if you’ve hit a plateau(Part 1), some common sense reasons why diets slump (Part 2), and why an unexplained jump in weight gain can be reason enough to visit your doctor (Part 3)
Inadequate Nutrition: Think about it, you’ve cut back on calories and increased physical activity, essentially placing higher demands on your body. Maybe you’re not getting enough of the right nutrients to keep up your energy levels and metabolism. For example, B-vitamins which support fat burning, are water-soluble, so the body needs a daily supply. Another example is vitamin-D. Mounting evidence shows that many people are deficient in this nutrient which has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and weight loss. If you don’t already take a multivitamin, evaluate your diet plan and see if this is something worth looking into. More information on the essential vitamins and minerals for weight loss.
Poor Sleep: This is about more than sleep insomnia. If you still feel tired after awakening, if you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or eat, if you suffer sleep apnea, or if you’re working long shifts or nights, you’re probably getting poor sleep. This can dramatically affect your overall health including your weight. Research now links poor sleep to:
weight gain in both children and adults , diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer risk. Scientists are just beginning to understand why, but the general consensus is that a good night’s sleep is more than just a luxury, it’s a necessity.
Generally it’s recommended to get between seven and eight hours of sleep a night. Here’s some tips:
- Get some fresh air and sunlight during the day and make sure your bedroom is completely darkened when you’re ready for bed. Remember, melatonin production is affected by light.
- Avoid caffeine after lunchtime.
- Leave your worries outside of the bedroom.
- Don’t eat a large meal just before bedtime.
- Try a light snack containing protein an hour or two before bedtime.
- Establish a routine. Try to get to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning, and remember you need between 7 and 8 hours.
- For more tips, check: http://www.sleepeducation.com/Hygiene.aspx
- Lastly, here’s a neat quiz to find out how much you really know about sleep:
Too Much Salt Intake: If a couple pounds suddenly appear on the scale overnight, instead of running away screaming, think about what your salt intake was the other day. Excessive sodium causes your body to retain water- as much as five pounds worth of water-weight in some cases. Even if you don’t use the salt shaker, consider the types of food you eat. Processed/packaged foods tend to have higher sodium content and this includes frozen dinners, canned vegetables and soups, sandwich meats, and cheeses.
For food nutrition information be sure to read labels. The recommended daily intake is no more than 2,300 mg/day, which is roughly one teaspoon, yet the average American consumes 3,436 mg/day. Once you reduce your intake of salt, you can expect to lose up to a pound per day until your body’s achieved its proper balance.
Stress: Chronic or sustained mental stress will sabotage your diet. This is because stress triggers biochemical processes that essentially put the body into survival mode; hence slowing metabolism, burning less calories, and holding onto fat (if not creating more) because of the release of stress-related hormones such as cortisol. Getting your diet back on track may simply be a matter of taking the time to relax.
Check these tips on relaxation techniques.
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