5 common health and fitness mistakes
Whether we want to look good for an upcoming wedding, or get our bodies bikini-ready, or just improve overall health, losing weight is a top priority for most of us. What we often forget is that weight loss can be a long and difficult process even without any pre-existing health conditions like hypothyroidism or PCOS. Despite our best efforts, those last few stubborn pounds refuse to shed, and that is when we resort to unhealthy practices like over exercising or starving ourselves or even trying out strange and unhealthy diets that are trending. The problem with these fads is that not only are they extremely damaging for your body, they are also ineffective. Haven’t you ever experienced the unbelievable frustration of surviving on carrot sticks and water, and exercising for hours together, but seeing no change on the weighing scale? If you have, then you know what I mean.
There is a science to losing weight and it is important to consider the overall impact of any diet or exercise we follow, on our bodies and our health in the years to come. To begin with, it is very important to set realistic weight loss goals and keep track of the calories you’re eating and burning. Second, it is important to follow a scientific weight loss process with a proper diet and exercise regime, preferably chalked out for you by experts. Most importantly, it is crucial to stay away from making any one of these common mistakes:
1-SKIPPING BREAKFAST- I have been guilty of doing this in the past. I’ve never been a big breakfast eater and skipping it altogether seemed like a clever way of saving on calories. But let me tell you, it doesn’t really work like that and I stopped doing this many years ago. Skipping breakfast not only slows down your metabolism but also interferes with your insulin levels making you more sluggish and fuzzy in the head. Instead of skipping breakfast, try one of these healthy but non-fattening options -egg whites, oatmeal porridge, oat pancakes, whey protein, vegan protein powders, or make a whey protein smoothie with half a banana and berries in a plant based milk.
2-NOT ADDING HEALTHY FATS- Healthy fats, when eaten in moderate amounts, can boost metabolism and help in weight loss. Not only that, these fats will keep you feeling fuller for longer time thus reducing your intake of unhealthy or junk food. Healthy fats include nuts, avacado, olive oil, coconut oil, organic ghee, organic nut butters, seeds, oily fish, and egg yolk. A word of caution: these are delicious and it is easy to binge on these so, portion control is the key to including healthy fats to your diet.
3-NOT EATING ENOUGH PROTEIN- Protein intake boosts metabolism. It helps you burn more calories around the clock even while you sleep. It also reduces hunger, and keeps you feeling full, so you land up eating fewer calories automatically.
4-DRINKING FRUIT JUICES- Fruit juices are loaded with sugar and calories. Yes they do contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals but they lack fibre. So why not go for a bowl of papaya instead? Or a banana? That way you will also get your fibre which helps in weight loss by flushing out toxins from your body. Just by giving up on fruit juices you will cut down on 40 grams of sugar (approximately 9 teaspoons) and approximately 180-200 calories.
5-NO EXERCISE OR TOO MUCH EXERCISE- Exercise can be hard work. A lot of people think they can lose weight and remain thin by just following a strict diet. Sadly, this doesn’t work in the long run. Eventually your metabolism will slow down leading to weight gain and loss of muscle tone. Diet alone is not a permanent solution. On the other hand, too much exercise can mentally and physically exhaust you and increase the stress hormone level (cortisol) which increases appetite and causes weight gain. As with everything else in life, balance is key.
A healthy diet and reasonable amount of exercise is critical for overall good health. If you are embarking on a healthy eating and exercise regime, please do it to be healthy and fit and not so much for weight loss. If your motivation is good health, then you will automatically stay away from these common mistakes and adopt balanced and healthy practices to reach your desired goal.
Try these tips and let me know your thoughts. Write to me below or using #stayrealstayyou on Instagram @shagunkhanna