When it comes to losing weight, we want to try every trick in the book to shed all the extra pounds and flab. But there are certain roadblocks which can make it completely difficult to lose weight, and they can rightly be called as “enemies of weight loss.” The best thing is that these roadblocks or enemies can be easily rectified, and once you have actually identified and pinpointed the enemy, it’s easy to overcome and conquer it/them. But let us be very clear, there can be just one or more than one of such enemies that might be preventing you from hitting the goal weight. In this post, we list down enemies of weight loss and how to conquer them.
1. Dehydration: When the body is dehydrated, various chemical reactions including the fat-burning process slows down, and that’s why it’s important to drink at least 2 liters or a minimum of 8 glasses of water each day so that all the processes inside the body run smoothly. We often replace plain water with calorie-rich fruit juices or soda, and instead of hydrating the body, they often create surplus calories which get converted and stored as fat inside cells. Lack of water also affects the release of human growth hormone (HGH) which binds to the fat cells, breaking down stored fat, and mobilizing them. Also, the activity of the enzyme “lipase” that is necessary to metabolize fat slows down with dehydration. Most importantly, since the body cannot properly differentiate between hunger and thirst signals, we tend to confuse “thirst” for hunger, and turn to food to curb hunger pangs, adding unnecessary calories that are hard to burn off at the end of the day. Solution: Consider this – “If you drink a gallon of water per day, you won’t have time for other people’s drama because you will be too busy peeing!” That’s why, stay hydrated always! Drink a full glass of water upon waking and sip on water through the day (if you need to set reminders, please do so!) Also, keep a bottle handy at all times and keep refilling it through the day.
2. Refined Carbs: Carbohydrates are an essential part of a balanced diet, being the primary source of fuel that provides the brain and body with the necessary energy. However, refined carbs are unhealthy and can cause adverse effects in the body, including obesity. However, complex carbs are healthy. So, instead of totally cutting out carbs from your diet, you can opt to eat foods with good carbs which is essential for your body. Healthy carbohydrate food sources are whole grains and vegetables, which consists fibers, vitamins and minerals. Solution: Here are 12 High-Carb Foods That You Should Take in Your Diet and Best Carbs to Eat for Weight Loss
3. Trigger Foods: The problem with trigger foods like potato chips, French fries, doughnuts, soft drinks, cookies, cakes, pastries, etc. is that they are extremely high in calories, unhealthy transfat, sugar, and salt and pile up the calories extremely quickly. Also, they can push a person towards overeating and binging because most of them are comfort foods and one may feel good while eating them, but your body is going to store most of such food as fat, as a result of which, your weight will shoot up. Such type of food may cause sharp insulin spikes that provide instant energy but the subsequent drop in blood sugar level is just as steep, causing fatigue and lack of energy, making you crave for “unhealthy food” all over again. Solution: 20 Clever Ways to Train your Brain to Resist Junk Food.
4. Transfat: Transfat is complete no-no for people who are on a diet because studies have revealed that transfat moves fat from other areas of the body to the belly area. Transfat is artificially made from vegetable oils by a process called hydrogenation where hydrogen molecules are added to the oil. This is done to increase the shelf life of the oil, to solidy the oil, and make it more appetizing and suitable for frying. Also, transfat is an inexpensive way to add taste to the oil, but this process is extremely harmful to the human body due to the high proportion of LDL (bad cholesterol) which can wreak havoc in the body and puts one at the risk of developing morbid diseases like type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Transfat food is commonly found in fried food, packaged baked items, even margarine. It’s high time when we think twice before ingesting transfat rich food that can not only put your health in grave danger but also stop you from losing weight even though you might slog it out in the gym for hours. Solution: 15 Transfat Food Items you Should Avoid for Weight Loss.
5. Overeating: It’s a fact that it takes 20 minutes for the brain to send a proper signal to the tummy that it’s full. If you continue to eat beyond even after getting the signal, then it’s considered overeating. Also, when you overeat, the stomach expands beyond its normal size to accommodate all that extra food and it starts to push against other internal organs, it’s the point when you feel uncomfortable. Overeating creates calorie surplus in the body, when the calorie count in the body exceeds way higher than what you require per day, to run all bodily functions smoothly. Calorie surplus each day, leads to creation of fat deposits, which eventually leads to obesity – a major trigger for all morbid diseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, stroke. In this post, we have listed out 15 strategies to stop overeating.
6. High Sodium: Though we are careful with table salt/iodized salt, high sodium can creep into our daily diet through processed and junk food, and are added in high quantities in processed and junk food to appeal to the consumer’s tastebuds. Excess salt can lead to water retention, and some studies have shown that excess salt can make fat cells larger. Solution: Average intake should be around 1.5 mg to 2.3 mg, and not more than that. Avoid processed food, packaged food and read ingredients list to weed out excess sodium. Processed food and ready-to-eat snacks all have high sodium content that have extremely high calories and you are probably eating a lot of salt and calories in a single meal. Read “Which Salt is Good for Dieting and Weight Loss.”
