Monday, January 18, 2016

Why Your Body Won't Get Lean

Do you feel like you're killing yourself in the gym to torch calories? Or maybe you feel like you follow all the rules of your healthy habits for a few weeks and then get burnt out? If you're banking on your will power, then you might get somewhere, but probably not to your ultimate goals. If you want peace with your body and peace with food, then you have to change your mind about dieting and exercise.

Your body burns carbs primarily instead of fat.
Traditional diets and low-fat eating can often lead to hormonal imbalances. When your body is underfed healthy fats like salmon, flax, coconut, avocados and almonds, your body resorts to storing fat and burning only what's absolutely necessary, thus slowing down the metabolism. Try implementing more whole foods, healthy fats and less carbs.

You eat too much after exercising.
I'm not one to advocate limiting the amount of food one eats, but sometimes, we can overestimate how many calories we torched during exercise and end up overeating afterwards. This can happen especially easily if you're under-eating during the day. You also don't want to get into a habit of rewarding yourself with food after you workout. Instead, find different ways to reward yourself like a new pair of shoes.

You restrict and reward.
Have you ever told yourself, I'm never eating _____ again? That kind of restriction sets you up for failure. Food is not bad. Some food is better than others, but telling yourself you can never have something you like won't help. Instead, try finding alternatives to the foods you crave, and eat those regularly. And then, the occasional indulgence in something less healthy won't kill you.

You're drinking greens full of sugar.
Pre-made green drinks are notorious for hiding tons of sugar. Kinds like Odwalla and Naked sneak in more than 50 grams of sugar. It doesn't matter if that sugar stems from real fruits or not; it's still sugar. The problem with sugar is that it spikes blood insulin levels and desensitizes your body's hormones from cuing fat to free up as fuel.

You're mindlessly eating.
Multitasking is no foreign idea to most of us. If you're like me, you can text, sweep, launder and let the dogs out all at the same time. When it comes to eating, however, you want o narrow it down to just one activity. Studies show eating slow, enjoying your meals and turning off all distractions help you have more self-control during meals, as well as help you notice hunger/fullness cues more easily.

You're skipping meals during the day.
Not only does this put your body into starvation mode, it often triggers make-up hunger pains late at night, when your body should be going into fat-burning/restorative mode. You see, most people eat something full of carbs in the morning like cereal or a granola bar or yogurt, OR they don't eat anything at all. The body's blood insulin levels spike in the morning and then completely fall during the day, causing your metabolism to once again slow down. Instead, plan ahead. Prep meals on the weekends or one evening a week. Research easy recipes or snacks to take to work or in the car.

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