As surprising as it sounds, fat loss doesn’t have to feel exhausting, next-to-impossible, or mind-numbingly frustrating.
Here are seven common signs you're making it harder on yourself.
 
1. YOU ARE WORKING OUT TOO MUCH
Back-to-back cycling classes sound like a great idea, but they may actually work against you.
That’s because overtraining makes post-workout recovery all but impossible and gives you a crazy-high appetite.
Over-exercising puts your body into a chronic state of shock.
Stress hormone levels rise, you experience unnecessary fatigue and brain fog, and your appetite and hunger soar.
Make it easier
For most women trying to lose weight, it’s best to cap your exercise at 45 minutes to an hour, five days a week. Any more than that and you run a serious risk of out-of-control cravings.
And even if you’re exercising well within those limits, feeling worn-down might be a sign you need to cut back a bit more.
 
2. YOU ARE FOLLOWING A FRIEND'S DIET
When it comes to losing weight, everyone is completely unique. What worked for your best friend isn’t necessarily going to give you the same results.
And with so many women following fad diets, the strategy that helped your bestie drop 10 pounds in three days probably isn’t the healthiest approach.
Make it easier
Forget the new "it" diet. 'Find a way of eating that works for you. In fact, a 2014 meta-analysis published in JAMA shows that the most successful diet is the one that you actually like and can stick with.
You’ll want to sustain that way of eating for the long term, so the pounds don’t creep back on.
 
3. YOU ARE DOING TOO MUCH CARDIO
While cardio can certainly help you burn calories in the gym, strength training is the key to burning more calories 24/7. Your workouts should turn your body into a fat-burning machine. And strength training helps you do that. Unlike cardio, resistance training builds muscle, which is the single greatest asset you have in revving your metabolism, according to Harvard researchers.
In a 2015 study of 10,500 adults, the Harvard team found that regular strength training was more effective at combating abdominal fat than cardio. 
Make it easier
You don’t have to completely cut out your favorite classes. Just start incorporating a couple of days of strength training into your exercise routine. From there, you can tweak your workouts based how much time you have and your goals.
 
4. YOU AVOID CARBS AND FAT
Stop stressing over the carbs vs fat debate. You really need both of these nutrients to lose weight. Both fibre from whole carbs (yay, whole-grain pasta!) and fat from foods like dairy and eggs are incredibly satiating. Cutting them out is a surefire way to screw with your blood sugar and insulin. What's up, hanger?
Make it easier
In the end, focusing on portion size rather than cutting back on a single nutrient will help the pounds melt off much faster.
So instead of banishing one or more of the three macronutrients (carbs, fat, and protein) from your plate, bring them all on board. Carbs, fat, and protein at every meal!
 
5. YOU ARE NOT EATING ENOUGH
Women think that they need to cut more calories than they really do to lose weight. The difference between maintaining and losing is only about 500 calories a day. Cutting that amount from your daily intake (or even fewer, if you increase your exercise) really isn’t that much in the grand scheme of your refrigerator.
However, cutting more calories than that could make weight loss more difficult. When you don't eat enough, your metabolism actually slows and you wind up bingeing (thanks to an onslaught of appetite-stimulating hormones that come with restricting calories).
Bonus: You're more apt to store those calories as fat. So that's fun.
Make it easier
While everyone's exact calorie needs are unique, most women need to consume at least 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day in order to lose weight without a stalled metabolism, extra hunger, or fatigue.
 
6. YOU ARE NOT SLEEPING ENOUGH
It doesn’t matter how well you function on six hours of rest or that you woke up early to work out, losing weight is soooo much harder when you don’t get that beauty sleep.
For instance, Diabetologia research shows that just four days of 4.5 hours per night reduces the body’s insulin sensitivity, increasing the risk for fat storage.
Make it easier
Prioritise bedtime. When it comes to keeping your body fat percentage in a healthy range, maintaining a regular sleep schedule is even more important than logging more Z's per night, according to research from Brigham Young University.
 
7. YOU ARE NOT FUELING YOUR BODY PRE-WORKOUT
A lot of women go into their workouts without eating in hopes of a bigger caloric deficit. But if you’re exercising for weight loss, you need to power your sweat sessions with food. Without proper fueling, your body can’t perform at its best.
Make it easier
Caroline recommends eating a meal two to three hours before your workout or snacking 30 to 60 minutes prior to sweat time. Opt for a part-carb, part-protein snack (think: an apple and cheese) to give your body the energy it needs to help you build more metabolism-boosting muscle.
Enjoy!

Copyright © 2020 Caroline Bienert - Speaker + Nutrition Expert

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