1. Chronic dehydration. Dehydration has an impact on increasing stress hormones keeping your body in a state of flight or fight response. Use the pinch test on the back of your hand to test your hydration levels. Pinch the skin on the back of your hand. If it takes longer than one second to smooth out, you should drink up. Although this is a simple and in-comprehensive test, experts believe it can take up to 8 months for a person’s fascia tissues to function properly after regular adequate water intake. Depending on activity levels and body weight a general rule of thumb for females is to consume 2+ liters of filtered water per day and 3+ liters of water for men. A fantastic way to jumpstart water intake is upon waking up drink 500 ml of clean filtered cold water before consuming anything else. This will quickly knock the body out a dehydrated state and improve mental focus and acuity. If you have trouble with 500 ml start with 250 ml and gradually increase from there.
2. Poor sleep habits. Healthy sleep habits are one of the most overlooked aspects of health. I’ve noticed for years, clients who have the poorest sleep habits also have the most difficulty losing weight. This is mainly due to the body being in low grade flight or fight stressed state. During sleep, our bodies rebuild, repair and detoxify. Prepare for bed by avoiding electronics, emails, exciting movies, TV dramas and stimulants such as caffeine. Instead read a book, take a hot bath, talk to your spouse, mediate or journal about what you’re grateful for. Aim for seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep in a dark cool room that mimics a cave. There should be no light or electronics nearby, especially charging cellphones. Sleeping in minimal clothing or nude is also best.
3. Patience is key, trust the process. It’s important to remember that once you’ve started a new exercise regimen that you practice patience with your results. I believe a realistic goal is to lose weight at a rate of 1 lbs of fat per week. It may not seem like a much but over the course of a year of steady effort it equals to more than a 50 lbs weight loss. To be successful in any endeavour you must be positive, persistent and patient. Napoleon Hill once said, “persistence to the character of man is carbon is to steel.” Remember, the weight never went on overnight and it surely will not disappear overnight.
4. Lack of aerobic exercise; This is where walking outdoors is a powerful tool and can have a positive impact on your waistline. Walking is a fantastic form of exercise that utilizes primarily fat stores for energy production and is perfect for promoting relaxation and mental clarity. (which takes care of the effects of stress points noted earlier.) Walking 40-60+ minutes everyday can have a profound effect on your mood, energy levels and body weight. A great habit to begin immediately is setting your alarm one hour earlier in the morning to get out and walk with a friend, loved one or a pet.
5. Excess of energy intake from carbs and fats. Eat more lean meats and fresh vegetables. If you’re not eating protein and vegetables at every meal, guess what? You’re still mainly consuming refined or processed carbohydrates and poor quality fats. Wraps, bread, pizza, buns, bagels, muffins and pita bread are foods that should be consumed in moderation if your goal is to improve body composition. Eating lean cuts of meat and fresh fruits and vegetables have minimal effects on blood sugar, supply amino acids to the muscles for rebuilding and remodeling while nourishing your body with necessary vitamins and minerals from vegetables. A great strategy is eating vegetables to fruits on a 3:1 ratio.
6. Nutrient deficiencies. A single nutrient deficiency could be hampering your progress. If you’re deficient in essential minerals you could be cutting yourself short from success. Minerals such as Zinc and Magnesium are responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body that occur every minute of the day. The method the body metabolizes nutrients from food are impacted by these minerals. Men who experience low sex drive or symptoms of low testosterone would benefit from taking a zinc supplement. Zinc is also great for men who have difficulty getting their partner pregnant. Consider taking a pharmaceutical-grade multivitamin designed to have balanced nutrients to help prevent any nutritional deficiencies.
7. Negative mindset; Often when talking to someone who is overweight they don’t actually believe they can achieve lifelong and permanent success with their body composition. The reason is simple: they don’t have the image in their mind of how it looks and feels to be healthy and fit. Or at least they don’t focus on that image long enough. Something always seems to knock them off course of reaching their goal. Journaling early in the morning on how your life would look and feel is a great way of building this image with clarity. Use specific descriptive words on how good it would feel if colleagues at the office comment on your slim midsection and toned arms and shoulders. Getting emotionally involved in this process is the fastest and most effective way to get into a positive mindset