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Published on April 26, 2019

Why You’re Struggling to Lose Weight (And How to Fix It)

Why You’re Struggling to Lose Weight (And How to Fix It)

Many years ago, I struggled with obesity. It was a time where I was on the 2 for 1 Burger King diet.

The first 30 lbs were quite easy to lose, the remaining 90 lbs were extremely hard to shed off. The reason why it was so hard? Because I didn’t know what to do. This is when I decided to copy what people were doing at the gym, starving myself, over consuming on certain meals and the list goes on.

Eventually, I came to the realization that I was struggling to lose weight and needed to learn how to fix it. And when I learned how the right way to lose weight, I could lose 110 lbs of body fat:[1]

    Why I was struggling? Because I lacked the knowledge of what to do.

    How to fix it? By learning what will work. Not what I think might work, but what actually works.

    Based on experience, I can honestly tell you that 7 out of 10 personal training clients share the same problem. They’re struggling to lose weight. When this situation arises, it’s all about analyzing the amount of output and input in our bodies.

    Going to the gym and doing random exercises is not enough anymore. It’s all about building a customized plan that works for you. Same with nutrition, someone else’ diet may or may not work for you. Finally, we need to consider lifestyle behaviours as well.

    1. Over Consuming Protein

    There was a time when protein shakes would have 50 to 100 grams of protein per shake. It wasn’t until this study came out that it was determined that per meal we can only ingest 20g to 30g of protein every 3 to 4 hours.[2]

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    Every person varies on timing and needs. Instead of having 2 chicken breast per meal (which has approximately 62 grams of protein), have 1 chicken breast per meal (31 grams).

      2. Confusing Complex Carbs vs Simple Carbs

      Eating a slice of bread is not the same as eating 4 cups of sweet potatoes. Simple carbs are digested quicker by the body leaving you hungry. However, complex carbs take time for the body to digest.

      Simples carbs are found in food such as fruits, milk, soft drinks and more. Complex carbs are found in food such as whole grains, beans, vegetables and more.

      Simple and Complex serve different purposes.

      Eating simple carbs is recommended before starting a workout if you have not eaten anything for the past 2 to 4 hours. This way you have a boost of energy.

      Eating complex carbs is recommended at least 30 to 45 minutes after a workout so you can replenish your glycogen levels. Eating this way will you feel satisfied after workouts, so there is no craving.

        3. Not Hitting All the Muscle Groups

        It’s not only about doing abdominal workouts and cardio. It’s about hitting all muscle groups 2-5 times a week for significant impact in the body. Beginners should start with compound movement (which target more than one muscle group).

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        A simple guideline would be 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions, with a 30 second to a 1:30 break in between sets.

        Squats target the lower body, while the Glute-Bridges primarily targets the glutes and hamstring. Dead Push Ups target the upper body (front) and Downward Dog targets the upper back.

        All exercises above target the core muscle, which is why I love to leave the plank for last. The Plank targets all muscle groups if done correctly.

        Squats

          Dead Push Ups

            Downward Dog

              Glute Bridge

                Plank

                  4. Confusing a Cheat Meal for a Cheat Day

                  It’s not bad to break your diet from time to time. After all, we’re humans! The problem is when we over indulge ourselves.

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                  Planning for one cheat meal a week will not cause major impacts to the body in regards to gaining weight. However, a cheat day will have an impact on the body to gaining weight and feeling bloated.

                    5. Skipping Meals

                    If your body is accustomed to eating a certain times during the day but you skip a meal, the body identifies this as something in the body is changing; therefore the next meal you decide to have will be stored in to our bodies as fat as a mean to survive.

                    Unless you’re doing intermittent fasting, you shouldn’t skip meals. Even then, you have to know what foods to eat so the body does not store it as fat.

                    What you shouldn’t do is skip a meal for weight loss purposes. What you should do, is plan out your day or week of the meals and snack you’re going to eat and focus on portion control, balancing your proteins, carbs and fats, and drink lots of water.

                      6. Eating till You’re Full

                      We need to be aware of the amount of food we put on our plate. There needs to be healthy portions of carbs, fats, and protein on our plates.

                      Instead of having 85% of your plate full of pasta (carbs), only put in 35%. Fill the rest up with as much green vegetables as you desire, then have 40% of protein (chicken breast) and 25% of fat (avocado).

                      Below you will find an example of a portioned sized meal:

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                      • Asparagus: 50% (Green Vegetables)
                      • Grilled Zucchini: 30% (Green Vegetable, Low Carb)
                      • Grilled Salmon: 20% (Protein & Fats)

                        7. Insufficient Sleep

                        The bodies needs to recover and process everything that it has gone throughout the day. Not only does sleeping help you fight night cravings, but it also helps to increases physical activity output because you’re well rested.

                        Can’t sleep at night? Here are a couple of solutions:

                        • Don’t bring your phone to the bedroom
                        • Put a timer so you can remind yourself to go to bed early
                        • Don’t eat anything heavy before going to bed

                          If you’re struggling to lose weight, these are some potential causes that you should check in with yourself.

                          Follow the above weight loss hacks, and gradually you’ll find yourself losing some weight and leading a healthier lifestyle. Keep it up!

                          Featured photo credit: Zach Rowlandson via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          More by this author

                          Sergio Pedemonte

                          CEO and Certified Personal Trainer of Your House Fitness

                          Can You Really Detox Your Body to Achieve Weight Loss? 10 Lower Body Workouts Anyone Can Try at Home Why You’re Struggling to Lose Weight (And How to Fix It) 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go Do Vitamins for Weight Loss Work And How?

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                          Last Updated on August 12, 2019

                          12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                          12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                          Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                          But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                          I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                          Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

                          1. Nuts

                          The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                          Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                          Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                          Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                          2. Blueberries

                          Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                          When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                          3. Tomatoes

                          Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                          4. Broccoli

                          While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                          Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                          Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                          5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                          Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                          The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                          Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                          6. Soy

                          Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                          Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                          Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                          7. Dark Chocolate

                          When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                          Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                          8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                          Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

                          B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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                          Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                          Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                          To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                          9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                          Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                          Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                          Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                          10. Gingko Biloba

                          This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

                          It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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                          However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                          11. Green and Black Tea

                          Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                          Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                          Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                          12. Sage and Rosemary

                          Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                          Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                          When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                          More About Boosting Brain Power

                          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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