By Rebecca Maxwell
Weight loss is one of the most popular fitness goals and for good reason. Obesity is becoming epidemic and being overweight can lead to a multitude of chronic diseases and health problems. Losing weight means getting healthier, and as moms, this sets a good example for our kids and families. On the other hand, weight loss is difficult and there could be many lifestyle elements keeping you from reaching your ideal weight.
If you find yourself in a weight loss slump, here some factors that could be sabotaging your efforts:
1. Not Getting Enough Sleep – A common complaint of moms everywhere, a lack of sleep can lead to packing on pounds even if you are making other efforts to lose them. According to several studies of the effects of sleep on weight loss, not getting enough sleep leads to a slower metabolism and an increase in the amount of calories consumed. Sleepiness could lead to poorer food choices throughout the day when you are tempted to reach for sweets or energy drinks.
2. Dehydration – Our bodies are primarily made up of water so it is critical to replace the fluids we lose every day. Not drinking enough water can sabotage our weight loss efforts because our metabolisms slow down when we don’t get enough. Curiously, drinking enough water throughout the day actually leads to more weight loss because water increases our metabolism and helps to control appetite.
3. Not Building Muscle – In general, women tend to stick to cardio exercise in order to lose weight. However, strength training is an essential ingredient of any weight loss plan. The more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be and you will burn more calories. Adding lean muscle through lifting leads to increases in your metabolism even when you aren’t physically active.
4. Not Having Support – Having just one person in your life that supports your weight loss goal can make all the difference. If your family isn’t supportive and unwilling to make lifestyle changes along with yours, they will hinder your efforts. Get the family involved or try to find at least one person you can call when or those late night cravings hit. Sometimes, your support person can be a workout buddy or a personal trainer at your gym.
5. Inconsistency – Anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight will tell you that being consistent is the key to weight loss. Many people get caught up in yo-yo dieting where their weight fluctuates significantly over time. They might do well for a few months but then lose motivation to continue eating well when the holidays come around.
January may bring difficulties in getting back on track, but being disciplined in your healthy habits in the long run is critical to reaching your goal.