Even if you are hitting the gym consistently and eating clean, you might not be seeing the weight loss goals you’re striving for. Many people don’t know that some pesky habits may be preventing you from losing weight, including eating too much sugar, not giving your body time to rest, not getting enough sleep, not drinking enough water, and eating at the wrong times of day (or night).
Here are five unhealthy habits that may be preventing you from reaching your weight loss goals:
1. Eating Too Much Sugar
If you’re serious about losing weight, you’ve likely already given up indulgent desserts like cake, candy, and cookies. But sugar could still be a culprit in your dieting. Sugar can be found in fruit, condiments, and many commercial salad dressings. It can halt weight loss goals because instead of burning fat, your body will hold onto those sugar influxes and burn that, instead. So next time you consider a dressing for your salad, turn to natural alternatives like oil and balsamic vinegar or make your own dressing!
2. Skipping Rest Day
When people set out to lose weight, they might think that hitting the gym every single day is the most productive way to drop some lbs. But actually, your body needs rest days to refuel and help grow the muscle you’re working so hard to build. Mix up your workouts by only doing intense sweat sessions 3 or so times a week, light cardio on the other days, and at least one day of total relaxation.
3. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Going to bed too late, changing up your sleep schedule, or not staying asleep during the night can all prevent you from losing weight. While you sleep, your body uses that time to regenerate itself and studies have actually found that disturbances in sleep can affect our appetite hormones, making individuals more likely to eat more. In addition, when you’re sleepy, you might be tempted to grab that high-calorie latte in the morning or skip your workouts because you’re too tired.
4. Not Drinking Enough Water
Many studies show that drinking more water may help you lose more weight, and keep the weight off. Our bodies use water to function properly, and when we are hydrated, we burn more calories, eat less, and have more effective workouts. In addition, water is a healthy, 0 calorie replacement for sugary drinks like sodas and energy drinks. Give your body the hydration it needs to lose more weight!
5. Eating at the Wrong Times (or Not at All)
Many people looking to lose weight are tempted to skip meals, especially breakfast, but this is actually counterproductive to your weight loss goals. As the first meal of the day, breakfast helps kick-start your metabolism and a healthy, protein-rich breakfast in the morning will satiate your appetite until lunch, which means less snacking. Skipping meals may be preventing you from losing weight, but so is eating at the wrong time. Try not to eat much after 8 pm to give your body time to burn off those calories. Large meals in the evening can thwart weight loss goals.
When trying to lose weight, make sure to get enough rest, hydrate, and eat the right foods at the right time.