1. Not using fish oils
Fish oils help with your serotonin levels, the feel good hormone. The higher your serotonin, the easier it is for you to stay on track. Serotonin is involved in the regulation of several processes within the brain, including, depression, mood, emotions, aggression, sleep, appetite, anxiety, memory and perceptions. Most cells in the brain, over 40 million, are directly or indirectly affected by serotonin levels as well as muscles, and parts of the cardiovascular and endocrine systems and as a result of its great influence, low serotonin levels are often attributed to anxiety, panic attacks, obesity, insomnia, and fibromyalgia. What can cause low serotonin levels? Alcohol, aspartame or other artificial sweeteners, Cigarettes, deficiency of nutrient co-factors, lack of exercise, lack of sunlight and insulin resistance to name a few.
2. You don’t sleep enough
In one of my blog post ‘’10 ways to screw up your metabolism’’ I touched the subject briefly but it always comes back as one of the most frequent problem. Less sleep means lower leptin levels which bring on the cravings roller coaster. Since you have more time to eat, you go towards bad choices like sweets and junk. Lack of sleep interferes with your ability to metabolize carbs efficiently, it is much easier for your body to store bodyfat, increase your insulin resistance, your blood pressure and your risk of having heart disease. The Guinness world record is no longer tracking records for the longest period without sleep; they have considered it too dangerous (but sword swallowing and eating glass is ok…) so if they understood, anybody can.
3. You consider your cheat meal a reward
I try to take out the notion of ‘’cheat meals’’ for clients as they always go overboard when it is time for them to let go of the strictness of the diet for a meal. What I have found is that when people think of cheat meal as a reward, they tend to overdo it. So the first thing they do when they want to reward themselves, they cheat, for any good reasons. They have a good week at work, let’s reward ourselves with food. They had a hard day, let’s get a piece of cake. It’s just too easy to reward ourselves with food, so I try to set a re-feed meal instead. Lowered calories over time always lead to a lowered metabolism so I always incorporate a re-feed meal every 5 to 6 days. It keeps the metabolism going and will make sure that you keep on burning body fat.
4. You don’t adjust your training with your diet
Train like a madman and eat like a bird, you surely won’t get near your desired results. I never count calories but in this case, it illustrates well my point of view. Let’s take a huge bodybuilder for instance that trains twice a day with a lean body mass of well over 200 pounds. Depending on his training regimen and lifestyle, he could burn up to 3500 calories a day. Eating 3 to 4 times a day would be a big problem for him. He would have to eat 4 meals of almost 1000 calories. You get the picture? So the more you train, the more often you should eat, clean and balanced meals that is.
5. You eat low fat
If you think low fat is still the way to go when it comes to dieting, you must still be doing endless sets of hundreds of sit ups on the first Ab roller that ever came out. You also probably think that the earth is flat. I think the best way to describe why you should eat fat is this: if you cut down on fat, your body will start to store fat. You cut fat; you will start to activate a hormonal cascade sequence that can lead to depression, insulin resistance, fatigue, lessened memory, inflammation and so on. Fat does not make you fat. Manmade food, sugar, grains, pasta, breads does.
6. You skip breakfast
The only reason why I wouldn’t mind you to skip breakfast is if you were stuck eating donuts or cereals. Skipping breakfast is the best way to slow down your metabolism. It has been proven that people who eat breakfast will eat fewer calories throughout the day than those who skip it. In other words, skippers will have more chances to get fatter due to excess calories eaten later in the day. They will probably eat before going to bed, which is one of the most detrimental habits of those who struggle to lose weight. This leads me to my next point.
7. You eat before going to bed
Ever wonder why you wake up sluggish and no energy in the morning? 90% of the time it is due to something you ate the night before. Even a little snack could disturb your sleep pattern. Sleep is a heightened anabolic state, accentuating the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems. It is observed in all mammals, all birds, and many reptiles, amphibians, and fish[i]. Eating prior to bed will disrupt this process or slow it down which is vital for a better day. Here is an article I wrote about sleep problems and how to deal with them. Having problem’s sleeping? Part 1 and Part 2.
Of the numerous problems with energy drinks, the worst one is well hidden. The medical and fitness community are interested these days on natural and manmade toxins called obesogens. Those endocrine disruptors are found in very common products, such as corn syrup, and chances are that if you are a big fan of energy drinks, you got some endocrine disrupting going on[ii]. The other problem is the hidden sugar. It is comparable to soft drinks, even the sugar free ones. If you need energy in a can, don’t look at a can for the solution, look at what is causing you to look for a can as a solution.
