Usually at the beginning of the year you made your new years resolution to lose a few extra pounds, maybe you started on a journey consisting of a bigger weight loss goal.
Yet, here you are several months on with your scales firmly planted where it was at the beginning of your journey.
You ask yourself what stops YOUR from losing weight ?
Well, there are some common barriers to weight loss, and chances are you are facing at least one or more of them.
Let’s take a look at some of the main things that are stopping you from losing weight.
You are Underestimating Your Intake
Recent changes to FDA regulations have made it so that many big chain restaurants are required to put the calorie totals on their menu.
Unfortunately, many smaller restaurants are exempt from this rule.
In general if a person doesn’t know how many calories are in something, they will often underestimate how many calories are in that food.
For example, many meals that are prepared in restaurants contain well over 1000 calories.
If you think that the grilled chicken and mashed potatoes you are eating is 500 calories, but it is really 1500 you are going to be consuming far more calories than you thought.
Doing this several times, a week could stop you from having a calorie deficit, and even cause you to have weight gain.
Only eat at places that have calories printed on their menu.
Spend time and look up a nutrition menu before you go out to eat
This way you are prepared to order a low-calorie option before you even set foot in the restaurant.
You Don’t Know Portion Sizes
Calorie content of food is portion size dependent.
Many packaged foods seem to have a single serving when they actually contain multiple servings.
Foods that are prepared at home are portion size dependent too.
A portion of meat should look no bigger than a deck of cards.
Many times people don’t understand that they are eating multiple portions of their favourite food.
Yes, one serving may contain 250 calories, but you are inadvertently eating 2.5 servings.
This means your 250 calories is really 625 calories.
The huge difference in calories could mean the difference between losing weight and staying on a plateau.
How to fix it?
Double check portion sizes of packaged foods.
You may have to split up packaged foods into their appropriate portion sizes.
For foods, you prepare at home make sure you are either using a food scale to measure servings or measuring cups for portion sizes.
Overestimating the Calories, you Burn During Exercise
When you are at the gym running, you look at the calories tick by on the display of the treadmill.
Many people use programs like My Fitness Pal and Map My Run to track exercises and how many calories they have burned.
According to Men’s Fitness, many of these are inaccurate, and for close to 20% of the population the numbers don’t work out.
They assume a level of exertion when providing the calorie estimates.
They are usually providing you an overage on the calories you burn.
Getting Accurate Readings?
You have two options.
You can purchase a Heart Rate Monitor that measures using a chest strap, which can accurately measure your level of exertion.
Another option is to use the MET charts.
A MET is a metabolic equivalent.
Harvard explains that the body has a certain amount of calories it must burn to remain sedentary, which is considered 1 met.
Any level of exertion above that is higher on the MET chart.
You would take your 1-hour burn rate (BMR/24) and multiply it by the MET equivalent to get an accurate reading of calories burned.
With these three elements in weight loss working against you, it is almost impossible to lose weight.
Once you get good at knowing the calories in what you eat, the proper portion sizes, and how many calories you burn; you will start to see the weight loss you have been expecting.