Behaviors that Slow Your Weight Loss

Sometimes, it’s not all about what you eat but it’s about HOW you eat it that affects your weight loss. Here are some reasons why you may not be losing weight. 

Your portions are off. If you are using a calorie tracking app but aren’t measuring out your portions with appropriate instruments such as measuring cups, spoons or scales, then the calories tracked are really pointless. How do you know that your cooked rice is measuring 1/2 cup or that your protein is 4 ounces? Maybe you’ve weighed and measured your foods in the past but if your scale starts ticking up, then it won’t hurt to dust off those measuring tools again for a refresher on portion size.

You make justifications. “Oh, I ate really well Monday-Friday so I can splurge this weekend.” or “It’s Labor Day weekend so I have to eat a hamburger at the cookout.” At the end of the day, you have choices. You can “choose” to pig out Friday night through Sunday night or you can just choose one meal to have what I call a “mindful indulgence”. A mindful indulgence is when you let loose a little on your diet at a meal or snack time, you don’t feel guilty about it, and you get back on track at the next meal.

You eat in front of the TV or in the car. When you try to multi-task while eating, this is called “mindless eating” which is a large culprit in consuming excess calories. When you are focusing on driving or watching your favorite TV show, it’s easy to lose track of how much and how quickly you are eating something. Have you ever dug your hand into an empty bag of potato chips to realize you completely destroyed it already?! Whoops.

You drink your calories. Your daily Starbucks grande caramel frappuccino? 420 calories. That 1/2 bottle of wine you split with your friend at a BYOB? 320 calories. Think about how often you consume excess calories in beverages. What does it look like over the course of a week? How about a month? Or even a year? It adds up.

You exercise too much. Yes, there is such thing as exercising too much. When you exercise, the first fuel your body burns is carbohydrates. When your carbohydrate stores (also known as glycogen) get low, a signal goes to your brain that that tells you you’re hungry. If you notice the day after a hard exercise that you are extremely ravenous and nothing seems to satisfy your hunger, you may be overworking yourself.  You don’t want to overeat after a hard exercise and negate the exercise benefits. There is a delicate energy balance when it comes to exercising for weight loss.

You eat too fast. The next time you are out at dinner with your friends, I want you to take a moment and look around while everyone is eating. Take a glance at how each person eats differently. How fast or slow are they chewing? How big are their bites? Do they put their forks down between bites and take a breather? How full or empty are their glasses of water half-way through their meal? Then, reflect on how you eat.

Do you relate to any of these behaviors?

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