Why do we get fat even if we are on a diet? What mistakes do we make?

There are so many mistakes to be made along the weight loss journey. This is mainly due to the abundance of information that’s hovering on the internet, plus our own ignorance when it comes to weight loss. A lot of the myths that we grew up hearing, or our parents telling is, have become outdated and irrelevant now. Let’s sort through the rubble of information overload, and get back to basics.

5 reasons why you are getting fat, even though you are dieting.

  1. You are over compensating the amount of calories you burn when exercising. A lot of the time, we assume that the activities within the gym, are burning a lot more calories than what we think. This is something to be very aware of. It’s easily tracked on a smart watch or device of some kind. Walking or running for an hour (depending on the intensity) can only burn about 300–500 calories. The problem lies when people assume that they don’t need to create a calorie deficit. Instilling your body to exercise and creating a calorie deficit with food is essential for weight loss. We must take into consideration our activity, but the magic does always lie in the foods we eat. Make them healthy, fresh and watch your portion size.
  2. You are eating more than you think, or snacking mindlessly. It’s easy to go overboard on snacks of chocolates, biscuits or even healthy alternatives, such as nuts. This will set you back when it comes to weight loss. A great accountability tool is to have a food diary, and always write down what you have been eating. This will bring awareness to the issue, and allow you to do something about it. Snacks are a great thing to have in between meals, but we still need to be mindful that they can be harming our efforts. Again, inform yourself of the necessary portion sizes and stick to them.
  3. You are not exercising effectively. Exercising properly is the key to weight loss. I’m going to go outside of the grain here, and preach again the importance of strength training for weight loss. You can do as much cardio as you like, but you will never reshape your body in the same way as strength training. Now, this isn’t about getting all muscular, it’s about creating lean muscle mass, and elevating our metabolism. Whilst cardio such as sprints is a great tool to use for stubborn fat burning, and preserving muscle mass, strength training surpasses any form of exercise to build muscle, and get you leaner at the same time. There are many program variables, that are best implemented for you by a professional. Opt for those that walk the talk, have a chat to them and start today!
  4. Not eating enough protein. This is essential on any weight loss diet, and we are not eating enough to sustain our appetite during the day, and when working out. Over the long term, when you consume protein, you will be eating far less calories, due to the filling effects of protein. Protein is also a thermogenic, meaning that you burn calories whilst digesting it. It’s a win win on both occasions. Ensure you are eating a high protein diet to boost metabolism and preserve your muscle when on a calorie restricted eating plan. I would suggest opting for low calorie varieties such as eggs, fish, turkey and chicken, then swapping the sources regularly for a higher grade. This can be beef or lamb.
  5. Assuming that liquid or diet calories don’t count. This is a big one, because people assume that liquids don’t contain the calories that can have a negative effect on their weight, or that diet sodas are ok. The brain does not register these liquids as calories, which then encourages you to eat calories later on, due to the lack of satiety. Instead of juices, opt for the actual fruit, as it contains fibre, which promotes fullness. Instead of drinking diet soda, drink water or mineral water with lemon wedges. Diet sodas still give our body the impression that we are consuming something sweet, therefore, it sets a cascade of endless cravings to eat more. That’s correct, your diet soda is making you eat more because of the effects artificial sugar has on the body. It’s basically the same as when consuming a sugar beverage. Your best bet is to drink coffee, tea, herbal teas and lots of water on a regular basis.

Hopefully these few tips will highlight some points you may have found a challenge. Please keep in touch and let me know how you are travelling along by following me on the links below.

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