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Struggling With Your Body? Read This

Struggling With Your Body? Read This

When people think about weight loss, the first words that come to mind are “diet” and “exercise”. If you are someone that isn’t really active and enjoys the luxuries of food, diet and exercise isn’t really appealing. In order to get what you want in life, you must first set a goal in your mind and then take action. But who wants to eat veggies and salad all day and eat like a rabbit? Who wants to give up the donuts, chips, or pizza?

In the last week, several people asked me what I have been doing for my weight loss journey. They say things like, “I see you eating all the time!”, and, “You look like you’re having so much fun going away on trips and socializing, yet I can see your figure changing! How are you doing this?” They all told me they were struggling to keep to a strict diet, so I thought I would share what I have done in the last couple of years.

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    First, let me make it clear that I am not a fitness model, nor am I a nutritionist. I am merely an average, every day person that started to find a balance between being able to live life the way I want yet still chase those body goals. Those that knew me before the travel bug hit me, saw that I came back to Australia a much bigger version of “Lilmissmaz”. They also know that since then I lost quite a few dress sizes and have got myself back into the world of fitness again.

    My progress has been slow and steady. I’ve been back in Australia since August 2013. I have never gone on a crazy, strict diet in that time and I wasn’t a gym junkie. I will admit these days, the gym is my playground and it is the very reason I jump out of bed every morning. I love being there. However, it wasn’t always that way.

    The Mindset

    The day I decided I wanted to lose weight, I signed up to a 12 week boot camp. Why? Personally, I felt if I was paying for a service and was held accountable, I would turn up. Also, since it was only 12 weeks, it meant I only had to commit for a short period of time. I knew it would at least help kick-start my motivation. If I am expected somewhere, I’m the kind of person that will be there. If I signed up to a gym membership, I knew I wouldn’t go regularly, and after the first week or so I’d get lazy. I knew myself all too well.

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    I went to the boot camps 3 times a week. At first, I realized just how unfit I was. Before I put on the weight, I was actually pretty fit. Just by being aware of how unfit and weak I was made me feel terrible. I used to be able to do a push up, but now I could barely do these squats without my legs collapsing. I had to stop my mind from telling me how out of shape I was and instead use it as motivation to get fit again.

    Yup, that’s it guys, first thing is mindset. Change the way you think. Instead of thinking of what you can’t do something and highlighting how chubby you are, and thinking you will never look like that fit guy or girl you are secretly jealous of, think of what you could be like. Think of how you will be stronger and how you will look good at the beach. As cliche as it seems, positive thinking can take you a long way.

    What To Eat

    Next up, I switched a few things in my diet. I didn’t want to eat chicken and broccoli or asparagus every day because I love food way too much to be able to stick to this. I made a few small changes. I changed white bread to rye, wholemeal, or anything that was a healthier equivalent. Instead of giving up on pasta (mind you I love pasta), I switched to pasta made from vegetables. There are various brands out there that actually taste pretty darn good. I personally prefer it over the real pasta. I feel it tastes better and also keeps me fuller for longer. I also use coconut oil for cooking and lemon for dressing.

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    Furthermore, I ate 5-6 times a day to keep my metabolism running. Every time people saw me I was always eating! I didn’t want my body to go into starvation mode. I would bring my lunch to work. This not only saved me money, but also prevented me from overeating as the portion was already made out.

    I ate food that everyone would envy. Just ask any one that I have worked or lived with. It looks good, it smells good, and it definitely tastes good. I like food with flavor and I like variety. I like to enjoy my meals and not feel like I am on a diet. I don’t diet, I just make healthier choices 80% of the time.

    It’s A Journey, Not A Race

    Some people are great at diets and self control. I just happen to know that I am not one of those people. I feel if I was to go on a strict diet, I would lose weight fast and then pack it back on as quickly as I lost it. When it comes to exercise, you don’t have to go all out. The smallest of changes is still change. Any progress is progress.

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    Instead of that 5 minute drive, walk and take in the fresh air. Instead of that glass or two of wine/beer every night, just keep your drinking to one night a week. Have a few on that night! Life is short! Instead of takeaway every day, keep those meals to once (or twice) a week. It all depends on your current lifestyle.

    Progress

    As long as you do something that is better than what you are doing now, it is still progress. Keep in mind that the more effort you give, the more you will get back. Don’t beat yourself up. Life is too short to hate your body.

    Keep in mind, even if it is a tiny change, it counts! It is all about moderation.

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    Last Updated on August 10, 2020

    Why Can’t I Lose Weight? 8 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Fit

    Why Can’t I Lose Weight? 8 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Fit

    It’s only natural for anyone in such a situation to wonder “Why can’t I lose weight? Why am I struggling to get fit?”

    You may even want to give up but don’t!

    I am here to provide you with help in figuring out why you are struggling with getting fit and will some realistic solutions.

    First, it is important to highlight that being skinny doesn’t automatically make someone healthy or fit. In-fact, that’s far from the truth as a small frame doesn’t guarantee either.

    However, it is a known fact that there are more health risks associated with obesity. With this in mind, losing 10 to 20 pounds could improve your health condition and overall fitness. For example, excess fat can cause inflammation and you risk causing damage to your joints and tissues. By losing and keeping weight off, you will lessen your chances of having illnesses such as arthritis, inflammation, and damaging your joints.

