You’ve diligently followed my clean-plate rule of lean protein, leafy green veggies, high-fiber starches, and some good fat. You’ve done an IGG test to determine your food sensitivities. You even hired a coach to hold you accountable for everything you’re writing in your food journal.
And yet you curse the scales every time you get on it as your number stagnates for the past three weeks.
Seemingly trivial things can highjack your success. Here are five culprits that could stand in your way of your fast fat loss goals.
- Sleep deprivation. One sleepless night of tossing and turning can sabotage fast fat loss, drown your energy levels, and leave you devouring a low-fat banana apple muffin with your morning latte. In 17 of the 23 studies analyzed, a meta-analysis in the journal Obesity found getting too little sleep contributed to weight gain. You should aim for 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep every night to reduce hunger hormones and boost your fat-burning human growth hormone (HGH).
- Drinking water with your meals: Gulping large glasses of sparkling water with your organic almond-encrusted chicken dilutes stomach acid and impairs digestion. Otherwise, drink up. When your alarm clock blasts you awake at 7 a.m., have 16 ounces of water. Repeat about an hour before lunch and dinner. And water in the afternoon and before bed can stave off those 3 p.m. cravings for banana nut scones your assistant brought to the office. A 32-ounce Sigg bottle helps you keep track of your water intake and doesn’t inundate your body with toxins like plastic bottles do.
- Skipping breakfast: You’re not really hungry anyway, so skipping a big breakfast for a Frappuccino “lite” saves calories, right? Nope. What it does do is set you up for a Starbucks low-fat apple cinnamon muffin disaster around 10:30 a.m. Breakfast sets your day’s metabolic tone, gives you steady sustained energy, and promotes fast fat loss. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed protein keeps you full and focused far better than toasted fat-free English muffins. So skip the Special K, which will set you up for a rollercoaster blood sugar spike and crash. A protein smoothie with Vegalite and Medibulk (both from Thorne Research) and So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk makes a fast, easy way to stay full and full of energy all morning.
- Snacking throughout the day: You hear your coworker (who’s always on Weight Watchers) crunching one of those Nabisco 100 Calorie packs, so you decide it’s time for a mid-afternoon snack too. But every time you nosh, you raise insulin, which stores fat. Constantly nibbling on that doughnut and picking at a low-fat cranberry muffin keeps your insulin levels high and shuts off fat burning. Aim instead every four to six hours for lean protein, healthy fats, high-fiber starches, and lots of non-starchy veggies.
- Overdoing endurance training: Ever notice those people breathlessly pacing on treadmills don’t look particularly lean, muscular, or healthy? That’s because an hour or more of moderately high-intensity exercise multiple like cycling or jogging can lower testosterone, increase aging, and depress your immune system. Skip the time-killing elliptical machines and aerobics classes for burst training, which raises growth hormone and improves fast fat loss. This way, you can dump that time excuse too.
Blom WA, et al. Effect of a high-protein breakfast on the postprandial ghrelin response. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb;83(2):211-20.
Patel SR, et al. Short sleep duration and weight gain: a systematic review. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 March; 16(3): 643-653.
Dr.Anca helps clients lose weight fast by eliminating weight loss obstacles and boosting metabolism with foods and natural remedies.
She is the author of “Bye bye muffin top” and numerous other books on natural health.
As a Transformational Naturopathic Doctor and Peak Performance Coach, Dr.Anca Martalog,N.D. is dedicated to identifying and addressing the root causes of chronic illness through a ground breaking whole-systems medicine approach called Functional Medicine. She is a family Naturopath, and has been helping this community for 20 years. Through her private practice, education efforts, writing, research, and advocacy, she empowers others to stop managing symptoms and start treating the underlying causes of illness, thereby tackling our chronic-disease epidemic. More about Dr.Anca Martalog, N.D. on her site, www.DoctorAnca.com.