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Everyone seems to be on the weight loss craze these days and with good reason. Obesity rates continue to soar over 65% across the country and more companies are creating products to help take off the pounds.

Here are five things you might be doing that are fighting your efforts to drop the pounds.

Guilty of These Habits? Well, They're Making You Fat!

1. Skipping Breakfast

Many people say they are not hungry in the morning and opt for coffee instead of a good breakfast. The caffeine has an appetite suppressant effect and people cry there’s just no time to prepare a good meal.  There are many great grab-and-go ideas for morning, but protein and fiber should be a focus.

Try this mug scrambler: Combine 1/2 cup Egg Beaters 100% Egg Whites with a 1/2 cup chopped raw broccoli and 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese in a coffee mug. Microwave for 2.5 minutes and head out the door with a protein packed, fiber and B vitamin-rich breakfast that will starve off that morning hunger pain and boost your metabolism too.

2. Skipping the Weight Room

Most people think "cardio" when trying to lose weight and a good 30-60 minute vigorous workout will burn calories for the day. But think beyond today and start building muscle. Muscles are active tissue which burn more calories when you sleep than the fat percentage they will replace. Try to do some form of resistance training at least three days per week with ten basic exercises including: 20 repetitions of each of these exercises. Remember to repeat on both sides when appropriate.

    • 1. Squats
    • 2. Corner Lunges
    • 3. Single Leg Touch Down
    • 4. Side Raises
    • 5. Rear Flies
    • 6. Tricep Overhead
    • 7. Lat Pull Down
    • 8. Chest Flies
    • 9. Bicycle Crunches
    • 10. Superman. 

These 10 exercises will hit the major muscle groups. Use resistance bands or free weights to fatigue the muscles for best results or opt into group fitness classes, like CrossFit, where body weight exercises dominate the resistance training moves.

3. Skipping Sleep

Studies show that people who sleep at least 6-7 hours per night live longer and have significant changes in lowering leptin and increasing gherlin hormone levels. Leptin is the hormones that help regulate fat metabolism whereas gherlin stimulates a hunger response. Loss of sleep also causes the body to crave sugar which can effect your appetite control responses.

If you’re not sleeping through the night, try creating sleep time rituals to help get a better nights’ rest. Dim lights, turn off electronic devices, avoid working in bed, and also try a warm bath before bedtime to lower body temperatures. Even a glass of warm skim milk can help you sleep sounder.

4. Skipping the Vegetables

Even if you are not a vegetarian, if you are trying to lose weight, you should opt for eating more fruits and vegetables at EVERY meal. Vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber, and high in vitamins and minerals.  You should opt for at least 2-3 servings of fruits and vegetables with every meal. Protein combinations of lean meats, beans and nuts should balance out the meals. Color and variety of vegetables are important.  Recently I tried Jackfruit. This extremely large melon like fruit can be found in Asian markets. Cut away the top and discover pods of orange fleshy cones. Remove the webbing and seed and taste a high antioxidant rich fruit similar to kiwi, cantaloupe and peach in one flavor.

5. Skipping a Journal

Studies indicate that people who write down their daily accomplishments including food, beverage, and exercise are more likely to stick to their regimens. Secondly, writing in a journal provides a tracking method which can be paired against your emotional responses for the day to help understand your food emotion quotient. If you are eating poor nutrient rich, calorie dense choices, compare your emotions against the time that you eat them. Giving yourself insights into your personal lifestyle habits can be quite revealing. If you fail to write into a journal check out the many apps on your smartphone that can be downloaded to assist.

My favorites include: Reminders, LoseIt, Anytime Health and Pic Healthy to help track food. Nike Training helps track your exercise too.

What are you skipping? Hopeful it’s just a rope because that burns almost 600-800 calories per hour.  So skip to better weight loss. 

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