As two of its main functions is to transport nutrients into and out of the cells and help in the elimination of toxins and waste from the body, water is essential for the healthy functioning of the entire organism. If this is so, why do Americans in average, fail to drink enough water during the day? Based on certain estimates, the average American drinks only 3 cups of water per day, which is clearly much less than the recommended 8. Furthermore, if water is the essence of life and a crucial component of a health, why do we neglect to remind ourselves to drink more water while dieting or during periods of strenuous physical activity?
According to scientists and weight loss experts alike, when trying to lose weight, proper hydration is as important as getting all your macronutrients. Besides being the best original and natural detoxifier you can ever have, it’s calorie-free, inexpensive and could be the key missing link to maintaining a healthy weight.
One recent study published in the journal Annals of Family Medicine found that the link between staying hydrated and staying slim is much stronger than most of us think. More specifically, the results showed that subjects who were less hydrated were more likely to have a higher body mass index (BMI) than those who drank plenty of water during the day. Naturally, the authors don’t consider this a coincidence, and neither should you.
#5. Too Many Cheat Meals
Some weight loss experts recommend people to incorporate preplanned cheat meals or entire cheat days into their eating regime. The primary purpose of this is to give yourself a mental break from trying so hard to constrain your cravings for the food you’re not supposed to be eating – simply put, it’s a way to reward yourself for your hard dieting efforts.
In addition, cheat days can have a beneficial effect on your levels of leptin. Leptin is a hormone secreted by fat cells and it’s crucial to maintaining energy balance in the body. When your leptin levels reach a certain threshold, the brain is signaled that you have sufficient energy stored and there’s no risk of starvation, which then tells you to stop eating. And when leptin levels dramatically drop (for example, when you’re starving yourself as we’ve discussed above), hunger signals go through the roof and often the result is overeating.
Dieting for prolonged periods of time causes a general drop in leptin levels, which overtime can increase the potential for uncontrolled binging. Allowing yourself a high-carb cheat meal now and then can prevent this from happening and help you regulate your leptin levels. However, it’s best to avoid cheating before you’ve already made some considerable progress and you’ve grown comfortable with the dietary changes you’ve made. While some people find cheating days a great strategy to deter binges in the long run, others find that this approach only increases their desire for bad foods and makes it even harder for them to stick to their diet.
Therefore, it’s best to try it for yourself and see how it goes, but make sure you don’t overdo it because that will only make things worse. Don’t forget that the point of dieting is to achieve a sustained mental and physical separations from the foods that you know are bad for you. It’s ok to bend the dietary rules occasionally, as long as you plan it beforehand and make sure it doesn’t become a habit.
#6. Giving Up Too Easy
Keep in mind that your road to weight loss will sometimes be bumpy and unpleasant and you won’t always feel the same level of motivation and determination as you did on the first day of the journey. Beginnings are exciting because they promise change at the end of the road, however, the way you face the mid-road difficulties and challenges matters infinitely more than making huge promises to yourself.
There will be good ways and bad days. The important thing is to never let the bad ones get to you. Whenever you slip up, simply remind yourself of all the reasons why you started this in the first place, get back up and try again. On a mental level, weight loss is all about building resiliency and mental fortitude, two great benefits that you will later become able to apply on all areas of life.
At first it will be hard to resist your cravings or to make yourself go to the gym when you don’t feel like it, but it will get easier with practice. Be prepared that you can’t strengthen your willpower overnight – that will take some time but we guarantee that it will be worth the effort. Also, surround yourself with as many people who share the same goals so that you can motivate each other to continue forward. As long as you remain focused and consistent, results will inevitably follow!