The Most Common Obstacles That Stall Fat Loss
By JJ VIRGIN
You've diligently prepared for your best friend's party this weekend by noshing on lean chicken breast and stepping up your workout. At least you think you're prepared. You arrive to the party promptly at 6:30 p.m., anticipating dinner soon, and politely accept a glass of pinot noir.
Dinner finally arrives at 8:30. By that point, you're famished, a little tipsy, and feel pretty gross after devouring 4 mini pastry-wrapped hot dogs and chips and artichoke dip. To hell with it, you reason as you dig into a big plate of three-cheese lasagna. You'll re-start you diet plan tomorrow.
If I were at that party, I would encourage you to backtrack to figure out where things went wrong. I've helped countless people pinpoint common, yet debilitating obstacles that hinder fat loss.
These Are the 7 Obstacles I Most Frequently See:
1. Arriving Hungry
Maybe you've never experienced a dinner party fiasco yourself, but you've probably arrived at the airport or your in-laws' house famished. And then, perhaps, you recall being quickly become lured into whatever gooey concoction comes wafting from the kitchen or nearby kiosk. If having a meal isn't possible before your flight or Saturday morning get-together, keep a bag of raw almonds nearby to stave off hunger. Here are 19 other snacks you can find pretty much anywhere (including a convenience store).
2. Neglecting Planning
You have probably heard this before: failing to plan is planning to to fail. Schedule and prioritize your workouts on your calendar. Otherwise, mid-afternoon craziness usually usurps your fitness routine. Same thing with dinner. If you don't pre-prep and have a general idea what will on your family's plates tonight, chances are you'll succumb to your kids' pizza or drive-thru pleas. Being lean and sexy doesn't just happen. You need to plan ahead and make it happen.
3. Not Tracking What You're Eating
You say you're too busy to journal your meals? Sorry to be the Debbie downer, but you're just setting yourself up for failure. A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found people who wrote down every forkful they ate lost twice as much weight as those who didn't. If actually writing it all down on paper takes too much effort, then try tracking your meals on LIVESTRONG's quick easy and free tracking app called MyPlate. It's super easy to use and very convenient. Plus, you can add your very own homemade recipes and see how much fat, protein, carbs and calories are in each serving.
4. Not Having A Support Network
Maybe your personal trainer lovingly kicks your butt when you slip off the rails. Don't attempt fast fat loss alone. Find a good friend who genuinely wants your success, and let him or her know what you're trying to accomplish. A huge reason people in Weight Watchers and other programs succeed is due to the power of the group support. Even an online support community such as LIVESTRONG.COM's will keep you on track and accountable for your success. Check out the Dare to Lose Weight Group and the Dare to Track Food Group to meet like-minded and supportive people who will help to motivate and support you on this journey. A 2009 study published in the International Journal of Medical Informatics showed that an internet weight loss community plays an important role in the participants' weight loss efforts.
5. Letting the Hijackers Succeed
Maybe your vegan co-worker is constantly warning you about the dangers of eating too much protein. Maybe your mom is laying a guilt trip on you when you refuse her caramel apple pie a la mode. Even with the best of intentions, some people in your life will try to derail your success. You need to be crystal-clear from the beginning about your purpose, set inspiring goals, continually visualize them, and manage your success. Don't let the negativity dominate, and if you feel like someone's intentionally trying to sabotage your success, call them out on it.
6. Ignoring the Basics
Every eating plan contains a blueprint to provide the nuts and bolts that help you to achieve your success. You might be tempted to skip to the more advanced parts of the program, mix or match programs, or otherwise avoid what seems obvious and commonsense. That would be like learning how to ride a bike without training wheels: at some point, you're going to get tripped up and fall. Start with the foundation and build from there. And don't forget to avoid these common pitfalls.
7. Ignoring What's Creating Your Resistance
If you're sticking with the basics, you should consistently lose one-to-three pounds of fat every week. Not happening? A number of problems could be stopping your fat loss. You need to get to the root of your weight loss resistance. Common culprits include lack of sleep, thyroid problems, adrenal burnout, and chronic stress. Some of these you can resolve yourself. For others, you'll want to visit an integrative practitioner.
Readers – Your turn. What obstacle in the past prevented you from reaching your fat-loss goals? Was it any of these culprits or something else? How do you deal with it now? Leave a comment below and let us know.
Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness expert JJ Virgin is author of NY Times bestseller The Virgin Diet and the bestselling Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy. She was also co-host of TLC's Freaky Eaters. JJ frequently blogs for The Huffington Post, LIVESTRONG.COM, and other prominent media outlets. She created the 4 x 4 Burst Training Workout and regularly appears on TV shows like Rachel Ray and The Today Show to discuss topics such as fast fat loss, weight loss, and food sensitivities.