    Now that we have discussed the importance of weight loss, let’s move on to the interesting part – 8 possible reasons why you aren’t losing weight.

    1. Are You Starting Your Day with Breakfast?

    Here’s the deal about dieting. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and if you’re not eating the most important meal of the day, you are probably doing yourself a disservice.

    You may think skipping breakfast will help you shed those pounds. However, by noontime, you will find yourself famished, causing you to eat more during lunch. Studies have shown skipping breakfast is correlated with obesity.[1]

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    You want to have the first meal of the day within an hour of waking up. Eat something that’s fiber-rich and packed with protein to carry you until lunch. Grab a fruit, a vitamin-rich smoothie or a whole-wheat toast with eggs along with some Greek yogurt.

    2. Does Your Metabolism Affect Your fitness?

    How fast you burn calories will depend on your metabolism. If your metabolism is slow, then perhaps it is the reason you’re not losing the weight as quickly as you would like to.

    There are many factors affecting your metabolism, for example ageing, or how active your lifestyle is. If you’re not as active as you once were, you may experience a decline in your muscle mass. As a result, your metabolism slows down.

    If you want to speed up your metabolic rate, lift weights and stay away from low-calorie diets.

    3. Can Genetics Affect Your Fitness?

    Yes, it is possible you inherited the slow metabolism from your parents or even your grandparents. You can’t control this kind of inheritance.

    Unfortunately, with a slower metabolism, you will have to work harder than those with a fast metabolism to lose weight.

    4. Does Gender Reduce Your Chances of Losing Weight?

    Sounds silly, right? It’s not! This is a great question and the answer is complicated.

    According to a study, it seems it’s a lot easier for men to lose weight compared to women.[2] On the other hand, when women lose weight, they keep it off longer than men. The big differences are where and how men and women lose weight.

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    Men lose weight on their abdominal area first. Women, not so much. The stomach and hips are the hardest areas of the body for women to lose weight and to train. Therefore, if you’re a woman who wants to lose weight on her stomach, strap on binding corsets and waist trainers, they really do help.

    Remember, weight loss is not all corsets, the best way to lose weight alongside wearing shapewear and exercising is to create a calorie deficit.

    5. Are You Eating Before Going to Bed?

    Having a snack too close to bedtime is a no-no. If you’re eating before bed, it could be why you are struggling to drop those pounds and get fit. By eating before going to bed, you’re making it difficult to burn fat.

    A study conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in the US, and the University of Murcia in Spain concluded that consuming food during the circadian evening plays an important role in body composition.[3]

    Try eating dinner about two or three hours before you lay down for the evening. Anything less will raise your blood sugar and insulin levels and your temperature.

    Snacking after dinner will also increase caloric intake depending on your snack of choice. If you must munch on something, choose your snacks wisely.

    6. Can Stress Affect Your Fitness?

    Some people get stressed out and they eat, but here’s the kicker. They reach for comfort foods and most of the time, it’s junk food like ice cream and chocolate cake.

    Instead, if you find yourself stress eating, make a conscious effort to reduce your stress levels by taking an alternative route and instead of stress eating, reduce stress by exercising or meditating.

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    Stress plays a vital role in our health and fitness, where necessary seek the appropriate medical help.

    7. What if You Have Trouble Sleeping?

    Sometimes when you worry or suffer from certain illnesses, you may have trouble falling or staying asleep. This can affect the metabolic rate as well and your energy levels.

    When you don’t have enough energy, it makes working out less desirable. This could be another reason why you can’t lose weight.

    Did you know people who don’t get enough rest eat about 300 or more calories a day versus individuals who get enough sleep?

    For example: After coming home from a hard day at work, no one wants to cook. It is easier to stop by the first fast-food restaurant and eat that 1200 calorie burger combo meal. Maybe even eating that 300 calorie chocolate bar for dessert.

    If you find yourself eating out often, could this be yet another reason why you struggling to get a good night’s sleep. Take away food generally contains a lot of hidden calories making it harder for your body to burn through the night.

    8. Could Your Thyroid Be Contributing to Why You Are Not Getting Fit?

    An under-active thyroid can influence your ability to lose weight. This condition is known as ‘hypothyroidism’, not to confuse with hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid). Let me explain.

    An overactive thyroid affects your ability to gain weight, not lose it.

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    With hypothyroidism, your body retains water and salt buildup. Because of this, you gain pounds, making it difficult to lose them. This condition, along with other chemicals in the body, affects your energy levels and your metabolism.

    If you suspect this is the reason why you are struggling to get fit, talk to a medical professional about it. The doctor or nurse practitioner will know exactly what to do.

    Summing It Up

    There are many factors that affect whether you gain or lose weight. To give you the best chance of losing weight effectively, you should aim to identify and control these factors.

    There are a number of benefits to losing weight and getting fit. For example, by dropping a few pounds you will take pressure off your knees and other joints in your lower body. As well as increasing your overall health condition by reducing illnesses such as stress, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

    Finally, remember it’s not all about what you eat. Whilst diet is vital in the process of losing weight and getting fit, it is not the only factor to consider when losing weight. You need a well balanced fitness program consists of diet and exercise. Therefore, performing regular exercise such as lifting weights a few times a week and will help meet your goals quicker.

    Please use these useful tips to help you lose weight, get fit and achieve your dream body.

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    Featured photo credit: Debby Hudson via unsplash.com

    Reference

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