Road Blocks To Weight Loss - Obstacles To Avoid
To Lose Weight
are many possible reasons you aren't losing weight, even though
your diet is stellar. Here's a brief overview of some additional
possibilities for you to consider.
Dieting is complicated: There are even ways to screw up without
realizing it. For instance, who would ever think that working out
in the a.m. or cranking the AC might be the reason you're not slimming
down? Luckily, once you've identified these flubs, fixing them is
nowhere near as hard as squeezing into a body suit.
Roadblock #1: Always A Go-Getter, You Workout At 6 A.M.
What's wrong with that? Morning workouts are great-if you go
to bed at 10 p.m. In a recent study in the American Journal of Epidemiology,
women who slept seven or more hours a night were less likely to
put on weight than women who didn't. Those who slept only 6 hours
a night were 12 percent more likely to gain substantial weight-33
pounds on average over the course of 16 years! Other studies have
linked lack of sleep to a higher BMI and have found that it negatively
affects levels of the appetite-regulating hormones ghrelin and leptin.
Detour: Don't sacrifice your snooze time-not even for an
extra-long run. Quality matters more than quantity, so taking a
siesta later won't help. "In a 20-minute power nap you don't
get into the deep-sleep stage. You need to go through the cycles
of sleep over a few hours to get the restorative rest that allows
your body to work properly. Bottom line: You're better off sleeping
through your workout every other day than stumbling to a sunrise
Yoga class on too few z's.
Roadblock #2: You're A Teetotaler
Alcohol may not be the diet kryptonite you thought it was. Recent
research showed that those who have a single drink a couple times
a week have a lower risk of becoming obese than either teetotalers
or heavy drinkers. Those who consume more than four drinks daily,
on the other hand, boost their odds of obesity by 46 percent.
Detour: Go ahead and have a drink; just avoid belly-busters
like a 245-calorie piña colada. Instead, raise a glass of
heart-smart merlot (123 calories per 5 ounces), Bud Light (110 calories
per 12 ounces), champagne (88 calories per 4 ounces), or sake (39
calories per ounce). Or mix a 100-calorie cocktail, like vodka and
diet tonic or tequila and club soda. Just make sure you drink it
with some healthy food, such as raw veggies with low-fat dip or
whole-wheat pita and hummus.
Roadblock #3: You Crank The AC
Gore wants you to lay off the thermostat to save the planet. Here's
how it can save (the shape of) your own butt, too: In a study published
in Physiology & Behavior, researchers found that exposure to
temperatures above the "thermo neutral zone"-the artificial
climate we create with clothes, heating, or air conditioning-decreases
our appetite and food intake. At a slightly uncomfortable 81 degrees,
the women in the study experienced a 20 percent decrease in appetite
and ate 10 percent less than at 72 degrees.
Detour: Instead of cranking the air conditioner every time
you feel a little warm, learn to endure slightly steamier conditions.
Hitting the "off" button is well worth a little discomfort
if it helps you lose the saddlebags.
Roadblock #4: You Log Extra Miles On The Treadmill To Make Up
For Giant Meals
When it comes to dieting, success isn't 90 percent perspiration.
You can't achieve lasting weight loss via exercise alone. But a
new study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
found that dieting can shrink your fat zones just as effectively
as dieting plus exercise.
Detour: If you try the diet-only approach, you need a clear
idea of how much you should be eating. Multiply your weight by 10,
then add your weight again to that sum: That gives you the number
of calories you need to maintain your current weight without activity.
For example, 135 pounds x 10 = 1,350 + 135 = 1,485 calories. Eat
more than that regularly, and your "loose-fit" pants won't
anymore; eat less, and your muffin top will start melting away.
Roadblock #5: You Ignore Sarcopenia
Sarcopenia is age-related muscle loss-and it can start in your
30s. If you don't take action now, you could begin to lose as much
as 1 to 2 percent of your muscle mass by the time you hit 50. Less
muscle means you burn fewer calories and store more of them as fat.
Detour: The key to stopping muscle meltdown is to strengthen
your back, shoulders, arms, and thighs. "When you increase
lean muscle mass, you burn more calories, even when you're sitting
down doing nothing. Find a strength workout and start sculpting
at least twice a week. And keep it up after you reach your goal
weight: Studies show that if you don't exercise regularly (60 minutes
of moderate physical activity a day), the pounds can creep back
Roadblock #6: You're Shooting For A Near Impossible Size of
We know size 2 jeans look like they were made for a 10-year-old,
but, according to a study of 1,801 people published in the International
Journal of Obesity, women who set unrealistically high weight-loss
goals dropped more weight in 24 months than those who kept their
Detour: Having an optimistic goal motivates women to lose
Roadblock #7: Due To Recent Headlines, You're Eating M&Ms
You've heard the news: Cocoa can lower blood pressure; reduce
the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and dementia; and possibly
even prevent cancer. But the research isn't as delicious as it seems.
The cocoa-bean products used in the studies are a far cry from the
highly processed chocolate candy you find on the shelves of your
local store. "Milk chocolate contains about 150 calories and
10 grams of fat per ounce.
Detour: The key here is small doses. Dark chocolate, which
retains more of the bean during processing, generally has slightly
less fat and fewer calories than milk chocolate-plus, it's richer,
so less goes a longer way. If dark doesn't do it for you, opt for
low-cal choices such as a half-cup of Breyers French Chocolate Double
Churn Fat Free Ice Cream (90 calories, 0 g. fat).
