At North End Fitness and Training, we see a lot of different types of people come in. Many of them already make healthy decisions (most of the time). They might already exercise regularly and watch what they eat. They keep up-to-date on the latest health concerns. They don’t binge on sugar.
But they come to North End for a reason. They are still struggling to meet their goals. The truth is, many people, even those that are health conscious, probably have a few unhealthy skeletons in their closet – ones that they probably aren’t even aware of.
The following 5 mistakes are frequently committed by health conscious people. Once these bad habits are broken, you’ll find that achieving your weight loss goals just became a whole lot easier.
- You’re Sleep Deprived
- In Gallup Poll surveys, 56% of the adult population reported that drowsiness is a problem in the daytime. That means that more than half of the population may not get adequate sleep.
- Most healthy adults require 7-8 hours of sleep each night. When you fail to meet this need your body goes into sleep debt, which continues to accumulate indefinitely until you catch up.
- A lack of sleep negatively affects your immune system, your nervous system, and interferes with healthy hormone release and cellular repairs.
The best way to combat sleep deprivation is to set a scheduled bedtime. Your body will benefit from a consistent sleeping and waking routine, and you’re sure to get all the rest you need.
If you have trouble falling asleep once you’re in bed, then try these two tips. First, make sure that you don’t drink any caffeinated beverages after lunchtime. Second, don’t eat for two hours before you go to bed.* This helps eliminate sleeplessness due to indigestion, and will also turbo-charge your weight loss.
*Make sure that you do consume an adequate amount of calories earlier in the day.
- You’re Dehydrated
- Most people require 6-8 glasses (48-64 ounces) of water per day to stay hydrated. We’ve noticed that most people tend to fall short. How many cups did you have today?
- Dehydration occurs when more fluid leaves your body than is taken in. Symptoms include: fatigue, decreased ability to concentrate, irritability, headaches, nausea, rapid heart rate, and, in extreme cases, even death.
- Dehydration also slows your metabolism, which may hinder weight loss. People also tend to confuse thirst for hunger and eat more at a meal when they are dehydrated.
You shouldn’t wait until the feeling of thirst or dry mouth hits you, at that point you may be already dehydrated. Instead, constantly hydrate throughout your day to avoid dehydration. The best way to do this is to incorporate water into your daily schedule. Have 8 oz first thing in the morning. Keep a water bottle at your desk and train yourself to sip on it often, and get into the habit of drinking a full glass of water with each meal and snack.
- You’re Stressed Out
- We don’t have to tell you that we are living in a fast-paced world and that most of us have stress levels that are through the roof. But what you might not realize is that your stress levels may be getting in the way of your weight loss goals.
- Stress creates an increase in the hormone cortisol, and chronic stress creates a chronic increase in cortisol. This is a problem because excessive cortisol levels may slow your metabolism and increase cravings. High cortisol levels are also linked to greater levels of abdominal fat storage.
- The vicious cycle of stress and weight gain goes around and around. Stress causes you to eat emotionally, and your raised cortisol levels may cause that food to be stored as fat.
One of the most effective ways to instantly eliminate stress is to sit down and write out a list of all the things that are bothering you. This should include things that you need to get done, issues that weigh on your mind and anything you believe contributes to your stress level. Once it’s all down on paper, organize it like a to-do list and start resolving each item. Doing so will get the stress off of your mind and will put your body into the motion of resolving each issue.
- You Eat Out Too Often
- Research suggests that most people eat out one out of every 4 meals and snacks. That’s an average of once a day.
- Restaurant food is designed to do one thing: to taste good. In order to increase eating pleasure, each item is loaded with fat, salt and sugar. This causes you to eat way more calories than you actually need.
- Even when you order ‘healthy’ items, you’re still taking in more calories and fat grams than you would if you had prepared the item at home. Imagine the last salad you ordered out. Didn’t it come with full fat dressing, croutons, cheese sprinkles and a piece of butter-laden bread on the side?
The main reason people eat out is for convenience, so with a little organization you’ll find that preparing your own meals takes less time than you thought it would. On the weekend sit down and plan out your meals for the week. Then go to the grocery store and stock up on everything you’ll need for those meals.
Pack your lunch and snacks each night before bed, then grab it on your way out the door in the morning. When you prepare dinner at home, make enough for at least the next day as well. Your efforts will pay off both in terms of weight loss and in money saved.
- You’re on Exercise Autopilot
- You do the same thing each and every time you exercise. Same machines, same pace, same duration. While your routine is enjoyable and feels comfortable, your results have long since halted.
- A plateau occurs when your body adapts to your routine and weight loss stops. It is incredibly frustrating, and totally avoidable.
- You don’t have to increase the amount of time that you spend exercising in order to see quicker, faster results. It’s all about challenging your body.
At North End, we understand exercise. Our trainers will constantly challenge you, helping you break new ground during each workout. With personal attention and expertise, we will get you through that plateau!
So are you ready to break the plateau as you take your routine to the next level? It’s our goal to see you achieve greatness. We believe that you’ve got what it takes.