7. Stress Eating: Stress eating or emotional eating is a situation where one eats to feel good and pleasant, to cope up with trauma, to relieve stress, rather than to satisfy hunger. The food that emotional eaters choose are usually high-fat, high sugar, calorie-rich food full of transfat and other toxic ingredients, extremely unhealthy for the human body and lead to rapid weight gain. You start to depend more and more on such unhealthy food to deal with jittery nerves because processed and junk food releases a huge amount of dopamine and other feel-good chemicals compared to healthy food. In short, people resort to emotional eating to feel better, relieve stress, and cope up with traumatic situations. Solution: Eat These Things When you are Stressed Out.
8. High Stress: Stress can be counted as the root cause of many diseases, and obesity is just one of them. Stress is caused by an increased level of cortisol and can totally stall any fat burning from happening. In fact, stress can lead to increase in hunger hormone “ghrelin” and slow down of fat-burning hormones. Solution: 10 Tips to Lower Stress in order to Lose Weight.
9. Not counting Liquid Calories: It’s wrong to assume that liquids such as fruit juices, are healthy, and would not add much calories. In fact, liquid calories get easily digested, and soon, you would be craving for more food, and in that way, would be adding more calories to the diet. Also, it’s a bit difficult to keep track of calories with liquids. Solution: Eat your fruit raw and in the fresh form always. Maintain a food diary/journal and jot down every food item that you consume in this journal so that you can weed out unnecessary calories.
10. Lack of Sleep: There’s a direct link between sleep deprivation. You can literally be eating no food at all, exercise for long hours, but the body will absolutely refuse to let go of its fat reserve and in fact conserve more fat by compromising on metabolism, increasing hunger hormone “ghrelin” and stress hormone “cortisol,” and keeping the activity of fat-burning hormones and enzymes low. Not getting enough sleep can destroy your weight loss goals by slowing down your metabolism and preventing the body from burning calories Low sleeping hours will also activate the level of hunger hormone “ghrelin” and you will wake up “hangry” in the morning. Sleep deprivation is directly linked to weight gain and that’s why at leats 7 hours of sleep every night can do wonders for weight loss. Solution: 7 Wonderful Tips to Ensure a Good Night’s Sleep
11. Crash Dieting: Severely restricting calorie can affect the smooth running of body functions. Also, crash dieting also would mean cutting down of food sources that provide nutrients and it would eventually lead to hair fall, dry skin, hyperpigmentation, dark spots. With crash dieting, you would end up looking malnourished and weak rather than fit and healthy. Crash dieting will leave you with little or absolutely no energy to do workouts or exercise, so there you go – multiple reasons why you should not try crash diet. Crash dieting also slows down metabolism and keeps fat burning to minimal. Solution: Following Rati Beauty weight loss program takes off the pressure of counting calories, keeps us on a healthy diet and helping us shed weight by eating the right kind of food, in the right amount, rather than promoting food deprivation.
12. Chronic Inflammation: Inflammation makes the body insulin resistant, and as a result, pancreas continuously pumps up insulin to lower blood sugar levels. Now, we all know that insulin is also a fat-storage hormone which triggers the creation of new fat cells. So, inflammation triggers insulin resistance, which in turn leads to more insulin production, and larger creation of fat cells which converts all extra calories into fat, and stores it particularly around the belly area. Belly fat is particularly dangerous because it increases the production of cytokines, which are released as body’s immune response, and continue to keep the body in chronic inflammatory status. Release of cytokines increases the risk of heart disease and even cancer. Also, “leptin,” which is the satiety or fullness hormone gets adversely affected with chronic inflammation, and even when you have had enough food, leptin fails to send signal to the brain, and you are piling up on calories, uncertain of when to stop eating. Leptin resistance can also slow down your metabolism and increase ghrelin (hunger hormone) levels. All these factors not only prevents weight loss, it can make you pile on more pounds with every meal. Solution: Here are some ways to “reduce inflammation to lose weight.
13. Sedentary Lifestyle: Dieting won’t do you much good if you lead a lazy and sedentary lifestyle. And by sedentary lifestyle, physical inactivity for most part of the day. It is not at all healthy or advisable nor should it be in practice. Leading an inactive life leaves you prone to gain all the lost weight. Once you have lost weight, you should increase your exercise routine and activity level to maintain the current weight. Solution: Jogging and morning walks come highly recommended. Yoga and aerobic exercises also help to keep off the weight. Surya namaskar, which is a cluster of several yogasanas, boost metabolism and keep your whole body active. So, grab a pair of shoes and get active right now.
14. Water Retention: Water retention is accumulation of additional fluid in the circulatory system or within the body tissues. This fluid buildup can make you feel bloated and swelled up, both in feel and appearance. Water retention can prevent you from fitting into your favorite pair of jeans. Water retention most commonly shows up on the feet and legs, but it can occur in the hands, arms, abdominal cavity and around the lungs. Water retention usually clears up on its own within a few days. However, if the condition persists for more than a week then, it is advisable to consult a doctor. Here are some ways to Reduce Water Retention to Prevent Weight Gain.