think less about calorie-counting and focus more on the ingredients on the label. My favorite thing to remember is…
If you can’t pronounce it, don’t ingest it.
2. Confusing “Small Meals” for “Snacking”
You’ve probably heard by now that eating several small meals a day can be more beneficial for some than eating three large meals. While this is true, and eating several meals of healthy, whole foods can help curb hunger from ever setting in and keep your body running at max metabolism, “snacking” is an entirely different thing. Make sure that you’re not convincing yourself that eating an entire bag of chips at your desk at work (then devouring a granola bar an hour later, and an iced latte an hour after that) and ingesting empty calories counts as “small healthy meals.” These won’t fill you up or provide the nutrition you need to keep you going.
3. Not Getting Enough Water
This isn’t your typical “drink lots of water because we said so!” rant. Too little water literally prevents your body from losing weight, and here’s how: Fluids are used for every single function of the body – sweating, passing waste, sleeping, etc. Without water, your body can’t perform these functions as well and therefore won’t burn as many calories.
4. You’re Cardio-Overhauling
For most, spending hours on the elliptical every day won’t help you drop pounds after a certain point. In order to boost your metabolism and lose stubborn fat, you’ll need to strength train (ie, weighted machines or free weights) at least once or twice a week. The lean muscle will help you burn more calories even when you are in the cardio room.
5. You’re Working Out on Empty
Seems like it would make sense: If you work out on an empty stomach, you’d burn fat instead of food, right? Wrong. When you work out on empty, you burn muscle calories instead of fat – oops. Eat a few hours beforehand to avoid losing the muscle you worked hard for.
Working out on empty burns muscle calories not fat
6. Your Lifestyle is Making You More Stressed Out than Blissed Out
It’s commendable and inspiring to start the journey of taking your health into your own hands. But when a lifestyle of making healthy choices spirals into destructive behavior, it’s not just your mental well-being that will suffer: When they body senses stress, it triggers a signal to produce more cortisol, a hormone which tells your body to store fat to protect itself from danger. Your “healthy” lifestyle then becomes a vicious cycle of fighting to lose weight that your body’s desperately trying to hold onto.
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