9. You blame it on bad genes
OK, maybe genes have something to do with it, but are you going to sit on it and grow a fat ass because of it? It’s just a lame excuse to stay home, eat donuts and be sorry for yourself. Get over it and do something about it.
10. You believe what you think is right for you (actually what you have done for years)
People tend to believe their own crap just to not go towards harder alternative. My favourite line is; ‘’I eat very well, I really watch what I eat’’. In other words, it tells me that you don’t want me to change your eating habits because if you don’t eat some of your favourite foods (which I know that it is not from the veggies or meat family) you will die. I’m sorry, but what you ate before is the reason why you are thinking of losing weight, so get a reality check as fast as possible and change what you have been doing. You are greatly mistaken if you think that only exercise will help you burn the fat. The more bad habits you change, the better are your chances of losing fast and most probably for good.
11. You believe the celebrity diets
When a celebrity speaks, people listen, even when it is a brainfart. Best example is Tracy Anderson and Gwyneth Paltrow. Woman shouldn’t lift more than 3 pounds or they bulk up. Give me a freakin break. Paltrow endorses her only because she is involved financially with Anderson so her opinion is worth that much. Here’s another one of Paltrow’s recommendation, the ‘’GOOP 7 day elimination diet’’ a 7-day meal plan mostly consisting of herbal tea, smoothies, soups, simple salads and coconut water. You are not allowed dairy, grains with gluten, meat, shellfish, anything processed (including soy), fatty nuts, nightshade vegetables such as potatoes, peppers or eggplant; condiments, sugar, alcohol, caffeine or soda. In addition, Paltrow recommends drinking half a cup of caster oil or using an herbal laxative for you know… the problem that will inevitably develop with this detox. It cuts out major food groups and is dangerously low in calories. Also, Paltrow even points out you’ll probably get constipated from lack of food. Reese Witherspoon tried the ‘’baby food diet’’. There are different versions of the diet, but the most popular is to eat 14 jars of baby food throughout the day in lieu of breakfast and lunch and then eat a normal dinner. Baby food is vitamin-packed and free of additives and those little jars don’t require refrigeration. Also, if you think chewing is too much work, you’re in luck.
12. You don’t take your bodyfat
How can you know where you want to go, if you don’t know where you are starting from? You want to lose weight right? Good for you. You need to lose fat, and the only way to know is to take you bodyfat percentage. If you lose weight and your percentage goes down it’s a good thing. The difference between losing five pounds of lean mass and five pounds of fat is huge on your health. Never lose weight for the sake of losing weight. Do it the healthy way, it will be the difference between how you will be able to keep the fat off and how healthy you will be. Consult a bio-signature practitioner near you.
13. You do only cardio, without weight lifting
I have nothing against cardio, to prove it, here’s a link to a post I wrote about it, Cardio Conundrum. The best way is to do a mix of both. Speeds up your metabolism, helps to burn fat faster with all the added benefits that weight lifting could bring like strength, flexibility, stamina and simply gives you a better shape and health.
14. You don’t eat enough
Starving is the best way to fail. It slows down your metabolism, increases cravings, energy roller coaster ride and hello mood swings. It just tells your body to store energy as fat. Very simple to understand.
15. You follow the government guidelines
Obviously the government is wrong. Why? Right now, 72 million obese people. I repeat obese, not overweight. In 2010, one American out of ten is diabetic. In 40 years, it will have climbed to three out of ten. Thanks to the cereal, low-fat eating propaganda endorsed by the U.S. government. When you think about it, Ancel Keys was sneakier than Stalin and Hitler as a mass murderer. Through is “rearranged” data, he manages to get the medical community to endorse his propaganda(from Charles Poliquin’s blog)[iii]. Instead of cutting out fat, cut man made food, sugar and any high glycemic carbohydrates. If you don’t believe me, I challenge you to at least try it out for about 3 weeks. Organic meats and wild game, veggies, greens, nut and oils, avocado, organic bacon for 3 weeks, than try all manmade food, high carbs, low fat, high starch, pasta, breads, processed meats and deli meat. Tell me how you feel in each of those 3 weeks.
16. You are delusional on how fast you want to lose weight
People fail because they set unrealistic goals. You can reverse the damage you did to your body in all those years in a matter of weeks. Maybe you will be able to do it fast, but always keep in mind that the faster you lose it, the harder it is to maintain it. The rule is 1-2 pounds per week of fat and you’re on your way to your dream goal. You want to lose fifty pounds? Give yourself a year. Too long? It’s funny, having that fat during all those years didn’t seem to bother you, so what’s a year compared to all those years. You should have thought about it years ago, would have made it a lot easier…I know, truth hurts.