When you are trying to lose belly fat, it can be frustrating when you think you are doing everything right but the scale just won’t seem to budge. If you are experiencing frustration with your weight loss efforts and you are not sure what you are doing wrong, check to see if you are making one of these four fat loss mistakes.
1. Relying on grain based carbohydrates.
If you’re diet consists largely of bread, pasta, cereal, rice and other grain based foods, it is going to be challenging to lose weight. Don’t believe the old government endorsed food pyramid that promoted grains as the base of your diet. Most of your carbohydrates should be coming from vegetables for optimum weight loss. If you decide to keep the grain based carbohydrates in your diet, be sure to keep your portion sizes small.
2. Staying within your comfort zone when exercising.
If you are going to the gym several times per week but your results have plateaued, ask yourself if your efforts plateaued as well. Do you do the same exact thing every time you go to the gym? Do you do the same 30 minutes on the eliptical machine? Do you lift the same exact amount of weight for the same amount of repetitions? For continual progress in your weight loss, you have to always strive to do a little bit more with your workouts. Try to lift heavier, go faster, or do one more rep in every workout.
3. Failing to get enough sleep.
Sleep is an often overlooked component of your weight loss regimen. But a poor sleep schedule can wreak havoc on your hormones which can directly contribute to body fat. Lack of sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate hunger and satiety (ghrelin and leptin). Testosterone levels drop when sleep suffers, which can lead to a reduction in muscle mass and a corresponding drop in metabolism. And cortisol levels increase with lack of sleep which is directly associated with an increase in belly fat. Get as much sleep as you can, it is more important for reducing your belly fat than you may think.
4. Cheating when you don’t realize you are cheating.
You are eating your vegetables, making sure you are eating healthy protein sources, and even consuming healthy fats from nuts, fish, and avocado. But you are also taking a handful of candy from your coworker’s desk, eating a seemingly insignificant cookie because your kid is a Girl Scout, and having some popcorn when you watch a movie. It all counts! Every single mouthful of food that you eat has a corresponding physiological response. It is up to you if you want that response to hinder or help your weight loss efforts.
It can be frustrating when you think you are following a solid weight loss program but you are not seeing results. If you find yourself in that situation, check to see if you are relying on grain based carbohydrates, staying within your comfort zone when exercising, failing to get enough sleep, or cheating when you don’t realize it.