Weight Loss & Diet

5 Habits that Sabotage Your Weight Loss Goals

5 Habits that Sabotage Your Weight Loss Goals
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

If you think you’re doing everything right and you’re still not losing weight, it’s possible one of these habits might be sabotaging your efforts. Take a look!

#1. Out-Eating Your Workouts

The Problem: Physical activity burns calories, but it is easy to overeat to compensate. It could be because exercise makes you hungrier. Or, you might think you need to down a protein shake to support muscle recovery. Not true!

The Solution: Count your workout snack in your daily total –not as a freebie! Stave off hunger during your workout with a snack 2 to 4 hours before, and fill up on veggies such as carrot sticks or grape tomatoes (A protein shake is rarely necessary for supporting your muscles). Pro tip: Lark can track your nutrition just by talking to it (use the microphone icon)!

don't out eat your calories from exercising

#2. Taking the Weekends Off

The Problem: You work hard five days a week to eat right, but you let loose Friday evening and take a weight loss break through Sunday. That puts a damper on weight loss for 30% of the week!

The Solution: Instead of losing inhibition the entire weekend, keep it to a cheat meal once a week. A special occasion, such as a night out with friends, is a good time to have your cheat meal. Pure pleasure, no guilt, and right back on track at the next meal! Pro tip: Keep logging your Lark meals on weekends!:)

#3. Letting Social Time Pack on Pounds

The Problem: Time with friends often includes dining at a restaurant, or a stop at the mall food court. It is natural to go with the flow, but that means you can end up eating way more than you would have if you were alone.

The Solution: Find something else to do: Meet at a park for a brisk walk or stroll as you talk. No worries if your friends still want to meet for a meal. Just stay aware and order smart. Coffee shop:Unsweetened tea or coffee with almond milk. Restaurant: Salad with grilled chicken or minestrone soup. Mall food court: Veggie stir fry with chicken, shrimp, or tofu; no rice. You might be surprised to find that your friends admire your commitment to weight loss and decide to follow your healthy lead! Pro tip: If you and your friends have Lark, you can share your meal history together to see if it’s time to cheat, or time to stay disciplined.

#4. Mistaking “Gluten-Free” for “Healthy”

The Problem: Gluten is a protein in grains. You may be avoiding gluten for health reasons, such as because you have celiac or such products do not agree with you (think stomach aches!). Avoiding gluten may be necessary for you, but being “gluten-free” does not make a food good for weight loss. Gluten-free cereals, breads, and flours can be refined and low in fiber and antioxidants!

The Solution: Check the label for “whole grain” if you are buying a gluten-free grain, and remember serving sizes. Gluten-free grains are just as high in carbs and calories!

#5. Skimping on Sleep

Why is it so hard to take care of ourselves? You know sleep is good; it gives you energy and helps you think clearly. If you are like most people, though, you skimp. Here’s something that may motivate you to put sleep a little higher on your priority list: it will help you lose weight. Getting enough sleep suppresses a hunger hormone, helps you fight sugar cravings, and normalizes blood sugar. For a side benefit, getting more sleep can lower diabetes risk. Pro tip: You guessed it! Your Lark also tracks how much sleep you’re getting with the low motion sensors on your phone, so you can keep on top of how that relates to your energy levels and even self discipline!