your complete guide to... blood
It rarely takes centre stage, but blood is a vital part of your body, so here’s how to spot any problems
3. You’re not prepared
‘ Without preparation – think pre-cooking and pre-measuring meals in advance, or batch-cooking healthy meals and freezing for later – you’re destined to fail,’ warns nutritionist Luke Hughes. ‘ This is particularly true of snacks, as you may not realise that you’re helping yourself to small snacks (like the cheese you devoured while standing in front of the fridge deciding what to make for dinner), eliminating any chance of weight loss.’
4. You haven’t set yourself a realistic goal Having an upcoming event, such as a holiday or a wedding, or even just an aim, like dropping a dress size, helps you refocus and get your head down. Figure out how much you want it and stick to the plan.
5. You aren’t eating enough fat
A low-carb, higher-fat diet is often better for weight loss as it promotes satiety. Be sure to include healthy fats, such as food that’s high in omega-3 like eggs and salmon, to keep you fuller for longer.
6. You’re not tracking your kilojoules
‘ You won’t lose fat unless you’re in a kilojoule deficit – burning off more energy than you consume. Ensure a kilojoule deficit by restricting food portions throughout the day and use a simple app like MyFitnessPal to track intake,’ advises personal trainer Chris Wharton.
7. You don’t move enough Due to the nature of the modern world, we don’t move enough. Increase energy expenditure on a daily basis by taking the dog for a walk, climbing the stairs, or parking further away from the shopping centre entrance.
8. You’re not sleeping enough
‘ Evidence has shown that sleep deprivation is associated with the risk of developing obesity,’ explains nutritionist Lily Soutter. ‘ Not only does lack of sleep increase appetite, but it also makes us crave unhealthy foods. Salty, sugary and starchy foods are what we tend to turn to for instant energy.’
9. You haven’t switched your eating habits
‘ Instead of reaching for a biscuit at 3pm, reach for a piece of fruit,’ suggests psychologist Dr Christy Fergusson. ‘ Switch white rice for cauliflower rice or starchy potatoes for sweet potatoes, and make mealtimes easier by thinking, “What can I eat?” instead of, “What can’t I eat?”’
10. You eat too much sugar – beware, it’s everywhere! Look out for the amount of hidden sugar that you’re consuming in those ‘healthier’ snacks and drinks, and try to limit the amount of fruit you‘re having to just one or two portions per day.
11. Your thyroid may not be working properly
‘ Your thyroid gland regulates your metabolism. Underactive thyroid symptoms include fatigue, dry skin and weight gain. If you’re eating well and exercising, but still aren’t losing weight, see your doctor,’ advises nutritionist Rosie Millen.
12. You’re measuring the wrong results!
Looking for proof in the scales is often disappointing! If you’re doing a lot of exercise, you could be improving the tone of your muscles and losing fat, but the scale doesn’t provide information about your body composition. Plus, muscle weighs more than fat.