#8: You Think "Water Rich Diet" Means More Trips To The
Water in your glass is good, but water in your food can have
serious slimming power. In a new American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
study, obese women ages 20 to 60 were told to either reduce their
fat intake or increase their intake of water-rich foods, such as
fruits and veggies. Although they ate more, women in the water-rich
group chose foods that were more filling-yet had fewer calories-so
they still lost 33 percent more weight in the first 6 months than
the women in the reduced-fat group.
Detour: Fill up on food that's high in H2O. Some good choices
in addition to fruits and veggies: broth-based, low-sodium soups;
oatmeal and other whole grains; and beans.
Roadblock #9: You Give Up Junk Food Today But Put Off Joining
Tackling one goal at a time is supposed to help you succeed.
But new research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine
bucks that conventional wisdom. In a study of more than 200 people
who smoked, had high blood pressure, and weren't extremely active,
one group was asked to quit the butts, cut back on dietary sodium,
and increase physical activity all at once. Another group addressed
one bad habit at a time. The group that tackled all their problems
simultaneously had the higher success rate after 18 months.
Detour: Combining your goals may work for the same reason
job negotiations do: When you ask for everything, you're more likely
to get something. Put this thinking to the test by creating a healthy
eating and exercise plan and throwing all your energy into following
Roadblock #10: You Never Think About Potassium
A recent Canadian study concluded that getting more potassium
might help lower your weight and blood pressure. Levels measured
in study participants were proportional to their diet and weight.
The richest sources of potassium are beans, vegetables, and fruit,
so the person with high potassium levels is consuming a lot of these
foods, which are low in calories and are the most filling.
Detour: You should aim for 4,700 milligrams of potassium
each day. Supplements may help you hit that target, but doctors
don't recommend them for everyone. Try filling up on white beans
(1 cup: 1,000 mg. potassium), winter squash (1 cup: 494 mg.), spinach
(1 cup: 840 mg.), baked potato with skin (926 mg.), yogurt (1 cup:
600 mg.), halibut (4 ounces: 566 mg.), and orange juice (1 cup:
Sometimes when people diet they do not take into account the actual
way to lose weight, some people believe if they eat less they will
lose weight, which is not necessarily true, if you do not eat enough
or worse nothing then your body is basically saying to itself "I'm
not getting any food" so what your body does is store any fluid
and food in your body as fat, and this can cause you to become heavier,
so make sure your not starving yourself and eat plenty of nutritious
Why Diet & Exercise Alone Don't Work
That's right, diets alone don't work. I'm sure you've heard
that to lose weight, all you need to do is "eat less and exercise
more. This simplistic approach is a set up for frustration and failure.
It ignores the psychological forces necessary to lose and keep the
weight off (such as motivation, focus, and commitment).
Examples include food serving as relaxation when stressed, a relationship
substitute when lonely, or as stimulation when bored. Have you ever
caught yourself using food for any of these reasons? The more powerful
the secondary reasons to keep eating poorly, the more the poor eating
will continue. Ignoring your mind's role in weight loss makes the
entire process so much more difficult.
formal "fad" diets don't work either. Besides ignoring
these same psychological factors, these diets usually promote such
a different way of eating that it can be nearly impossible to maintain
them. Also problematic are diet pills, powders, and other supplements
that attempt to artificially suppress the appetite. The high, endless
costs of buying these special products or foods and your old ways
of eating will return as soon as you stop buying the products. Are
you really supposed to buy these supplements for the rest of your
life? As soon as you stop buying them, your appetite will come back,
your old ways of eating come back, and so will the weight.
The "weight loss mindset" you'll need to lose and keep
the weight off includes focus, desire, common sense, self-discipline,
commitment, and positive motivation. Of course, getting into this
way of thinking is easier said than done. This is where the Dichotics
come in. "Clinical hypnosis" (or "hypnotherapy")
is a psychotherapy technique where a subject incorporates powerful
non-conscious tools for change to improve through the power of reinforced
A combination dichotics/behavior change program is by far the best
and most effective weight loss approach. This, of course, is the
format of The Dichotics Weight Loss Mindset. Our mindset and beliefs
about weight loss is what either allows us to quickly shed pounds
or barely make any progress at all? You may have met people who
hold the belief that weight loss is very easy. They have an optimistic
outlook on losing weight and the activities required to succeed.
Tell me, do these people usually get results or not. I have noticed
that they do. Now look at a person who is resentful about having
to lose weight and one who takes a negative attitude toward dieting
and exercise. They look at it like it's a burden that they should
not have to carry. What kind of results do these people usually
get? I have noticed that they are able to go for years without making
any serious ground.
Our thoughts and feelings prompt us to take certain actions. If
your thoughts are positive they will tell you that dieting is easy
and exercise is fun. If they are negative they will resent having
to lose weight and will make everything seem overwhelming and difficult.
These different thinking patterns will certainly yield different
actions and different results. Don't you think?
The trick is to notice any negative thought that arises and see
what it is doing to you. Does it make you want to eat fattening
food? Does it tell you to skip your workout routine? Now ask yourself,
does this thought have my best interest at heart? The answer will
almost always be a resounding no. By asking yourself this question
the thought will lose its power to control your actions. You will
be free to make your own choices and do as you see fit. This is
the beginning of rapid weight loss that feels effortless.
As often as you can, try to notice the thoughts arising in your
mind that feel even the slightest bit negative. Look deeply to see
what they really bring into your life. This will reveal the truth
and make weight loss easy. Start now and results are not far away.
Richard A. DiCenso