Naturally, as the owner of Life’s Direction I’m clearly going to advocate more exercise and more time in the gym. The reality though is that if you don’t watch what you put in your body then what you put on the barbell will likely not have the effect that you are hoping for.
As fitness professionals we spend a lot of time discussing how to get fit and how to help people lose weight. With this in mind I’d like to point out some key factors in predicting weight gain, or thwarted weight loss.
- Sugar-Sweetened Beverages – These beverages have effectively no nutritional value and are arguably the greatest provider of calories in the American diet. What’s more these drinks do not suppress hunger. Bottom line…don’t have these in your diet and if you indulge just do it occasionally as a taste treat as that is all you get taste, nothing satisfying nutritionally.
- Too much or too Little Sleep – Studies have shown that the optimal amount of sleep is between 7 and 8 hours each night. The farther out on either sides, the more the odds say you will gain weight.
- Not having a concept of portion control. – While many think they are eating health it may not be totally about what they are eating, but instead how much they are eating. While it is virtually impossible to eat too much celery, the same cannot be said about other food items. Even food items like apples, bananas, and carrots can be over eaten. Likely won’t happen but can quickly happen with things like rice, quinoa, oats, yogurt, etc. Control your portions and if you are eating well you may not even need to cut foods out…just cut down on them.
- Over-consuming Alcohol – Look, I like a nice glass of wine or a great craft beer, just like anyone who owns a wine bar should. J With that, it is very easy to over-consume and when you start drinking you need to start mindful of the calories you are about to consume. Arguably a glass of wine won’t kill you and in fact can be beneficial on several fronts. Now drinking a whole bottle at one sitting is a different story.
- Watching a lot of TV. While the act of watching TV in and of itself will not pack on the pounds, there are numerous studies that find a strong correlation between weight gain and the amount of time one spends in front of the TV. Now we have TVs here at the club and I’d argue that if you’re are watching TV while churning up the miles on the treadmill that this television watching is not aiding in weight gain. So if you are going to watch TV, just come into the gym.
- Not being physically active enough – Not really a revelation here and I did mention above that I would advocate for more physical activity. The reality though is that there are many ways to get physical activity and walking is huge. So if nothing else at least go and walk for 20 minutes…heck the weather is still good and this is a great time of year to take in the scenery.
Nutrition tip: Take a picture on your handy phone of everything you eat then look back through your photos at the end of the week…you might surprise yourself.