Sounds like a dream come true: You eat healthy and you can’t lose weight. Even better: You eat healthy and you get fat.
Welcome to my world, folks!
The internet is full of stories about how when you eat better you’ll automatically turn into a supermodel within a few months. Aaaaeer. Not all of us.
If you’re eating healthy and working out most of the time, but still struggle to lose weight, you might be doing some things to sabotage your weight loss without even knowing.
I want to make an important note here:
Eating healthy is the foundation for weight loss and healthy life. If you just correct these three mistakes, but don’t eat your fruits and vegetables, don’t expect miracles. You might lose weight, but you definitely won’t be healthier. And it won’t last long.
Mistake #1. You only move when you exercise
Exercise is important, no doubt. But nowadays people expect TOO MUCH from their workouts. Burn fat, get abs, lift your booty…
I was the same. For a while in 2010 I thought that doing 15 minutes of HIIT every other day will get me in shape.
“Save some time and burn 9x more fat? I hate these workouts, but I’m in.”
Then this is what happened during the rest of my day.
No, that’s not me – but you get it – I’m not moving at all, all day long.
Nobody told me that 15 minutes of excruciating interval training won’t really help if I afterwards sit all day long in front of a computer.
I call this: Lies.
Turns out for me and for many others who sit all day long, it might be better to go for a walk a few times a day.
This way you develop a habit of moving, of being constantly active.
Such a small change, but it can improve your immune function, prevent infections, cancer and cardiovascular disease and it can reduce stress. And guess what? Good immune function and low levels of stress are important for health and thus – for keeping healthy weight.
Even if it’s just 20 minutes in the morning, 20min at lunch break and 20min in the evening.
Small things add up.
Get 60 extra minutes of movement by just walking more.
You can do your workout, but it shouldn’t become a substitute of daily NATURAL movements.
We humans are made to explore and experience new things.
Not for sitting around, doing the same old crap, waiting or resting all the time to then out of nowhere do 50 burpees.
See also: How to lose weight with a desk job
Mistake #2. You’re doing this
Not only are we sitting all the time, we’re physically so bored that we eat whenever we feel like it.
Think about it.
How often do you reach for something to eat while you’re wondering what to do at your desk, just scrolling through stuff?
Or when you’re so absorbed working on that report you needed done yesterday?
Bored or stressed, even if it’s healthy food – eating mindlessly when you’re not hungry is never good.
It leads to overeating and overeating is one of the main reasons for weight gain and for the development of diseases.
Eat only when you’re hungry.
Let your body tell you when you need to eat.
Not the other way around.
Don’t eat because it’s time for a snack, because you’re bored or stressed or because it’s ok to overeat on healthy things.
You’re preventing a very necessary signal for your body – getting hungry.
I don’t mean starving and not eating for days. Just actually getting the feeling of hunger before you eat.
If you’ve forgotten what hunger is, follow these steps:
- Make a 3 hour break between meals (actually set an alarm on your phone, for when it’s time to eat)
- Keep your portion sizes small
- Don’t go for seconds.
This will quickly remind you what it feels like to get hungry and after 2 days you’ll know when you’re actually hungry and need food and when not.
Mistake #3. You eat until you fall asleep
Mindful eating and exercise are very important, but sometimes you need to set a time frame. Otherwise you might end up eating until you fall asleep.
I like to eat until latest 8pm. Not only do I sleep better, I also lose some weight without doing much.
You might not be able to control a lot of things and you might not have time to exercise, but you can do this.
When you know you’re not eating after 8pm – you just do it. Doesn’t require time or money. All it requires is a decision. The decision that you will not eat after 8pm.
The reason why not eating after 8pm works, from my own experience is because eating junk food, even when you have good intentions, happens mainly in the evening.
Can’t explain why. At that point, my best guess is – it’s probably a lack of self-discipline.
For me, even if I had a smoothie, salad and oats during the day I would simply ruin this healthy day at around 9pm while digging into a bag of chips or ordering pizza.
I just start craving all those things in the evening after dinner.
But the fact is that making the decision for not eating late upfront saves me
1) a ton of calories,
2) energy I could use on something more productive and
3) it makes me wake up feeling rested & lighter in the morning and ready to exercise.
Just try it, but be warned that you might feel a little hungry the first few evenings.
If this is the case – drink some tea or eat something small. The size of your palm.
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Start making these changes today or you won’t start soon (I’m telling you this again from my own experience). These are simple things that don’t require that much time and will help you lose weight.