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8 Mistakes Preventing You From Losing Weight

 Did you know that 600 million adults and 100 million children are obese in the U.S.? Sometimes, no matter what you do, or how hard you workout, stubborn fat can be hard to lose. If this is something you can relate to, know that you are not alone. Millions of people are doing all they can to lose weight but are failing. But, what could be the cause? Here's a list of 8 common mistakes that make it harder for you to get that perfect toned body that you've always desired no matter how much you sweat it out at the gym? 
 
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1. You treat all calories equally

Calories are not created equally. For instance, eating 100 calories of vegetables is not the same as eating 100 calories of ice-cream. They both have different effects on the body. With regards to weight loss, it is essential to consider how much insulin is released by the body based on the type of calories we're taking in. When a lot of insulin is released by the body consistently throughout the day, it prevents fat loss and also encourages the body to store energy as body fat.

The types of calories that spike insulin the most are those from carbohydrates in the form of simple sugar. So, if you can't get enough of your carbs, best bet would be to stick to healthy carbohydrates from food that gets digested slowly. Along with carbohydrates, protein can also spike your insulin levels, particularly those that are from dairy-based sources, such as skim milk and yogurt. 

2. You don’t focus enough on lean body mass
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If you're cutting down your calories and doing cardio, but extra fat is still sticking around, it may be a good idea to focus on your lean body mass. Increasing lean body mass wakes up your resting metabolism and also affects many different hormones in the body like insulin, leptin, and ghrelin. These hormones communicate with your cells and instruct whether it's time to store fat or release it. 

3. You believe that eating more meals throughout the day will help you lose weight and burn fat

While there are many diets one can try, another method is simply fasting and it's an amazing way to burn fat. In addition, fasting lowers the insulin levels more than other dietary methods do. It also causes the body to release glucagon to draw energy from your cells, including fat cells. This means that rather than having a few 400 calorie meals in a day, it is better to have one 1,600 calorie meal at the end of the day. 

4. You believe doing a lot of cardio is the only way to lose fat
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Cardio may not be as interesting as other exercises, still, people think that it's the only way to lose weight. But, because it tends to get rather boring, people stop putting in the effort to lose weight altogether. The good news is there other ways to burn fat without spending long hours on the treadmill. So opt for cardio which can be incorporated with weight-training. 

5. You believe advertisements about magical fat burning pills

Bear in mind that there are no shortcuts to fat-loss. If you opt for supplements they will only increase your resting heart-rate to high and unhealthy levels. Stay away from pills and opt for a healthy lifestyle instead. 

6. You’re not getting enough sleep
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Sleep is an important part of maintaining weight. A lack of sleep throws your body's hormone levels off balance, which impacts hunger levels the next day. Two hormones affect our appetite. ghrelin (the hormone that makes us hungry) and leptin (the hormone that makes us full). Not getting enough sleep increases the level of ghrelin, and reduces leptin, causing us to feel hungry and overeat. Aim for at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. 

7. You’re feeling stressed

Stress can wreak havoc on our bodies causing the body to produce a steroid hormone called cortisol increasing the craving for sugary foods that provide instant energy and pleasure. When cortisol levels remain high for a long amount of time, it can increase the fat stored in the belly. 

8. You’re trying too hard
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The body needs a balance of exercise and rest. When you exercise too much it prevents the body from shifting excess fat. If you exercise without getting proper rest it impacts the levels of cortisol in the body, which in turn causes an increase in stubborn fat stored in the belly. 
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