1. Get dehydrated!
• Dehydration Dehydration happens when you lose more fluids than you consume. Symptoms include irritability, fatigue, head aches, increased heart rate, and nausea.
• It also slows your metabolism, hindering your weight loss goals.
• Some health experts claim 80% of people in the US are chronically dehydrated! And although most people think it’s not them, when they actually track their water intake for 48 hours they are surprised, they just don’t drink as much as they think.
One important thing experts tell us is that once we are thirsty, it’s too late! Here’s some tips to stay hydrated:
- Start your day by drinking a big glass of water as soon as you get up.
- Drink half your body weight in ounces daily. So if you weight 150, you drink 75 ounces per day. This does not include what you drink during exercise.
- Drink before, during, and after exercise
- Carry your water bottle around with you, and count how many times you re-fill it.
- Avoid sodas, which are diuretics (they dehydrate you).
2. Eating out too much.
• Americans eat out on average once per day.
• Most restaurant food is loaded with fat, sugar, and salt, in order to make it taste good. Because of that, you get way too many calories and unhealthy fats in restaurants.
• Even the healthy items often have more calories than if you prepared them at home. For example, a restaurant salad often has croutons, cheese, and usually way too much dressing.
3. Sleep deprivation.
• According to Gallup, 56% of the US adult population is sleep deprived.
• Lots of sleep science points to the fact that we need 7-8 hours sleep per night. And teenagers need closer to 9 or 10.
• Lack of sleep weakens your immune system, plays havoc with your hormones, and makes you generally less effective. In short, you just won’t feel as good physically or emotionally if you don’t get enough sleep.
According to Deepak Chopra, each hour of sleep you get before midnight is worth 2 hours of sleep after midnight. So shoot for a 10 or 11 PM bedtime, and get a full 8 hours whenever possible.
Also, try to go to bed around the same time every night of the week whenever possible, this helps your body have a healthy Circadian rhythm, and you will also fall asleep easier when you have a good sleep routine.
Having trouble falling asleep? Here’s some tips:
- Never drink caffeine after 4 PM
- Stop using your small electronic devices within 2 hours of bed time. The blue light tricks your body into thinking it’s still day time, making it harder to fall asleep (true!)
- Read a book after you lie down (a real, old fashioned one made of paper, not an electronic version). This helps clear your mind of problems and worries and leads to a natural tiredness.
Most of us deal with a lot of stress. But did you know that stress also leads to weight gain?
Stress increases cortisol. Cortisol slows your metabolism, and also leads to cravings and is directly linked to greater levels of tummy fat!
Stress also leads to emotional eating. Eating as comfort is never a good idea. Reducing stress actually reduces cravings, and emotional eating.
There are many ways to reduce stress, and chances are you don’t need a blog post to tell you what works for you, you just have to find your happy place, more often, however you can. Just being aware of stress in your life and committing to relaxing and stress relieving activities is all most people have to do to drop their stress levels.5. Being in an Exercise Rut.
Many people fall into an exercise rut of doing exactly the same workouts every time. They have their favorite machine, or a certain routine that they do over and over again.
This leads to plateaus in health, where you just stay right where you are, with no gains in strength or stamina, and no weight loss.
The problem with routine is that your body isn’t challenged anymore. You need to incorporate the principles of muscle confusion, as well as high intensity, along with mixing up the duration of your workouts.
Here’s some great tips on how to improve your workout routine:
Buy a new workout app and follow it every day. It’s easy, cheap, and will be different than what you were doing before.
Join a functional training style gym like your local CrossFit box or similar.
Get a trainer at your existing gym. Yes it will cost you a few hundred bucks, but the long term increases in exercise quality will pay off for years to come.
Change up the machines you are using. If you’re always on the treadmill, try the cycle, and so on
Join one of the classes at your gym. Want your butt kicked? Try the spin class!
Hope these 5 things help you improve any weaknesses you may have in your current plan!