6 weight loss mistakes all moms should avoid making
It’s no secret that one of the most unpleasant changes the body goes through during pregnancy is gaining extra and unwanted pounds.
Pregnancy takes a toll on a woman’s body: Organs move around, feet and other extremities swell, the skin stretches and then sags.
One of the most unpleasant changes the body goes through during pregnancy, however, is weight gain. No wonder many mothers are determined to lose it right after their baby comes into the world.
While many succeed in their goals, others do not, and there are many reasons why. Here are five of them, based on the a Chicago Now story.
Not only is it harmful, it actually makes you gain more weight. When you skip meals, the body slows down its metabolism (the function necessary to burn calories). Then the body goes into catabolic state, where it eats its own muscles tissue because there’s nothing left to burn.
Low fat/high sugar roller coaster
It’s true that food that are high in fat is bad for the body, but did you know that consuming very little of it is damaging too?
“Not only do very low fat diets prevent weight loss, they're also commonly high in sugar,” says Traci D Mitchell in her Chicago Now story. “It's important to read the nutrition facts on anything you're eating until you become familiar with it.”
If what you’re about to eat, on the other hand, has 13 grams of added sugar, she suggests staying away from it and finding a different food entirely.
There’s nothing wrong with a strong pick me up, but too much of it increases the body’s cortisol level by 30%. Cortisol is a stress hormone responsible for the body’s “fight or flight” response.
“When you throw off cortisol (stress hormone) there is a very good chance that you'll also throw off a couple other hormones, including insulin and adrenaline,” Traci says. “This can quickly result in excess hunger, agitation and ultimately weight gain.”
Find out what else you're doing wrong on the next page
Too little sleep
The body repairs itself when we are asleep, hence, too little of it damages our body in more ways than one.
Track says: “Waking up sleep deprived throws off all of those stress hormones that make us want to reach for something sweet and probably caffeinated to get going in the morning.”
For adults, the recommended hours of sleep is six to eight hours.
Slow and steady cardio meltdown
It’s an often overlooked fact, but calories and fat are not the same thing: burning calories doesn’t necessarily mean you’re losing fat.
Bodily functions require energy, and the body gets it’s fuel from calories—the readily-available fuel.
When the readily available fuel is finally depleted, the body then taps another source of energy: fat. And a steady burn of calories is not the way to go if you want to lose fat.
“In fact, research has shown that slow and steady cardio for prolonged periods of time (greater than 20 to 30 minutes) can actually increase the body's ability to store fat,” Traci says. “If you're going to workout (and I hope you are), make it a good, challenging workout that's based around high intensity interval training.”
Instead of plain jogging or hopping into a treadmill, you’re better off doing high intensity interval training, an explosive workout that burns fat more efficiently.
Calorie counting gone crazy
Checking the calorie count of everything that you eat is not the way to go if you want to successfully shed off those extra pounds. Just because a food is low on calories doesn't make it the healthier option.
Track says: “diets that are framed around calories and calories alone are often lacking in nutrients and can actually lead to weight gain, especially if you're counting calories and trying to eat very low fat.”
You lose fat faster and easier when the calories you consume come from a clean source (lean meats and fresh greens, say)